One cannot argue with the fact that the HVAC system is one of the most important factors of home construction and renovation. It’s on par with other essential elements such as woodworking, kitchen joinery, laying the foundation, building the structural beams, plumbing, double glazing, and electrical arrangement. Generally heating is taken into consideration during the initial phase of the construction; however, it can easily be modified or upgraded as a part of a renovation. You can either replace it entirely or make modifications to the existing system if that is a viable option. This article sheds light on different types of heating options available and the best heat pump brands in the heating game in NZ.
Equipping your home with a powerful, comfortable and economical heating system can be done irrespective of its type. Be it central heating or individual, several factors go into deciding the right choice of heating for your household – the climatic conditions, the costs, your current setting, ecological considerations and many more.
Individual central heating allows the choice between several types of fuel (fuel oil, gas, wood) according to their cost and the household requirements. The hot water based heating radiators have the advantage of slowly diffusing the heat in each room. Through the corollary of this thermal inertia and this point diffusion, cold zones are created. The hot water underfloor heating does not have this disadvantage, because it usually operates at a low temperature, heating evenly and regularly each room that is equipped with it. However, it often needs to be coupled with radiator heating (different circuits). When too cold, it requires heavy heating, and the floor heating is no longer useful since it does not support temperature of inlet water of more than 50 ° C. Pipes that channel this hot steam can be poured into concrete or run between the beams of wooden flooring.
The thermostat that controls the boiler is usually located in the main room. For a well insulated and equipped house, for example, a condensing boiler, with an outdoor sensor is even better. This allows low-temperature systems, with significant inertia, to take into account climate change without resorting to a sudden rise in temperature. Since it does not allow room-by-room temperature control, it may be useful to graft a thermostatic valve on each radiator.
WALL OR UNDERGROUND
Because it’s the heart of these installations, the boiler must be chosen according to the surface to be heated, the configuration of the house and possibly the need for domestic hot water.
The wall boilers work mainly with gas and can be installed in any type of collective or individual dwelling. The fuel oil boilers are to be reserved for individual households. The latter have become compact, “light” and have even adopted smaller dimensions in accordance with the appliance to find their place in the kitchen, bathroom or laundry room.
Whatever the type of boiler, the evacuation is done either by a conventional conduit or thanks to a so-called suction system. The boiler is then waterproof. The admission of the air and the evacuation of the burned gases are done directly outside, through the exhaust or the chimney on the roof.
CONDENSATION IS GOOD
Since their appearance in the 1980s, condensing boilers have become a reliable and economical source of heating in many households. This technique is mainly applied to gas boilers. These units are distinguished by higher efficiency than standard or low-temperature models by recovering the residual heat contained in the steam of the combustion gases to heat the circuit, instead of evacuating it via the chimney.
NON-CENTRAL ELECTRIC HEATERS
This main heating system only runs on electricity. The heating elements are often radiators of classic shape (horizontal, vertical or baseboard). The temperature is controlled by a thermostat on the device or in the room, with or without an external sensor. Convectors, with or without a fan, are the most economical out of the lot. They offer rapid heating. However, their main disadvantage is that they dry out the air and sends the warm air towards the ceiling.
The radiant heating system offers heating that is diffused through radiation in the room directly, providing uniform heating as the heat is diffused in the walls or the ceiling of the house; also to the people and objects in the room through infrared radiation. This limits temperature differences across the room. The heating provided mimics the heat of the sun.
Gentle heat radiators consist of an aluminium surface, cast iron heating component and front heating film or fluid that provides low surface heating which is gentle, long-lasting and evenly spread. This is due to the thermal inertia radiators which provide heating similar to that of central heating. The surfaces accumulate heat and continue to diffuse it into the room uniformly long after the radiator is turned off.
Storage heaters heat evenly from floor to ceiling. They combine radiant heating, heat accumulation, and hot ventilation. They accumulate energy during the off-peak times tariff and return it in the form of heat thereafter, which means lower energy bills.
In homes with central heating, it is also possible to bring heat into the rooms that are lacking, or have been created (attic or cellar, etc.) later, thanks to integrated radiant panels in the ceiling or the floor. They can be installed anywhere in the home without any heavy plumbing and masonry work.
HEAT PUMP OR AIR CONDITIONERS
One of the most popular heating methods in NZ are the heat pumps. A heat pump air conditioner is a hybrid of the two. In totality, it is the perfect heating solution for your home. Air conditioners on their own cannot provide heating; hence they are paired with a furnace to do so. This is a winning combo, which takes care of all the HVAC needs of a household. The best brands in NZ are Panasonic, Mitsubishi Electric, Daikin, Toshiba and Carrier.
With soaring prices for oil, gas, and electricity, wood heating is back in fashion. Owners of large houses with a “boiler room” can opt for a wood boiler (with logs or chips) connected to the central heating system, or even to a hot water tank. In the same way, cast iron stoves and refractory materials are making their comeback in the living rooms, and not just for extra heating. With a classic or modern design, these devices, still relatively expensive, offer high efficiency, high autonomy, and very good thermal inertia.
Firewood is usually sold at volume. It is not recommended to buy it by weight. When wet, it will be heavier; the purchase price will be higher than dry wood. Another factor to take into consideration is the environmental impact of firewood heating. This brings us to clean air wood burners; these burners are equipped with high-tech fireboxes which ensures low emissions and higher heating quality, which makes it a perfect choice for heating homes during the colder months.