Using Heat Pumps for Underfloor Heating

Date: Sep 11, 2018 - 1:10 pm

Underfloor heating or radiant in-floor heating is increasing in popularity among Kiwi households due to its many advantages. Not only are heated floors lovely to walk on, but they are also economical, comfortable and energy efficient to run.

Heat_Pumps_for_Underfloor_Heating

Unlike other heating methods, radiant underfloor heating encourages heat to rise up through a space via convection, rather than forcing it down. In-floor heating can either take the form of hydronic heating or electric resistance heating. We’ll focus on the first one.

Hydronic heating involves laying a network of pipes onto the subfloor and circulating a heating fluid through the piping. The heated fluid radiates heat into your floors, warming your home evenly and comfortably. Hydronic heating operates silently, which is another plus.

The fluid can be heated in various ways: by using a heat pump, using fossil fuels or electricity by means of a boiler heating unit. Heat pumps generate hot water at around 40oC, which is ideal for heated floors. On the other hand, gas and oil boilers heat water to 65-85oC, which will scald your feet. Using these systems will require mixing hot and cold water to bring the temperature down to a comfortable level, which is highly inefficient.

Air-to-water heat pumps take the heat from ambient/outside air and transfer the heat into the water via a heat exchanger in the cylinder. Some heat pump systems can be configured to provide part of the energy needed for domestic water heating.

With the integration of a heat pump, your underfloor heating system will have the potential for zoned control. This means that rooms can be heated on an on-demand basis, helping you to cut down your energy consumption. In addition, heat pumps offer the versatility of switching between heating and cooling modes for year-round comfort.

Heat pumps generally use less energy to maintain the heat when the target temperature is reached. Some units can control the temperature as accurately as 0.5oC. When there is a big difference between the desired temperature and the actual temperature, some heat pumps automatically adjust to a higher frequency to increase the temperature rapidly.

Modern heat pump technology also has a smart-defrost feature that allows faster recovery by reducing defrosting time and extending heating time. This further enhances heating efficiency. And since they are designed to work well into the winter season, heat pumps typically have inbuilt anti-freeze protection along with other protection controls, such as water flow switch protection, compressor overload protection, high/low pressure protection.

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In summary, underfloor heating powered by a heat pump is a convenient and efficient way to heat your home.

Installation

Underfloor heating is often integrated in the design of a new home build for practical reasons. It is easier to lay the pipes before the floors are laid than to retrofit them.

In existing homes, casting the pipes is a lot trickier as there are items of furniture and fittings in the way and some floors can be difficult to work with. For elevated homes, the pipes can be retrofitted via “diffusers” spread below your timber floor. For concrete slab floors, the pipe is attached to a mesh profile and topped with a concrete screed that may be tiled or carpeted.

As you can imagine, a more complex installation means higher upfront costs. But if you think about the comfort and long-term energy savings, a heat pump-powered underfloor heating system can be worth the investment.

For more information or inquiries, please contact us on 0800 443 284.

Why Hydronic (Water-Based) Central Heating is Healthier

Date: Aug 6, 2018 - 12:11 pm

More people are choosing a hydronic central heating system for a number of reasons. The benefits simply stack up: silent operation, flexibility, comfortable heating, low maintenance and cost effectiveness.

But perhaps the most compelling reason for choosing this space heating method is the fact that it makes your home healthier by improving indoor air quality. This is an important benefit for New Zealand homes, since respiratory illnesses such as asthma affect 1 in 6 Kiwis. In fact, respiratory diseases are costing Kiwis over $66 billion a year and are the third leading cause of death in NZ.

why_hydronic_central_heating_is_healthierWhat is hydronic heating?

As the name suggests, hydronic heating uses hot water to distribute heat throughout the home. The heat is generated in a gas boiler and then distributed through a pipe system. Using natural convection and radiation, the circulating water warms up the household by evenly distributing a comfortable and gentle heat. Instead of warming the air in your home (like fan-forced systems do), hydronic heaters warm objects to release radiant heat.

Once the system is set up, you can forget it and it will do its job without supervision. You can adjust the temperature and create zones to ensure comfortable, on-demand heating only for the rooms you use. This, and the fact that hydronic heaters are around 30% cheaper to run than ducted systems, makes the technology an economical heating alternative.

