Con­sid­er­ing suit­able heat­ing

Matamata Chronicle - - Building -

Tech­nol­ogy has made it pos­si­ble for mankind to achieve many things but Mother Na­ture is still in con­trol when it comes to the weather and the sea­sons.

When win­ter sets in, it is pos­si­ble for the bulk of your en­ergy bill to be ab­sorbed by heat­ing your water and your home. So, to save on heat­ing and keep your home warm, it is es­sen­tial to have an ef­fec­tive heat­ing sys­tem and one well-suited to your home.

There are many con­sid­er­a­tions when it comes to se­lect­ing a home heat­ing sys­tem.

These in­clude the size and age of your home, the ar­eas you want to heat and the work to in­stall each sys­tem and their run­ning costs.

The vol­ume of each room can give you a rat­ing of the heater you should in­stall in that room. Do this by mea­sur­ing the size of the room in me­tres (height x width x length) and then di­vide that fig­ure by 20 to give you an ap­prox­i­mate kilo­watt rat­ing of the heater needed.

There are other con­sid­er­a­tions, such as a room’s pur­pose as it makes lit­tle sense to use a lot of en­ergy to heat a bathroom, for ex­am­ple, when it’s typ­i­cally not used for long pe­ri­ods, un­like the liv­ing ar­eas of a home. In that re­gard, it can be a good idea to split your home into zones that can be heated in­di­vid­u­ally or at a dif­fer­ent rate.

For ex­am­ple, you can keep your liv­ing room and lounge or fam­ily room at one tem­per­a­ture while main­tain­ing your bath­rooms, bed­rooms, kitchen and laun­dry at a lower tem­per­a­ture.

The rec­om­mended tem­per­a­ture for a liv­ing area is, gen­er­ally, around 18 de­grees Cel­sius although ba­bies, young chil­dren or the el­derly can boost that rec­om­mended tem­per­a­ture to about 21 de­grees Cel­sius.

You have to de­cide on the form of heat­ing you want to use and there are plenty of op­tions avail­able; ev­ery­thing from elec­tric heaters to log burn­ers and gas cen­tral heat­ing. Be­fore mak­ing your decision, you also need to take into ac­count the types of heat pro­duced by dif­fer­ent heaters; con­duc­tion, convection or ra­di­a­tion.

Con­duc­tion is the trans­fer of heat di­rectly through an ob­ject, such as a hot water bot­tle or when you hold a hot cup of liq­uid while convection is the feel­ing you get when warm air is blown past you, such as that pro­duced by a fan heater.

Ra­di­a­tion is the emis­sion of heat from an ob­ject such as an oil heater or ra­di­a­tor and, be­cause it can keep you com­fort­ably warm even when the air tem­per­a­ture is quite cool, is pos­si­bly one of the most ef­fi­cient ways of achiev­ing your heat­ing needs.

If it is at­mos­phere you re­ally want, it is dif­fi­cult to go past the sight of danc­ing flames as one of the most visu­ally ap­peal­ing forms of heat­ing as well as pro­vid­ing a nice touch to a room.

But you need to be aware of what is or is not al­lowed when it comes to con­sid­er­ing a solid fuel burner for your home with some cities in New Zealand plac­ing re­stric­tions on what type of solid fuel burner you can have. For ex­am­ple, high­e­mis­sion burn­ers that use ei­ther logs or coal have been out­lawed in new homes in many ar­eas be­cause of the pol­lu­tion they pro­duce.

Even homes that have had them in­stalled for many years are be­ing en­cour­aged to re­place them with lowe­mis­sion log burn­ers or wood pel­let burn­ers. These pel­lets need a spe­cial burner to use them but they burn re­mark­ably cleanly. Open fires are prob­a­bly one of the least ef­fi­cient op­tions for trans­mit­ting warmth through­out your home be­cause the heat they pro­duce tends to go up the chim­ney rather than be ef­fec­tively chan­nelled into the room.

They can also pro­vide a con­duit for cold air into a room when the fire is not in use.

Newer ver­sions of log burn­ers pro­duce low lev­els of smoke par­tic­u­lates.

From Septem­ber 1 last year, the Min­istry for the En­vi­ron­ment put re­stric­tions in place for log burn­ers in ur­ban ar­eas, say­ing that they can pro­duce no more than 1.5 grams of smoke par­tic­u­late a kilo­gram of dry wood burnt.

One of the down­falls with any type of solid fuel burner though is the fuel source it­self.

For log burn­ers, you need a reg­u­lar sup­ply of logs. These need to be picked up or de­liv­ered, then there is chop­ping and or­gan­is­ing stor­age space.

And, if you’re the one who has to go out on a cold win­ter’s evening to get more logs for your fire, the ro­mance of hav­ing a log burner can wear thin.

There are also the ashes to re­move and if you want to have a warm house in the morn­ing some­one has to get up early to light the fire.

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