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441 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  # 1328729 21-Jun-2015 16:22
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Just to clarify - when i say unflued gas heater - I mean something like this http://rinnai.co.nz/Subcategory/21/portable-heaters Not those LPG botttles which are both very expensive to run and potential death traps (from the fire hazard). So yeah that is an issue if you are in the South Island. 

 

BTW according to Rinnai : 

 

I’ve read that unflued heaters require room ventilation when using, what does this mean and doesn’t this defeat the purpose of having a heater on?

 

 

Unflued appliances draw the air for combustion from the room itself. This can lead to a build-up of moisture if the room is not adequately ventilated. Unflued gas appliances need to be used in a well-ventilated area with plenty of fresh air circulating (a partially open window is ideal). The heaters are powerful enough to heat the room and there is only minimal heat loss through ventilation.

 

 





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  # 1328731 21-Jun-2015 16:23
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richms: I would never run an unflued heater in a living space. ...


Even more important, don't run one in a bedroom ...

"You should not use unflued gas appliances in small rooms or rooms such as bedrooms and bathrooms".




Sideface


 
 
 
 


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Ultimate Geek
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  # 1328735 21-Jun-2015 16:33
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Sideface:
richms: I would never run an unflued heater in a living space. ...


Even more important, don't run one in a bedroom ...

"You should not use unflued gas appliances in small rooms or rooms such as bedrooms and bathrooms".
 

Yeah well duh- obviously! However our previous setup was heating the hall which took the chill of the bedrooms (and for the current house will heat  the study nook) 




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  # 1328736 21-Jun-2015 16:38
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You are still breathing in combustion byproducts no matter where in the house it is located.

If you are happy to do that then fine, I just hope you have the courtesy not to poison your guests when you have people over.




Richard rich.ms

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  # 1328741 21-Jun-2015 17:04
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Do you get a lot more condensation on the windows on cold days when you use the gas heater compared with the heat pump?

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  # 1328745 21-Jun-2015 17:14
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richms: You are still breathing in combustion byproducts no matter where in the house it is located.

If you are happy to do that then fine, I just hope you have the courtesy not to poison your guests when you have people over.

With apologies to Lieutenant Colonel Bill Kilgore:

"I love the smell of carbon monoxide in the morning"  (the catch is that you can't smell it)




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  # 1328749 21-Jun-2015 17:23
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Its not just the carbon monoxide, there is all sorts of other nasty crap in gas that burns, get the nitorgen stuff that is a nasty from car exhausts coming out of them etc too. If it was just CO2 and water when there was enough oxygen then it wouldnt be a major.

I cant even stand to be in the garage with a LPG heater and that place is draughty as. Since it only has a 20A supply that really limits my heating choices out there to basically one gutless heater and making sure I turn it off before starting a powertool.




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  # 1328753 21-Jun-2015 17:45
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richms: You are still breathing in combustion byproducts no matter where in the house it is located.



As an ex-smoker, I spent 40 years breathing in combustion byproducts and I'm still here. After that I am not much bothered by some measly gas fumes. Different people have different levels of sensitivity to different toxins. I would far rather spend a day in a closed room with a gas heater than work in a petrol station or other business next to a busy highway.





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  # 1328761 21-Jun-2015 18:25
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lissie: We've had it  serviced - nothing wrong with it - technically. I've checked the consumer site - it appears to be  the right size for the room. We didn't put it in (we bought the house with it). We may well replace it with a flued  gas heater once the gas is connected and other renovations completed (which will knock out a wall and change the dynamics of heating the area). 

The thing is  that HPs are not the be all and end all that NZers seem to think they are. They are, after all, air conditioners (and ours worked very well in that regard the 2x over summer it was warm enough in Wgtn to turn it on with cool mode). IF you need an AC in Auckland or somewhere - get one - but there are better options for the rest of us. 


Gas is more expensive and less efficient than a heat pump and as others have already stated it will create moisture which the HP takes away. Sure you get quick heat with gas but over a short period of time the HP will do a better job.

Your HP may be right for the size of your house but some aren't good for climates where the temperature drops to zero and below as they shut off to de ice. Might pay to check which one you have as it may be an Auckland model ;)

As to summer, well it will be expensive if you want to cool a place down but a Heat pump first and foremost is designed to heat.




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  # 1328776 21-Jun-2015 19:11
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how well he heat pump does on cool days really depends on the dew point as this can and does influence how well the heat pump works.

