April 23 - 29  2023: Issue 580


It's starting to get Cold: 11 Ways to keep your home warm, safe and save money this Autumn and Winter - what to look for in a heater - the list!

There's no point denying it any further - we're now definitely in Autumn and heading towards Winter with dustings of snow already hitting the ground recently in western parts of NSW and the weather turning from mid Autumn warmth just days ago to early morning coolness.

Heating homes accounts for over 70% of some household energy consumption. So reducing this figure, while keeping homes warm, not only cuts energy bills, but helps reduce carbon emissions. This Issue a few timely tips to keep your toes and fingers warm and the power bills down.

It's also worth looking at what the state government may offer in rebates to meet energy costs. In NSW residents may qualify for a number of rebates and discounts. There's information for pensioners, families to help you and other offers to help improve the energy efficiency of your home. To find out more, visit: energysaver.nsw.gov.au/households/rebates-and-discounts

1. Use your curtains or blinds

Heat from the sun is free so let's not waste it. Open your curtains to let the sunlight in during the day and take that chill edge off the air within. When it gets dark, shut your curtains or blinds, which act as another layer of insulation and keep warmth in your rooms. You should also make sure you don’t have any leaks or gaps so that the warm air can stay in and the cold air stays out – this also helps to reduce condensation.

2. Use timers on your central heating

Turning the heating on a little earlier, such as half an hour before you get up in the morning, but at a lower temperature is cheaper than turning it on just as you need it at a higher temperature. This is because these heat up at a constant speed whether you set your thermostat to 20°C or 25°C. When the room is warm turn it off. Unless it's bitterly cold your heated rooms will maintain this heat level for a few hours. There's no point to leaving your heating on low all day as then you’re just paying for heat when you don’t need it.

3. Turn down the dial

While on central or radiant heating, you probably don't need it up as high as you think. The World Health Organisation previously recommended a minimum temperature of 21°C in the living room, but Public Health England, where they definitely get a decent fall of snow each Winter, has revised this to 18°C in 2014. Research shows that turning your thermostat down by 1°C could cut your heating bill by up to 10%. So keep the dial at 18°C, save money and avoid the negative impacts of a cold home. It may feel a bit like an English Summer to begin with ..... but it's certainly just as comfortable as being outdoors in our own early Spring. 

4. Maximise your insulation

When it comes to heat, around 25% is lost through the roof. This can be easily reduced by installing 25cm of insulation throughout your ceilings. It’s also worth seeing what’s going on in your walls, as around a third of the heat in an uninsulated home is lost this way. Cavity wall insulation could save up to $300 or more a year in heating bills. If you plan to install insulation yourself, be sure you can do it safely. If you are unsure about any aspect of the job, contact a professional. Insulation, and installation also needs to adhere to Building Codes of Australia regulations and relevant Australian standards.

When choosing insulation, the most important factor is the R-value, which measures a material’s capacity to resist heat flow. The greater the value, the better the insulation and the lower your power bill.

Bulk insulation is suited to colder climates –  like a quilt it traps air in still layers. It can be made of materials such as fibreglass, polyester and natural wool and comes in batts, blankets or loose fill. If you are keen to go green, ask a professional installer or manufacturer about using recycled materials.

Reflective insulation is usually aluminium foil laminated onto paper or plastic. Spray polyurethane foam (SPF) has grown in popularity in recent years. The insulation is made on site by mixing and spraying chemicals that react and form a foam, which is used to fill cracks and gaps.

Good insulation in a home will also reduce heat when it counts - Summer, and that, in turn, will cut down the need for fans, air-conditioning and the associated energy costs.

5. Move your couch

It might feel great to have your favourite seat in front of the heater, but it’s absorbing heat that could be warming your home. By moving it away from the radiant heat source, hot air can circulate freely. The same goes for your curtains or drying clothes – keep them away from the radiator so that you can get the most out of your heat source. Better yet, have a look at the great range of heaters you can now buy which come with in built circulating air systems - these will send the heat out into the room and heat the space a lot quicker and a lot more gently than those which 'bake' your skin. These heaters can also, once they've taken that icy chill off the room, be simply turned off again.

