Wake up to Central Heating

What is the fixation with living in one room during the winter months when the temperature dial heads South?

Why Kiwis settle for just ‘spot-heating’ was published on Stuff.com in early July 2017.  The article provided a balanced review of central heating and it benefits. It clearly highlighted the fact that Kiwis hunker down, preferring to heat one room, during the winter months. Why? Is it because heating is simply too expensive? Have Kiwi’s never really experienced central heating? Is it just a simple case of education so Kiwis “get it”. Surely its time that Kiwis woke up to central heating.

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How the Christchurch district energy scheme works

The following article explains how Christchurch’s new heating scheme works. I’m not a boffin or a nerd but still found the Stuff.com article an informative read.

The district energy scheme at Ngai Tahu’s Pita Te Hori Centre heats and cools the centre and the Christchurch City Council HQ next door, using a massive heat battery and gas from landfill.

A district energy scheme has just been turned on at Ngāi Tahu’s new development in central Christchurch.


It would be a “district energy scheme” that could link up to 1000 buildings in the central business district to an efficient electricity generation and heating and cooling system that burned renewable waste materials and biomass. It would make rebuilt Christchurch better after the trauma of the earthquakes.


It didn’t happen how the dreamers hoped. Instead most property developers went their own way and installed heating and cooling plants that serviced only their own new buildings.

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Big fine for Fujitsu over false claims about its heat pumps’ energy efficiency

$310,000 for unsubstantiated claims is really a tap on the hand for Fujitsu when you consider the company has made more than $104 million in heat pump sales.  Lets take it as a moral victory instead; one for the consumers.

For the first time, a company has been prosecuted by the Commerce Commission under a section of the Fair Trading Act for making unsubstantiated representations.

Fujitsu General New Zealand pleaded guilty to seven charges of breaches of the Fair Trading Act over ads that claimed the heat pumps were the most efficient in New Zealand.

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Spontaneous Combustion Sparks House Fire

In my journey to learn more about heating I have discovered many things. This story has to be the strangest and the saddest – Luckily no one was injured.  If you are thinking of installing a logburner and fireplace please ensure it is installed by a certified installer and that you service it regularly.

A fire that ravaged a Waitomo family’s home leaving them with almost nothing was sparked by a phenomenon known as pyrophoric action.

And fire investigators say many Kiwis may be unaware of the risk.

In the last five years it has sparked 46 structure fires nationwide in the last five years.


The fire broke out in the ceiling space of the three bedroom home in Waitomo at 9am on Monday.

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Geothermal worth $62.8 billion by 2020

The New Zealand Government is investing $150,000 to stimulate demand for geothermal heat resources in the Bay of Plenty region.

Geothermal energy is a global industry estimated to be worth $62.8 billion by 2020. Kerching!!!!  I’d like a slice of that action… but wouldn’t we all.

Seems hard to believe that currently only 5 per cent of geothermal energy is being used in New Zealand. There is significant potential for greater use both across the Bay of Plenty and other regions in New Zealand.

The investment will be used for a Geothermal Business Development Lead to support work in stimulating demand for geothermal heat resources, including attracting investment from industry and promoting the value proposition and commercial opportunities.


People queue for hours to buy firewood in Christchurch as shortage persists

It seems that we, as a nation, choose to live like cavemen during the winter only to step out into the first-world spring sun after three arduous months.  Does New Zealand swing from a first to a third-world country depending on the seasons?  Why do we rely on wood to keep us warm? Why do we choose to live in one room during the winter months?

The following article from Stuff demonstrates how Christchurch relies on pioneering heating techniques from yesteryear to stay warm.

Huge queues form for firewood purchases in Christchurch as more cold and wet weather looms.

Hundreds of people have queued for hours to buy firewood from Christchurch’s largest supplier as harsh wintry conditions loom.

Supply problems and a stormy winter have caused firewood shortages across the city.

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Roger Sutton in charge of first district energy scheme in Christchurch rebuild

The following article has been taken directly from Stuff.com (10/8/2017).

While it may not help you with your own plans its definitely reassuring to know that companies are investing huge amounts of money into central heating schemes that aren’t just heat pumps/air conditioning units.

The district energy scheme at Ngai Tahu’s Pita Te Hori Centre heats and cools the centre and the Christchurch City Council HQ next door, using a massive heat battery and gas from landfill.

Christchurch’s post-quake ambition was to create a super efficient district energy scheme for the CBD, but it went nowhere.

Now, former Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (Cera) boss Roger Sutton is in charge and the plan has been rekindled.

On Thursday, Sutton showed off the $2 million first phase of the scheme at Ngai Tahu’s new Pita Te Hori Centre across from the Christchurch City Council headquarters. It relies mainly on an underground aquifer as an energy source.

The district energy scheme

The district energy scheme “saves winter energy and that’s what we’re really short of in this country,” says Roger Sutton, left, with Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel and Pioneer Energy chief executive Fraser Jonker.

Continue reading “Roger Sutton in charge of first district energy scheme in Christchurch rebuild”

Couple awarded $345,000 after shoddy heating turns dream home into nightmare

Beware of pop up businesses that promise unicorns and sparkles.  If it sounds to good to be true it probably will be.  Please, please, please carry out due diligence to ensure your heating installer has the right credentials for the job.  Talk to merchants, suppliers, industry leaders and customers to ensure that you get the right heating system for your home.

The following article taken from The Press highlights the ups and downs of one family who thankfully were awarded compensation for the shoddy workmanship they received.

The Spiteri family from Redwood Valley, near Nelson, ended up in an 11-year battle for compensation after their ...

(Image: Underfloor heating laid by Tonto and the Lone Ranger)
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Why aren’t more buildings heated using geothermal energy?

There are 800 houses being built by a single developer in Sydney Australia.  The developer took the decision to install a ground source heat pump in every dwelling.  How cool is that?  Actually… You could argue its not cool at all, its actually warming.

A series of green pipes in a basement room.

This is just one of the discussion points of an article published by abc.net.au. The article looks at the largest closed-loop geothermal system in the Southern Hemisphere and is well worth a read.  It contains a an explanation of what geothermal heating is and its benefits.

The inner nerd in me really enjoyed the article which was in response to a question from Don Fletcher who has lived in Canberra for “something like 40 years”.  Don worked at the ACT Government as an ecologist and has recently retired.  Like me Don is interested in his country’s energy future, and wants to know more about alternative sources of power.  Geothermal is just one of them.


Taking the Confusion out of Heating Your Home

The following article has been taken from Hallmark Homes.  It breaks down heating options quite succinctly.  Well worth a read if you are building your new home and are wanting to know what options are available.

My advice… Future proof your home.  It doesn’t cost much to lay underfloor piping in your concrete slab. This approach gives you the option to install central heating at a later date when you have a bit more money… Its best to live without regret.

Taking the confusion out of heating your home

So, which is your preferred heating source? Radiant or Convective heat? And which is best for your new home? Let us explain.

When it comes to Home Heating, there are two broad types of Heating.

1. Radiant:

The sun is the best example and it’s free. Your body soaks up its radiant heat even on a cold day.  Others include Fireplace, Underfloor Heating and many more. When you walk into a home with Radiant Heat, you instantly feel warmer.

Image result for Sun on face

2. Convective:

With Convection you heat a room, but until the whole room is up to temperature you’re not going to be warm. Examples include; heatpumps, oil column heaters and more.

Much of the decision is going to boil down to Budget, your Expectation, and whether the new home is for the Short, Medium or Long Term.

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