Smart heat

Ducted gas central heating has been a popular option for years now, especially with retrofits in older, colder homes. The merits of the technology behind ducted gas has seen its popularity rise in new builds too with consumers looking for quick, cost-efficient heating and cooling options.

Ducted gas central heating differs from other home heating options in that it provides a whole-house solution, which can easily be separated into zones to allow for lifestyle habits and the ways people use their homes at different times of the day and year.

Different to underfloor heating, ducted gas heats the air in the house, as opposed to, for example, heating water running through pipes, which in turn use the slab as an element of sorts to heat the rooms.

Aber’s heating specialist Nicki Luxton says gas is an economical choice in terms of heating costs, but ducted gas is particularly so. “There’s a lot of control and flexibility with ducted gas heating, which appeals to people who want to manage their spending on heating,” she says. “These sorts of systems allow people to heat the whole home or separate areas, and heat just the living areas, for example, or just the bedrooms. They can also be completely automated so you can set up the system to turn off at a certain time of night or day, so you’re only heating areas of the home at the times you use them.”

Ducted gas heating runs from a heating unit that is usually installed in the roof cavity or outside the home. The unit is connected to a network of ducts and outlets, which are placed either in the ceiling or the floor of each room or zone, depending on whether the ducts are installed under the floor or in the roof.

“Ducted gas heating is the fastest way to heat the whole home, reaching an ambient temperature within ten minutes and within 15 minutes the whole home will be at the desired temperature,” Luxton says.

Aber works with an Australian company as the exclusive distributor of Bonaire ducted technology in New Zealand. There are various options, all of which are suitable for retrofits and new homes, ranging from four star energy efficient ratings right through to the top-performing six-star option. “All of these will reduce heating costs significantly, but with the six-star option, you are looking at savings of approximately 30 per cent on each energy bill,” Luxton says.

The six-star unit is due to be launched in New Zealand in May 2017. “People now have the choice to consider what level of energy efficiency they want to achieve. The higher-rating units are more expensive to install initially but provide more savings over time while the lower to mid-range units are less of an output initially but still achieve really good levels of cost-efficiency.”

The Bonaire app, which will allow the systems to be controlled remotely via smartphones and tablets, will also be launched in May 2017, and will offer a new level of control with users being able to automate the system, monitor the temperatures in each zone of the home, and turn the system on and off as desired.

The beauty of ducted gas heating though, is not just in its efficiency; part of the allure of these sorts of systems is the option to add home cooling systems to the unit. “As New Zealanders, we tend not to want to completely close up our houses in summer, which you need to if you are using a traditional air conditioning system. We often want to have the doors and windows open to feel the breeze or hear the birds or whatever it may be.”

Bonaire ducted gas systems have a summer fan option, which allows for doors and windows to be open. It works by circulating air in the manner a fan does, creating air movement rather than cooling the air to a certain temperature. Also available is the add-on refrigerated air conditioning option.

If you’re about to embark on a new build or are starting to feel the cold in an older home, get in touch with Aber on ArchiPro here to discuss the options.