6. Wrap up warm

Although it's nice to get around in bare feet or thongs and stick to t-shirts so you can flap your arms around all year long this can get to the point of being ridiculous when it's icy and put your health in danger. I know its a bit old-fashioned but those who wear singlets rarely get sniffles, or cold, and if your toes are turning bright red then blue, put some socks on! 

Investing in a decent pair of slippers, putting on a long sleeved t-shirt or real wool jumper will reduce your need to turn the home into a Summer-like temperature or turn up the heat. Autumn and Winter air can actually be a bit of a tonic, especially when it's blowing straight out of Antarctica, exhilarating, clean, bracing. Keep those indoors shoes off, shirts off yoga moments but once you're done, rug up, just as you would after any sports when you start to cool down.

7. Block out the draughts

Yes; spend $5 and get yourself some draught stoppers for those doors. Even a simple solution such as a making your own sausage dog draught stopper will help keep the warmth in your home. It is estimated that DIY draught-proofing your doors, windows and cracks in the floor could save $150 per year. You can do this yourself for very little cost. Self-adhesive rubber seals around doors and windows and door draught stoppers are relatively cheap and easy to install. So it’s worth getting those doors and windows sealed before Winter properly kicks in.

8. Install thermostatic radiator valves

Research at the University of Salford has shown that installing heating controls and thermostatic radiator valves results in energy savings of 40% compared to a house with no controls. These work by allowing you to programme your heating to come on at predefined times – so you only use energy when you need it. New smart technology can also be controlled remotely via your mobile so you can turn on your heating on the way home, ensuring it’s nice and toasty when you arrive.

9. Upgrade your heater or HWS

As mentioned above, if your heater or central heating is more than 10 years old, it may be time to replace it with a new, more efficient model. Depending on your preferred type and house, you could save up to $750 with a new A-rated energy saving version. These use less energy to produce the same amount of heat. Plus, if it’s new, you’re less likely to have any issues going into the Winter season. If you already have a great model, it's time to have it serviced before something goes 'bang!' one cold and frosty night. If you're pulling the radiant portable gas or electric heater out of the cupboard now, it's time to give it a clean and get rid of any dust that may have built up so you're not breathing this in, or starting the kind of fire you don't want, with its first use, or inhibiting its ability to work well - again saving you money. 

Likewise with your hot water service - if it's getting on in years it may be costing you money. Upgrading to an insulated model will bring down the power bills dramatically as you won't be paying to keep water incessantly hot. There's also a great range of instant heat models available today. 

10. Buy some covers for your skylights

This may not apply to everyone but as more and more of us are installing skylights to brighten corners of our homes instead of running up electric and carbon bills with all-day and half the night electric lighting, if you don't have a screen you can pull across to keep the heat in at night, it may be worth looking into doing this now. As you have installed insulation in your roof to keep the heat in in Winter or the heat out in Summer, installing a skylight blind would make sense too. There's motorised and manual versions available and these will, in turn, save your heat and save your dollars.

11. Choose a heater that will match your budget and where and how you will use it + change the battery in your fire alarms

One of the ways we blow the energy budget when it gets colder is to run the wrong heater in the wrong space for too long, especially if you do not have solar panels on the roof and storage for the same to use when needed. There are usually 3 options we look at in these.

Small fan heaters are less expensive to buy, but can have higher running costs and will only heat a relatively small space. They're good for a short blast to take the chill off a room but not for sustained heating over a few hours or longer.

Oil column heaters may be the cheapest on the market to run (on average) – but only by a narrow margin ahead of convection heaters (like panel and micathermic panels). There are some comfort trade-offs for that cheap running cost, primarily being slow to heat and ineffective at heating a whole room if they don't have a fan. Choice advises that if you have a reversible ceiling fan, it'll help disperse the heat around the room more evenly.

Convection heaters usually have a fan which enhances the convection effect by forcing the warm air from the heater. When you use the fan, the room will heat up more quickly and evenly. Without it, the air is more likely to form horizontal temperature layers which could leave you with cold feet – particularly if there's not much movement in the room. The fan will break up these layers to a certain extent. With so many options in this range coming onto the market, there will be one to suit your home and its room sizes. These can be free standing or mounted on a wall - think about what will best suit you and your home; do you want something that will be more portable or will you want to heat one main room only?

What to look for; does it have: 

App compatible; Whether you can control the heater via an app on your smartphone.

