When contemplating a major renovation to your home, there are many things to think of. One of these is how to heat the new spaces in winter. While seeking ways to minimise our carbon footprint, wasting energy on winter heating needs to be minimised.
One option is hydronic heating. This is the heating of water by many means including natural gas, electric heat pumps, wood-fired stoves and solar, and passing this heated water through radiator panels on the wall or through the floor. As the water flows it releases the stored heat to the radiator panel or the floor which radiates into the room. The heat is gentle, creates no dust, has no fumes, is silent and in the case of underfloor heating is totally invisible.
Of the two hydronic options, radiator panels have a few drawbacks. One is that the water presented to the panels needs to be at 80 degrees C, in comparison to floor heating where the water is at half this temperature. The radiator panels therefore need more energy input to get the water to the higher temperature. Another drawback is that the radiator panel is a hot heat source on the wall and depends on the heat to radiate into the room. If the room is large then many panels will be required and on the coldest days there is no guarantee the heat will radiate to the centre of the space. Another drawback is that radiator panels require space on walls and impact on the interior design of internal spaces. With floor heating systems there is no impact on the interior design, the floor coverings used or wall space as the installation is totally invisible.
While there is no doubt more energy will be used in winter, and therefore the energy costs will be higher, it is helpful to know there are now options available which will help manage this energy use. With any form of underfloor heating there is a thermostat installed which utilises a floor sensor and/or air sensor to ensure energy is not wasted overheating the floor or the room. Most floor heating systems keep the floor to around 25 degrees C and due to the fact heat rises, this low heat is enough to rise through the liveable areas of a room naturally.
The design of the heating system is also crucial to the efficiency of later operation. Utilising the skills of experienced hydronic companies with many years of experience will lead to a cost-effective and well-installed system that will operate as required for many maintenance-free winters.
To find out how to have these systems in your new house or renovation visit www.comfortheat.com.au and send a plan from the convenient contact us page or call the friendly sales staff on 1300 13 WARM