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PHONEJUNKY Sep 28th 2009 12:40 pm

Heating a house in NZ
 
Could someone tell me the best and most efficient way to heat a house in NZ.
As most of you know here in the UK most have gas central heating with a boiler heating both radiators and hot water but you never hear of this in NZ. I have heard about heat pumps? and the more you have the better but why not the good old gas boiler, is gas so expensive in NZ or central heating so expensive to have fitted i don know so please can someone let me know.
Thanks

zummerzet_lou Sep 28th 2009 6:59 pm

Re: Heating a house in NZ
 
There are usually 2 choices:
Electric heat pumps (Huge heaters mounted on the wall)
Wood burner

We have both, although it's only a small heat pump so not grunty enough to do anything more than take the chill off.

So, our front room is toasty, and some of the heat makes it out towards the kids rooms but that's it. Have a wall mount fan heater in the bathroom, and a couple of plug-in electric heaters for the kiddies rooms.

Price? Our electricity is about $120 a month
Wood - we've gotten through about 8 cubic metres this winter ... so about $500 (say May-end Octover)

HTH
Lou

TeamEmbo Sep 28th 2009 7:07 pm

Re: Heating a house in NZ
 
You can get European style gas central heating in NZ. Although I think in most places it won't be piped gas but bottled gas.

Traditional NZ houses are built for sun - lots of large windows, main living areas facing North - so it gets heated for free and a log burner in the main living area. Traditionally you'd close the doors to the rooms that aren't being used so the heat isn't wasted and you go to bed in flannelette PJs with flannette sheets on your bed and possibly a hot water bottle - like how you're ol' grandma would have!

There are heaps of ways to heat your house cheaply and effectively rather than full gas CH, which I personally wouldn't go back to. If you've a pitched roof you can have a DVS system which takes the warm dry air from your wasted loft space and distributes it via vents to the rooms you want heated. This system is also supposed to help dry out your home and reduce the condensation on your windows.

We have one heat pump at the end of our open plan living area downstairs, which the bedrooms are off of, and a log burner at the other end. Despite being quite a large area, the heat pump is sufficient to warm this area and our bedrooms. The kids don't complain of being cold in their rooms and have not used hot water bottles or electric blankets over the last winter, which was supposed to have been the coldest so far. We light the log burner in the afternoon, evening but use the heat pump on very low overnight and in the morning. We also have a smaller heat pump for upstairs.
Heat pumps also used as air con in summer. They have timers so you can set them to come on an hour before you get up, or get in from work to warm the place up.

Depending on the void space available in your ceiling and house layout you can also get a simple ventilation system to take the warm air from the room with your log burner to distribute to your bedrooms.

garfield250 Sep 28th 2009 7:22 pm

Re: Heating a house in NZ
 
We have a DVS style ventilation and heat recovery system and it does reduce condensation and take a bit of the chill off.
We have a large wood burner in the lounge.
Something to bear in mind though, many old houses (anything over 25yrs) do not have insulation in the walls, we had a foam insulation injected into the walls, the expol stuff put under the floor boards.

Yes its flannelette PJ's and sheets for bed during the winter and a truck load of wood for the wood burner.

Heat pumps are fine but if you live in a rural area which is prone to regular power cuts......its going to be a cold one!

Wooly_Cow Sep 28th 2009 8:24 pm

Re: Heating a house in NZ
 
Bottom line you will have to live differntly than the UK....no more running round the house in your underwear :)

Bearing in mind the average heating costs here are about the same as the UK, and that they get much warmer sun, and milder winters, and only heat rooms not houses, it speaks volumes about the state of efficiency of the heating systems and insulation.

The government is currently subsidising insulation and some heating and surprise surprise the take up has been about 4 to 5 times what they expected!

So first tip - make sure the house is well insulated (or you have budget over to get it insulated). If you can insist on double glazing. it will keep the heat in and vastly reduce condensation and dampness.

By the way central heating systems here tend to be forced warm air systems which don't have a thermal mass, so once they switch off it gets cold quickly....they are also noisy.

