A beginner’s guide to choosing the right freestanding heater for your home

Freestanding heaters are the most common way to heat a home, but with so many options out there it’s hard to know where to begin


A beginner’s guide to choosing the right freestanding heater for your home

Choosing a heating type might be one of the most important decisions you make for your home. Not only could you end up saving money upfront and in the future, the right type of heater can make your family healthier and improve your quality of life.

There are a lot of variables involved with finding the best heating for your place – including climate, housing type and your budget – so it pays to do your research. We’ve rounded up some of the main pros and cons to get you started. But first…

Freestanding heaters

Portable heaters are best for when you need a short blast of warm air in a specific area.


+ Heats a space quickly
+ No consent or tricky installation required
+ Cheap to buy


+ Expensive to run for long periods
+ Can be hot to touch and risky for small children


Moretti 2000W retro fan heater, $69, from Bunnings. Goldair retro oil column heater, $129, from Mitre 10. DeLonghi HCX3220FTS slimline convector heater, $379.99, from Briscoes.

The purchase

There are so many options out there for freestanding heaters, it can be hard to know what to look for. To help you get value for money, look for these three things: a thermostat (to maintain an even temperature), a timer (so you can set your heater to warm up the kitchen before you get up) and a fan (helps to warm a room faster and distribute the air more evenly). Even ticking just one of these boxes will mean extra efficiency and convenience.

The installation

Easy to install; most simply require a socket!

The latest technology 

Oscillating tower heaters – such as Dyson’s Hot+Cool range – are quiet, efficient and look like something from outer space. Goldair makes a sleek range of wifi-enabled heaters.


DeLonghi HCX3220FTS slimline convector heater, $379.99, from Briscoes. Dyson AM09 Hot+Cool fan heater, $799, from Noel Leeming. Goldair panel heater with wifi, $199, from Mitre 10.

The look

There are endless options available to suit the decor of your home, but working out where you’re going to keep your heater will help you narrow down the options in terms of size and shape. While you’re at it, check if your chosen model has cord storage so you can keep it tucked away when not in use.

Energy efficiency 

Freestanding heaters range from very energy efficient (oil column heaters) to very inefficient (cheap fan heaters). Ask your retailer for advice.


  • Bedrooms require less heating than the rest of the house as the recommended temperature for healthy sleep is around 18°C.
  • Panel heaters are good for kids’ rooms as they can be wall-mounted. Oil-filled column heaters are great for the grown-ups. Look for one with a thermostat.
  • A tilt switch is a useful safety feature: it will turn off the heater if it tips over.

Words by: Sally Conor. Photography by: Prue Ruscoe/

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