Article from Business South, Volume 26 Issue 1

Dunedin eco-energy company Warm and Cool, which helps New Zealanders to build warm and healthy homes with low running costs, has specialised in radiant heated floors for more than 26 years, and has installed more than 1200 around South Canterbury, Otago, and Southland.

For the past decade, Warm and Cool has used economical heat pumps to power its floor systems, incorporating highly efficient heat pumps into its BRANZ appraised Sun Flow infloor heating, with optional very low cost domestic hot water from the same heat pump.

"Our air to water heat pump powered radiant floors are designed for cold conditions," says Warm and Cool managing director Wayne Hanley. "Some of our high quality purpose-built hot water heat pumps continue to deliver maximum heat right down to -15 C." He says air to water heat pump systems deliver even higher efficiency than air to air heat pumps. "For every dollar you invest, you get back up to four dollars of heat. The energy savings are significant," he says.

"Also, when you are operating a well designed radiant heating system in an average home holding it at constant temperature, you use about thirty per cent less energy than a hot air system. This is on top of the amazing efficiency of a quality air to water heat pump powered floor."

As radiant floors distribute low energy heat evenly, there is little air movement. "It is like soaking up sunshine," Wayne says. "It is a very healthy, comfortable, and safe heating system, and a natural fit for sustainable homes. Wayne says an effective radiant heating system requires lower air temperatures to maintain comfort levels, resulting in lower energy losses when ventilating. Less hot convected air also means less airborne dust and a cleaner, healthier home environment. "Even dust mites struggle to live on heated floors due to the lack of moisture."

Some homeowners achieve even higher energy savings by heating their floors at night, on lower night rates. The same heat pump that heats the floor can also be used to cool the home or office, and heat domestic hot water.
Heat pump air to water underfloor heating is simple to operate with low maintenance. The system complements a balanced pressure fresh air genuine HRV systems and offers exceptional performance in airtight, well heated homes.
"Warm and Cool is a specialist in this type of fresh air HRV, and supplies premium fresh air ventilation systems," Wayne says.

"These work by replacing stale outgoing air with fresh incoming air and in the process; a substantial amount of latent heat in the air is recaptured thereby reducing your heating requirements." When stale air is being expelled, it goes through a heat exchanger with the fresh air entering the house. A system such as this means there is controlled movement of fresh air in the house, but very little loss of heat. "By controlling fresh air into the house, you can also filter it for things such as pollen and smoke, which is obviously an advantage for people who are sensitive to air quality." These HRV systems can also be connected to ducted ceiling heat pump systems.