One system with three benefits - Building NZ
One system with three benefits

One system with three benefits

Creating a comfortable and healthful living environment is not only good for our souls, it can also be good for the environment… and our back pockets. An energy-efficient solution that keeps our homes warm in winter and cool in summer has been under our feet this whole time.

Words by ArchiPro Editorial Team

In most parts of New Zealand now, the wood-burning, open fires many of us grew up with are no longer an environmentally acceptable—or even the most energy-efficient—way of heating our homes.

New technologies are proving to be more efficient, more economical and more environmentally friendly—making them the ideal choice for maintaining our clean, green image. Some also do double and even triple duty providing hot water heating and are even capable of cooling our homes as well.

“Our clients were keen for a ‘tree change’ and had found a lovely, semi-rural section in the Lincoln area that provided the perfect backdrop for their 255sqm home, with enough space to fulfil their passion for a big garden,” says Wesley Pearce, Marketing Manager for Central Heating New Zealand.

“When it came to heating their home, they knew they wanted a whole-home central heating solution, it was just a matter of deciding which heat source and emitter would suit their lifestyle and whether they wanted domestic hot water and cooling included.

“It didn’t take them long to decide on their preference: an underfloor hydronic heating and cooling system with domestic hot water.”

“The Central Heating representative was able to talk us through all of the options available to us and to provide comprehensive insight into hydronic heating and cooling, which gave us the confidence to make the right decision,” adds the homeowner.

The result is a home that remains cool in summer and warm in winter with 'set-and-forget' functionality.
Consisting of a supply-mounted distributor and return-mounted collector, the hydronic heating manifold allows the system to achieve a proper hydronic balance.

Hydronic heating and cooling: one system, three benefits

“Hydronic heating is the most efficient way to heat your entire home, as it uses a single-source air-to-water heat pump to transfer heat throughout the home. While the setup cost of a hydronic system is more than a single air-to-air heat pump, the ongoing running costs are typically much lower, meaning the system pays for itself in the long run.”

“For our clients’ home, the capital cost for their system installed was $23,450 (including GST). At present, the running cost has not been measured, but they report being happy with the amount of power the system uses and estimate around $260 per month in the winter,” says Wesley.

Central Heating New Zealand works in with the timeline of the build to install the system, which Wesley says, typically requires 5-7 visits to site during the building period.

“The most complex part of the installation is laying the underfloor pipework, which, in this case, was laid in one day just prior to the concrete slab being poured. We then returned towards the end of the build to install the manifold and heat source.

“The installation of the central heating system for this home went smoothly, with no interruptions to the build that affected our time frames. Occasionally we do have projects where issues arise during the building process that affect our installation schedule, but our team of project managers is exceptional at communicating with the builder and client, and in most cases schedules can be moved around to reduce any further delays to the build.”

The 'brains' behind the system is the 16kW Chofu Air-to-Water heat pump.

Hydronic heating and cooling: the innovative and intelligent solution

Central heating is more comfortable than any other form of heating, as it’s an enveloping heat that radiates off the surfaces in your home onto your body. The warmth is noticeable from the moment you step through the door.

“I love the feeling of walking into my home, it’s the most comforting feeling. When we are in our home, we actually forget how comfortable and warm it is—until we open the door to go outside.”

To achieve this level of comfort, Central Heating New Zealand installed 1155m of pipe 100–150mm apart in the slab and connected the pipe to an underfloor manifold, which in turn is connected to a 16kW Chofu Air-to-Water heat pump, says Wesley.

“Our clients also opted to have their domestic hot water heated from the central heating system. We therefore supplied a 300L Baxi stainless steel hot water cylinder which uses the Air-to-Water heat pump to warm the water. This system setup allows our client to save up to 70 per cent on their hot water running costs and only uses one heat source to warm the home and hot water.”

“They particularly enjoy the ‘set-and-forget’ functionality of their home heating system, as the intelligent Smart One controller adjusts the home temperature to suit their lifestyle. The controller is positioned in the hallway for convenience but can be app controlled too. All it took was a week of initial adjustments for the controller to learn their habits and it now controls the heating system for them on its own. The controller continuously learns and if our clients’ heating or cooling requirements were to change, they can adjust the controller and the system will adapt to suit.”

The SmartOne is a smart device designed to control radiant heating and radiant cooling systems.

Hydronic heating and cooling: year-round comfort guaranteed

Wesley says Central Heating New Zealand’s design engineers took into account the house design and heat loss mapping to offer their clients a system tailored to their home and their level of comfort.

“With a heating system that heats their whole home, our clients can now enjoy being warm in every room of their home. Not only that, but the system will also provide cooling relief on those hot summer days, as well as providing savings on power bills with their hot water integrated into the central heating system.”

The homeowner adds: “Being pretty old school, I love the ambience of a fire and didn’t mind the idea of having to chop wood; but now, our heating and cooling is controlled by the touch of a button—it feels like we live in the lap of luxury.”

Learn more about installing a hydronic heating and cooling system in your next residential or commercial project.

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