Heating and Cooling, what's to know?
When you think about building a new home or renovating/extending one do you instantly think about your heating and cooling solution?
Image via Pinterest – source unknown
Well, us ladies over here at BuildHer Collective are here to tell you that maybe you should – ok well, not before you have hired your design team or bought a site, these should come first BUT we are here to let you know that it should be a very early consideration made in the design phase.
Want some insights into Heating and Cooling?
Or HVAC as some might say .. Heating. Ventilation. Air Conditioning. Well, let’s get into it.
First let’s get our head around Thermal Comfort – there is so much information out there on this so google to your hearts content, but put simply this is how well your home is going to perform when protecting you from the elements – so how well it shields you from hot temperatures entering and then how well it protects you from heat loss. This all comes down to your building envelope. If you want to know more about this, check out our previous blog here.
When we talk heating and cooling in this blog, we are going to ignore passive design principles because we hope that it is the backbone of your design, instead, we are going to drill into the artificial types of heating and cooling that you might choose to use in your home if you need it.
Your options* are;
- Air conditioning
- Split Systems
- Zoned (central system)
- Hydronic in slab or wall panels
- Electric panels or heat pumps
- Gas ducted / radiant/space heaters
*New HVAC options may come on the market and are not specifically excluded in this blog
Different systems lean to different outcomes/ thermal comfort/ running cost and have environmental impacts. They can also determine the building methodology or require space in the building for their ducting to fit. And this is where we find people come unstuck. If the solution comes in too late to the building process, then you can end up with a system you don’t want or an unsightly option that you didn’t expect would be there.
That is why you should talk to your design team / builder / air conditioning specialist and cover the pros and cons of the options relevant to your values and vision for your home.
What are we using at Rathmines?
An example for what we mean is on our Rathmines project. We actually chose to use different types of cooling in each house, this decision was determined by the ceiling space in each property. We found two great products from @samsungAU. The first being a Samsung DVM S Mini System which combines energy efficiency in a slim and compact design, this worked for the home due to its slim profile and the cavity space we had to work with. It’s an ideal option for large residential homes that demand rapid and flexible temperature control, greater efficiency and more flexible installation. The units have been discretely installed allowing them to fade into the room decor.
The second home has a Samsung Ducted Split System, which has been designed to enable each room of the home to be independently cooled or heated by just one system. It’s also relatively unobtrusive as the conditioned air is distributed through ducts hidden in your roof space to outlets in the ceiling of each room. Both Samsung products helped us execute our vision for the homes, plus we could offset some of the energy consumption with Solar Panels from @Racvsolar.
It is so important to bring your team together on these decisions so they know the product you have selected to use, can input into the design requirements, plus understand your vision for the finished look. We caught up with our installer from Comfort Heating and Cooling for the @samsung units, watch a sneak peak of our trade talk with him and keep an eye out for the full interview coming out in the next couple of weeks:
When you are talking to your Heating and Cooling technician here are our top five things you need to know from them.
- Get an understanding on how well your home will perform passively
- Understand what size areas you will need control
- Talk about the flexibility of the system and how it is managed
- The cost of running the system and longevity
- The aesthetics – will you see ducts / grilles where Air Handling Units (AHU) go and how big the equipment is – both indoor and outside.
Keep an eye out for our podcast on the topic, coming soon.