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Smarter ways to heat your home this winter

31 July 2019

Creating a warm, dry and healthy home is a top priority for many families, particularly during the winter months. According to industry research, one third of New Zealand homes have a serious mould and damp issues, while 46 percent are prone to condensation. In new homes, which are built to be relatively airtight to meet building regulations, dripping condensation and excessive moisture can create a mouldy and damp environment that may trigger common allergies and respiratory illnesses such as asthma.   

Generation Homes Chief Executive Kevin Atkinson says a growing awareness of the health benefits associated with good home heating is increasing demand for high quality products when building new houses. Kevin states:

We support our customers to find the right heating solution for their property and the first step starts with good insulation.

Insulation acts as a protective barrier in the roof, ceiling, walls and floors to prevent heat loss in the winter and heat gain in summer. For many homeowners, insulation is the most practical and cost effective way to make a house more energy efficient. Research shows insulation can cut the cost of heating and cooling a home by up to 40 percent as it helps regulate internal temperatures.

Traditional wood burners have always been a popular choice in New Zealand but national regulations governing the design standards and use of wood burners in urban areas has impacted new home buyers’ choices.

Some homeowners have turned to gas fires because they love the look and feel of a traditional fire, while others are looking for more innovative and cost efficient ways to heat their homes,” says Bruce Gordon, Chief Executive Officer of the E-Co Product Group Limited which owns HRV and Energy Efficient Solutions (EES) – the national heating suppliers of Generation Homes.

“Heat pumps are one of the most cost efficient products on the market, and if the budget is available, homeowners are upgrading to the ducted system or multi-split system to heat every room,” he said.   

Generation Homes experienced staff support customers to select the right heating option for their property and budget. If heat pumps are a customer’s preferred choice Generation Homes has three options available including high wall, ducted and multi-split heat pumps.

High wall heat pumps are the most common home heating and cooling solution in New Zealand – and as the name suggests – each pump unit is fitted to an interior wall in each room of a house. Described as a great all-rounder for achieving comfort, high wall heat pumps are cost effective and offer exceptional performance and efficiency. They can be installed in any new home and provide an aesthetically pleasing option for controlling heat in one localised area.

Ducted heat pumps are a popular choice for heating and cooling the entire house as they can be placed in the ceiling or floor without a visible wall unit. Instead ducted heat pumps have small diffusers or vents in each room of the house while the rest of the system is hidden from sight.

“Ducted heat pumps provide homeowners with all the benefits of central heating at a more affordable cost,” says Bruce. “Our range of ducted heat pumps is leading the charge in regards to product design, innovation and installation which is all done in-house.”   

Multi-split heat pumps are an excellent option for heating an entire home if it doesn’t have ample roof space or is a multi-level build. The system works by connecting a number of indoor high wall units to one outdoor unit, which can be matched to a home’s exterior colour scheme. One of the main benefits of a multi-split system is the ability to control the temperature in each room of a home.  

“A common example is keeping the main living areas warm and toasty in the early evening but setting the bedrooms at a cooler, more comfortable setting when sleeping,” says Bruce.  “Finding the right heating system generally comes down to personal preference and budget.”  

Ventilation is the third component to building a warm, dry and healthy home in New Zealand.

“Many new homeowners don’t think they need a ventilation system, however, because new homes are so airtight they can easily develop condensation,” Kevin said.

“Ventilation systems act as the lungs of your home by replacing stale indoor air with fresh filtered air two to four times per hour. Insulation and ventilation go hand-in-hand because a dry, insulated home is much easier to heat.” 

A dry internal environment makes heating and cooling a property more energy efficient and can have positive health benefits by reducing mould, damp, excess condensation and odours to improve air quality.

High wall heat pumps are a standard offering in Generation Homes’ builds. Ducted heat pumps and other options such as multi-split heat pumps and ventilation systems are variations.

If you would like more information on smarter ways to heat your home this winter, you can request our free Generation Homes Lookbook where you can also explore some of our beautiful house plans as well as the latest innovations and trends in residential construction.