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  Reply # 1819342 11-Jul-2017 08:26
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Yeah control panel is in the hallway.

 

Why is that a problem?

 

Where should it have been installed?





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  Reply # 1819405 11-Jul-2017 10:01
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Our control panel is in the living space, just beside the door to the hall, so it is in the trickiest part of the house to control due to the high ceilings and large windows, but also as close to the middle of the house as practical. All but one of the inlets for the system are in the hall too. That seems to work pretty well for us, even if the hall door is closed in the evening.

 

 

 

We've found you have to have the doors to all the rooms reasonably open so that the air can properly recirculate, otherwise those closed off rooms can become hot or cold spots.


 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 1819431 11-Jul-2017 10:37
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There's quite a few threads on this already. If you haven't already found them, have a look at:

 

https://www.geekzone.co.nz/forums.asp?forumid=141&topicid=193422

 

https://www.geekzone.co.nz/forums.asp?forumid=141&topicid=203182

 

https://www.geekzone.co.nz/forums.asp?forumid=141&topicid=204836

 

It was said in those threads as well, but the economics of gas are that if you are already paying the (relatively high) fixed daily rate, it makes sense to get as many appliances on to gas as possible to maximise the (very low) per unit rate, particularly high energy users like heating. I've just checked our bill and we're paying about 6c / kWh for gas vs about 22c / kWh for electricity - so nearly a quarter of the per unit price. We are on a low user electricity plan though. We're also with Contact, who seem to have eye-watering headline rates, but then very generous discounts. But those discounts apply at the end of the bill, so I had to work out the per unit charge after discounts and so those rates might not be 100% right.

 

But the flipside of that is that the fixed daily charge for gas is about $1.30, vs about 26c for electricity. Again, calculation E&OE. Basically, if you're already on reticulated gas, gas heating makes sense. If you go with an electricity option and you're already on gas, you should probably consider getting gas disconnected. 

 

In terms of central heating vs stand alone heaters: retrofitting central heating (assuming you're not gutting your house anyway) is pretty dependent on whether you've got good underfloor access (preferred for ducted, mandatory for radiators) or in-roof access. The ducting is pretty big. If you've got terrible access, you're probably better off with individual heaters, since you can run the gas pipe/external heat pump unit externally and just bring it into the house where the heater goes. In terms of cost, depends on the number of heaters and complexity of install. 

 

We're in Wellington (so not super cold but I wouldn't exactly describe it as "temperate" of late). We've got hot water, central heating (gas ducted - allegedly radiators are more expensive - rated at 5 star efficiency) and gas hobs. Insulation in the roof and some underfloor, but nothing in the walls and big glass singled paned windows (all of those are being worked on). The June gas bill is only an estimate unfortunately so I had to go work it out. I think the actual bill will be about $300 for gas, though I was working from home most of June and so the heater was on all day. My wife feels the cold and so I walk around in a t-shirt most evenings since she has it dialled up.


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  Reply # 1819442 11-Jul-2017 10:52
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The advantage of central heating is that it's constant background heat and it warms up everything in the house (eventually).  So the beds, couch whatever is all warm. The bathroom is warms. Nothing ever feels cold.  But you have to have really good insulation.

 

A air-air heat pump might quickly get the air up to 18C but if the couch you are sitting on is 12C and sucking heat out of you, you won't feel warm.

 

I grew up in a house with central heating that ran off a log furnace.  It was a big house (well insulated) in an area near Rotorua that was often cold and wet for days on end in winter.  But it was always cosy.  We even had a couple of heated towel racks in the mud-room - luxury!

 

We found in our previous house in Nelson, that adding a proper heat-recovery ventilation system mimicked the effects of central heating, pushing heated air from the sunniest room throughout the house.  Everything in the house dried out and warmed up and as a result we ran the heat-pumps 2C - 3C  lower.  Power consumption decreased accordingly.