  1. Fan; check if the heater has a fan to help spread the heat around the room. Also ask about the noise level - you don't want a small aeroplane noise in your rooms drowning out conversation of music.
  2. Frost watch; great for colder mornings. This feature keeps the room at a low temperature (about 5°C), to avoid frost or freezing in the room, with relatively little power consumption. 
  3. Timer:  a digital or mechanical timer that allows you to set the heater to run at specific times or periods. Some timers don't have an option to turn the heater on, but only turn the heater off after a set period (so that it won't run all night).
  4. Thermal cut-out: this prevents the heater from overheating and potentially causing damage or even a fire.
  5. Thermostat: maintains a pre-set temperature.
  6. Tilt switch:  this switches the heater off if it tilts over or falls. Some models don't state whether they have one, but still turn off when pushed over. 
  7. Fan-only option: For models with a built-in fan, as if the fan can be used on its own without heating? This is handy for cooling in summer. 
  8. Cord storage: check whether the power cord can be neatly stored, such as on hooks on the heater, when moving or packing away the heater.

And of course, while on heaters - please replace your fire alarm batteries as we head into colder weather and do not place anything flammable, such as clothing you want to dry, near heaters. 

But wait, there's MORE! Fire and Rescue NSW provide a Winter Safety checklist to help prepare you, your family and your home for a safe winter. Download that HERE

The Johnson Brothers Mitre 10 Stores Stock All You Need To Warm Up Your Home And Keep The Energy Bill Down:

Goldair 2400W 11 Fin Dual Tech Oil Column with Turbo & Timer: $149.00

Great for large rooms. Has 3 heat settings and an adjustable thermostat. An independent ceramic fan. Features a 24-hour on/off timer with an integrated carry handle. Has overheat protection with a safety tilt switch. Dimensions are H630 x W240 x D520mm

Goldair 1500W Inverter Panel Heater With Wi-Fi: $159.00

Designed with 5 heat settings and overheat protection for better control. Inverter technology with adjustable thermostat for maximum savings. Features an LCD display and wall mountable or portable on castors. 24-hour timer Wi-Fi with App. 3-year warranty for better peace of mind. Dimensions are 101 x 110 x 430mm

Goldair 425W Ecosave Panel Heater: $69.00
Great for small to medium rooms. Wall-mounted with a paintable surface. Silent operation. Overheat protection. Dimensions are H600 x W600 x D30mm

Goldair Glass Panel Heater WiFi Enabled 2000W: $129.00
2000W. Adjustable thermostat. LCD display. Timer. Free standing floor heater. Black.

Nobo Slimline Panel Heater with Thermostat White 1.25KW: $379.00
Supplied with castors and wall mounting bracket. Child lock safety. Adaptive start feature. Suitable for room size of 12.5m2. Adaptive start feature. Limited lifetime warranty

Romak Sausage Draught Stopper: $6.85

Pink Batts R4.1 Insulation Ceiling Batts 1160 x 430mm Pack 10:  from $51.00 - Coverage: 5.6m2. 

Pink Batts R4.1 Insulation Ceiling Batts keep your home cool during summer heat waves and warm during chilly winters by providing excellent thermal insulation properties. An innovative manufacturing technology makes Pink Batts much softer to touch and easier to handle when comparing them to traditional glasswool insulation. You won't have to worry about replacing them any time soon as they maintain their firmness and remain in place to ensure an ongoing thermal performance. On top of being completely safe to use and non-combustible, Pink Batts Next Generation organic binder produces glasswool batts that do not harm the environment, with up to 80% recycled materials used in the production.

VELUX Manual Blockout Blind DKL: from $233.00

Manual operation (for in-reach use only). Unique installation system allows for easy installation. Can be stopped at any position. Reduces heat by approximately 40% and loss of heat. 

Greenlife garden centre at Johnson Brothers Mona Vale - for all your gardening needs.

Johnson Brothers Mitre 10: Serving Our Community Since 1955

The Independent Hardware Group has awarded Johnson Bros Mona Vale the best in state at the IHG state awards and heads to the national finals on the Gold Coast in February 2022. 

Congratulations to the store in Avalon Beach as well, which won best in village.

Johnson Brothers say; ''Thank you to all of our amazing staff and customers for being awesome!''

