Collage of radiant heating systems

Electric underfloor heating and radiators

This BLOG explores options for electric underfloor heating, radiator panels and hydronic convectors. It includes hydronic and electric-resistance systems. It excludes reverse cycle air conditioners, which are a subject of their own and do not radiate heat. Hydronic systems are a lot more expensive to install but a lot cheaper to run and add greater capital value to your home. Electric resistance systems are much cheaper to install but a lot more expensive to run. These systems do not stir up dust, airborne pollen and other allergens. Therefore, they are better for people with breathing issues such as asthma. They can be installed as underfloor radiant systems, radiator panels or fan-coil convectors.

Read More »
Schematic of Montreal Protocol, Kigali HFC phase-down timeline

Heat Pump Refrigerants

Heat pump refrigerants have steadily evolved since 1987, when the Montreal Protocol set the objective of phasing out harmful refrigerants for the environment. All heat pump and air conditioning refrigerants have their pros and cons. Due to urgent action needed now to avoid catastrophic climate change, natural and man-made refrigerants with low GWP are becoming essential. This BLOG discusses man-made and natural refrigerants. The latter are gaining widespread support because of their environmental and performance benefits, which outweigh concerns about flammability (apart from CO2) that can be managed.

Read More »
Example of an Galletti ART-U fan coil convector, which provides hydronic heating and effective cooling with chilled water below they dew point.

Heat pump hydronic cooling

The Galletti ART-U can coil convector provides hydronic cooling and heating with a heat pump. The ART-U convector is designed for cooling in summer using chilled water from a reverse cycle heat pump. An internal fan draws air through its coils. Condensation is drained away outside, which gives you latent cooling as well as sensible temperature cooling. In winter, hot water from the heat pump is circulated through the convector.

Read More »
Hydrosol image showing a timber covered slab absorbing sunshine radiation in winter, which will improve house heat loss.

Reduce house heat loss

This BLOG discusses the causes and suggests steps to improve your house heat loss in winter and heat gain in summer. The causes come broadly from 3 areas, about one third each: (1) ceilings, (2) windows and (3) walls, floors and general air leaks. Your choices on what do depend firstly on whether you are building a new house, renovating an existing house or improving the thermal performance of an existing house.

Read More »
Heating and Cooling Systems Adding Value to your Home

Heating and Cooling Systems add Value to your Home

This BLOG discusses all-electric heating and cooling systems adding value to your home. It discusses mandatory energy ratings that have been in force in the UK and Europe for more than a decade, slowly catching on in Australia starting with the ACT. The justification for all-electric heating and cooling includes: a) lower running costs with solar power, b) adding value to your home and c) reducing Greenhouse emissions.

Read More »
Improve thermal performance to effectively change a gas boiler to heat pump

Replace gas boiler with heat pump

Replace your gas boiler with a heat pump for heating and cooling. Other benefits include much lower heating and cooling bills by using your own solar power, less greenhouse emissions, adding value to your home, longer life and safer.

Read More »
Schematic showing the where air leaks from convection, which needs to be sealed to improve house heat loss.

Factors Affecting HVAC Design

Heating, Ventilation and Cooling (HVAC) Design starts with thinking through your needs. Good building design has low heating and cooling requirements. This enables all-electric solutions with energy efficient appliances such as inverter heat pumps and air conditioners. These appliances can be largely powered by solar panels. The thermal energy can be stored in the mass inside your home during the day and released at night.

Read More »
Image of Minitec underfloor heating coils laid over suspended floor

Underfloor heating and cooling on suspended floors

You can enjoy underfloor heating and cooling if you are renovating or building with suspended floors. Use a heat pump as the heat source to have reverse cycle cooling in summer as well. This will absorb heat from your home and expel it outside in reverse cycle mode. You can apply most types of floor coverings over your underfloor heating circuits including tiles timber boards and loose weave carpet.

Read More »
Hydrosol image of Stiebel Eltron buffer tanks, 100 and 1500 litre buffer tanks, larger tanks can be used as a thermal battery.

Heat pump thermal battery

Consider adding a larger heat pump buffer tank or thermal battery to increase the internal mass of your home for greater thermal storage. This will help moderate the extremes of your indoor temperatures, reduce your power consumption for heating and cooling and maximise your solar power during the day.

Read More »
Hydrosol Image of Stiebel Eltron Decentralised Heat Recovery Ventilation (HRV) System showing Indoor Facia Panel

Heat Recovery Ventilation

Reduce heat loss and running costs, and improve air quality with Heat Recovery Ventilation (HRV). This BLOG explores HRV and ERV ventilation systems. Homes built years ago were not designed for efficiency and so they leaked air everywhere. Modern homes with 6+ Star rating are much more air tight and require ventilation systems to keep a fresh feel inside without needing open windows in winter and summer. Air leaks and open windows can account for a quarter of your energy costs.

Read More »
Hydrosol image of underfloor hydronic circuits laid prior to the concrete screed layer with heat pump for heating and reverse cycle cooling.

Heat Pump Hydronic Heating

Heat pumps use water to transfer heat to your home in winter from the outside air and reverse this process in summer to keep your home cool. Water is 3300 times more capable of transferring heat than air so you don’t need large air ducts with heat pumps.

Read More »
Hydrosol image of a Cinier Greenor hydronic fan-coil convector heating & cooling installation in Melbourne Australia

Toorak all-electric house renovation

This all-electric house renovation in Toorak involved going off gas and replacing the old ducted air conditioning system with hydronic heating and cooling. Both form and function of the heating and cooling system were important for this project. New radiator panels, hydronic towel rails and fan-coil convectors were installed, powered by an electric heat pump.

Read More »
Visualisation of Cinier Greenor hydronic convector heating & cooling system

Cinier Greenor Designer Hydronic Convectors

The Greenor designer range of hydronic fan-coil convectors are manufactured by Cinier in France. They present a fusion of art and leading technology. Greenor convectors are designed for prominent locations in your home, to be admired whilst also providing gentle, silent heating and cooling. They make virtually no noise or air drafts from transferring heat by convection and radiation. The hot or chilled hydronic water flowing to these convectors is produced by electric air-to-water heat pumps.

Read More »
Schematic of Stiebel Eltron heat pump hydronic system with buffer tank

Heat Pump Buffer Tank

Do I need a buffer tank with a hydronic heat pump? Heat pump buffer tanks are recommended for heat pump hydronic systems for three key reasons:
1. Hydraulic separation for hydronic systems with heating and cooling
2. Prevent short cycling with insufficient water volume from room zoning
3. Additional thermal storage of heat produced by heat pumps using daytime solar power.

Read More »
Thermal image showing heat loss from slab-sides during winter, which need to be insulated to improve house heat loss.

Slab Insulation

This BLOG discusses slab insulation so that you can effectively store energy and reduce heat loss from your slab-on-ground. Insulate underneath and also the slab edges. This is very important if you have solar power because you can store excess solar energy in your insulated slab. However, a slab with no insulation creates a thermal bridge for heat to flow outside, draining away your solar energy.

Read More »