Since it uses less energy to generate the same amount of heat, it is generally the preferred central heating system by those in cooler climates.

So why is hydronic heating healthy?

  • It does not dry out the air

Many fan-forced ducted systems tend to suck moisture from the air or cause unpleasant draughts. Dry air may exacerbate some of the symptoms for asthma sufferers. With hydronic central heating, there are no hot spots or humidity produced, so the air doesn’t dry out.

  • It prevents mould growth

Unflued gas heaters and fan-forced ducted heaters produce water vapour, which create damp areas that may harbour moulds. Moulds are a well-known trigger for allergies and asthma attacks. But because hydronic heaters reduce moisture and humidity in the air, mould growth will become less likely.

  • It keeps allergens at bay

Since hydronic heating systems don’t use fans, vents or ducts, they don’t allow dust mites, pollens and other air-borne allergens to enter your home. Most of the components are hidden beneath the floors or behind walls, so they also don’t harbour dust particles.

  • It’s healthy for the environment, too!

Hydronic heating utilises water and natural gas, and uses 70 percent less energy than other modes of central heating. You also have the option to use solar power to heat the water, which improves energy efficiency. Additionally, the system allows you to create zones so you can heat specific rooms on demand rather than heating the entire home at once. All these help you keep your emissions low.

It can even be healthy for your wallet. Since there are few moving parts and the system is sealed, very little could go wrong and your hydronic heater will stay maintenance free for many years. If you use quality components and ensure proper installation, the system is pretty much set-and-forget.

For more information about hydronic central heating systems, talk to us on 0800 4 HEATING or 0800 443 284.

Brivis Ducted Gas Heaters Review

Date: Jul 10, 2018 - 7:56 am

Ducted gas heating is arguably the best method for keeping your home comfortably warm, especially if you’re living in regions with harsh winter season. It can provide central heating for the whole house whilst allowing you to heat individual zones only when needed.

There are lots of ducted heating brands to choose from, but one that quickly comes to mind is Brivis.

Now a Rinnai company, Brivis has been a household name among Kiwis for over 50 years. They have captured the market with world-class home heating systems tailored for New Zealand’s climate conditions.

The question is which Brivis heater suits your home? To help you make an informed decision, we will discuss here what you can expect from Brivis’ ducted gas heating solutions.

Brivis Ducted Gas Heaters

brivis_gas_ducted_heatingThe ducted gas heating system comprises a heating unit connected to a number of outlets via a system of ducts, which are strategically placed throughout your home and neatly tucked away in the floor or ceiling.

Some ranges such as the StarPro lets you add heating zones, which allows you to regulate the temperature one room at a time or to switch off heating in rooms that are not in use.

The StarPro 6’s Quatrra technology, combined with a 4-pass heat exchanger with a modulating gas valve, enables the unit to maintain a supply of warm air to the entire home using less gas. As the home heats up, the heating unit modulates the gas so only a minimal amount of energy is used to maintain the temperature level. Once the desired temperature level is reached, the heater switches off and the fan slowly comes to a halt to ensure all remaining heat inside the unit is utilised. This clever engineering is what makes it highly efficient and economical.

Among its other notable features are the:

  • Zero ChillTM soft fan that eliminates cold drafts on start-up
  • CustomairTM which adjusts air volume to better match airflow to your home – up to 16 fan speed settings
  • Cool TouchTM double sided and fully insulated cabinets that keeps heat where it is needed.

The other Brivis ranges also have superior benefits of their own.

StarPro 4 is the ideal option if you’re planning to upgrade your old ducted gas heater. It’s a universal internal/external unit with efficiency of up to 4.8 stars, making it a flexible and economic solution. The only drawback, perhaps, is it’s only compatible with natural gas unlike the StarPro 6 which compatible with universal LPG.

If you want a low-cost replacement, the two-piece Wombat range is one to consider. It’s designed to suit virtually all types of homes with external weatherproof units that deliver superior airflow at an economical rate.

