As we continue working towards compliance with the Healthy Homes standards, with statements required by 1st December this year, and compliance by 1st July 2021, we have come across a real issue with the heating requirements.
Tenancy Services have produced a calculator which they have online if you want to take a look. Essentially you fill in the dimensions of the room with some further information, like number of windows, is it double glazed etc. Once you have entered these details it calculates the minimum KW of the heater required to heat the main living room up to the minimum of 18 degrees C.
This should be simple, right? Well, apparently not! There are two very real problems here. 1. Because there is no minimum heat standard in the building code, some new homes (less than 5 years old) are, when the online calculator is used, not complying with the Healthy Home Standard. 2. Professional, experienced and qualified heat pump installers are installing a heat pump using their own calculations, and to the manufacturer’s standards, and again these are sometimes not measuring up!
There is a myriad of issues here. Sometimes the calculator means that a huge (commercial grade) heat pump is required, but this will likely mean that because it is installed outside the guidelines of the manufacturer, that the warranty won’t apply. Plus of course, if the heat pump is too large for the space, it will not perform properly and could cost the tenants a lot in electricity.
So what do we do? Well, that seems to be the million dollar question. I am working with heating specialists, healthy homes companies and legislation experts to see how we can make this work for both tenants and landlords. I have discovered that you can install an extra heater (fixed to a wall), up to a maximum of 1.5KW in order to comply, but that will only help in some cases. I will, of course, keep working to come up with a solution and will keep you posted on that once I do.
In the meantime, if you have any questions, feel free to contact me.