From consumer: https://www.consumer.org.nz/articles/heat-pump-faqs
Why does my heat pump stop heating every now and then when it’s frosty?
The short answer is that it’s defrosting. The reason why is quite complicated. First, it’s important to know that your heat pump gets heat out of the air by trying to cool the whole planet. It’s like a fridge running in reverse (see "What's a heat pump"). The outside unit of the heat pump has a panel like the inside cooling plate in a fridge. You’ll often see ice form on the evaporator panel in your fridge – because it’s a very cold panel in a cool “climate”. Something very similar happens outside on your heat pump external unit.

On a cold night when temperatures are heading towards a frost, as the air cools it loses its ability to hold water. Relative humidity rises as the temperature drops. Eventually the air temperature falls to the dew point, which is where relative humidity has risen to 100 percent. A relative humidity of 101 percent is against the laws of physics, so below the dew point excess water can’t stay in the air any longer. This excess water separates out of the air as dew, condensing onto everything that’s not under shelter. If the air cools further, to zero or below, frost forms.

Your heat pump’s outside evaporator panel is out there in that dewy air, being kept very cold so that it can pull heat out of the air. Ice is inevitably going to form on the panel at low temperatures and high humidity. When the ice gets thicker, it will act as an insulator, and limit the amount of heat that can be extracted. The heat pump senses this and changes to a defrost cycle. While defrosting it won’t deliver heat.

The worst conditions for ice formation are when the dew point is close to, but still above, zero. On a still day the actual dew point temperature in the evening depends on the relative humidity at the highest air temperature during the day.

So if you have a relatively humid climate where the overnight temperature regularly drops to the dew point, but not quite to freezing, your heat pump is going to suffer from severe icing. And it will have to stop heating fairly often to defrost itself. It’s the Achilles heel of the heat pump.

All of this is why we think all heat pumps sold in New Zealand should be tested at 2°C in air that is at the dew point. We also say it should be mandatory to have the tested heat output at 2°C on the energy rating label.

If my heat pump does not deliver full heat at 2°C in the Waikato, how can it work at all in Otago?
It’s very simple. It’s colder in Otago. Heat pumps work just fine in Canada where it’s colder still. They get to minus 20°C and more over there, but it’s no problem. OK, OK, you’re not convinced! Read the FAQ above, and we’ll carry on down below the frost point.

What has just happened? Frost has formed because it’s below freezing and the dew has settled out of the air that could no longer hold all the water it did earlier in the day, at say 12°C. Below zero, and below the dew point, there’s almost no water left in the air and your heat pump should not have to defrost at all.

But it’s freezing – there’s no heat left in the air either. Not at all. There’s plenty. There’s still heat in air at minus 270°C. Not much mind you, as that’s just 3° above absolute zero. There is no heat left at minus 273°C. Obviously there’s less heat at minus 10° C compared to 10°C. But it’s not a lot less.

Heat pumps don’t have a problem getting heat out of the air if it’s just below freezing, as long as they’ve been designed to work down to say minus 10°C or so. Which is plenty for most parts of NZ.

So, at 6am, when it’s minus 3°C in Queenstown and plus 3°C in Hamilton, who has the defrosting problems? Not the Southerners.

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  # 1328868 21-Jun-2015 21:58
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Rikkitic:
richms: You are still breathing in combustion byproducts no matter where in the house it is located.



As an ex-smoker, I spent 40 years breathing in combustion byproducts and I'm still here. After that I am not much bothered by some measly gas fumes. Different people have different levels of sensitivity to different toxins. I would far rather spend a day in a closed room with a gas heater than work in a petrol station or other business next to a busy highway.

 

I've never smoked - but I've lived around 10 years in a house with unflued gas heaters, and always cooked with gas. No smell, no headaches, never noticed a thing. OTOH I hate and loath hot  dry air being blown in my face - probably from spending too long in the Aussie desert! 




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  # 1328873 21-Jun-2015 22:03
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if a heatpump is setup correctly you shoudlnt feel the so called "hot dry air being blown in your face"

it should quickly heat the room then slow the fan speed down to maintain it, unless you have your doors open it should be on the lowest speed 90%+ of the time it is on.

We have a DVS and a heatpump and at night the DVS is blowing in cold air from the roof, but the heatpump still stays on the lowest fan setting.

Honestly i think you are doing it all wrong. as you should hardly notice its there or even on most of the time.