Star Rating

The standard rating for efficiency is 3 Stars – any less is not worth looking into. The more stars, the higher the energy efficiency and the more economical the ducted gas heater is to run. On average, a 4-Star unit saves you 13% on energy bills; a 5-Star unit saves you 22%; and a 6-Star unit saves up to 30%.

Brivis offers some of the highest rating units in their respective classes:

  • Wombat series: 3.8 Stars
  • Buffalo series: 3 & 5 Stars
  • Compact Classic series: up to 3.5 Stars
  • Starpro Series: 4.8 & 6 Stars

StarPro 6 is one of the only two highest rated ducted gas heaters in the world.

brivis_gas_ducted_heating_systemsEnergy savings

Space heating eats up a big chunk of your household bills. If you’re looking for a way to maximise energy usage whilst maintaining comfort, zoning is the answer.

In particular, the StarPro 6 lets you conveniently heat up to four distinct zones. This enables you to manually adjust and control heat output for each of the different rooms.

Central heating systems are often designed to effectively heat up the entire home. However, in actual, you only ever use several rooms at a time, not all areas in your home. Having control over the temperature in individual rooms helps you cut your energy bills significantly.

Controls

Brivis offers a range of options for optimal temperature control. The Brivis Touch is simple and easy to use, giving you access to all features and functionality on one sleek interface. There’s a manual controller with the simplest thermostat controls as well as a programmable controller with both auto and manual modes.

Ducted heaters under 4 Star will function perfectly on manual type thermostats, while higher rated systems need an electronic controller.

With the Brivis NetworkerTM installed in each zone, you no longer have to rely on one central controller to manage the heat for your entire home. It’s convenient and simple.

The StarPro 6 ducted gas heaters have an upgrade option using the ICE system of cooling for extra temperature control in the room. This cooling system is placed onto the ducted heater and can be controlled using the same controls provided with the ducted heater.

Costs

Brivis units alone cost anywhere from $3,100 to $5,600 – a fair price if you think about the unit’s performance as well as the potential savings you will get. Expect this figure to go up to three times when you factor in the installation fees or if you want to add extra functionality or combine the heater with a central AC.

The total cost will also depend on the size of your home, the features you want, insulation and your home’s heating demand.

Installation

Many units are compact, splittable and weatherproof, allowing for easy all-round installation especially indoors and in small homes.

To achieve an optimised heating solution for your home, our specialists at Central Heating can custom design the duct layout and specify the appropriate zones for your Brivis ducted gas heater. We have experience in designing practical heating solutions for small dwellings through to large and complex installations. We also repair and service existing Brivis heaters to maintain optimal performance for years.

Once you try a ducted heating system, chances are you won’t ever want to go back. Talk to our Brivis specialists today to know more about it.

Download the Brivis Gas Heating Brochure

pdf_download Brivis Gas Ducted Heating Brochure

 

Are You A Central Heating Guru?

Date: Jul 5, 2018 - 3:11 pm

central_heating_installer_wantedAre you a central heating guru? Do you have a passion for heating people’s homes and take pride in your work and installations? We are looking to add a new member to our team and you could be it!

With a combined knowledge of over 80 years including EU and UK qualifications, we have a team that will support you every step of the way. We are after an individual who has a passion for central heating.

You job description is as follows:

  • Once a week you will spend time in the office arranging your bookings and maintaining a database.
  • Four days a week, you will be in a van servicing, repairing and/or installing new central heating systems in the greater Auckland area.

Foundation knowledge is a must. You need to understand the principals of direct and indirect heating systems. Basic pipe sizing and temperature control. Appliance knowledge is not a must (training will be provided) but beneficial. We have in-house certified plumbers and gasfitters that will help you with any compliance matters.

If you think you have what it takes, an above average package is waiting to be claimed! Send your details through to cv@central-heating.co.nz.

Schedule Radiant Central Heating Maintenance Before Winter Comes

Date: May 27, 2018 - 10:47 pm

Autumn is already giving way to winter as a wild dose of snowfalls and downpours started rocking the southern parts of New Zealand. It’s going to get brutally cold pretty soon with the early arrival of winter.

While we are having some briefly heavy rain showers here in Auckland, we’re still expecting weeks of cool, breezy weather ahead. It’s the best time to have your central heating system checked before you’ll rely on it most when the temperatures drop.

