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Building your Dream Home?

Want to create that perfectly comfortable feeling? Luxury Home Heating are your hydronic heating specialists for new or existing homes.

Whether you have polished concrete, beautiful carpets or timber flooring, we can install a high-efficiency hydronic underfloor heating system to keep you and your family warm, comfortable and healthy through the cold winter season.

We’ve all lived in houses that had freezing cold floors in winter, condensation running down the windows in the morning and mould building up in the bathroom. Surely, in the age of smartphones, jet travel and online shopping we don’t need to live like cavemen?

You deserve more in your dream home!

If you have some plans drawn up for your new building project, then get in touch with us and we’ll talk you through your options to create luxurious t-shirt weather in your home all year round.

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Heating Systems

  • Underfloor Heating

    Underfloor heating is more than a warm home; it’s complete comfort. There are no hard to heat spots; no annoying drafts and your floor won’t be too hot to walk on.

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  • Why Choose Luxury Heating?

    Underfloor heating is a generic term; Luxury Heating is something else again;
    European design and innovation tailored for Australian conditions

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Hot Water

Hot water

In the same way that water is heated to warm your home, it can be delivered to your hot water system for your domestic hot water supply all year round.

Swimming Pools

Swimming pools

Pool heating can consume a lot of energy but with a Luxury Heating System you can heat your pool with the same energy efficiency that’s used to heat your home.

Energy Efficiency

Energy efficiency

Luxury Heating Systems operate with maximum energy efficiency to keep your home at an even temperature in the coldest months. We can even use solar energy!

Health Benefits

Health benefits

Underfloor heating reduces the circulation of dust and other allergens and the constant warm temperature means you aren’t exposed to the cold for extended periods.

Heating Sources

Boilers

The boiler is the source of your home’s heat. It heats a continuous flow of water which transfers the heat to your underfloor heating system or radiators

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Radiators

If you’ve lived in the UK then you’ll be used to seeing radiators in every home. Radiators are a cost-effective and energy-efficient way of heating your home.

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Heat Pumps

You can install a heat pump even though a heat pump runs on electricity it is still three to four times more efficient than a traditional electric heater.

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Learn More

Read more from the Luxury Heating Team for updates, additional information and all the latest news on current and recent installations.

Boilers and Heaters

Love the idea of an environmentally friendly boiler to keep your dream home warm this winter?

Building Tips

If you’ve looked at the results of any heat load calculation, you’ll notice that most of the heat from your home is lost through the windows.

Hydronic Heating

If you’re used to ordinary electric heaters from K-Mart, you might be confused about the idea of a dedicated heating system built into your house.

Underfloor Heating

Is a heated floor really going to keep your whole house warm, or would you still need some other heaters to get you through those winter months?

Hydronic Underfloor Heating, Air Conditioning & Solar Energy Services

At Luxury Heating and Cooling, we provide specialist central heating and air conditioning systems for premium residential property.

Just like a luxury car needs a high-quality engine, your architectural home needs well-engineered internal systems to create a comfortable environment for your family.

Our team of specialist engineers and installers can design a bespoke home comfort solution to suit your architectural design, budget and lifestyle. We can advise you on efficient capital investment, ongoing running costs and environmental impact.

FAQs

What is hydronic heating?

Hydronic heating is a style of central heating, common in Europe and the UK for heating homes and commercial buildings. The word “hydronic” just means that it uses water to move the heat around, as opposed to a ducted air system (such as air conditioning).

You might have seen hydronic radiators in a school or hospital, though they’re less common in Australian commercial buildings nowadays.

A hydronic heating system consists of two basic parts – a heat source, and radiators.

The heat source is generally a boiler or electric heat pump that heats water. The hot water is then pumped around a circuit of pipework to feed the radiators. As warm water flows through the radiators they warm up, and keep the different rooms in your house warm.

In modern homes, it’s common to heat the concrete floor slab of your house rather than hang radiators on the walls – that’s called an underfloor heating system.

The radiators are split up into different zones. Normally, each room will be one zone and will have one radiator. Very large rooms, such as a living room, might require two or more radiators.

Each zone is controlled with a thermostat. You select the temperature that you want in the room using the thermostat. When the room gets too cool, the thermostat opens the valve and allows hot water from the boiler to flow through the radiators. When the room is too warm, the controller shuts off the flow of hot water.

For an underfloor heating system, the operation is exactly the same but instead of radiators, each room has a network of pipes installed in the floor. When the thermostat wants heat, warm water flows through the pipes, heating the room.

This means each room is always kept at an appropriate temperature.

Is hydronic heating energy efficient?

The amount of energy your home needs to stay warm depends on the construction of your house. Adding insulation, and sealing gaps to remove drafts make a big difference to the amount of energy your house needs to maintain a comfortable temperature in winter.

However, also keep in mind that different energy sources have very different costs. For instance, electricity is around 3 times more expensive than gas for the same amount of energy.

