Category: HVAC Design

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.

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

Improve 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.

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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.

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All-electric Victorian House Renovation

Castlemaine All-Electric House Renovation

This Victorian house in Castlemaine was transformed into a comfortable, low energy home. It features all-electric heat pump hydronic heating/cooling, heat recovery ventilation and heat pump hot water. The new home married its Victorian past to a modern extension using passive home principles.

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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.

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Hydrosol image of Stiebel Eltron 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.

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Image of Australia's climate zone map

Cool Temperate Zone Heating

A cool temperate climate zone such as Victoria is well suited to hydronic heat pumps. This is an efficient and effective way of heating and cooling if your home is well insulated. It will give you low operating costs and can be largely powered by your solar panels. Cool Temperate zones have: low humidity,
high diurnal range (temperature swings), cold to very cold winters and hot dry summers.

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linear air conditioning registers

Best Air Conditioning Systems

Choose the best air conditioning system for your home. Options are: Split, Multi Split, Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF), Energy Recovery or Ducted systems. All can be WIFI connected to operate on your electronic devices.

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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.

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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.

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