We can all relate to the shock we feel when receiving energy bills that seem to get considerably more expensive every year. It’s no wonder Sydney residents are becoming increasingly conscious of ensuring that their homes are as energy efficient and eco-friendly as possible.

Heating and cooling account for 40% of total energy use for the average Australian household, so it’s important that you consider carefully your heating options to ensure you choose the most energy efficient system.

Sustainable Natural Heating

Hydronic Heating systems work by heating water and moving it through a network of pipes placed either in a concrete slab floor or to radiators located throughout the home. Because it relies on the natural process of radiant heat transfer it warms furniture, the walls, floor and people. This means that heat is more evenly distributed and retained in the room for longer, not lost into the air as is the case with other forms of heating. With forced air systems the warm air rises and then cools and falls requiring more continuous energy usage to keep the room at a comfortable level.

According to the Australian Government’s Your Home website, hydronic heating is one of the most eco-friendly heating options available in terms of running costs and greenhouse gas emissions especially when used in conjunction with natural gas or a heat pump (see table below).

 

Central Heating Systems Comparison

System Type Running Cost Greenhouse Gas Emmisions
High efficiency ducted natural gas Low Low
Hydronic zoned natural gas or heat pump Low Low
Ducted reverse cycle or heat pump Medium Medium (low with green/renewable electricity source)
Hydronic zoned with wood/solar heat source Low Very low (if from a renewable resource and seasoned wood)
In-slab high off-peak electric Medium-High Very high (low with green/renewable electricity source)

 

Sustainability Victoria has also found that hydronic heating can be cheaper to run annually when compared to gas ducted heating systems and ducted reverse cycle air conditioners.

5 Eco-friendly Features of Hydronic Heating

  1. Less high energy losses: Many central heaters have high energy losses from the heat distribution systems, usually through ducts. With no ducts or vents, hydronic heating lets you avoid these inefficiencies.
  2. Zone and temperature control: By detecting the room’s temperature and telling the boiler when to pump water through the system, the thermostat ensures that no energy is used unnecessarily and that a comfortable heat is maintained at all times. Thermostatic radiator valves (TRVs) connected to radiators also allow for flexible temperature control and room-by-room heating as needed, saving energy and costs.
  3. High efficiency of a condensing boiler: Condensing boilers offer efficiencies of over 90%, they burn more of the energy (carbon dioxide and water vapour) contained within their fuel source converting it into useful heat that would otherwise be lost.
  4. Heat conduction through recycled water: Water is an excellent conductor of heat, which in hydronic heating is maximisedby insulated circulating pipes to ensure there is minimum heat loss. The water pumped around the hydronic pipes is constantly recycled, only requiring an occasional top-up should pressure drop.
  5. Heat pumps: Because they use external air as a renewable energy source, heat pumps are great in terms of energy efficiency, low running costs and reduction of polluting emissions. In fact, they offer three or more watts for heating per watt of electricity consumed.

Ensuring Maximum Heat Efficiency

If you are renovating or building a new home and would like to install hydronic heating, it’s best to obtain some expert advice on the how to fully seal your house to most efficiently keep in the heat. Lessening the load on your heating system will result in further lowering your household running costs.

Brinlex Heat works in consultation with owners, architects and builders to ensure that a hydronic heating system is supported by the latest and smartest ‘passive house’ techniques, including slab insulation and double window glazing to ensure optimal efficiency.

If you would like to know more about how hydronic heating can save you money on your energy bills, contact Brinlex Heat now.