Ensure efficiency

Preparing your radiant heating system in advance not only ensures your comfort but also your home’s energy efficiency. You can save between 10 to 20% on your home heating bill just by ensuring the maximum efficiency of your system. Checking your heating system early in the warmer months also helps you know if there are issues that might require repairs.

Here at Euro Plumbing we see an increase in demand for heating repairs during wintry weather each year. Most people don’t prepare their homes adequately for the winter and find themselves beating the peak heating service rush. It makes sense to have maintenance checks and services completed as early as possible.

service_your_heater_before_winterSafety first

Anything that heats up can be a potential hazard. You’re dealing with hot water, high-pressure steam or gas, which can make troubleshooting dangerous. Ditch the DIY mentality and call a professional in to service your radiant heating system. Also, you don’t want to cause any damage to your flooring or heating equipment by attempting to do anything on your own.

The best you can do is to run your radiant heater on minimum setting in autumn, so you don’t shock the system when you put it on full blast during the winter season.

Annual servicing

This is something most homeowners think they can do without, but that’s not actually the case. Central Heating NZ will test your central heating system for efficiency and safety. This ensures your radiant panels are thoroughly clean and all components and controls work properly. Regular central heating servicing and maintenance also prolongs the life of your central heating system and keeps your warranty valid.

If you’re worried about the servicing cost, you can schedule annual maintenance in the months leading to winter so you’re not paying additional money for winter proofing your heating system.

Retrofitted central heating system

Radiant central heating is a safe and reliable heating option. If you don’t already have a system in your home, now is the perfect time to install one. Our systems can be fully retrofitted onto any typical Auckland home powered with gas, solar or heat pumps.

Because radiant panel heaters have the quickest response time and can be individually controlled for each room, having them in your home can result in cost and energy savings. From your heat source, we will discreetly install interconnecting piping that will link a series of panel heaters, providing your home a total heating solution.

Don’t wait until winter’s already in full blast. Get your home’s central heating system serviced today. Call us for inquiries!

 

Central Heating Costs NZ

Date: Feb 9, 2018 - 10:13 pm

No one is thinking about heating at moment but forecasts indicate that we are going to get hit with record cold winters in New Zealand during 2017-2020!

Knowing it going to be cold, what will you do to stay warm in 2018? Run to the Warehouse last minute to grad a $99 heater off the pallet or stock up on thermals?

If you own your property why not consider Gas fired Hydronic central heating? Sounds like a mouth full but it’s pretty to comprehend.

Almost any house in NZ can be retrofitted professionally with radiant heating

The system is made up of 3 critical parts:

  • Central heating boiler. A very small compact unit that looks like a conventional instant water heater. You can have a look and compare central heating boilers and prices here. These boiler may have condensing technology which makes them 100% efficient.
  • Compare radiators to see size VS KW output.  Our engineers will design the system to accommodate ideal capacity and conditions ensuing you have a warm home throughout winter.
  • Control system. It’s all about control and comfort! Central Heating Services have teamed up with superior control system manufacturers such as Siemens to deliver the best control possible. We can integrate wired and wireless control systems to keep building and installation costs down.

How much does central heating cost in New Zealand?

Let’s do some indicative pricing.

3 Bedroom Home 5 Radiators $ 11999+GST
3 Bedroom Home (larger rooms) 7 Radiators $ 13999+GST
4 Bedroom Home 7 Radiators $ 14499+GST
4 Bedroom Home 9 Radiators $ 15999+GST

The above pricing will vary depending on access under house or ceiling (depending on where pipe runs will be) distance and boiler location but in general this is pretty accurate pricing structure which will include:

  1. Central Heating boiler
  2. Radiators and required pipework
  3. Plumbing and Gasfitting related works
  4. Electrical components involving the control system and boiler.
  5. Commissioning, warranties and certification.
  6. Labour, involved materials and GST

In addition to the nice even heat throughout your home, you will have a nice dry and healthy home. Running costs are extremely low to any alternative with a much longer lifespan.

Why not talk to us about your options? Stay warm and healthy this winter!

