Pro-water Contracts can design and supply a cost effective, quality water based underfloor heating or swimming pool system to suit your budget.
General Home Heating
What to Consider when Building
When building a home there are a huge number of elements to consider getting the home you want. It is essential that you consider heating at the early planning stages rather than as an afterthought so that your heating system can be designed and installed in the best way, in regard to both system efficiency and cost-effectiveness.
Given that you are building a new home from scratch, the cost of installing a central heating system becomes easy to rationalise when you consider the total cost involved in the building process. Having a warm water central heating system in your home will not only add superb living comfort and health, but it will also add to the long-term value of your home as well as potentially saving you on energy costs.
Cleaner and More Healthful
Healthfulness is one of the most important benefits of radiant heating. There are reasons why so many families have more illnesses in the winter. Radiant heating does not blow dirt, dust, bacteria, viruses and pet dander around the house all winter long.
Unlike hot air systems, radiant heat will not dry out your breathing passages and leave them more vulnerable to infection.
One of our customers reported that their children’s asthma medication was reduced by half when they moved into a radiantly heated home.
Child Friendly and Safer
With radiant heat, there are no hot surfaces for children to touch and no radiators for them to fall onto. They cannot drop their crayons into the hot air ducts
More Energy Efficient
The sensation of comfort is caused by a combination of air temperature and radiant energy that equals the body’s energy needs. When you receive a greater amount of radiant energy, you will be equally comfortable at a lower air temperature.
It’s like being out in the sunshine. You are more comfortable at a lower air temperature. This lower air temperature will save you money on your energy bills.
Energy experts calculate that you can easily save 25% of your heating costs with a radiant heating system.
You cannot see radiant heating energy under normal circumstances; a special camera is needed. But you can certainly feel radiant heat; and it feels good!
Radian heat is like sunshine, or warmth from a fire; it just makes you feel more comfortable and cosy.
When your floor is warm, your feet are warm too. The air that you breathe can be a little cooler and more refreshing.
Simpler and More Reliable
Pro-water Contracts does not overcomplicate their radiant heating systems. In fact, we simplify them.
In our opinion, the customer is not well served by a lot of bells and whistles. It should not take a rat’s nest of controls that no one understands well to operate a radiant system.
If a gadget does not really benefit the customer, we will not sell
Installation and Running Costs
Every system is individually specified to consider the many different variables that need to be considered when designing a central heating system. This means that giving accurate estimates is very difficult as no two homes are the same!
Compare the running costs versus installation costs for each system to get a sense of what system works for you, learn more about the costs of central heating systems with air-to-water heat pumps by reading the case studies below, or contact us to discuss your project and get more information on central heating running costs.
Water, air and land contain immense reserves of thermal energy. Utilising the immediate availability of this energy, heat pumps can transfer the heat from a colder object to a warmer one, thus allowing the direct use of natural thermal energy to heat or cool, free, without the cost of waste emissions. Fuelled by electricity, heat pumps exploit natural thermal energy, guaranteeing yields with economic advantages which would be unthinkable for traditional systems.
How Air-to-Water Heat Pumps Work
Air-to-water heat pumps use the heat of the external air and transfer it to the house. The external air is cooled by passing over a finned heat exchanger. Thus, heat is extracted from the evaporator of the heat pump. Air heat pumps comes in different sizes and characteristics, (6-60kw).
These electric appliances squeeze he most heat out of a unit of electricity, consistently achieving high efficiency, as they are specifically designed to heat in a cold environment as opposed to most air-to-water heat pumps or other air-to-water heat pumps that are designed to cool in a hot environment. Depending on ambient temperature and what you are heating your water to, the systems work on a rate of about 4:1, meaning for one unit of electricity you will get four units of energy. Because they use the natural heat in the air to heat the warm water flowing through the system, this type of hot water heat pump is completely renewable and eco-friendly.
All models have full floating technology, with some having inverter compressors, and these systems have a high coefficient of performance even when there is a very low outside temperature (down to -15 degrees). The initial capital cost can be higher than for other conventional heating sources but the source of the heat, the “air”, has no cost. The cost to the environment is also lessened because there is no burning of fossil fuels.
These hot water heat pumps are very compact in size and can be fitted in most locations. They can be used for heating purposes, as well as for the production of domestic hot water, or for both.
Types of Floor Installations
Whether you use cables or tubing, the methods of installing electric and hydronic radiant systems in floors are similar;
So-called “wet” installations embed the tubing in a solid floor and are the oldest form of modern radiant floor systems. The tubing can be embedded in a thick concrete foundation slab or installed on top of the slab covered by a layer of screed (minimum 50mm) then final floor covering.
Thick concrete slabs are ideal for storing heat from solar energy systems, which have a fluctuating heat output. The downside of thick slabs is their slow thermal response time, which makes strategies such a night or daytime setback difficult if not impossible. Most experts recommend maintaining a constant temperature in homes with these heating systems.
