Hydronic Heating and Cooling Solutions For Aged Care

Hydronic radiant heating solutions have long been used in aged care facilities, the centralised plant, system reliability, life expectancy, and comfort levels achieved by these systems have been known to offer benefits over alternative heating systems. In recent years with the need to also cool these spaces, the approach has shifted to using more AC-based heating and cooling systems, these systems have been favourable due to their ability to heat and cool while also often being cheaper to install than a hydronic-based system.

In the quickly changing world of today, an emphasis is being made on ensuring the heating and cooling systems installed into buildings are efficient and considerations are being made on the total life cost of these systems. Central Heating New Zealand has seen a renewed interest from developers for water-based central heating and cooling systems, the facts are that these systems offer many benefits to the building owners. 

Key benefits of water-based central heating and cooling systems:


Radiant heating and cooling systems achieve more consistent comfort levels, these systems interact more naturally with the human body’s own temperature regulation systems to ensure that we are more easily able to regulate our internal temperatures. The human body is typically the warmest object in the room, our body is trying to loose heat to the room to regulate our internal temperature, 40% of this heat loss is via radiation and if surfaces around us are too cold or too warm we begin to feel uncomfortable. For this reason, a radiant based system can achieve comfort at lower temperatures in the winter and higher temperatures in the summer as both the air temperature around us and the average temperature of the surfaces are regulated. Systems that only focus on heating or cooling of the air in a building need to work harder to make up for the lack of surface temperature regulation.


Radiant heating and cooling systems are able to deliver effective heating and cooling to spaces at a much lower operating costs. The lower running temperatures in winter and higher running temperatures in summer are one factor, as for every 1°C reduction in set point running costs can be reduced by as much as 10%. Water is an excellent medium for the transfer of energy and compared to air, much smaller volumes of water need to be moved around to deliver the heating and cooling effectively to all conditioned areas. This provides energy savings in two ways; firstly less energy is required to pump the hot or chilled water around compared to the fans required to move air around, and secondly, the pipe work is much smaller than the ducts required in air-based systems, the smaller surface area results in lower system losses.

Life expectancy

The bones of a radiant heating and cooling system are the pipe work built into the ceilings, walls, and floor, and today this pipe work is more commonly a composite pipe made up of layers of plastic and aluminium. The Multitubo brand Central Heating New Zealand supplies is a high-quality German-made product and the pipework and fittings used in this system will have a life expectancy in excess of 50 years. The valves, fittings, heat emitters, and heat sources will have life expectancies of 10 to 15 years which is similar to other forms of heating and cooling, but these parts can be changed out more easily over the life of the building without having to remove or replace any pipe work. As the system is a bespoke solution for each building, individual parts can be changed or upgraded with ease.

Building integration

When radiant heating and cooling systems are used, service space in ceilings can be reduced as large ductwork is not required, and for a multilevel development, these reductions on each floor can be combined to achieve significant reductions in the total height of the building. As the systems are bespoke solutions they are easily tailored to the needs of the building with each aspect being perfectly matched to the building’s needs.

Future proof

As mentioned previously, the pipe work used in these systems will have a life expectancy in excess of 50 years, and the other components will have a useful life of 10-15 years. As technologies change in the future it is certainly possible to change out the heating and cooling plant for newer technologies, this will allow environmentally friendly and economic energy solutions to be added into the system without needing to start from scratch. Natural gas and LPG boilers will need to play a part in the energy needs for New Zealand in the short term, but in the long term, it is unknown what will eventuate. It is very likely that alternative gas products will be available (hydrogen, biogas) alongside electricity to provide New Zealand with all of its energy needs. What is certain is a system that is designed and installed around gas boiler technology today can be easily repowered in the near future with greener solutions.

Central Heating New Zealand has 20 years of experience integrating central heating systems in residential and commercial homes in New Zealand, our wide product range, experienced technical teams, and excellent customer service makes us the go-to supplier for advice and products. For your next commercial project, our commercial team can provide you with advice on the best solution to suit your needs.