We need heating around 200 days of the year but during the warmer summer months, a little cooling is needed to take the edge off those warm days. Cooling dwellings and office spaces using water-based delivery systems have been used extensively around the world for decades, but now an addition to the technology is using floor, wall, and ceiling surfaces with water pipes to radiantly cool. Interest in this approach is gaining popularity worldwide as people discover the benefits. This form of cooling is new to the New Zealand market and you can learn more about the options available.
A refrigerant chiller outdoor unit cools the water for the system. The water is pumped to fan coil radiators situated around the house or building. The fan coil radiators use a built-in electric fan to pass warmer room air over the water coil that has chilled water flowing through it. This cools the air and releases it into the room reducing the air temperature.
A more traditional air conditioner has the same principle of transferring cool air to a room but instead of water in the pipes, the special refrigerant is used.
The reason why water-based systems are gaining in popularity is that large volumes of refrigerant in standard air conditioning systems pose a risk to depleting the earth's ozone layer. Therefore water-based cooling systems are more sustainable and environmentally friendly.
Panorama Terrace – Hydronic ducted fan-coil provides cooling from the geothermal heat pump system. This was the first cooling system designed and supplied by Central Heating New Zealand in 2008.
For years we have known the human body is most comfortable when heated radiantly, such as standing in the sun, but more recent understandings show that cooling the body radiantly is also preferred to moving air as typical air condition does. Positioning water pipes in the walls and ceilings of homes enables heated or chilled water to provide gentle radiant comfort without noise, drafts, or dust movement.
For 40 years Austrian company Variotherm has been perfecting indoor climate comfort. Central Heating New Zealand is proud to be associated with this innovative company and offer their products in New Zealand.
The Variotherm Module Wall and Ceiling is an ideal enhancement to the room cooling: The rooms are pleasantly cooled in summer and heated in winter to an even temperature.
We are delighted that Variotherm managing director Alexander Watzek (a specialist in research and development) was our guest speaker at seminars that ran around New Zealand in February 2020 with the focus on the pursuit of indoor climate perfection through hydronic heating and cooling.
The rise in popularity of inslab heated floors in New Zealand has led Central Heating New Zealand over the past 4 years, to build on research and feedback from Europe as to the suitability of cooling the slabs to provide cooling relief comfort for the warmer months.
We have been involved in a range of commercial radiant underfloor cooling projects with the first one being the Halswell Residential College in Christchurch where we worked closely with the consultant for successful heating and cooling underfloor system commissioned in 2016.
Since then we have undertaken testing at our own premises in Pilkington way, cooling the 200m2 showroom underfloor system and monitoring performance and the actual feeling to the staff.
The advantages of this type of cooling are that;
- The radiant cooling effect from underfloor cooling provides an increase in human comfort with only a marginal decrease in air temperature.
- Much higher flow temperatures are used than would be in a fan coil system significantly increasing the system efficiency and
- As we are cooling the surface and not just the air, having doors and windows open has a reduced effect on the running costs of the underfloor cooling system. This factor increases the suitability for the Kiwi summer lifestyle.
The radiant cooling system operates throughout the day to keep the thermal mass of the building cool. This allows the building to cool down more quickly in the evenings when the air temperature outside drops. As opposed to the building staying warm for longer from the absorbed heat during the day.
It is important to note that this system may not be as suitable for regions in New Zealand with high Relative Humidity. Radiant wall and ceiling cooling would be more suitable.
One of the obstacles to overcome is creating the desired comfort without approaching the dew point of the air (i.e the point at which condensation starts to occur). Cost-effective temperature controls to achieve this along with the normal heating control requirements have been a development project in conjunction with our control supplier during 2019.
We are now confident to offer this solution as an add on to our standard underfloor heating system offers. Our experience has proved there are some limitations for houses that have large solar gains or dense floor coverings, where traditional air conditioning may also be required, but overall the resulting comfort from radiantly cooled floors is a very real solution for discerning Kiwi home and business owners
Central Heating New Zealand has always tried and tested the solutions we offer in the local market and are the leaders in engineering design, product supply, and practical application of hydronic heating and cooling systems in New Zealand.
The Christchurch Justice Precinct foyer area underfloor heating and cooling were designed in conjunction with the consultant engineer and supplied by Central Heating New Zealand. The system was commissioned in 2018.