A central heating system amounts to an investment similar to a kitchen or bathroom so its important your choices meet or exceed your expectations. Below is our opinion of what to expect with some common home heating alternatives.
Wood Stove or Cooker Style Radiator Systems
Utilizing a wood fired stove or cooker in place of a dedicated boiler is a nice option if you have access to low cost or free wood.
Combines the benefits of hydronic central heating and the ambiance of an indoor fire.
Requires manual and continuous stoking of the fire to maintain output.
Ducted Hot Air Systems or Air Heat Pumps
Heating via blown hot air is effective but provides a low level of comfort.
The movement of hot air circulates dust which can aggravate asthma and allergies plus leave flat surfaces constantly dusty.
Heating air is up to 4 times less efficient than using the natural convection and radiation principals of hydronic systems.
Fans create unwanted background noise.
Hot air furnaces cannot multi-task hot water production.
Hot air furnaces in ducted systems tend to be less efficient than central heating boilers.
Air heat pumps are limited to the space in which they are installed and are expensive if considering to heat the whole home.
Air heat pumps have a negative visual impact on any interior design.
Air heat pumps decrease in performance and efficiency as the outdoor temperature drops - not ideal for heating.
HRV Energy Recovery Systems
Recommended for humidity control and air purification but fall well short of the kind of energy required to heat a home unless supplemented by additional heating energy.
Have a history of misrepresenting the home heating capacity and function.
Cost effective solution for spot heating small areas with solid floor surfaces.
Prohibitively expensive running costs make this an impractical consideration as an entire home heating solution. For example a winter month running
costs in a typical 200m2 home = $890/mnth @0.24c/kWh x 8hrs/day.