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  Reply # 713087 6-Nov-2012 18:58 Send private message

Neil, look into a heat recovery ventilation system, it's the best of both worlds. You only ever get fresh air being put into any room, but the warm air being taken away is put through a heat exchanger that prewarms incoming air.

I didn't like the big names offering, HRV, DVS, etc. I think it's these guys I'll go with when I get around to it,




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  Reply # 713175 6-Nov-2012 21:20 Send private message

If the fires don't work out, perhaps two heatpumps? A larger unit upstairs, and smaller one downstairs for the bedrooms?

My parent's have a villa in Dunedin, very high ceilings (no idea exactly how high, I always forget to ask when I'm there). Typical villa, five bedrooms, two lounges, all with open fires in them.
About ten years ago they put in a retro oven that is a wetback, and heats 4 radiators in one lounge, and down two hallways (hall is an L shape). However their hot water cylinder is about three feet from the oven. It barely takes the edge off in winter. It's lovely in the kitchen but you don't walk round the rest of the house in your undies. Next the installed a Masport (in wall type in the old fireplace) in the main lounge, that possibly made the biggest difference to how comfortable the lounge and kitchen is.

But about three years ago they installed possibly the largest heatpump I've seen in a house. They leave that on 24/7 and it heats the back half of the house (ironically none of the main bedrooms or lounge).
But when I insisted that they shut about half the house up and leave doors strategically open, in combo with the lounge fire and heatpump it makes the house genuinely warm.

In a perfect world (lived in Auckland for 7 years) I'd have a great big heatpump, fire and wetback. Efficiency and pollution aside, fires are wonderful to have in a room. The added bonus of heating hot water would be nice too.

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  Reply # 713305 7-Nov-2012 06:45 Send private message

Jeeves: Hey,

We just bought a house in auckland and have been thinking up efficient ways to heat it.

It's two storeys, and the main problem is the living area is on the upper floor, and the bedrooms down below.
The ground floor is partially underground as it is on a sloping section and the front half of the ground floor (It's a rectangle shape) is underground up to a maximum height of about 1.5 meters. 
Because of this, the bedrooms, especially the master bedroom which is on the south side, get very little light and heat - so can be kind of cold and damp during winter. 
The ground level is all cinder block, and the upper level appears to be well insulated - so insulation seems to be in check (short of dbl glazing). The floor between the levels is also insulated from what i can tell.

So we are very keen to put a fireplace in, as the living area is well suited for one and we both love the ambience of a fire. 
I was thinking of getting a wetback, and installing a radiator in at least the master bedroom to get some of that heat downstairs. 
Can I do that? Given the old heat rises thing. I'm assuming a pump of sorts can override the thermal rise. 
Also our HWC is on the ground floor at the opposite end of where the fire would go - talking about 10+ meters away. Is this too far away to run piping too?

The other issue I face is air movement. Again the master bedroom has little in the way of ventilation, so trying to figure out the best way to get some air movement going through there. Could I install an HRV/roof space fan thing, and then have a pipe running directly to a lower floor vent. I realise that won't do anything heating wise, but would hopefully help with moving air.

TIA :)


I dont think you can put in a wetback unless you live on 2 hectares or more due to efficiency regulations.

I have a wood burner and put a vent system to the other end of the house, works great. I would get the bits you need either from somewhere like TradeMe or electrical supply place. Its way cheaper than HRV, DVS etc. One thing to consider with venting is its better to go bigger, dont expect a 4inch fan to shift much air.



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  Reply # 713378 7-Nov-2012 09:50 Send private message

timmmay:
Jeeves: There is no way to do it with an HRV or anything as you just can not push hot air down.


Of course you can push hot air down with an HRV. You have an intake duct, a pump, and an outlet, it can come out above, below, or beside the intake. It naturally rises because it's less dense than cold air.

I had the idea that instead of taking air from the ceiling cavity and putting it back in via the ceiling I'd pipe it down inside a wall and have it come up through floor ducts. I probably won't do it, but it was a thought I had.



I 'could' push hot air down, but to do so to the point where it makes a difference in heating the 80sqm that is the lower level would require big fans, big pipes, big cost and big noise. 

Instead I will have to resign myself to the fact that I will have to heat the lower level traditionally with heat pumps or radiant heaters. I guess having so much of it 'underground' is also a blessing in that the ground is generally warmer during winter so can act as a big old blanket.

I'll probably look at a circulation system which has an outlet vent downstairs and an inlet upstairs, which in theory should suck air from the bedrooms through to upstairs, creating a cycle. Problem is as mentioned everything is cinder block, so not sure where I would put duct work. Might have to create a little internal riser column.


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  Reply # 713380 7-Nov-2012 09:53 Send private message

Jeeves:
timmmay:
Jeeves: There is no way to do it with an HRV or anything as you just can not push hot air down.


Of course you can push hot air down with an HRV. You have an intake duct, a pump, and an outlet, it can come out above, below, or beside the intake. It naturally rises because it's less dense than cold air.

I had the idea that instead of taking air from the ceiling cavity and putting it back in via the ceiling I'd pipe it down inside a wall and have it come up through floor ducts. I probably won't do it, but it was a thought I had.



I 'could' push hot air down, but to do so to the point where it makes a difference in heating the 80sqm that is the lower level would require big fans, big pipes, big cost and big noise. 

Instead I will have to resign myself to the fact that I will have to heat the lower level traditionally with heat pumps or radiant heaters. I guess having so much of it 'underground' is also a blessing in that the ground is generally warmer during winter so can act as a big old blanket.

I'll probably look at a circulation system which has an outlet vent downstairs and an inlet upstairs, which in theory should suck air from the bedrooms through to upstairs, creating a cycle. Problem is as mentioned everything is cinder block, so not sure where I would put duct work. Might have to create a little internal riser column.



Is there any way you can put the fire downstairs? I have seen a couple of installations where the flue runs up through the upper story providing heat in addition to the rising heat from downstairs. Usually in a corner such as a hallway. Of course a flue can also go out through a wall downstairs and then up if you cant run it up through the house.



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  Reply # 713525 7-Nov-2012 13:52 Send private message

Not really. One of the main reasons for picking a fireplace over a heat pump is the ambience, so we want it in the main living area.

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  Reply # 713529 7-Nov-2012 14:02 Send private message

kiwitrc: I dont think you can put in a wetback unless you live on 2 hectares or more due to efficiency regulations.

I have a wood burner and put a vent system to the other end of the house, works great. I would get the bits you need either from somewhere like TradeMe or electrical supply place. Its way cheaper than HRV, DVS etc. One thing to consider with venting is its better to go bigger, dont expect a 4inch fan to shift much air.


I think you are referring to a rural wood burner fire, which has that restriction. I know someone who recently had a wetback installed, linked to radiators in Wellington, although now sure exactly how long ago it was, maybe regs have changed since.

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  Reply # 713532 7-Nov-2012 14:05 Send private message

mattwnz:
kiwitrc: I dont think you can put in a wetback unless you live on 2 hectares or more due to efficiency regulations.

I have a wood burner and put a vent system to the other end of the house, works great. I would get the bits you need either from somewhere like TradeMe or electrical supply place. Its way cheaper than HRV, DVS etc. One thing to consider with venting is its better to go bigger, dont expect a 4inch fan to shift much air.


I think you are referring to a rural wood burner fire, which has that restriction. I know someone who recently had a wetback installed, linked to radiators in Wellington, although now sure exactly how long ago it was, maybe regs have changed since.


Yes true, its been a while since I looked at the rules and no doubt efficiency has improved alot since then.

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