IHG is Australia’s largest home improvement wholesaler supplying more than 1,500 stores nationwide. These stores cater to a broad range of Trade and DIY customers and range from large format warehouses to convenience operations and Trade centres, as well as frame and truss sites in two States. 

Under the IHG network, there is a clear mandate to support the growth of Independents within the hardware sector in Australia by helping them to be ‘The Best Store in Town’.

The culture of IHG is built on being a low cost and transparent business partner to members, with an unwavering commitment to protect and grow a sustainable independent hardware sector for the long term.

JBH Design Centre 

JBH Design Centre is a tool for builders and DIY'ers to assist in the fit out of houses. It has displays of kitchens, Bathrooms, Doors and Storage as well as knowledgeable staff to assist in making house fit out painless.

Visit: http://jbhdc.com.au/

On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/design.centre.jbh/

Johnson Brothers Mitre 10 Trade Centre at Mona Vale - everything you need under one roof.

Johnson Brothers Mitre 10 New Store
73 Bassett Street
Mona Vale - Online Store: Jbhmv.Com.Au

Products advice is available from the trained friendly staff at Narrabeen, Mona Vale and Avalon Johnson Brothers Mitre 10. 

Click on logo to visit Johnson Brothers Mitre 10 website

Johnson Bros Mitre 10 - Avalon            (02) 9918 3315

Johnson Bros Mitre 10 - Mona Vale     (02) 9999 3340

JBH Timber & Building Supplies          (02) 9999 0333

JBH Fencing & Landscape Supplies    (02) 9970 6333

www.johnsonbros.com.au Online store: jbhmv.com.au

Previous DIY Pages:

Decking Timbers  Caring For Your Deck Decking Finishes  Privacy Screens I Privacy Screens II  Privacy Screening Hardwoods  Autumn Paths and Lawns  Insulation Batts Plasterboard  Ventilation - Edmond's Ecofan Blackboards for Children and Home Spring Lawn Care  Shade Sails & Watering  Basic DIY Tools DIY Tools - Power Drills Recycle Your Trampoline into An Air Bed  How to Build Your Own Backyard Cricket Pitch Christmas Lights Displays around House and Garden Summer Mildew - Refresh, Renew How to Fix Things That Drip and Bump in the Night Time To Plant Winter Vegetables in  a Raised Garden Beds Layout Organsing Your Tool Shed  Make Your Own Weathervane Installing A Garden Watering System  Decking Oils  How To Make Garden Compost  How To Winter proof Your Lawn  How to create Shabby Chic effect on Timber Furniture How to Build Your Own Raised Garden Bed  Growing Your Own Winter Vegies  Winter Heating Guide  Prepare Your Yard For Winter Eradicating Noxious Weeds From Your Yard How to Fix Furniture Finishes Part I  How to Repair Scratches, Dings, and Dents of Furniture Surfaces - Part II Winter Draughts Fix  Classic Wooden Tool Carrier Spring Garden Checklist Part I  Install Your Own Skylight  Retaining Walls for Saving Soil and New Spring Garden Beds  Summer Salad Garden  Native Plant Garden for A Fairy Arbour Renewing Short Flight of Exterior Stairs Deck Maintenance DIY Summer Tasks You Can Do In Time to Get to the Beach  Garden Ponds for Attracting Birdlife, Dragonflies and for the Soothing Sounds of Water  Salt Air: Maintenance and Protection Creating an Outdoor Dining Arbour, Gazebo or Patio - Part I Creating an Outdor Dining Arbour, Gazebo or Patio Part II  Autumn Garden Tasks  Autumn DIY Jobs: Waterproof Your Home Checklist  Dealing With Dampness Inside the Home  Fixing Your Fence  Repairing and Replacing Damaged Decking boards  DIY Toy Box and Snow Globes: School Holidays Fun - Winter 2015  DIY Wooden Toy Cars and Perfect Painted Flowerpots: School Holiday Fun - Winter 2015  Shoring Up an Under House Earth Bank – Installing a Basic Retaining Wall  DIY One Shelf Sideboard  Early Spring 2015 Garden Care Salad Garden For Children  Keeping Your Garden and Home Cool in Hot Weather  Classic Beach Garden and Camping Chairs 3 Portable Versions Anyone Can Make DIY Outdoor Furniture Mark I: Park Benches for Your Garden Make Your Own Scooter or Skateboard: Summer 2016 Fun  How to Install a Solid Core Door and Door Furniture  Summer Garden Jobs: Pruning A Hedge  How to Make A Swing Chair - With A Frame for Garden Setting  Garden Jobs for March to Make A Beautiful and Healthy Spring  Keeping Outdoor Nooks Warm During Cooler Months  Children’s Step Stool with Storage  Stop Winter Rain Lawn Loss and Soil Erosion on Slopes  DIY Garden Shed: Part 1 of 4 - Base  DIY Garden Shed: Part 2 - Framing Walls  DIY Garden Shed: Part 2b - Gable Roof Framing  Garden Shed Part 3: Roof Installation  DIY Garden Shed: Weather- boards - Door And Window Installation And Paint Finish DIY Coffee Table With Chessboard Inlay  Spring Gardening: Feeding Your Soil And Plants - What Works For Each Plant  DIY Sandstone Flagging Parking Area - Platform  DIY Pre-Summer Checklist For A Safe Home   Summer Spruce Up: Interior Paint Tips and Three easy steps to rejuvenate your timber deck The Perfect BBQ Garden Setting DIY Water Wise Garden   DIY Side Gates  DIY Storm Preparation And Home Protection  One To Two Day DIY Weekend Spruce Ups  Vegepods For Autumn Planting + Easy To Make Lego Table Or Student Desk That Can Be Dismantled + Johnson Brothers Mitre 10 Online Store   Johnson Brothers Mitre 10 Great New Mona Vale Store: Still In Bassett Street - number 73  Johnson Brothers Mitre 10 New Mona Vale Store: The Greenlife Garden Centre  Go Outside And Play: Creating Garden Spaces To Connect Children With Nature DIY Plasterboard Repair DIY Dolls House Or Garage Or Boatshed  DIY Child's Waggon - or use as a large planter mover DIY Bathroom Refresh: Zing For Spring  Tips for Growing a Native Garden FireCrunch, Australian Developed Fire-proof, Sustainable, Durable and Reliable Building Board Now Available at Johnson Bros. at Mona Vale and Narrabeen School Holidays DIY Ideas for Children: Little Vegetables Garden, Swing, Windchimes Bushfire Season Preparation 2017: Home and Outdoor Areas  Johnson Brothers Mitre 10 Trade Centre at Mona Vale + Issue No 1 of Mitre 10’s inSITE Magazine for Tradies and Handymen  Preparing Al Fresco Areas for Christmas Get-Togethers and Summer Visitors  Summer De-bug; 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John and Bob Johnson - The Johnson Brothers Profile  John William Alfred Johnson - The Eulogies for those who could not attend Mass