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  # 1328874 21-Jun-2015 22:03
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jeffnz:
lissie: We've had it  serviced - nothing wrong with it - technically. I've checked the consumer site - it appears to be  the right size for the room. We didn't put it in (we bought the house with it). We may well replace it with a flued  gas heater once the gas is connected and other renovations completed (which will knock out a wall and change the dynamics of heating the area). 

The thing is  that HPs are not the be all and end all that NZers seem to think they are. They are, after all, air conditioners (and ours worked very well in that regard the 2x over summer it was warm enough in Wgtn to turn it on with cool mode). IF you need an AC in Auckland or somewhere - get one - but there are better options for the rest of us. 


Gas is more expensive and less efficient than a heat pump and as others have already stated it will create moisture which the HP takes away. Sure you get quick heat with gas but over a short period of time the HP will do a better job.

Your HP may be right for the size of your house but some aren't good for climates where the temperature drops to zero and below as they shut off to de ice. Might pay to check which one you have as it may be an Auckland model ;)

As to summer, well it will be expensive if you want to cool a place down but a Heat pump first and foremost is designed to heat.


I live in coastal Porirua - it ain't Central Otago (when I lived there I had a coal burner- but that's a whole different thread! ) 

And yes - the very same things that are called "heat pupks" and marketed as such in NZ - are called "air conditioners" and marketed as such in Oz. Which is why they are often mounted high on the wall  - makes sense when cooling because cold air descends and causes circulation in the room. 

Unflued gas heaters are over 90% efficient, they are 6 star rated - and if you discount the lines charge (which I'll be paying anyway for the hot water) - is significantly cheaper than electricity. Consumer ranks the flued version as  a very similar running cost as to HP - and the flued version is only about 70% efficient - so the unflued version is going to be same price or more running. Particularly as you can spot heat  - get cold - turn it on- not have to have it running 1/2 an hour before you get up  




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Ultimate Geek
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  # 1328886 21-Jun-2015 22:12
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Jase2985: if a heatpump is setup correctly you shoudlnt feel the so called "hot dry air being blown in your face"

it should quickly heat the room then slow the fan speed down to maintain it, unless you have your doors open it should be on the lowest speed 90%+ of the time it is on.

We have a DVS and a heatpump and at night the DVS is blowing in cold air from the roof, but the heatpump still stays on the lowest fan setting.

Honestly i think you are doing it all wrong. as you should hardly notice its there or even on most of the time.
 

It's an  open plan room - there is only one door - and yes we do now close that! 

So basically you paid $3k for a dVS and probably the same again for a HP -  say $6k ? That's a crazy setup cost! I don't think I'm the one doing it wrong. You might as well spend a little more and  get a gas central heating system powered from the continuous flow hot water system. 

From what I saw today was that $1500k should get a portable unit installed which will heat both the lounge and the kitchen, and then will be cheaper to run than a HP, and, far more importantly, actually warm the room to a decent temperature - without having to wait hours. I guess

I could go and buy a hyperdrive whatever from a Jap car maker - but that's no change from $3k - probably more-  and I still will need another source of heating for the kitchen area. 

Look if I was prepared to spend serious money I'd be looking for a hot water radiator system - I hear you can get them in NZ now - but still $$$. Given the realities of a budget I think gas will do just fine. 


It just annoys me the suspension of  logic.  Gas heating has been a fantastic heat source fro many North Isl homes for many years - and really do think that the HP technology is still very immature and expensive in comparison. 




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  # 1328894 21-Jun-2015 22:24
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Heat pump was already here, and the DVS has significantly reduced the condensation in the bedrooms over night, im talking from crying windows with puddles on the window sills to a light misting in the morning. The house is soo much easier to heat and also to keep warm. you might think its crazy but it works. Its also a old 1950's weather board house with no insulation in the walls and leaking wooden windows.

you have a heat pump there that can do everything your gas heater can do and more. it can heat, cool and dehumidify, and they are cheap to run, don't add moisture and any potentially harmful fumes/byproducts into the air.

and really do think that the HP technology is still very immature and expensive in comparison. 


wow really? you must be living under a rock

https://www.consumer.org.nz/topics/home-energy-costs
Heat pumps are as cheap if not more so than gas heaters to run and they dont use fossil fuels, and the engery in vs energy out the heatpump also wins

if your heatpump cant heat your room quickly, then its one of 3 reasons, its the wrong size for the room, its faulty and not running right, or you are using it wrong.

in the middle of winter i have my heat pump come on 15 minutes before i get up and the lounge/kitchen are nice and toasty warm when i head out there. (frosts outside).

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