Chris Chapman and Fraser Dayman are determined to make Nelson and Marlborough houses warmer.
Their family business Chapmanz Central Heating, which has been installing central heating since 2005, specialises in radiators and underfloor heating which, they say, are effective and economic ways of heating New Zealand’s traditionally cold homes.
When Chris moved to New Zealand from the UK in 2004, he couldn’t believe how cold the houses were. Having run his own central heating business in the UK, he knew he could provide a solution.
“My business was full-on in the UK and I didn’t plan on doing the same out here,” he says. “But once you’ve run your own business it’s hard not to look at opportunities, and it was so obvious to me that the houses here would benefit massively from central heating,” he says.
Chris and his stepson Fraser spend a lot of time educating people about central heating. As well as installing radiators they install underfloor heating which can also act as an underfloor cooling system.
Today’s heating systems are highly efficient and use the very best of German technology and appliances. The most common system is hydronic which is usually fuelled by gas, although oil and heat pump are options.
Chris says the health benefits of living in a centrally heated home are huge and noted by the World Health Organisation. Room temperatures can be individually controlled and thermostats set to allow the house to be heated at key times – like early mornings.
“The temperature in New Zealand changes quickly – it can be freezing cold in the morning but warm by midday. You can turn radiators up, down or off very quickly and easily. A house can warm up in 10 minutes.”
Chris and Fraser are both qualified gasfitters and plumbers who have worked extensively in the UK – Fraser ran his own business in London before moving to New Zealand in search of a better lifestyle. He quickly noticed how cold and poorly insulated New Zealand houses were.
“It’s obvious a lot of people don’t really know about central heating whereas it is commonplace in the UK and Europe, so it feels like a good thing to be doing. It’s a very efficient way to heat a house.”
Chapmanz installs systems into new houses and commercial buildings and can retro fit into older homes which can be a challenge, but one Chris enjoys.
“I get a kick out of it – it’s great to find a way of hiding the pipework and making it look good.”
New Zealanders’ attitudes to heating are changing because they want their homes to be warm and comfortable, says Chris.
“Radiators are wonderful. You get the radiant heat like standing by a fire but you get the convected heat as well which warms the air so the whole room heats up,” he says.
They also reduce the need for multiple forms of heating especially in the bathroom where a radiator can act as a heated towel rail and fan heater.
Some of Chapmanz Central Heating’s recent installations include Melrose House and Mapua’s Sprig and Fern – pop along on a cold day and check them out for yourself.