 

 





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  Reply # 1819445 11-Jul-2017 10:59
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MikeAqua:

 

The advantage of central heating is that it's constant background heat and it warms up everything in the house (eventually).  So the beds, couch whatever is all warm. The bathroom is warms. Nothing ever feels cold.  But you have to have really good insulation.

 

A air-air heat pump might quickly get the air up to 18C but if the couch you are sitting on is 12C and sucking heat out of you, you won't feel warm.

 

I grew up in a house with central heating that ran off a log furnace.  It was a big house (well insulated) in an area near Rotorua that was often cold and wet for days on end in winter.  But it was always cosy.  We even had a couple of heated towel racks in the mud-room - luxury!

 

We found in our previous house in Nelson, that adding a proper heat-recovery ventilation system mimicked the effects of central heating, pushing heated air from the sunniest room throughout the house.  Everything in the house dried out and warmed up and as a result we ran the heat-pumps 2C - 3C  lower.  Power consumption decreased accordingly.

 

 

Heat pumps get the air temperature up to whatever temperature you want, and once it's there for a while everything is that temperature.

 

This winter we've left the heat on 18 hours a day because of a young baby, last year it was on an hour before we needed it then off again. The house feels a lot warmer this year. We did put in double glazing though, but the house was well insulated anyway.





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  Reply # 1819462 11-Jul-2017 11:16
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timmmay:

 

 

 

Heat pumps get the air temperature up to whatever temperature you want, and once it's there for a while everything is that temperature.

 

 

That's true but we only ran our heatpumps when we were home.  Too expensive to run them all day. 

 

What they don't do very well is circulate between rooms.  The ventilation system did great job of circulating heat into the rest of the house.  So at 2pm on a sunny day in winter when the lounge could get uncomfortably hot the ventilation would spool up and heat would be sent to the colder rooms via direct circulation and via the air-air heat exchanger.  The whole house might equilibrate to 18C - without running any heating device.





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  Reply # 1819536 11-Jul-2017 12:48
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MikeAqua:

 

 

 

That's true but we only ran our heatpumps when we were home.  Too expensive to run them all day. 

 

What they don't do very well is circulate between rooms.  The ventilation system did great job of circulating heat into the rest of the house.  So at 2pm on a sunny day in winter when the lounge could get uncomfortably hot the ventilation would spool up and heat would be sent to the colder rooms via direct circulation and via the air-air heat exchanger.  The whole house might equilibrate to 18C - without running any heating device.

 

 

We haven't found it all that much more expensive to run 5am to 9pm as opposed to 5am to 7am and 4pm to 9pm. Yes, more, but not near double. I worked it out the other day but I can't remember what I found, other than it not being so bad. Because the house never gets all that cold it doesn't have to work all that hard to heat the place.





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  Reply # 1819541 11-Jul-2017 12:55
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Just to add to all those who have shared their central gas heating experiences...

 

We got a Brivis 6-star central gas system installed in March this year.  Ducted throughout the house (140sqm 1920s bungalow) with two zones - one for the three bedrooms, and one for the living/common areas (everywhere except for the toilet).  It was expensive, but absolutely the right decision.  We had our second child in June and as a result we've had someone at home for the whole day, the whole month of June, and our energy bill has fallen by $40 compared to the same time last year.  This is comparing use of one gas-fuelled space heater + 2-3 electric powered oil column heaters, run for a few hours of the day providing patchy warmth throughout the house, to our current situation where the whole house is continuously warm (21c) 24 hours a day.  The drop in electricity usage is about 50% (we've also switched to LED bulbs throughout the house) but our gas usage has almost doubled.  But the cost differential for gas per unit is much lower than electricity, so the savings stack up.  As others have said, the benefit comes if you have everything on gas.  We have gas hot water, gas cooking, and now exclusively gas heating.  I'm also looking at changing our retailer as Contact's price for gas is about 7c (GST incl) compared to Genesis' ~5c (GST incl), and at our level of usage that adds up to quite a bit of savings.  If we continue to use gas at this rate, I'd estimate annual savings of at least $300-$400 just by switching.