Ceramic tile is the most common and effective floor covering for radiant floor heating, because it conducts heat well and adds thermal storage. Common floor coverings like vinyl and linoleum sheet goods, carpeting, or wood can also be used but any covering that insulates the floor from the room will decrease the efficiency of the system.
If you want carpeting, use a thin carpet with dense padding and install as little carpeting as possible. If some rooms, but not all, will have a floor covering, then those rooms should have a separate tubing loop to make the system heat these spaces more efficiently. This is because the water flowing under the covered floor will need to be hotter to compensate for the floor covering. Wood flooring should be laminated wood flooring instead of solid wood to reduce the possibility of the wood shrinking and cracking from the drying effects of the heat.
Our heating specialists can liaise with your architect or designer to make the heating system blend into the design of your home and to ensure that the system gets incorporated at the beginning of the building process.
A radiant heating system is felt but not seen or heard. There are no radiators to interfere with furniture placement or interior design.
There are no fans or blower noise. Just peace and quiet.
Warm Water Central Heating Basics
Warm water central heating systems use water to distribute heat thoroughly and evenly around the home. Water transfers energy at a much higher rate than air, making these systems very efficient. They can be installed in new or existing homes.
The heat source (either a boiler or heat pump, often situated in the garage, laundry or outside) heats the water, than pumps it through the heat distributions system (either a network of looped pipes under the floor of the house, a system of pipes under the floor or in the walls connected to wall-mounted radiators, or a combination of the two), which then releases the heat gently into the home.
Because there is no forced air movement, there are no draughts, hot and cold spots, or noisy fans to contend with. The heat is passive and unobtrusive. It warms objects and fabric within the room. The process is superbly efficient. No water is consumed, and once the water is up to temperature the heat source modulates or switches off while heat continues to be emitted from the pipes or radiators. Many systems can also produce hot water for domestic hot water use. Some will even heat a spa or swimming pool as well as supplying the central heating and domestic hot water. All systems are fitted with a thermostat and time controller, allowing warmth to be delivered only when it is needed. Some underfloor systems can also be programmed to control the duration and level of heat supplied to individual rooms or zones.
Zoning the Heat: Practical Guidelines for Underfloor Systems
For underfloor systems it is possible to have a thermostat in each room because of the way the manifold I piped, but too many zones defeat the purpose of central heating, and most homeowners find that they do not need very many zones to achieve their desired level of comfort. Additionally, higher control means increased installation cost. In general, we recommend:
The main living room, kitchen, hall and bathroom all be controlled by one programmer – these are the main living areas of the house. Bedrooms and occasional rooms such as study, second lounge and en-suite, be individually controlled with their own thermostat.
What to Know When Investing in Heating
Because the heating needs of every dwelling are different, the first step when designing a central heating system is to make accurate heat loss calculations based on these important facts:
• The dwelling size (cubic area)
• Materials used for construction
• Aspect (ie, north or south facing, etc)
• Size and number of external walls
• Number of windows and doors
All these factors affect the heat loss of a home. The location within South Africa is also an important factor, as temperature extremes vary greatly from place to place.
House Heating for Homeowners
Many South Africans will be familiar with the struggle to stay comfortably warm in their home each winter. Typically, South African homes are heated unevenly and unhealthily. The air temperature in bedrooms often falls below 16°C, while living areas are commonly over-heated sometimes to as high as 30°C. The World Health Organisation’s recommends 21°C for a healthy living environment.
We recommend a system that heats the entire house. The extra installation costs and minimal additional running costs are far outweighed by the benefits and sheer pleasure of being comfortable throughout, and its perceived value and attractiveness for future sale will increase, in addition, it is highly efficient, environmentally-friendly and easy to control. It is the preferred method of heating across two-thirds of the world.
Central heating should be designed to achieve World Health Organization recommendations for room temperatures:
21°C in living area, kitchens, studies etc with 1.5 air changes per hour
18°C in Bedrooms, hallways, etc with 1 air change per hour
22°C in bathrooms with 2 air changes per hour
18°C minimum in any room of the home
There are a variety of factors that affect central heating system design, which makes each home a unique project with a unique solution.
Swimming Pool Heating
Our heat pumps are designed to make you get them most enjoyment from your pool. With the water temperature programmable up to 40 deg Celsius our machines are suited for swimming pools and spa pools. Our heat pumps are compact, quiet and very economical to run. We will provide you with many years of trouble free pool heating. Domestic heat pumps can be installed in just a couple of hours next to your new or existing pump and filter system.
We can supplied and installed swimming pool heat pump systems for pools up to 2.5 million litres. Pro-water Contracts uses the latest in heat pump technology resulting in extremely low operational cost.
Get the most out of your swimming pool. A new swimming pool is a big investment and with an heat pump we are able to extend your swimming season as long as you like.
Pro-water Contracts has a competent team that will install your new heat pump system, service it and maintain it for years to come. The quality of our work, product and service is equal to the best in the world.