Updated: Jan 13
When you're trying to find the perfect heat source for your home, there are so many options out there. So how do you know which option to choose for your family? We've found a great article about types of heating from the Asthma and Respiratory Foundation of New Zealand.
What area are you heating?
First you need to think about the size of the area that you want to heat – is it large or a small room? How cold does your part of the country get? When and how often you want to heat each space – only for short periods? Do you want instant heat or can you wait for a wood burner to heat up? The costs of the appliance and running it are also important considerations. Some options should be avoided if at all possible. Open fires are inefficient, polluting, expensive and hard to control. Portable or bayonet fitting unflued gas, kerosene or LPG canisters and heaters release pollutants and water vapour into your home. Don’t use these unless you absolutely have to and particularly not in bedrooms or small unventilated rooms.
(information sourced from EECA)
For larger rooms that you want to heat regularly, like a living room, it’s worth paying a bit more upfront for a fixed heater with lower running costs and more heat output than a small electric heater can provide. This could be a modern wood or wood-pellet burner, an energy efficient heat pump, or a four-star qualified flued gas heater.
Electric heaters may be enough for smaller rooms and rooms you only heat occasionally, like bedrooms. Avoid unflued gas heaters (with pipes fixed to the walls or portable) which release toxic fumes and moisture, and open fires which are draughty and inefficient
Find out if you qualify for a Warmer Kiwi Homes grant for an efficient fixed heater for the main living area warmerkiwihomes.govt.nz
Heat pumps are an efficient form of heating although there are significant differences between appliances. It is important to get one that is a good fit for the size of the area that you want to heat and if you live in one of the colder parts of the country, check that it will work effectively when the temperature drops below 10 degrees Celsius.
These can be cheaper and produce a lot of heat. Newer models create little air pollution and are relatively efficient. It is important to use dry, well-seasoned wood from sustainable sources (dried for at least a year).
Flued gas heaters are an effective form of heating. They are also healthy because the products of combustion are removed from the house. Unflued gas heaters, by contrast, should be avoided if at all possible. They emit nitrogen dioxide which is particularly bad for people with asthma and also water vapour that will make the house damp and more difficult to heat.
Wood pellet burners
Wood pellet burners are an efficient and environmentally friendly form of heating. They burn pellets made from waste wood, in a controlled manner and have a low level of emissions. They only use a small amount of electricity.
Electric heaters include radiant, fan, convection and night store heaters and underfloor heating. All of these operate differently and have different pros and cons. A portable heater can be useful for heating a small room for a short period or where the heat is for one person.
Central heating heats up either water or air that is then used to heat the entire house. Hot air is distributed in a series of ducts while hot water systems may involve radiators or pipes built into the floors. The heat may be generated by gas, a wood pellet-fuelled boiler or heat pumps. Many of these systems have controls that allow you to control the temperatures in different parts of the house, for example, bedrooms can be kept a little cooler than living areas.
If you're unsure of what options to choose to heat your home, get in touch with us. We offer independent advice to help take the uncertainty out of your decision.
The full article from The Asthma and Respiratory Foundation can be found here: https://www.asthmafoundation.org.nz/your-health/healthy-living