Kiwiprincess Sep 28th 2009 11:54 pm

Re: Heating a house in NZ
 
Gas not piped? I knew it wasn't piped in the South Island. What about the North Island? I thought it was but realised that while I know wellington is mains gas (although you can get bottles should you wish) I didn't know if the rest of the Island was. Interesting.

You would think as a born and raised kiwi I should know this. But I don't.

So....you lot....does the rest of the NI have mains gas?

Kiwiprincess Sep 28th 2009 11:58 pm

Re: Heating a house in NZ
 
Oh ignore me. I found my answer here

Thought I would add that rather than delete my question.

Genesis Sep 29th 2009 12:33 am

Re: Heating a house in NZ
 

Originally Posted by Kiwiprincess (Post 7973123)
Oh ignore me. I found my answer here

Thought I would add that rather than delete my question.

We have piped gas CH. There is lots of piped gas in the major towns all over NZ I guess. For CH in NZ go to www.savona.co.nz


They did us and did a good job. Run by a brit called Andy I think from up north.

OzzieGunner Sep 29th 2009 2:10 am

Re: Heating a house in NZ
 

Originally Posted by PHONEJUNKY (Post 7971414)
Could someone tell me the best and most efficient way to heat a house in NZ.
As most of you know here in the UK most have gas central heating with a boiler heating both radiators and hot water but you never hear of this in NZ. I have heard about heat pumps? and the more you have the better but why not the good old gas boiler, is gas so expensive in NZ or central heating so expensive to have fitted i don know so please can someone let me know.
Thanks



I lived in Auckland for 6 years and despite Kiwis telling me its a tropical paradise, ITS NOT. Its gets very cold in the morning and kiwi idea is to use a blast furnace (wood fire) in there main living area and hope it heats the rest of the house, generally it just cooks all the furniture which prematurely falls apart.

If you live in a major Nth Island city you may have access to Natural Gas if so the easiest and cheapest option for full heating is use a Brivis or similar Warm air furnace for central heating (ducted warm air). If you dont have access to NG then look at Heat pump systems (ducted or cassette whole house). Heat recovery systems help if using log fires but are certainly not capable of heating a house properly like CH and if you are a climate change fanatic burning wood is the one of the worst environmentally damaging ways to heat your home.

Buy some wooly jumpers or move to Queensland

Kiwiprincess Sep 29th 2009 3:00 am

Re: Heating a house in NZ
 
if you are a climate change fanatic burning wood is the one of the worst environmentally damaging ways to heat your home

No it's not. It's a very good way to heat your home if you use the correct burner and the correct wood/fuel.

It's slow burning a chopped down pohutakawa for hours on end in a 10 year old fireplace that's a problem.

Hokey-pokey Sep 29th 2009 3:21 am

Re: Heating a house in NZ
 
We are looking at building , so I have been researching heating fairly extensively.
This website provides lots of helpful advice.
http://www.centralheating.co.nz/
Main line gas is available throughout many towns and cities in the NI. I was speaking to someone who decided it was cheaper to use bottled gas rather than connect to the main gas line because they felt the monthly rental charge did not justify the very little amount of gas they used. Their house was very warm, facing due north with large windows for passive heating. Small windows along the south side.
If you want to be really chic you could opt for a thermal hot water bore. Expect that to hit the wallet though !
We will probably go for central heating with a boiler which can be run on diesel or gas. I like the notion of a wood pellet boiler but would really like to see one in action first.

teebrown Sep 29th 2009 7:16 am

Re: Heating a house in NZ
 
we are building at the moment and we are having a pellet fire in the open plan living room and a heat pump in the hallway outside the sleeping quarters, we are also insulating the house with wool and not pink batts, hopefully this will be ok.