Bosch 18kW NG Boiler Installer For Central Heating System

Date: Dec 8, 2017 - 2:23 am

Central heating using a natural gas boiler can be a very good option if you are looking at central heating for your home. Gas boilers are the an excellent choice in the North Island because of the availability of natural gas is at a cost per kWh that can only be beaten by geothermal heat pumps, however, gas boilers are a quarter of the capital cost of geothermal heat pumps.

Are you looking at installing a new central heating system? Now is the time to select which heating source you should go with. The choice will depend on your requirements along with what you have available. Central heating systems can use many different heating sources, from heat pumps to coal and everything in between. So why should you go with gas?

Gas boiler central heating systems have many benefits over other types of heat sources such as heat pump or coal burners. The benefits of gas include:

  • Silent operation – Meaning no disturbance while your system is working
  • No effort required to bring the fuel – LPG bottles get delivered, natural gas runs on a mains system
  • Extremely efficient – Less energy costs and better heating
  • Compact unit – No chunky units taking up space around your home

One of the big benefits of gas is that it will heat big areas quickly and cleanly. If you want to heat all of your home, gas central heating is usually the best option, as it can handle the load better than almost all other heating systems. Whether you go with LPG or NG will depend on what’s available in your area. If you have natural gas then you can use a natural gas boiler, otherwise you will need to go with LPG.  You can also combine your gas central heating system with your water heater or other gas systems to further improve energy efficiency in your home.

Here is a recent installation we did of a Bosch Condens 5000W 18kW Natural Gas boiler which replaced a Lotte boiler for a central heating system in Auckland. This unit sat in the covered area on the side of the house, and a horizontal flue had to be installed with the boiler.

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Why is the Bosch Condens 5000W boiler?
The Bosch Condens 5000W is a gas condensing boiler that is capable of providing both hydronic heating and domestic hot water. By combining two appliances, the Bosch boiler uses high-efficiency condensing technology for both heating and domestic hot water supply, which saves you money. Another benefit is that it can generally save you money on installation time and costs, as well as installation materials. No hot water storage cylinder nor other heating system will be required. It can be combined with controllers and thermostats which makes it even more energy efficient. This unit is an excellent choice if you are looking to go for a gas central heating system.

If you would like to look at a gas central heating system for your home, whether LPG or natural gas, talk to us today. We can help you find the best solution for your requirements in your home.

Introducing The Baxi Duo-Tec 1.24GA+ Outdoor Boiler

Date: Nov 2, 2017 - 11:31 pm

The Baxi Duo-Tec 1.24GA+ outdoor gas boiler is perfect for residential situations where demand is high and space is limited. This 24kW boiler uses adaptive technology to calibrate and adjust to either LPG and NG automatically. This makes for easy installation and less consumption. The gas adaptive valve eliminates the flue gas analysis meaning installation and commissioning is made much easier. Setting it up is as simple as turning it on and pressing OK when the gas type is displayed. This speeds up the installation time and takes the headache out of boiler commissioning.

The gas condensing technology extracts heat from the burnt gases and reuses it to deliver a rated efficiency of 97%, which makes the  Baxi Duo-Tec 1.24GA+ one of the most efficient and green boilers available on the market today.

baxi_duo_tec_1.24_plusOther features of this boiler include:

  • Stainless Steel heat exchanger
  • 1:7 gas valve modulation ratio
  • Requires external room controller
  • Wall bracket supplied
  • Internal controller
  • Market-leading 5 year warranty
  • Complete with flue kit
  • Digital control panel with LCD display with backlight

Why should you use the Baxi Duo-Tec 1.24GA+?

This boiler will provide you with efficient heating for your central heating or underfloor heating system. If you are looking to save on energy costs, and want to make sure you always return to a warm home, this boiler is for you. For more information, give us a call on 0800 443 284.

Preslab Underfloor Heating System Installation

Date: Sep 15, 2017 - 1:33 am

We just finished a preslab underfloor heating system installation for a home in Silverdale, Auckland. The is a new home being built, the perfect time to get underfloor heating installed.