Australia's Prime Minister Visits Mackellar - Informal Afternoon Tea with Hon. Malcolm Turnbull October 2016

JBH Win Awards August 2018 Trifecta - 2018 Free Trade Day supporters, Mitre 10 Heritage Advert features JBH Mona Vale Store, Hardware Australia’s 2018 NSW Hardware Store of the Year over 2500sqm.

Front Page Issue 294: 2018 Winners Of National Hardware Store Of The Year - Johnson Bros Mitre 10 Mona Vale !!!

National Garden Week's 2019 Focus Is On Children(Oct 13-19): School Holiday Garden Ideas (to get started on) & Congratulations Award Winning Johnson Brothers Mitre10 At Mona Vale - 2019 NSW Store Of the Year2019 NSW Trade Centre Of the Year and 2019 Village Garden Centre of the Year

Johnson Bros Mitre 10 were awarded as the best Trade Store in the country: February 2020

Family Hardware Store Wins Best In Australia: Johnson Bros Mitre 10 Mona Vale Crowned ‘National Trade Store Of The Year’ - Celebrating 65th Year in 2020

Anzac Day In Pittwater 2020: Candles, Crosses and Online Commemorative Services: Johnson Brothers Family Donates 20 Thousand Candles to Community Light Up The Dawn Initiativ

Front Page Issue 447ANZAC DAY 2020

Front Page Issue 478: Johnson Brothers Avalon Store Renovations & Mona Vale Store: Everything You Need This Summer In Stock

Front Page Issue 492:  JBH Celebrates Upgrade Of Avalon Beach Store

Bob, John and Robert Johnson, 2013 - photo by A J G.
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