Justcol Sep 29th 2009 8:07 am

Re: Heating a house in NZ
 
We have recently had heating installed right through our place.
The options were
1) heat pump = crap. if they are so good why do the rest of the world use a different system ?
They are noisey ( you shouldnt be able to hear heat in my opinion), they cause a draft and unless you are prepared to
leave every door open in you house and use other smaller fans to re direct the one directional airflow around corners
and into cold bathrooms or bedrooms at the ends of passageways then they are a complete and utter waste of time and money.
If you want to heat the core of the house and still have to use expensive to run electric or dangerous old fashioned calor gas style gas heaters
then by all meens buy one and live in what i consider to be a dangerous and ineficient house

2)Traditional gas central heating with radiators. this is available with mains gas.
there are only two or three installers who have been mentioned already in this thread.
We decided against this as it was VERY expensive to install. We were quoted
around $17k for a 4 bed house and we didnt know after being here for a year that it would be switched off for around 9 months of the year.

3) We chose to go for a Bonair ducted gas heateing system.
This consists of a central gas heater that is positioned in the loft that has air drawn through it that is then distributed via 10 outlets right through the house.
The warmed air heats even our largest room (32ft long X 18ft wide) from around an averageunheated overnight low of 12 degrees to a toastey
20 degrees (or what ever temp you like) in about 5 minutes.
The whole system is centrally controlled. It can be programmed just like uk central heating to come on and go off at any given time during the day or night.
It can be zoned so that if you ar an early riser and simply want your bedroom and ensuite heated then it can easily be done.
In the summer you can simply run the fan with no heat so you then get cool air circulated through the house without the need for noisey electric fans in every corner.
It cost around half what the radiator system would quoted at and it works very very well

chocolate cake Sep 29th 2009 8:58 am

Re: Heating a house in NZ
 

Originally Posted by OzzieGunner (Post 7973320)
I lived in Auckland for 6 years and despite Kiwis telling me its a tropical paradise, ITS NOT. Its gets very cold in the morning and kiwi idea is to use a blast furnace (wood fire) in there main living area and hope it heats the rest of the house, generally it just cooks all the furniture which prematurely falls apart.

If you live in a major Nth Island city you may have access to Natural Gas if so the easiest and cheapest option for full heating is use a Brivis or similar Warm air furnace for central heating (ducted warm air). If you dont have access to NG then look at Heat pump systems (ducted or cassette whole house). Heat recovery systems help if using log fires but are certainly not capable of heating a house properly like CH and if you are a climate change fanatic burning wood is the one of the worst environmentally damaging ways to heat your home.

Buy some wooly jumpers or move to Queensland

Agree, been through two winters now in Auckland and though they are mild they are anything but that inside. I'm renting, so have to make do with what's available rather than go about installing insulation and heat pumps.

The standard of heating/insulation in most rented places is pretty poor, and alot of the housing stock isn't a great deal better from my experience of looking round. And dampness is common too, through the policy of only heating the main room. Only the new houses now have to have double glazing installed and so it is very rare to see it.

All too often we here about having north facing rooms, and sure that will help, but there's fair no. of grey days in the winter when the sun doesn't shine, and it certainly doesn't shine in the night and so the coldest part of the day is first thing in the morning. Woodfires are hardly great for clean air quality and are obviously not programmable so it'll be cold before you get it going.

kamburu pat Sep 29th 2009 9:16 am

Re: Heating a house in NZ
 

Originally Posted by PHONEJUNKY (Post 7971414)
Could someone tell me the best and most efficient way to heat a house in NZ.
As most of you know here in the UK most have gas central heating with a boiler heating both radiators and hot water but you never hear of this in NZ. I have heard about heat pumps? and the more you have the better but why not the good old gas boiler, is gas so expensive in NZ or central heating so expensive to have fitted i don know so please can someone let me know.
Thanks

Hello,
I`m from North Yorkshire, I stayed in Wellington for four months from January this year with my son, his house. like many houses in NZ, is made of wood, there is no insulation, no double glazing and no central heating. My son has a calor gas heater and some oil filled radiators, by the time we got to April, because I had ignored his advice to bring warm clothes with me, I was cold in the house so ended up buying some fleeces just to keep warm in the house! I had a hot water bottle and radiator in the room at night. I think the New Zealanders are so active and fit that they may not feel the cold, or it could be that they are kidding themselves! I did visit some friends who had a log fire and it felt very cosy.


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