Soaring Gas Bills? How efficient is your ducted system?

It is no surprise that during lockdown in Melbourne our ducted heating systems are being used more than they ever have. Whether you are working from home or just stuck inside more often due to restrictions, it can be difficult to limit use for yourself or your family. With that said, you may have had a few bills recently that knocked you off your feet. We get it, that’s why we are here to help!

When it comes to running your ducted heating it is important to consider these two factors:

Number one: Does your house heat evenly?
Number two: Does your house heat quickly?

If you have answered NO to any of the above questions – it is time to have a good look at your ducted system.


There are several issues that may cause wastage and it is important to look at your system as a whole so that you can identify what can be improved on.

  • How old is your system?

    Older systems are not designed as well or sized as efficiently as newer systems. This can often lead to more gas being used than is necessary. Unsure of how old your heater is? Chat to one of our experienced team members at Efficient Air to get a better idea.

  • How do your ducts look?

    Small holes can occur in older systems due to animal damage, pest damage or general long-term use. Did you know that old systems generally use R0.6 insulated duct work with uninsulated fittings? Nowadays we use R1.0 ductwork with insulated fittings – this prevents heat escaping from ducts and more going into your home, keeping you toasty!

How many vents do you have and where are they positioned?

It is important that the space you have is covered sufficiently by the position and quantity of ducts. Sometimes your space can be larger than a single duct can manage. This can cause higher bills as your heater works longer to achieve desired warmth. Efficient Air can add or relocate ducts as needed. 

Which rooms are being heated?

It might be a good time to look at which rooms are being used more frequently than others. For rooms that are used less , closing vents is a fantastic way to save money – but make sure it’s done right! If you are going to close a vent in a low-use room, make sure to close the door too! This ensures that the thermostat picks up the correct temperature in your chosen spaces, which in turn causes it to temporarily turn off, saving your gas, and hard earned money!

Have you considered zoning?

Technology has come a long way. You can incorporate zoning systems into your house, allowing you to set up multiple profiles which can switch between rooms being heated at any one time. For example:  You could set up a profile which heats only your office and the kitchen – two of the most important spaces during lockdown. 

Considering all these factors, it may be time to fine tune your heating. This doesn’t necessarily mean a whole new system but rather looking at ways your can improve the efficiency of your current one!

Poor ducted designs can cost you thousands in the long term so don’t ignore the warning signs. 

Call Efficient Air today and we can help you diagnose and improve on your current systems or suggest the best replacement in the market. It will be the best decision you can make for the comfort of your home and saving money long-term!

4 Ways to Keep Warm Using Science

Looking for unique ways to keep warm?

We have all heard the usual ways to heat your home more efficiently.

“Close the curtains”, “block your chimney”, “close unused rooms”.

But what about keeping the focus on the most important factor: you.

There are many ways to keep warm using science. It’s all about that heat transfer!

Let’s start simple.

Layer Up!

Layer up

Credit: Elite Agent

Understanding conduction is really important when it comes to keeping warm. Whenever your body comes into contact with something cold, conduction will transfer your body heat into whatever you touch (cold floor, leather couch etc). The most effective way to combat this is to simply wear more layers.

First think about your base layer – thermals, long wool socks. These keep you from losing heat through conduction.

Next, think about your outer layers – wind proof jackets. By creating an outer layer that can protect you from the chill in the air, you have now combined outer layers and inner layers to perfectly insulate your body. This is one of the best ways to keep warm.

Take on More Calories

A warm cup of mushroom soup

Credit: The Loop

During winter, if you take in more calories than you burn, your body can handle the cold more effectively.

Keeping your blood sugar up enough will provide your body with energy to keep warm in the frost.

In saying this, do not over do it! You only need a little more calories than your body is burning.

Alongside food, water intake is also key. Your body can tolerate the cold much more effectively if your food and water balance are maintained.

Put The Drink Down

Wine by the fire

Credit: Shutterstock

When you’re sitting at home by the fire on a cold night, nothing sounds more appealing than topping it off with a glass of port or red wine.

However, if keeping warm is the goal here, having that drink may be your downfall. Consuming alcohol actually lowers your body’s core temperature, contrary to popular belief!

