Thursday, June 16, 2005

Hot Air...

I hate being cold.
I have thin blood and I'm used to central heating and double glazing. I have been carrying in piles of wood for the last three months and we have just about finished our second large delivery. We have a woodburner upstairs in the front room/dining room thingy, and a Jetmaster type affair in the play room which is supposed to heat the bedrooms. It doesn't really and we've had oil heaters in each bedroom to keep the temperature up. I can hear the electric meter spinning from 100yds away under the strain.

Well enough is enough. We now have two shiney new
Heat Pumps and they are simply amazing. The whole house is cosy, not just the two rooms like before. I can even walk down the hallway naked. I used to have to run from one warm room to the other to avoid frostbite. Mrs R would bid me farewell and hope that I would make it to the bathroom and back before pneumonia set in. The cold would do strange things to my extremities and now I feel whole again. "See I told you it was the cold" is my new proud line.

They have a wizzy little remote and are whisper quiet. This is day three and even the cats are happy to navigate the hall now (their poor little paws on that wooden floor used to bring a tear to my eye, that would then freeze). We can see out our windows - they used to mist up at about 7pm and we'd get puddles of water overnight. Handy if you got thirsty and were too cold to make it to the bathroom....just wring out the cloth for a delightful mountain fresh taste.

They are supposed to be cheap to run as they work by magic or something. I think there is a little dragon called Bob inside but I didn't get past page 3 of the booklet so don't really know. Page two shows you how to set the temperature and that was all I needed.

I shall be checking the bill when it arrives and hope that this new found warmth is as cheap as promised. I need to change electricity companies anyway following advice from


  1. Well good on you. It is time that New Zealand got over itself and warmed up.

    We've put in pink batts and a lovely new gas fire, and I just can't believe that for 90 years nobody else had thought to do the same to the house.

  2. Pink Batts, nice. It is great to be warm. How do they get the pink stuff in the walls? Is there a lot of mess, 'cause that would be the next thing for us. They built the top of this house in the 70's and didn't put any insulation in at all. None in the walls, and none in the roof. Hardy folk or just dumb.

  3. For a house that already is assembled, they pump in the pink bats in the wall cavities, so it doesn't require ripping off the walls or anything.


  4. Really? That is great news as I was fearing a major project with big spend. I guess they can do the same in the ceiling - we don't have a roof space just a tin roof so a lot of heat must radiate out. Was thinking of decorating the ceiling with tin foil....

  5. Not wanting to freak y'all out (and then I won't say y'all anymore) but in my day a hundred years ago when as an electrician with toolbelt, boots and all, used to often wire in heat pumps. So I know about these things ;-) They work by "pumping" the heat in the air outside inside via a backwards refrigerator if you get my drift. Therefore they are not burning electricity to generate the heat, but only moving it. Back then one option to insulate the walls was to drill a small repairable hole in each cavity and squirt in some horrible ozone depleting expanding foam. If the operator was a bit not good they could pump in too much and make bulgy walls - bad. Also after this foaming don't ask to get wires easily down the walls for new plugs etc. Get's hard. OMG did I know all that lalalalalala...

  6. Yeah, I'd be inclined to just start with insulating the ceiling, and then wait and see if you're ever re-gibbing and put batts in then. Mind you, I have a husband who likes perfect walls so fiendishly re-gibs everything. He is sanding plaster as I type.

  7. Brena: Wow! I can change a plug and now I'm envious of your tool belt!
    Martha: Sound advice. Gibbing is an art from what I hear so I will stay well clear. I have no energy to sand anything tonight - have you promised your husband some of your yummy Lamingtons if he works through the night?

  8. Mr R,

    Cold I think it is not for us hardy English types. The thing we can't be doing with is DAMP. We are used to houses with...well at the very least foundations...

    Mouldy shoes = I WANT TO LEAVE RIGHT NOW...

    We put in gas central heating chez us right away (old villa 1880's, rotting quietly...)and today 3 lovely brave men have spent the day crawling under the house putting in something that promises us to give us:
    "the warmest feet in the world'

    So far, so warm.


  9. Curtain rot is not something that we should have to put up with in the 21st century! We just washed the curtains that we inherited in this house and they are now about 4 inches shorter and the black mould LIVES ON...I'm thinking neat bleach now...
    Caroline: yummmmm, nothing like walking on a heated tile bathroom floor. Can they heat wooden floors?

  10. I think they can stop them being sub-antarctic, but I haven't actually come across them warmed.

    We got a flier (flyer?) from Genesis recently offering ceiling insulation and underfloor insulation for about $1600 - installed. It seemed v. cheap, so if you're with Genesis might be worth checking out. If not, well, nevermind.

    Not lamingtons, but a very nice apple and rhubarb crumble.

  11. Nuts, we're with Contact, but thanks.

    Apple and Rhubard Crumble sounds like a good idea. I can smell fresh Banana and choc-chip muffins from here and can hear the chaos that is two little girls in a kitchen with spoons and pots...

  12. Ooh... might have to look at a heat pump. We've got a two storey hall to heat - used to be a gas heater at the bottom that would heat the hall & the bedrooms upstairs... that got disconnected because it was apparently dangerous. That was the only heater in the house too...

    So until the lads finish installing the two big gas heaters in the lounge & kitche/dining room downstairs, we huddle around the dog to keep warm.

    One of those heat pumps might be good for the hall though. They er... prohibitively expensive?

  13. They are a bit pricey but cheap to run, I'm told. We have one downstairs to heat the play room and bedrooms and it works well. The one upstairs heats the whole area to a great temperature and air flow is great. We used Abode and they were very efficient. $8,400 for the two installed so ouch but worth every cent.