Our specialist laid underfloor heating pipe on top of mesh and used wire tie downs to keep the pipe in place.
The system consists of 2x circuits of pipe:
Circuit 1 approx 85 meters
Circuit 2 approx 100 meters

Correct spacing of the pipe  is critical to avoid cold spots and even heat distribution. This is critical for a quality heating system. As you can see in this install, the pipe covers the whole floor very evenly and will ensure there is consistent heating all throughout the house. In general areas such as bedrooms for the lounge the pipe is laid at 200mm centers. Smaller areas such as bathrooms and kitchen are laid at 100-150mm centers. This enables maximum heat output in smaller areas whilst larger areas can be comfortably maintained.

Once the pipes were laid and the manifold and valves installed, the system was pressure tested with water to ensure there are no leaks and that it will operate correctly. It rated at 1000kpa.

pre_slab_underfloor_heating_system_install pre_slab_underfloor_heating

pre_slab_underfloor_heating_system pre_slab_underfloor_heating_system_install_auckland

Are you interested in an underfloor heating system? Underfloor heating is an excellent solution to efficient home central heating. Advantages include the fact that it is completely hidden (no radiators or vents to see), extremely efficient, provides even heating and can be designed specifically for your needs. If you are building a new home or renovating, speak to us about an underfloor heating system now!

Compare Central Heating Costs

Date: Jun 21, 2017 - 7:22 pm

If you are looking to install or upgrade your central heating, no doubt you want the most bang for your buck. This means that you will need to consider what is the best option for your installation and your needs. There are various systems types to choose from and knowing the benefits of each can mean the difference between a system that costs your more money to run and one that saves you money.

Types Of Systems

Central heating systems can come in a number of types, but all broadly fall into one of the following categories:

  • Wet systems – involving a boiler or heat exchanger and radiators
  • Warm air systems
  • Storage heaters

wet_central_heating_systemWet Systems
Wet systems work by circulating hot water through a system of pipes that connect the radiators throughout the house. A boiler, the center of the system, burns a fuel such as LPG to heat the water. Sometimes there is a heat exchanger and this heats the water instead of the boiler. It is also possible that a hot water cylinder is connected to this system. This type of system is the most popular type of heating system in the UK.

The boilers can use a selection of fuels to heat the water, The most common are natural gas and LPG, with some using heating oil. Rare instances use coal but these days these systems are uncommon. Electric central heating boilers are also another popular option.

The radiators, despite their name, don’t actually give off radiant heat, but rather deliver most of their heat through convection. Air warmed by the radiator usually rises and cooler air falls relative to it, resulting in warm air circulating within the room or space being heated.

5_HVAC unitWarm Air Systems
Warm air systems heat air by a boiler, usually fueled by gas such as LPG or natural gas, and are fed by means of ducts doing to rooms around the home. The warm air enters the room through a wall or floor vent. These systems are particularly popular in North America and are also commonly used in many commercial buildings, however mostly serve as cooling systems (air conditioning). For residential buildings and homes, wet systems have generally replaced these types of systems.

Storage Heater Systems

storage_heater_systemsStorage heaters work by heating water overnight during off-peak electricity hours, then release the heat gradually during the following day. The storage heater will normally have at least two controls, one for controlling how much electricity is used which will determine how much heat is generated for storage, and another for controlling how much heat is released. This means that you can set it to release the heat when you need it, so if you are out during the day, you are not wasting heat when you are not there. More advanced systems also have thermostatic controls. In some cases, storage heaters can also serve as direct electric heaters, providing heat directly from electricity without going through the storage stage.

So now that you know about the different types of systems, what are the costs?

Storage heater systems are almost always more expensive to run than an equivalent wet heater system. They are really only best used if you have no access to gas supply or if you are on solar and have excess electricity that won’t cost you to use. The advantage of a storage heater system is the installation cost and hassle is a lot less than the wet systems.

Wet systems that run on gas will typically cost more to install, however you can save up to 50% or more on operating costs with an efficient gas heating system when compared to other central heating systems. One thing to bear in mind is gas systems do need regular servicing to keep them in 100% operating condition, so factor this into your yearly operating cost.

Are you looking at getting a central heating system installed in your home? If you would like to improve your heating system but don’t know where to start with all the options, get in contact with us now! We will help you determine what your requirements are and which system will suit your needs and budget best.