Home Improvement

Kiwis Need To Embrace Central Heating


When it comes to heating, New Zealanders prefer a piecemeal approach. There might be a heat pump for the dining room, oil heaters for the kids’ rooms, an electric fan heater for the spare room, and a wood burner in the lounge. It’s messy, inefficient, relies on different types of energy and heats a home unevenly.

The New Zealand heating experience is vastly different from the overseas one. Across North America and Europe, the vast majority of homes are heated from just one source: central heating. In the United Kingdom alone, 90% of homes have central heating, with most of the systems being gas-fired boilers that radiate heat throughout the home. But for how much longer?

Former UK Chancellor Philip Hammond declared in 2019 that gas boilers will be replaced by low-carbon heating systems in all new homes built after 2025 in an attempt to tackle the climate crisis. The chancellor said “new properties would use alternative systems, such as heat pumps, to help the UK reduce its carbon emissions.”

Mr Hammond acknowledged that central heating wasn’t the issue, but the way they were powered was. He had a point. About 14% of the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions come from homes and last year emissions from housing increased, mainly from gas boilers. His concession that “alternative systems” like heat pumps were more environmentally friendly than gas-fired systems would come as no surprise to anyone in New Zealand. Here, heat pumps are anything but alternative. They’re a mainstream source of home heating and recognised as being highly energy-efficient and kind to the environment at the same time.

A heat pump’s electrical input is dramatically less than its output. For example, for every kW used to run a heat pump, around 4 kW of energy is produced. The added benefit of heat pumps is that unlike gas and wood heaters, they produce virtually no harmful emissions and reduce a home’s carbon footprint.

New Zealanders know all this, and slowly and surely it is dawning on the citizens of the United Kingdom as well. But while Kiwis see the benefits in heat pumps, we’re not so keen to embrace the advantages of central heating. According to BRANZ, the independent research organisation established to improve the performance of the New Zealand building system, only about 5% of Kiwi homes are centrally heated. This means the vast majority of us are missing out on the good things central heating offers, including:

  • All-round home heating without hot or cold spots which can compromise health when going from one room to another.
  • Convenient operation from one control unit.
  • Minimal visual impact, with the main unit hidden away under the floor or in the ceiling.
  • Near-silent operation thanks to the main unit being located out of earshot – and out of sight.

Central heating certainly has benefits which have long been accepted overseas and can now be enjoyed by more New Zealanders in an energy-efficient and eco-friendly way. It all comes down to the installation of a ducted heat pump, which is central heating for the 21st century.

Ducted heat pump systems operate in much the same way as traditional central heating, with the main unit being installed under the floor or in the ceiling and the warm (or cool) air transported to the rest of the home through insulated ducting and discreet grilles. This Auckland heat pump installation company reports increased interest in ducted heat pump systems. It seems more New Zealanders now appreciate that a ducted heat pump blends the benefits of traditional central heating with the modern requirement for clean and green comfort. It’s the best of both worlds and an encouraging sign that more of us are willing to embrace central heating, even if it is a far cry from what the rest of the world is using.

Buying a Beachfront Home in FL

Previous article

5 Kitchen Style Ideas For Enhancing Your Kitchen Island

Next article

You may also like


Comments are closed.