 

On the question of noise, we have our gas furnace outside our living room window, and occasionally it will surge to bring the rooms up to temperature.  On those occasions the roar from the duct in the living room can drown out the TV, but it usually only lasts for about 20 seconds and then it's whisper quiet.  It also only happens once or twice an evening, and never in the dead of night.  Have yet to be woken by it while sleeping.

 

There are other benefits to the central gas ducted system.  It's virtually invisible, and the ducts don't take up any significant space.  It's one of the reasons we didn't go with radiators.  We have a duct in our bathroom underneath the towel rail, which eliminates any need for a heated towel rail, and towels are dry in about an hour.  The main issue I have with our system is that even with two zones we don't have fine control over the "climate" of the house.  One of our bedrooms can be a bit cooler than the others, because the sensor which controls the heating is in a different room.  We could have up to 4 zones, but that was prohibitively expensive.  So we've had to experiment a little with finding a "goldilocks" zone that keeps all the bedrooms mostly comfortable.  

 

All in all, if you are already connected with gas and can use it for most of your energy needs, then it makes sense to go all in.  Otherwise, it probably doesn't add up given the high daily charge for gas.


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  Reply # 1819550 11-Jul-2017 13:09
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Lizard1977:

 

 

 

On the question of noise, we have our gas furnace outside our living room window, and occasionally it will surge to bring the rooms up to temperature.  On those occasions the roar from the duct in the living room can drown out the TV, but it usually only lasts for about 20 seconds and then it's whisper quiet.

 

 

I think you've just made the case for a decent 5.1 sound system and double glazing ;)





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  Reply # 1819553 11-Jul-2017 13:21
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I'm halfway there. :)  Got the 5.1 system but need to do something about double glazing.


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  Reply # 1819611 11-Jul-2017 15:06
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Using the Mercury GEM web page I can see my energy use by the hour. It is quite useful and interesting. I often forget to switch off the heat pump when I go to bed and it stays on all night. I then get told off by SWMBO for my wastefulness. I can see it on the hourly usage - if left off then midnight to 6am the house power use is around 0.25KWh and when I leave it on it's around 0.56KWh. That 0.3KWh seems very economical keeping a large living/dining/kitchen area warm for the middle of winter. Once everyone gets up in the morning and switches on hot water and cooking breakfast, opening the lounge doors and letting all the heat out etc it spikes up to around 2.5KWh and similarly the evening 6pm-7pm peak is about the same.

 

 

 


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  Reply # 1821589 13-Jul-2017 02:34
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mentalinc:

 

Yeah control panel is in the hallway.

 

Why is that a problem?

 

Where should it have been installed?

 

 

@mentalinc Normally the lounge or another large room that is directly heated by the central heating. Problem is that the hallway is typically the last room to fully heat. But then the other rooms are too hot, so the hallway won't start to cool off until the other rooms have already started to cool down.

 

This was covered by a Brivis central heating installation manual that was a handout during one of my gasfitting classes during my apprenticeship over 10 years ago. It said to never install thermostats in hallways. And it did go into great detail over thermostat placement.






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  Reply # 1821675 13-Jul-2017 10:33
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^ We have central heating in the house (heatpump) and we have exactly this problem, with the controller in the hall way.  We set the temp to 16 degrees (lowest it can be) and that just scrapes through in terms of heating the main rooms nicely without making them too hot.


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  Reply # 1821696 13-Jul-2017 10:48
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We had a ducted heatpump installed at our old place. The controller was in the hallway for us, we had an outlet in the hallway too so didn't have that problem (was a decent area)


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  Reply # 1821699 13-Jul-2017 10:51
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Sounds like a good home automation project - setup a few temperature sensors in different rooms, and install some shut-off vanes in the ducting.

 

 


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