Since the biggest component of your household energy bill is usually heating and cooling your home, it’s important to install an energy-efficient heating system if you want to keep your bills down.

In most Australian cities, hydronic heating system will either be powered by a gas boiler or an electric heat pump. Modern gas boilers have a combustion efficiency of up to 95%, making them some of the most energy efficient gas heaters available.

Electric heat pumps are slightly cheaper to run than gas systems. However, if you install photovoltaic solar panels, the electricity you generate for free will help run the heat pump, offsetting the cost of running your heating system.

Keep in mind however that more energy efficient systems normally have higher installation costs.

How to install a hydronic heating system?

Hydronic heating systems are an integral part of a house, and so they’re usually installed during construction. However, some types of hydronic heating can be retrofitted into an existing home.

Underfloor heating systems usually have to be installed during construction, as the pipework is embedded within the concrete floor slab of the house. The pipes can either be tied to the steel mesh within the structural slab, or they can be laid within a “topping” slab. This is a thinner concrete slab poured on top of the structural slab.

Radiators are normally wall-mounted panels, and the pipework is usually installed during construction and the radiators fitted off once the walls have ben painted.

However, radiators can also be installed in an existing home. If the house has a suspended timber floor with access underneath, pipework can be run underneath the timber floor, and drilled up through the floorboards to feed each of the radiators. This is a pretty straightforward job which can be completed in a day or two.

If the house has a concrete slab floor but a cavity ceiling, it may be possible to run the pipework above the ceiling and down inside the internal walls, although this is usually trickier to do without having to cut into the walls.

The boiler to heat the water is usually mounted on an outside wall, near a garage or laundry, or some other service area. Larger boilers will need to sit on a concrete plinth rather than a wall bracket.

Lastly, you’ll need to have at least one thermostat inside your house to maintain the temperature. This can either be hard-wired, or a wireless type.

How does a hydronic heating system work?

A hydronic heating system keeps your whole house warm in all weather. Each room will have a heater (either a radiator, or underfloor heating).

A central heat source (the boiler) heats water, and pumps the hot water around the system. In a radiator system, as the hot water passes through each of the radiators they warm up, so you’ll notice that they’re warm to the touch. The radiators are sized for each room, to ensure that they give off enough heat even in the coldest weather.

An underfloor heating system has a network of pipes embedded within the concrete floor slab of the house. As the warm water from the boiler runs through the pipes, it warms up the concrete. This type of system is designed to run at a low surface temperature, with the floor surface around 25°C.

Because the floor is a large area however, this will be enough heat to maintain a comfortable temperature in each room during the coldest weather.

The hydronic heating system is a sealed loop, so the water flowing through the heaters then returns to the boiler to be warmed up again.

How much does a hydronic heating system cost?

Installation costs for a hydronic heating system will depend on what type of system you want, and how large your home is.

One of the biggest factors in the cost of a hydronic heating system is the type of boiler that you select. For any house connected to a gas network, a natural gas boiler is the most common choice. This is partly because they’re efficient to run but are affordable to install. A gas boiler will cost around $3000 – $4000 installed, which is suitably sized for a house up to about 300m2.

Another common choice is an electric heat pump, but these are usually much more expensive, especially for larger units. The smallest units available cost around $5k – $6k installed, but these are only suitable for areas up to about 50m2. For a 200m2 house, a suitably sized heat pump would more likely cost in the region of $15k – $20k installed, including the additional plant necessary.

Does hydronic heating need servicing?

Like all mechanical systems, a hydronic heating system will perform best if it’s serviced regularly.

Hydronic heating systems are generally used all winter, and turned off during summer. We recommend that they’re serviced prior to winter to make sure that any issues can be resolved before the cold weather sets in and you’re left without heating.

When a system is first installed, it should be ready to go without additional maintenance for 12 months. Before the next winter, it’s a good idea to have the system serviced to ensure that no issues have arisen, and that everything is still working as it should.

After the initial 12 month service, we recommend servicing again after 3 years, and again after 5 years. Systems older than 5 years should be serviced annually before each winter.

Common problems that can arise include:

Air in the system – When a heating system is first filled with water, the water will contain a certain amount of dissolved air. Over time this collects in the high points of the system and forms an air bubble. This can interfere with the efficient flow of water around the system, and it needs to be released.

Leaking fittings – Any joins in the pipe can form leaks over time, and these need to be tightened up and properly sealed. Hot water leaking out of the system will add to your running costs and potentially cause water damage to your home.

Inhibitor decay – The water within the heating system is dosed with a corrosion inhibitor solution which stops steel parts of the system (such as radiators) from rusting inside. Over time, the inhibitor breaks down and needs to be replaced. Every 5-7 years all the water should be drained out of the system and replaced with fresh inhibitor solution.

How does a Hydronic Heating System compare to Ducted Heating?

