Homeowner Info » Tips & Advice » Active surface heating and cooling – hidden comfort year-round

Active surface heating and cooling – hidden comfort year-round

1 October 2020
Central heating underfloor heating cooling systems

When building a new home, space heating and cooling is all too often an afterthought. Many New Zealanders choose forced air systems – like heat pumps on the wall or the floor – once construction is complete.

Active Heating in Ceiling

Variotherm ceiling grid modules are available with the option of perforated acoustic panels for commercial heating, cooling and acoustic diffusion.

If you’re planning a new build or refurbishing your home, an ‘active surface’ heating and cooling system from Austria may be the answer for comfort and sustainability.

How does it work?

This high-end system uses plastered panels with preinstalled pipe coils to heat and cool an entire surface – such as a wall, floor or ceiling.

The pipe coils are connected to a central unit (eg. a heat pump or a boiler). Water is heated or cooled to the chosen temperature and then circulated through the pipes.

The panels provide a comfortable year-round temperature for the room and don’t take up space like radiators and other heating or air-conditioning units.

What makes it so efficient?

Unlike other central heating systems, an ‘active surface’ system provides comfort without needing to operate at high temperatures – which means you save in energy costs.

Active Heating in Walls

A rendering of Variotherm active surface heating and cooling in a domestic setting.

What are the key advantages?

  • Year-round home comfort – heating and cooling
  • Completely hidden in the walls, floor, and ceilings.
  • Can be installed in a new home or retrofitted into an existing home
  • Better for your health – no moving air
  • Silent – which means it can run through the night
  • Temperature is easy to control for each room
  • Energy efficient – will save up to 30% in energy costs compared to conventional heating and cooling systems.

What does it cost to install?

Active surface systems are a premium product with a higher upfront cost than other forms of heating.

It costs approximately $200 per square metre for the product and installation. The cost to install will depend on the number of surfaces covered.

Who can install it?

Central Heating New Zealand offers an active surface system called the Variotherm Modular System. They have a network of installers throughout the country who can install the system in your home.

To find out more about ‘active surface’ systems contact Central Heating New Zealand.

This blog has been adapted from an article in NZ Plumber magazine, April/May 2020 issue.

You can read the NZ Plumber magazine here

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