So, next time you settle in for Game of Thrones, with the fire burning and a full belly, consider ditching the ale for a hot chocolate.

Placebo Effect

Warm socks by the fire

Credit: Energy Company Obligation

Placebos can have very real effects on your body even if they don’t really do anything at all.

So how can we keep ourselves warm with a placebo? Wear a hat.

There is a common misconception that we lose a large percentage of body heat through our head. Wearing a hat will definitely keep your head warmer, but it won’t do much for your core temperature.

However if we commit to this idea and cover up our chilly noggins, the idea covering up some exposed skin can play a large role in overall comfort.

The same applies to your feet (though they do have a role to play in heat). If our feet get cold enough, we experience the sensations of pain and discomfort. By simply covering them with thick socks and slippers, even if it doesn’t directly affect our core temperature, it still gives us the placebo effect of comfort and warmth.



Haunted Houses

A customer in Kallista sent this story through and we found it quite amusing. Enjoy.



2.38 a.m. Every night this week.

At first I didn’t know why I was waking at around the same time every night. It was a solid old house which for all its age, tended not to be creaky by nature. A well seasoned four by two hardwood timber frame with a brick veneer and foundations that needed to be hewn from the rock itself. This house had never settled.

An integrated ducted heating system was quite an avant garde architectural approach in the Hills circa 1950, when the majority of homes were still warmed by traditional, wood burning fireplaces. It’s not as though the area is short on available fuel.

The sounds seemed to be emanating from the walls, somehow. There were the usual ghost stories you heard in pubs: ”oh … you live in that house … ummm, okay … good luck with that …”

Had something happened in my room, specifically?

It wasn’t until one night, frankly fed up with sleep deprivation that I got up and decided to make a cheese toasty when I heard it again in the kitchen.



It was like it was coming from the walls themselves – the location was not specific. I confirmed this again in the bathroom. It seemed that the whole house was trying to communicate to me, almost as if the central heating ducts were transmitting those raps and the entire building was a speaker box. Not loud as such, but resonant.

I used to be opened-minded in regard to supernatural events. That open-mindedness shifted somewhat one particular night when staying over at a friends house with several other rather good friends. The brass knocker on the bathroom door knocked three times and the door swung shut. We all saw it. We all heard it. The shadow who emerged from the room and knocked my companion over only sealed the deal … ghosts were and are real.

When one particular night, the three taps were followed by a slamming laundry door, I was convinced that I had picked up my own personal follower.

I did some more research. Available historical records did not support the conviction popular within my Local that I was in fact living in the Murder House. Sure, the solid timber entrance doors had cast iron pad bolts on the outside, but that’s another story for another time.

The ducts. Resonance. Every room.

The central heating ducts …that’s where the tapping was coming from. The next day, armed with some serious LED lighting, I climbed into the roof space. For fifty-something year old ducting, it all looked pretty solid. Damn, the whole roof area was an engineering work of art. Well sealed, minimal evidence of rodent infestation  The ducting was tubular in design and junctions were secured by oversized, cylindrical engine-clamp analogous fixtures that you would find on an auto radiator hose, though ten times the size. Unlike the modern equivalents, however, these clamps were made of mild steel as opposed to stainless. And mild steel rusts.

Ten or perhaps twenty years prior to my residency – who knows? – the bathroom had been upgraded with a three-in-one exhaust fan, including halogen heat globes times four and a standard light globe. It was venting directly onto a ducted heating clamped junction. The mild steel band had rusted out, due to years of steam exhalation but was still in vague contact with the ducting.

Instead of calling for an exorcist, I called the heating guy down the road. Is it a let down to say that the tapping was caused by the expansion and contraction of metal on metal due to the change in temperature caused by the cold Hills nights? I had the clamp replaced with a stainless steel equivalent, the system was sealed and the tapping stopped.

Do I still believe in ghosts? Maybe. But not in my house.

Thanks to Dean in Kallista for sending that through. Post a comment if you’ve had a similar experience!

Get ready for winter with Gas Ducted Heating

Winter is fast approaching, so make sure you beat the rush! Our most popular heating solution is still gas ducted heating and Braemar models tend to be our favourite. For more information, have a look at our page on gas ducted heating or give our Emerald location a call on 03 9756 7400.

Request a Quote
close slider