Hydronic systems have a number of advantages over ducted air heating systems.

Higher energy density – To move the same amount of heat as 1 Litre of water, you’d need to have nearly 3.5m3 of air. This is why hydronic heating systems can run with small pipes (25mm diameter or less) but a ducted system needs much larger ducts (200mm or more).

As a result, hydronic systems take up much less space in your house.

No noise – Any type of ducted air system includes fans which will create some noise or drafts as the air moves around. Hydronic systems are silent – the pumps are almost impossible to hear, and the water flows through the pipes slowly and doesn’t make any noise. There are also no drafts because no air is being pushed around.

Cleaner and healthier – A ducted system stirs up dust as it moves air around. Any air drawn into the ducts will bring dust with it, which ultimately gets deposited within the ducts. This can cause bacteria and other pathogens to form inside the ducts if they aren’t cleaned out regularly.

Hydronic systems are easier to keep clean because they don’t move air, so they don’t collect dust or dirt. An underfloor heating system has no exposed parts, and radiators can just be cleaned with a cloth like any other surface.

Does hydronic heating make much noise?

Hydronic heating systems make no noise when they operate. Inside the house, an underfloor heating system has no exposed parts, being completely concealed within the floor. Hydronic radiators have no moving parts, so they’re completely silent.

Outside your house, a gas boiler will contain a water pump, and there may be some small circulating pumps within the house. Generally the pumps used in a hydronic heating system are very quiet and almost impossible to hear.

An electric heat pump will make some noise, as it includes a fan (just like an air conditioning outdoor unit.) To ensure that the noise from the fan doesn’t inconvenience you, we would position the heat pump away from any bedrooms, close to a garage or laundry.

How quickly can hydronic heating affect the temperature of a room?

Hydronic heating is designed to be left running during winter. The system is designed to maintain a constant, comfortable temperature rather than respond to rapid temperature swings, which makes it suitable for most homes.

A radiator system is designed to heat the air within your home, which means it can warm up quickly but also tends to cool down quickly. This also means that it can be set on a timer, so that the radiators come on at a certain time and switch off at a certain time.

For instance, you can have the radiators turn off at 9am if you’ve usually left home by that time. Then they can switch on again automatically at 5pm, so the house is warm when you arrive home at 6pm.

As a general rule, with a radiator system you should start to feel the heating effects within 15-30 minutes and the whole house should reach the desired temperature well within 60 minutes.

An underfloor heating system takes much longer to respond, because it needs to heat up your entire concrete floor slab. Underfloor heating is designed to maintain a stable temperature within your home, and it uses the thermal storage properties of the concrete mass.

An underfloor heating system will take a few hours to start heating a room, if it’s switched on from cold. However, we normally advise that it will take 24 hours to get up to operating temperature. It’s really intended to be turned on and left to run all winter with the thermostat to control it, rather than turned on and off as needed.

Is hydronic heating safe for children?

Fireplaces and electric heaters have high surface temperatures which create burn risks, especially for young children.

Hydronic heating is a safer option because the surface temperatures are generally much lower. Underfloor heating in particular operates with a surface temperature of 25°C. This is warm enough to heat a room as it’s a large surface area (the whole floor) that’s emitting heat. But obviously it’s much too cool to burn anybody and ideal for walking on with bare feet.

Radiators run at a higher temperature. They will be noticeably warm to the touch, but generally not so hot that they will cause burns. If you’re concerned about the surface temperature of your radiators, the boiler temperature can be turned down slightly lower.

There are also special ‘low surface temperature’ radiators available (generally for medical or aged-care situations) which have a false panel on the front to keep the surface temperature lower.

How long does hydronic heating last?

A hydronic heating system, like all mechanical systems, will need to be serviced and maintained. However, over time some components will need to be replaced.

The easiest comparison for most people is to a car. In the first 5 years, most cars will still be in good condition. After 5 years, they may need to have a little more maintenance. From 10 years on, they probably need to have a few components replaced that have worn out, and after 20 years they’ll still be running if they’re been maintained well but won’t be running as efficiently as a new car anymore.

A hydronic heating system can be treated much the same way. If it’s serviced regularly then it will keep performing well for longer, but after 20 years the mechanical components are probably due for replacement.

Boilers, pumps and valves are examples of mechanical components that will need regular servicing as they have moving parts.

Radiators contain no moving parts, but the steel bodies can start to corrode inside. This reduces their heat output, and over long periods of time can lead to water leaks. If they’re well maintained, most radiators will probably last 20-30 years.

Underfloor heating is almost bulletproof unless the pipes are damaged somehow. The plastic pipework doesn’t corrode, and is embedded within a concrete slab which protects it from damage. The metal components (manifolds or pipe fittings) may need to be replaced over time, although plastic versions of many of these components are now available. The boiler, valves, and pumps will still need to be serviced but the actual in-slab pipework will probably last the lifetime of the house.