Heating - Fact Sheet

Heating  Fact Sheet - Plain English

Housing Tasmania makes sure there is a suitable, working heater in the main living space of all public and Aboriginal housing properties when tenants move in.  We will fix or replace this heater when it stops working due to normal use.

What type of heaters are in Housing Tasmania properties?

Housing Tasmania will decide on the size and type of heater for public and Aboriginal housing properties.

Properties in Gas Zones

Where a property is located in a natural gas zone, Housing Tasmania will install a natural gas heater.

New tenants moving into properties in gas zones will sign a tenancy agreement (lease) which includes a Gas Schedule. New tenants will need to contact a gas retailer to arrange a gas connection. We have details of gas providers for new tenants.

All other properties

Where a property is not located in a gas zone and/or we can’t install a gas heater, Housing Tasmania will install a heat pump.

When a heat pump cannot be installed, Housing Tasmania will install a direct electric heater.

Housing Tasmania will not put in additional heaters in properties. The only time we might do this is in special cases such as group homes.

Housing Tasmania will also make sure your public housing property has the right insulation in your property compared to the type of heating installed.

If you would like to check that the house you live in has the right insulation, please contact Housing Tasmania’s Maintenance team on 1300 665 663.

Can I put in my own heater in?

You can buy and use your own plug-in heaters in your public housing home. These types of heaters plug into a power point.  Tenants must look after and fix these heaters if they stop working.

You cannot install a heater that needs to be wired in by an electrician.

What if I already have approval to put in a second heater?

If you have been given approval to put in another, additional heater in the property and you paid for it, you must fix that heater if it stops working.

When you move out, you might need to remove the heater you put in and make sure the property is returned to its original condition, at your own cost.

Please also read the Can I Renovate? fact sheet for more information.

If my heater is being replaced, can I choose the new type of heater?

We have three types of heaters that we install when we need to replace one that isn’t working.  Housing Tasmania pays for the heater and the cost of replacing the old, broken heater if it has stopped working through normal use.

  • If you are in a natural gas zone, a suitable gas heater is installed where possible.
  • If you are NOT in a natural gas zone a direct electrical heater or a heat pump will be installed.

Housing Tasmania makes the final decision about what heater we install. Remember, you can use your own plug-in heaters as well as the one we provide.

If someone has broken the heater we provide on purpose, the tenant may have to pay some or all of the cost to fix it or install a new one.

More information about gas heaters

If a gas heater is installed, you may need to sign up with a gas retailer to get your heater working.  We can give you information about this if we install a gas heater.

If your property has a gas heater and/or gas appliances, it is your responsibility to get a final reading and disconnect from your gas provider when you move out.

What if I need a certain type of heater?

If you need a special type of heating because of your health or disability, you need to talk to us first.

We will ask you for up to date information from a medical professional that explains what heating you need and why.  We don’t allow letters from your GP because they usually haven’t visited your home.

Not all types of heaters can be installed in all types of houses, so what you ask for may not be possible and might not be approved.  We will make a final decision based all the information available.

If you are transferring to a different public or Aboriginal housing property and you had an approved, extra heating in your old home, we will check if you still need the extra heating and decide.  We might ask you for up to date medical information to help us decide.

Housing Tasmania does not replace electric or gas heating with a wood heater.  We will not approve for a tenant to install a wood heater at their own cost.

What if my heater stops working?

If your heater is broken and/or stops working, you need to let us know straight away.

You can call Housing Tasmania Maintenance on 1300 665 663.

Do I need to clean my heater?

Yes, you need to clean your heater often to make sure it is free from dust.

Heat pump filters need to be cleaned once every three months.

A wood heater flue must be cleaned once a year.

A dusty or unclean heater can stop working properly and can be dangerous.

If you are unsure how to clean the heater you have, call us on 1300 665 663.

Wood heaters in Housing Tasmania properties

Housing Tasmania is removing wood heaters from public and Aboriginal housing properties.

This is because wood smoke is bad for the environment and can be bad for some people to breathe. Also, there are very strict rules about wood smoke in the environment. Many of the wood heaters in public and Aboriginal housing don’t meet the required standards.  We are removing these and replacing them with either an electrical or gas heater as we can. We do not replace an old wood heater with a new wood heater.

What if I installed my own wood heater?

If you have installed heating without approval, you will need to pay for the cost to remove it as well as any repairs removing it has left in the property. This could also include repairing any smoke damage to other parts of the property.

You might need to do this during your tenancy or when you move out.  This will be very expensive for you, so it is important you do not make any changes without our approval.

How can I cut down on my heating costs?

There are some simple things that you can do:

  • Stop heat leaving your house by closing the doors and windows when your heater is on.  This blocks off the area you are trying to heat.
  • Don’t try and heat your whole house. Closing some doors to rooms you are not using helps to cut down on the number of rooms you are trying to heat.
  • If you have any north facing windows, open your curtains as wide as possible during the day to let in the sunshine. Sunshine is a great free way to warm your house.
  • Close curtains and blinds after the sun goes down.
  • Put a draft stopper against the bottom of the door to keep any drafts out. A dry rolled up towel works well.
  • Wear warm clothes or put a rug over your knees when sitting down.
  • Set any heating temperature as low as you feel comfortable during winter (around 19 or 20 degrees C).  Every degree increase adds around 10 per cent to your heating costs.
  • Use fans on heaters only every now and again.  Fan heaters use a lot of power.  If you have a Pureheat heater, use the fan and radiant bars to get the temperature to warm the room but then turn the fan off. Remember that the heater can be used with either one, two or three radiant bars.
  • Make sure you clean any filters and heaters often.  If your house is dusty, you might need to do it more often.
  • Report any problems with your heater Housing Tasmania Maintenance as soon as possible.

NEVER dry clothes close to or on top of your heater.  

This is very dangerous and can cause a fire!

Please see the Tas Fire Service website for home heating safety tips at:

www.fire.tas.gov.au/Show?pageId=colFireReduceRiskAtHome

Maintenance and repairs

During business hours - 1300 665 663

After hours or during an emergency - 1300 665 663

More information

Other fact sheets that might be useful:

  • Public Housing Maintenance and Repairs
  • Home energy wise Tips
  • Can I renovate?

For more information about how to reduce your fire risk at home, see the Tas Fire Service website:


Our contact details

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Housing Tasmania - 1300 665 663

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TTY users phone 133 677, then ask for 1300 13 55 13. Speak and Listen users phone 1300 555 727 then ask for 1300 13 55 13.

Internet relay users connect to the NRS then ask for 1300 13 55 13.

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Department of Communities Tasmania
GPO Box 65
HOBART TAS 7001

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www.communities.tas.gov.au/housing