April 12, 2022

Infracomfort heaters Vs. Healthy Homes

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UPDATED INFORMATION: Infracomfort far-infrared heat panels (heaters) now comply with the updated Residential Tenancies (Healthy Homes Standards) Regulations 2019. The regulations were amended on 11 April 2022, enabling a bypass of the previous formula and introducing a new heating calculation tool.

These changes allow the installation of smaller heating devices, including Infracomfort far-infrared heaters, in these properties, taking into account their enhanced heat retention capabilities. In short, Infracomfort far-infrared heat panels now meet the healthy homes standard as outlined in the Residential Tenancies (Healthy Homes Standards) Regulations 2019.

Infracomfort NZ has always been a staunch supporter of healthy homes standards, recognizing the significant savings in health costs and overall well-being that safe living conditions provide. However, there had been an issue with the previous heating calculation tool, which was designed for convective heating and did not accurately account for the efficiency of far-infrared heating.

Thankfully, with the updated regulations and heating formula, landlords and tenants can now benefit from a more accurate assessment of heating requirements, leading to lower installation and running costs. While the healthy homes standards only apply to rental properties, Infracomfort can also provide full heating assessments for various other sectors, such as schools, elder care facilities, workplaces, sports facilities, hostels, and ski lodges.

Feel free to contact Infracomfort for further information at any time or for a free specification or quote.

ORIGINAL ARTICLE DATED JANUARY 5, 2021: The NZ Healthy Homes Standards for residential rental homes were established in July 2019 and specify minimum standards for heating, insulation, draft stopping, ventilation, and moisture control.

Infracomfort NZ totally agrees with the standards – healthy homes mean a healthy community and it beggars belief that all governments in the past haven’t recognised the enormous savings, in health costs and well-being alone, that safe living conditions provide. It’s a no-brainer.

For heating, however, at the moment there is a problem. The goal is to achieve and maintain 180C in the living area only. This is easy with Infracomfort and in our view an absolute minimum. The standards provide a tool for calculating the energy required, depending on physical aspects and the location of the house.

Unfortunately, the calculator is designed for convective heating and is not directly transferable to far-infrared heating which generally gets the same or better results with about 40% of the power. So as the regulations stand, you are required to install up to two and a half times the far infrared that in our professional opinion is required to meet the minimum 18 degrees C.

Based on the current standards this results in an unnecessary additional cost to the landlord and significant ongoing running costs for the tenant.

We can follow the rules as they are, but ethically and morally we need these to be reviewed because they are wrong.

We are in ongoing discussions with the government to have their tool adjusted to accommodate more efficient technologies. So if you’re planning to heat the living area of your rental we suggest you wait until this is resolved. It could save you a lot.

Note: The proposed rules don’t apply to bedrooms. There are huge energy savings to be achieved. The Healthy homes act only applies to rental properties and do not apply to your own home.

Infracomfort can provide full heating assessments for these spaces, and of course for the numerous other sectors in which we are so successful – schools, elder care, workplaces, sports facilities, hostels, and ski lodges.

Contact us any time for a free specification and quote.