ARTICLE Donna Blaber First published in Renovate magazine
Anyone who has spent any time in northern Europe will know that there’s nothing quite like central heating to warm the cockles of your heart. The thing is, even though the vast majority of New Zealand homes would greatly benefit from using central heating during the colder months of the year, most don’t.
According to Plumbcraft, a New Zealand owned and operated company who offer a complete set of central heating services from consultation through to design and installation, retrofitting is relatively straight forward and is perfectly suited to New Zealand homes.
“Our systems are ideal for retrofitting in villas and bungalows – or any house that was built with airspace underneath,” says managing director, Sean Stephens.
In fact, most older New Zealand homes were built raised off the ground and it tends to be these very houses that benefit from installing central heating. What’s more, there are significant energy savings to be made.
“If a system is well designed, specifically for your own home, it results in better running costs,” says Plumbcraft’s commercial manager, Funa Latu. “In some projects it may be that one part of the home is original and one part is a new extension. In these types of homes a consultation will most likely show that a combination of radiator and underfloor heating is the best option.”
In these cases Plumbcraft’s 22 years experience in the industry working on large commercial projects – the likes of Fonterra, the Ministry of Education, and the NZ Defence Force – as well as a wide range of architecturally designed homes, really comes to the fore.
“We started out offering complete design and installation solutions for underfloor heating,” says Sean, “so combining the two was a natural progression for the company and there are real instant and long term benefits for the homeowner.”
As every project is considered and treated as an individual case rather than using the standard one size fits all approach, homeowners can work collaboratively with the company not only to get the best advice available, but also great workmanship that is professionally completed from the design stage through to the finished job.
Clients can rest assured of a quality finish as Plumbcraft practitioners receive European based training to install quality components. These include contemporary radiators and boilers sourced from F L Bone, an established New Zealand company, along with top notch Rehau piping from Germany. Rehau is a world leading global brand, with an impeccable reputation. Its cross linked polyethylene Rautitan piping system is currently the toughest pipe available on the market.
Meanwhile, Hastings based F L Bone is New Zealand’s sole agent for Grant Diesel Boilers, Ideal Gas Boilers, and Quinn and STELRAD radiators. Traditionally, radiators were constructed from cast iron. However, today’s modern radiators are made from pressed steel, which heats up and cools down quickly, making them ideal for use in New Zealand’s changeable climate.
Although the concept of central heating has not caught on as quickly here as it has in northern European countries, it’s beginning to gain traction. Kiwis are fast coming to realise the full potential of central heating and its wide ranging benefits, from its continuous almost-therapeutic warmth, through to its non allergenic qualities which makes it a great choice for anyone managing health issues such as asthma or respiratory problems.
“Many homes in New Zealand are poorly insulated and really aren’t heated correctly for our changeable climate,” says Sean. “Installing central heating has such a huge impact on how comfortable people feel in their homes – it’s really great to be part of that experience.”
· Delivers a constant, therapeutic warmth.
· Is ideal for New Zealand’s highly changeable climate.
· Is cheaper to run than any other form of heating (when a quality system is installed by a professional).
· Is non allergenic due to its lack of forced air flow (unlike heat pump systems which spread dust).
· Is ideally suited to retrofitting into New Zealand housing.
· Delivers heat and the desired temperature to wherever you need it – when you need it.
· Allows the options to shut down various areas within your home should you wish to.
· Runs on an automated thermostat system.