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Regardless heating technology – a warmer home is a combination of heat retention, ventilation and heating. How to use active and passive heating, radiant heat or convection heat for comfort and saving money?


Radiant heat or Convection Heat

What Type of Heat fits your Home and Lifestyle?

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What heat source has your preference

and how much heat do you need?  


When we purchased our family home we had no idea how chilly a house insides can be when exposed to a stiff blowing southerly. Lack of local knowledge and poor housing standards have been a fatal combination for many who settled in the Wellington region.


Finding a place you really love triggers emotions. But little defects can extenuate excitements. Really? If the house is structural sound, there is nothing that cannot be fixed sooner or later, right? Well, certainly there are limitations  because of people’s budget.


It took us a couple of years to renovate our “chilly box” and convert it into a warm and cosy home. Looking back after more than 17 years I would do it similar, renovating just at the beginning as we did. The longer you enjoy the benefits of efficient energy consumption and good lifestyle, the more pleasure you get from spending on heat retention and heating. A warm, dry and healthy home can make a huge difference in peoples’ lives.


Warmer homes are often associated with more heating costs. That is not necessarily the case when you look in combination at  heat retention, ventilation and heating.  An further more heating and heating are not the same when understood how different types of heat work. At the end not every heat source like wood-fire, heat-pump or under-floor heating would deliver desired results.  Let me help you with this blog post making the right decisions. 



Planning passive heat retention and heat distribution


If a house cannot retain the heat you put in, you just burn money. That money is better spent in insulation and double glazing or for catching passively free solar energy with sun facing windows and glass structures. That is the theory.


In practice there are many obstacles that may or may not make it possible to insulate walls, use the sun as energy source or meet council’s regulations to make your renovation affordable.  But still by using knowingly radiant and/or convection heat specifically to warm and dry up your home will make a huge difference as illustrated below.


Another consideration is heat distribution for using the main heat sources to warm the entire house.  Ducted heated air distribution, central heating, even under-floor heating are options  you might consider if you could do that within your budget.

















Would you heat when nobody is home?


Right – why wasting money? For instance in areas with temperatures below zero a frozen and burst water pipe can cost you a fortune.  But also when your house cools down too much to get back to room temperature running a heater with maximum output makes heating less economical. Remember, the cold interior of a house condensates the moisture carried by air and condensation slows down the process of heating.


In other words a cold, damp house costs more to heat than a dryer one. That is where ventilation to remove moisture makes sense to consider—another aspect to be discussed further down this blog post.  With this in mind—yes, moderate heating to keep room temperatures on a certain level (we keep 15 degree Celsius) saves money and makes sense if you home is insulated.



Lifestyles have changed, haven’t they?


The typical modern lifestyle, leaving home early in the morning and coming late at night home, you would possibly struggle with a wood-fire heated house. When nobody is home to keep the fire going a wood-burner is possibly not the right heating solution. You may think in technology driven days of something you could remotely control from your smartphone for instance a ducted heatpump.


Remembering my struggle getting up in the morning when the house was really cold and  a freezing bathroom with condensation from steam.  The past, those conditions are easy to fix and the simplest way is using electric heating with thermostat and timer. 


Before looking at technical solutions, be certain what you want to achieve;  warming up a

cold and uncomfortable house, increasing efficiency by switching to a different sort of fuel, or just reducing heating costs. Heaters produce different sorts of heat, the starting point.



Radiant and convection heat or fan heating


Heating systems create and distribute heat in two different ways; as radiant heat (you feel warmth on your skin exposed to the heat source, sun or fire) and/or convection heat (air circulation as heated air rises up to the ceiling, cools by moving down and heats up again).


Heat distribution, fan heater or heat-pump


The third way of heat distribution is by using a fan heater or heat-pump blowing air through a heat-exchanger and into a room. Fan based heating systems and ducted air distribution have moving parts. Consider the higher levels of wear and tear, noise and vibrations when using them. For fixed installed systems like heat-pumps you will have regular servicing costs and maintenance like cleaning or replacing filters and remove obstructions when the heat exchanges is outdoors installed. Often blocked filters are the culprit for bad performance and high running costs. For instance filter cleaning should be done quarterly—depends on usage.


Home Owner's Blog

Klauster Blogs lead to a real person, IT professional, investor, landlord and business owner with interests in technologies, properties and trading.



His passion, making experiences available and helping people like you, comes from extensive travelling and the principles of life—how to avoid pitfalls in unfamiliar territory when investing or forming relationships.


The philosophy to treat life, partnerships and hobbies as an investment has helped people in his circle. Life is a dream with a deadline, happiness comes from making the right choices and having realistic expectations.


Come along and share your views—learning for success and confidence