Are you are building a new home, renovating, going off gas or off grid? If so, let us assist your consideration of the many options and approaches for all-electric heating and cooling your home including solar power.
There are many new all-electric technologies coming onto the market and many ways to improve the performance of your house. Consideration of your own preferences and budget is important too. Therefore, we take a holistic approach to help you determine your needs.
Reduce design rework and project variations with some extra effort spent thinking through your needs. Experience shows that time spent on getting your design right from the start pays off with better outcomes later.
We provide general advice free of charge and specific project advice for a fee. Our project advice covers:
- Preparation: Email your building plans, project plans and/or questions
- Discussion: Via phone, Zoom, on-site and/or office
- Report: Written summary
- Installation Proposal / Referral: Depending on needs
- Q&A: Follow up questions and answers
- New Build: offers greatest scope for designing a high-performance, all-electric house.
- Renovation: provides scope to fix issues and design afresh.
- Staged Plan: may take several years to complete.
Consider hydronic heating and cooling with solar power if you live in a cool temperate climate with cold winters and dry summers. This is the typical climate of Southern and inland Australia.
Heat pumps provide hydronic heating and cooling in reverse cycle, ideally powered by solar. In summer, heat pumps absorb indoor heat in reverse cycle and transfer it outside.
Hydronic heat pumps transfer heat very efficiently because water is 3,300 times more effective at transferring heat than air. This is why hydronic heat pumps only need small water pipes for underfloor hydronic circuits or radiators. On the other hand, ducted air conditioners need large air ducts for heating and cooling.
Hydronic heating and cooling using a heat pump is one option offering these advantages:
- Ideal for all-electric homes
- Ideal for cool temperate climate
- Ideal for solar power with battery storage
- Low operating costs
- Low greenhouse emissions
- Allergen free
- Most comfortable radiant heat
- Cooling in reverse cycle
- Adds value to your house
- Silent indoors
Air conditioners are a cost effective, all-electric means of heating & cooling using your solar power. Choose between Split, Multi-Split, VRV/VRF and Ducted systems depending on your needs, budget and house design.
Consider combining air-conditioners in bedrooms with radiant hydronic heating and reverse cycle cooling in living rooms.
HRV systems reduce heat loss in winter and heat gain in summer.
Install a Heat Recovery Ventilation (HRV) system if your house is very air tight. This is most important if the thermal performance rating of your house is 7 Stars or more. Air exchange is also important to reduce air borne allergens and even viruses as we have seen with the Corona Virus in 2020.
Make your house feel fresh and airy with HRV systems.
Combine your heat pump or air conditioner with solar power to reduce your operating costs and greenhouse emissions.
Install a lithium ion solar battery to absorb your excess solar power. Install a larger buffer tank with your heat pump as an additional thermal battery.
Your solar and thermal batteries will transfer stored electrical and thermal energy heating and cooling at night.
Install ceiling fans to improve your hydronic heating and cooling system. Fans in winter mode will slowly recirculate rising heat reducing your heating costs by around 15%.
Fans in summer mode will make you feel about 4 degrees cooler. Therefore, you can increase your inside set temperature to reduce your heating costs.
Add ancillary heating sources if possible or opportune. If you have low cost access to firewood then fireplace wetbacks are opportune. These are water jackets installed inside a firebox or around a chimney flue. They provide additional heat to the buffer tank of the heat pump.
Passive heat radiation from north and west facing windows is a free source of ancillary heating.
Ancillary heating sources are typically variable. However, a heat pump can compensate for this by increasing or decreasing its heat load automatically.
Other points for all-electric heating and cooling advice: