catherine.c

advice on heating and cooling needed

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    We have moved into a house which has no heating / cooling. Most of the rooms are of medium size though we are hoping to open up a couple of rooms to make a larger open plan kitchen / diner / living area at the back (north facing). We will also put in some large windows here to make the most of the winter sun. We also have a living room at the front of the house (south) which I suspect will be very cold in the winter.

    Currently the only time it has been too hot here was when the temp nudged over 40 degrees though it is not very comfortable indoors today as there is no breeze!

    I have been looking at heating / cooling 'systems' and individual fireplaces and smaller airconditioning units but I really have no idea which would be the best type to have. The SA gov website says concentrate on the heating which you may need for 6 months of the year(!) rather than cooling which you may need for 14 days a year.

    Can anyone give me advice on what they have in place, how good it is and how economical, how much to install etc. I am amazed at how much individual fireplaces cost, let alone installing it!

    Many thanks

    Catherine

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    Guest Mitchell

    I saw a report on one of the post news programs that reverse cycle is the most cost effective. I have fully ducted, zoned reverse cycle which means I can heat/cool just the rooms I want at the touch of a button. Takes about 10 mins max to get up/down to temp set even in extremes of weather. I love it!

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    We have ducted evaporative airconditioning - which is cooling only in the hot dry weather. Adelaide doesn't get a lot of humid days so we love it. We also have overhead fans and it really does feel very comfortable in the warmth. In the humid weather it is not that effective. Our power bills are pretty good in summer and we are comfortable. Not sure how it compares cost wise to the reverse cycle zoned airconditioning that Michelle mentions. If it is zoned it could possibly be the same to run as the evaporative because you are not cooling rooms that you are not using. The evaporative isn't drying on your skin either which some people have mentioned can happen with the refrigerated. In cold weather we have our back kitchen/dining and family area kept comfortable with gas heating (the rest of the house can be pretty cold but we rely on electric blankets to keep us warm in the bedrooms).

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    A decent split system for a 3 bed or larger house will probably set you back around $8k or so to supply and install. Just make sure you get one of a high enough power to do the job properly as an underpowered one will be disappointing and will annoy you.

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    We have a Daikin reverse cycle air con the builders put it in when they built our house....we use it for heating and cooling....and it has worked out to very good on the bills too....

     

    HG

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    Guest bigal

    We replaced our old cooling[evaporative air]last year as it had seen better days, the new system by Braemar also evaporative is far superior to the old system, although not refridgerated air it's good,the new systems have sensors which reduce the fan speed to zero when it is comfy and back on if the house heats up, it has a timer, if the air outside is cooler outside than inside it just draws the air in without using the water pump, all this makes it cost efficient, probably the cheapest and simplest option.

    refridgerated split systems are quite expensive to run although a lot quieter nowadays some models can be quite noisy especially if you're trying to wsatch Coronation Street.

     

    Advice to Poms forget two storey houses oven upstairs in summer, cold spots in the winter especially with open plan,some of the heating options in Aus is either a combustion wood burning heater nice, but messy only one outlet, wood is expensive,space heater or Vulcan wall heater gas no comment [i think these are probably inadequate] or ducted air [gas preferred] just a big fan heater with outlets where needed,basically the heating options leave a lot to be desired,

    [Give me a Baxi Bermuda back boiler with eight radiators anyday]

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    We have reverse ducted aircon/heating & am really pleased with it.

    We were in a rental before which had evaporative cooling, which was useless!! (may have been cos it was an old system although the house was only 6 years old)

     

    The running costs for our new system have been about the same as the evaporative... I think its more efficient, being a new system.

    The advantage of a reverse cyclone ducted system is that you can control which rooms you want it in at any one time.. with evaporative, it was a matter of on or off...

    Winters get cold as the houses here dont seem to hold the heat, so a wood burner would probably be the cheapest way of heating.

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    Thanks for the info and taking the time to respond guys. Does anyone just have a fire / wood burning stove and / or a small airconditioning device that does not cool the whole house? How does this compare? I ask this as a lot of aussies I have spoken to say whole house airconditoning is not worth the money and to just cool a room for the really hot days and sleep in there. Are they just hardier than us from the UK or is this a valid option?

    Thanks

    Catherine

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    Guest tinkham_lee

    We currently only have a reverse cycle system in our lounge/dining room which isn't very good at heating, is OK at cooling. bedrooms at front of house get very cold/hot. we have a small portable heater and a fan to use in the bedrooms.

     

    New house which we move to next week has ducted evaporative cooling and ducted gas heating. from research I have done, this combo is better and much cheaper to run than reverse cycle.

    Reverse cycle approx $0.90c per hour

    Evap cooling approx $0.13c per hour

    Gas heating approx $0.20c per hour

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    There's a rough calculator here that may give you an idea of the size of unit you'll need. Just get your tape measure and compass out and off you go.

     

    Edit: for a house with average height ceilings budget for a system capacity of 50watts per square metre of floor area for a ducted system. Shouldn't go too far wrong with that.

     

    We currently only have a reverse cycle system in our lounge/dining room which isn't very good at heating, is OK at cooling.

