If you don't ask, you'll never know!

We're not just here to do the work for you. We also love to help customers (and even people that aren't), by giving lots of advice about plumbing, home heating, and gas fitting. So if you if any questions or would like some information about anything plumbing, heating or gas related please feel free to contact us. You can find all of our details on our Contact Us page.

What home heating options are available?

There are a huge range of heating options that can be installed into your home. Each one has it's own advantages and disadvantages and which is right for you depends entirely on the type of home, your family situation, what you want from your heating system and of course your budget.


Radiant heating
Warm water is pumped through your home creating a beautifully warm and dry heat. The ultimate in luxurious heating.


Central ducted heating
Warm air is pumped through your home via a series of ducts and vents

Spot heating
Individual heating appliances are situated in each room or area to be heated

Hot water heat pumps
The most efficient electricity powered heating system available.



How you heat your home can mean the difference between a happy and an unhappy home.

Dad and son.jpgHeating is one of the most important considerations for a home owner or builder and yet for some reason it's often given the least thought. If you get it right your home will feel like an oasis of comfort and warmth. However if you get it wrong your home could end up as an uncomfortable and possibly even unhealthy place to live, leading to more winter illnesses for your family along with inefficient use of your heating budget.

In most European countries home heating is a major decision for homeowners and a central heating system is considered normal. On the other hand, here in New Zealand we still put up with inadequate heating and live in cold homes well below the World Health Organisation's 18-21 degree minimum temperature requirements. The reason for this often isn't through lack of trying but rather a lack of knowledge about which heating system is best for each home and family.


Did you know that most New Zealand homes have the wrong heating system for their needs?

child radiator.jpg

There are so many factors to take in to account when choosing a home heating system it's easy to understand why so many New Zealand homes are inefficiently heated.

Poor heating has resulted in an epidemic of cold, damp and mouldy homes which can contribute to a range of respiratory and other illnesses. The World Health Organisation recommends that homes have a minimum average year round temperature of 18 degrees. Most New Zealand homes only reach an average temperature of 15 degrees, with non common areas, such bedrooms and bathrooms, being much colder. This is almost always caused by an unsuitable heating system. Many home owners are reluctant to make an investment in home heating, despite modern heating systems becoming far more affordable and accessible.

What to consider when choosing a heating system for your home

There are a number of factors that need to be considered when deciding which heating system you should choose to heat your home. These factors include the size of your home, the height of your ceilings, whether you want to heat the whole house or just a few rooms, and last but definitely not least the climate of the area you live in. While some systems may be great for heating in some situations, they may be far from suitable in many other situations so it is important you carefully consider which heating system gives you the performance you need while still being energy and cost efficient.


Remember good heating is not a cost. It's an investment in the value of your home, the health and wellbeing of your family and your family's quality of life. Investigate the options thoroughly and you will reap the benefits for years to come.

What heating systems are available for heating your home?

The three main options to consider are:

  1. Radiant heating - steel pipes or radiators filled with hot water pumped from a central heating unit provide a beautifully warm and dry heat for your home.

  2. Central ducted air - warm air from a central heating unit is pumped via a series of ducts throughout your home, an excellent whole home heating system.

  3. Spot heating - small, easy to use and cheap to purchase and install heating appliances which only heat the individual rooms which are being used.

For more information on these options please follow the links above or at the top right of this page.

McBeth Plumbing and Gas can arrange for one of our consultants to come to your home and discuss your needs and options to come up with the heating system that best suits your home and living situation.

Key terms you must know when choosing your heating system:

Kilowatt Hour (kwh)
Kwh is a unit of measure which is equal to 1000 watts of energy expended for one hour. How much energy you use is normally measured in kwh. For example, if you have a 250 watt heater and you use it for 1 hour you will have used 0.25 kwh of energy. Using it for 4 hours would use 1 kwh of energy.

Megajoules (MJ):
This is another unit of measure for the amount of energy being expended for 1 hour. There are 3.6 mj in 1 kwh.

Coefficient of Performance (COP):
COP is a measure of how efficient an electric appliance is - how much energy it produces versus how much you put in. For example an electric heater gives out 1kw of heat for each kw of energy put in, giving it a COP of 1.0. A geothermal heat pump might have a COP of 4.0 because it produces 4 kw of heat but only uses 1kw to produce it.

Boiler or Furnace:
This is the name given to a heating source which has a flame to create the heat. This may be gas, wood or diesel etc.

Heat Source:
This is the unit which generates the heat for use in the heating system. Most heating systems work with any heat source and some can even work with 2 or more working in tandem.

Condensing Boiler:
A condensing boiler uses the waste energy to generate heat. For example, a condensing boiler might recycle waste heat, raising the COP from 0.9 to 1.1, making the system more efficient.

Ambient Air Temperature:
The ambient air temperature is the normal air or water temperature with out any heating or cooling influence. For example, in an outdoor context the ambient outdoor temperature would be the temperature out of the sun, wind and rain.

This is the process of adjusting the various settings to ensure the appliance and/or system are going to perform at their best.

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