Winter is over and we’ve put away our kero heater. We only used it once in September anyway – we could have put it away on the first day of spring. We had it in the house for less than three months, only used one tin of kero (a tin is 20 litres, and we didn’t even finish it), which is amazing since usually we use five or six tins (100-120 litres of kero).
We put up with some fairly cold mornings and evenings, but for the most part, once the day was under way the house was comfortable, as the solar heater would bring it to 17 or 18 degrees celsius. In the past my tolerance for cold was fine from 18 degrees or over, but I felt unbearable if it went under 18 degrees. This year I was mostly fine at 17 and sometimes even comfortable at 16. With the solar heater, we could mostly expect it to heat up through the day, and this gave us extra tolerance to wait through a cold morning. Wearing a hottie for the first part of the day and snugging down onto the couch with one in the evening is fine if the middle of the day becomes warm enough. I didn’t once get that terrible cold-to-the-core-of-my-bones feeling that I often have in winter, and I didn’t have to feel guilty about turning on the heater either.
Overall I was more comfortable than I’ve ever been in winter, while simultaneously being a fair bit tougher too, with my commitment to reducing my gas and kero use.
Do I recommend this? Definitely for our purposes, the solar heater has been fantastic. There was an hour or two of sun on most winter days, enough to take the edge off the cold in the house, and every now and then we’d have a day that was delightfully sunny and our house would become toasty warm. I don’t know how well it would work in other, larger houses, but for us it’s a winner. The only pity is that I didn’t know about it sooner.