    That's because the external coil is much larger than the coil in the head unit. The external coil is where internal heat is disposed of on the cooling cycle and is fairly efficient as it has a large surface area. When on the heating cycle the larger external coil attracts heat from the outside and "moves it" to the smaller coil in the head unit. As the head unit is much smaller there is less surface area for the heat to be released from.

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    If you are going to install any system don't forget to look at the existing insulation. My guess is it will be poor so you might as well upgrade this too.

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    Guest Birgitta

    My 2 pennies.

     

    Im my opinion, GAS heating is most cost effective if you have gas to your property.

     

    I would urge against electical heating ever since our SA Government privitised electric power, the costs have been constantly increasing and some (poorer people) are considering them prohibitive.

     

    Yes, cooling is 'on average' 14 days a year. But there have been heatwaves lasting for weeks with official temperatures in the high 30's and unofficial, heated up concrete well over 40.

    When it gets that hot, you will be happy you spent money on cooling.

    You can always wear woolies when its cold, but when its hot, you can only strip so much and fans will not cut it.

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    Guest Peachie

    we moved into our house in sept and have and older reverse cycle system with only 3 zones (its 3 faze aswell) we had the heating on but only for 10 mins as the house got very hot quickly and have only used the aircon a few days as had new very quiet fans fitted in bedroons and living room which work very well we had solar fitted 1st dec and our first 3 month elec bill is in 3 months power with 1 months solar and the bill was just under $11 in my last house my bill was $380 this time last year and saved about $290 this year due to solar and the $80 saved from the fans which are on a lot as the kids keep leaving them on

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    we moved into our house in sept and have and older reverse cycle system with only 3 zones (its 3 faze aswell) we had the heating on but only for 10 mins as the house got very hot quickly and have only used the aircon a few days as had new very quiet fans fitted in bedroons and living room which work very well we had solar fitted 1st dec and our first 3 month elec bill is in 3 months power with 1 months solar and the bill was just under $11 in my last house my bill was $380 this time last year and saved about $290 this year due to solar and the $80 saved from the fans which are on a lot as the kids keep leaving them on

     

    How much were your solar panels?

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    Guest FRIDGEMAN

    Reverse cycle inverter system are very cost efective to run because it has soft start and stop , also it slows the compressor down as it gets close to temp, saving money . If you are on a budget standard split systems work well but tend to blow in one direction , celing mounts blow in 4 directions but cost a little more but are not as ugly (not stuck on wall) or you can go for ducted with switchable duct so you cool/heat rooms you need, evaprotive are fine but do make you feel damp (like camping in uk ) but do give a nice are folw through house , dont work when windows are shut so you need fly screens , hope this helps .

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    Guest Peachie

    they were $11,000 for 3kw system but got top of range inverter and panels they making about 22kw a day at the mo

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    I would really prefer to have evaporative ducted air conditioning and gas ducted heating - it seems though that this would need double the amount of ceiling vents. Has anyone got system like this? Does it look silly with all the vents? Anyone got any ideas how we could get around this?

    Thanks

    Catherine

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    Guest smit
    I would really prefer to have evaporative ducted air conditioning and gas ducted heating - it seems though that this would need double the amount of ceiling vents. Has anyone got system like this? Does it look silly with all the vents? Anyone got any ideas how we could get around this?

    Thanks

    Catherine

    Thats what we got, ducted gas heating is great. You dont even notice vents......they are just..there!. Could give you a guys number if you want

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    Thats what we got, ducted gas heating is great. You dont even notice vents......they are just..there!. Could give you a guys number if you want

     

     

    that would be good, thanks

     

    Also noticed that Braemar say they have a gas ducted system which can be integrated with refridgerated cooling (using same ducting / vents / controller) - I did not know this was possible and companies we have contacted have never mentioned this. Anyone have this system? heard anything about it (either good or bad)?

    cheers

    Catherine

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    that would be good, thanks

     

    Also noticed that Braemar say they have a gas ducted system which can be integrated with refridgerated cooling (using same ducting / vents / controller) - I did not know this was possible and companies we have contacted have never mentioned this. Anyone have this system? heard anything about it (either good or bad)?

    cheers

    Catherine

     

    When we had our heating installed a few years ago, I specifically asked about this and was told by the firm that it is not possible to install a new gas heating system and use the existing vents from the ducted cooling. All our ducting would have to be taken out and renewed.

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    Guest Guest5035
    When we had our heating installed a few years ago, I specifically asked about this and was told by the firm that it is not possible to install a new gas heating system and use the existing vents from the ducted cooling. All our ducting would have to be taken out and renewed.

     

    http://www.braemar.com.au/braemar-combined-heating-a-cooling see No1

     

    stevo

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    Guest Guest5035
    that would be good, thanks

     

    Also noticed that Braemar say they have a gas ducted system which can be integrated with refridgerated cooling (using same ducting / vents / controller) - I did not know this was possible and companies we have contacted have never mentioned this. Anyone have this system? heard anything about it (either good or bad)?

    cheers

    Catherine

     

    they are offering a free extended 2 year warranty from the end of march, we took this out on our evap unit, by the way braemar are the BEST..

     

    stevo

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    Guest smit

    I would say its the same controller different vents. Someone tried combining 6 years ago , but wasnt too successful for some reason.

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