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Frequently Asked Questions

Heat Pumps, Pool Heating and Solar FAQ's

Heat Pumps and Pool Heating

How does a domestic heat pump work?

A heat pump works like an air conditioner in reverse. It uses a relatively small amount of electricity to extract heat from the surrounding air and then heats water with this energy. Click here for more information »

How much money will a heat pump save me?
A domestic heat pump with a COP of 4 (efficiency of 400%) will save you 75% of the electricity currently used with a normal electrical element. So, for example, a family of 4 with a 200L geyser is currently using R480/month to heat the water. If a heat pump with a COP of 4 is connected to this geyser and the current electrical element is disconnected, then they will not only use R120/month to heat the water.
How long does a heat pump take to heat water?
A 4.7kW heat pump will heat the water slightly faster than a 4kW electrical element typically found in 200L geysers. The 4.7kW heat pump produces 4.7kW of thermal energy under specified conditions while using as little as 1.2kW to do so.
What is the average payback for a heat pump system?
Heat pump systems can save the home owner or business a substantial amount of money and drastically reduce global warming. At current energy prices, these systems can pay for themselves in 1-3 years, depending on the application and water usage.
How long will it take to install a heat pump?
On average it takes less than half a day to install a heat pump system.
How hot can a heat pump system make the water?
Heat pumps are designed for a maximum temperature of 60°C. The heat pump can produce these temperatures even with the ambient temperature being below 0°C.
How much maintenance and service is required?
Heat pump technology requires virtually no maintenance of the system except for making sure the evaporator is clean from dirt and leaves. We do however recommend that the system be checked annually to ensure that you are getting the best possible efficiency out of the system.
Can I use a heat pump water heating system with my existing hot water system?
Yes. When installed with the correct loading valve to change your normal geyser into a heat pump geyser.
What are the advantages of heat pumps over solar collectors?
The main advantages of a heat pump are the ability to re-heat a geyser a few times per day and that it can work day and night, rain or shine. A solar system will only save you more money than a heat pump but only if the system had much more capacity than the demand and also depending on the usage pattern. The main disadvantage of a heat pump is that it is dependent on an electricity supply and so during a power failure you will need a backup generator.
What is the life expectancy of a heat pump system?
The life expectancy of a heat pump is more than 10 years.

Radiant Under-Floor Heating

How does radiant under-floor heating work?
Radiant floor heating (RFH) involves installing electric heating cables or water-heated tubing into your homes floor screeds. With an RFH system, the heat from the floor warms everything it touches and radiates throughout the room from the ground up. Think of RFH like heat from the sun. On a sunny day, if you step from the shade into the sun, You will feel warmer even though the air temperature is roughly the same. Temperature throughout the room is more evenly distributed and more constant than with your standard forced-air system.
Why is radiant superior to other heating methods?

Warmth throughout the heated area is more constant and evenly distributed than with any other heating system, including your standard forced-air system, where the air rises, cools and then falls to the floor. Through the correct design and allocation of thermostats you can prissily control each room to the perfect temperature of your choosing.

Can I use the radiant under-floor heating system as a sole heat source?

Absolutely. It also supplements other heat sources very well. Eg. Fireplaces and Air-Conditioners. If/when there is additional heating energy into the room, the UFH running output is simply reduced by the same amount as the alternative system is putting into that area.

Can it be integrated with a bathroom towel rails?

Yes, with our water based heating system it can be. This is the most energy efficient way of heating your towel rails during the winter season. Some units have a dual electrical heating Element for use in summer time too.

Is it reliable?

Owing to the minimal number of moving parts in water-based underfloor heating, and given the recommended annual service, this is a highly reliable heating system.

Do I need ‘oxygen barrier’ tubing?

For normal domestic heating systems it is not necessary. Oxygen barrier piping is recommended for larger industrial type systems where large volumes of water are moved around. This will help to prolong the life of pumps and prevents certain components from
rusting.

What are the maintenance requirements of such a system?

An annual service is recommended. We also recommend that the system is run for 30 min once or twice in the summer months just to avoid any problems that may arise from the system sitting all summer.

How energy efficient is a heat pump?

Depending on the ambient temperature of the air outside, you may be saving anywhere between 60% to 70% on your underfloor heating running costs in comparison to an equally sized electrical heating system.

Can we install radiant water-based under-floor heating in an existing home?

Yes you can. However the pipework requires a minimum of a 50mm screed over the pipes or around 65mm screed over the pipes if they are above floating thermal floor insulation.
E.g. 30mm Iso board.

Can I control the temperature of each room individually?

Yes, depending on how we design the system you are able to divide your home up into as big or small segments as you please.

Can I integrate my water based heating with other house hold functions?

Depending on your design, size of project and of cause your budget, multiple functions can be joined into one system. Under floor heating, Domestic hot water systems and pool heating can all be run from the same system. This is however not always the most efficient or cost effective way to go. Ask our consultant what is best for your particular project.