Nearly one-third (32%) of dwellings with heaters had two or more heaters in use in their homes - a slight increase from 30% in 2002 (table 4.7).
Gas, not ducted, was the most common type of main heating in Australian dwellings in 2008 (26% of dwellings), followed by reverse cycle air conditioners, not ducted (18%), and then electric, not ducted (16%), and ducted gas heaters (16%) (graph 4.2 and table 4.8). Wood combustion heaters were the main type of heating in 11% of households with heaters, falling from 14% in 2002. Wood combustion heaters were more commonly used in Tasmania (23%) than in the other states and territories.
Over one-third of households (39%) nominated 'Comfort/convenience' as the main reason for their choice of heater (regardless of type). Less than 2% of Australian households chose their type of heating based on environmental considerations.
'Comfort/convenience' was cited by nearly half of households with ducted reverse cycle air conditioners (49%) and households with electric heaters (45%) (table 4.9).
The frequency of heater use differs across climatic zones. Households in the cooler and temperate climates of Tasmania, Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory used heaters more frequently than households in the warmer areas e.g. Northern Territory and Queensland (graph 4.3 and table 4.10).
Between 2005 and 2008, the duration of use of heaters decreased for Australia as a whole, with the '6 months or more' category falling from 13% of households in 2005 to 7% in 2008. All states and territories reflected the national trend. In Victoria, 12% of households used heating for 6 months or more in 2008, down from 25% of households in 2005.