Central heating for a small(ish) groundfloor flat, ideas please….

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  • Central heating for a small(ish) groundfloor flat, ideas please….
  • b r
    Member

    For £6k, keep the storage heaters…

    quartz
    Member

    Put a jumper on?

    allthegear
    Member

    As it happens, I’m in almost exactly the same position (except my gas meter does exist). Will be interested to hear what STW have to say…

    Rachel

    I’d fit the rads/pipes myself (after some appropriate research on rad sizing and regulations on piping/thermo valves etc), pay the £400 and get a heating engineer in to fit the boiler.

    Have you got space to put a boiler?

    How far is it from the gas mains? The water mains? Electrics? A waste pipe (for the condensate)?

    As spooky alludes to – most of the cost is in labour. So if you can do the rads and pipe yourself then you’re maybe (MAYBE) knocking that quote in half.

    Also bear in mind, when you come to sell the flat it should be worth more than a flat with no CH.

    Personally I dont know. Are you on a cheap / off peak tarriff for the current storage?

    Edukator
    Member

    Insulate the walls on the inside with polystyrene-backed plasterboard, double or triple glaze (if not already done), insulate under the floor in the sanitary space with polyester if you have one. Still need heating? Probably not.

    Bear
    Member

    Edukator – never get that money back when he sells it though.

    Gas heating could be done for less I suspect in small flat. What part of country probably influences that the most.

    Edukator
    Member

    Well insulated homes sell for a good price in France. Every property for sale has it’s energy category in the advert by law. A poor performance is reflected in the price and the top categories fetch top dollar.

    trail_rat
    Member

    Same here except seriously no one pays attention

    If it doesnt have ch you will push a great chunk of your buyers away!

    Edukator
    Member

    Bizarre, Brits would rather buy a house that has a high-maintenance device that consumes a fortune in gas than a house that can be heated by the family watching TV.

    nealglover
    Member

    Bizarre, Brits would rather buy a house that has a high-maintenance device that consumes a fortune in gas than a house that can be heated by the family watching TV.

    Polystyrene backed plasterboard isn’t going to achieve that though.

    You will be needing 100-150mm of Kingspan/Celotex insulation for that.
    Plus everything else on your list.
    Plus air tightness and controlled ventilation.

    If passivhaus standards were as easy to achieve as you suggest, everyone would be doing it.

    trail_rat
    Member

    Small ground floor flat becomes small single studio apartment once you get that lot on the walls

    Bear
    Member

    Edukator – the sort of people who are interested in it and can afford to be interested in it aren’t in the market for flats.

    They also do it a tokenism as most of them still drive big 4 x 4, have the heating on permanently, holiday abroad twice a year etc.

    As for EPC certificates, I’ve currently got a job where the certificate stated electricity for a two bedroomed flat would be £131 per year, and that with a NIBE heat recovery pump! The guy is paying that per month funnily enough. All they are is an indication of performance and a poor one at best.

    epo-aholic
    Member

    Thought this would be a as good a place as any to ask……this is driving me nuts!

    Currently the flat has storage heaters (circa mid 1980’s) they work okay but need a refresh and i’m sure there are better, more efficient ways of heating the place these days…

    Gas outside but they want £400 for a meter of pipe…bastards!

    Anyway dont want to spend £6k, possibly stretch to half that as i won’t be here for ever….what are my options guys?

    Flat comprises of 2 bedrooms (one double one 3/4), hallway, galley-style kitchen, large(ish) living room and bathroom.

    Thanks in advance

    JB

    Bear
    Member

    Oh and the real problem comes from how to heat your hot water if you have no heating!

    epo-aholic
    Member

    I’ve no idea how to fit pipes, etc so i’d have t pay someone who does i’m afraid 🙁

    I’m on an ‘economy7’ tariff so the correct one for storage heaters….. the livingroom is fine and toasty but the rest of the house is a fridge in the winter…. i live in central scotland so long winters and temperatures of -15 aren’t unheard of.

    Edukator
    Member

    I haven’t used the word passivhaus and I’m not suggesting the OP aims for it.

    60mm of polystyrene and 13mm of plasterboard is R1.95. Add that to a wall of R0,5 and you cut heat loss by 80%.

    120mm of polyester under the floor boards takes the floor from R0.2 to R3.2. In addition the polyester blocks the draughts around the edges of the floor and reduces the thermal bridge. 90% less heat loss through the floor.

    In France there are standards such as BBC that aren’t passiv but mean houses need next to no heating. Full passivhaus might be needed in Scandinavia or eastern Germany but in milder climates just insulating well and ventilating intelligently is enough.

    Edit: in a well insulated house the difference in temperature between rooms is tiny whether the house is passiv, BBC or just “well insulated”. Heat one room and heat lost to other rooms goes no further so the whole house eventually heats up.

    nealglover
    Member

    I haven’t used the word passivhaus

    No you didn’t.

    But you did say …..

    ….a house that can be heated by the family watching TV.

    Which is pretty much the same thing.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    We lived for a year in a newly constructed ‘luxury’ flat (it hardly was) in a large block. It had electric heaters which were like some kind of large thin slab of something not quite like stone, but they weren’t storage heaters. Each one was highly configurable. They were pretty good, and I bet they’d cost way less than installing gas CH. You could spend the rest on insulation as Edukator says.

    Incidentally our house is heated quite nicely by us watching TV of an evening, and it’s just a new build not anything special.

    tomlevell
    Member

    Non storage heaters in the bedrooms and bathroom.
    Storage in the other areas where you suggest it already is.

    Do some research and spend some money on decent controllable units.

    The wiring is already there and in reality it won’t cost much more to run if you use the timers/stats correctly in different rooms.

    Bump up to economy 10 or better if you can.

    If you had a gas meter then that would be worth a better look at but £800 is as much as you’ll spend on the electric heaters (probably)

    mikey74
    Member

    Which is pretty much the same thing.

    Nooooo it’s not. Passivhaus, whilst using those principles, is actually a whole new level of specification.

    I agree with Edukator in that insulation should be the first port of call. However, in an existing ground floor flat this is going to be difficult to achieve without spending shed-loads of money.

    One option for the OP could be to get an electric underfloor heating mat, controlled by an intelligent thermostat that learns your movements and knows when the heat is needed.

    An alternative to the above would be to get some decent electric radiators, but these can be expensive to run.

    I had a gas central heating system put in my flat a few years ago for £1400, so that is the way I would go, if none of the above appeal.

    I would also look at properly insulating the cavity walls, if they aren’t already.

    Edukator
    Member

    My house isn’t passiv but with three of us watching TV the thermometer slowly ticks up whatever the outside temperature. If you do the sums for an R3 floor, R3 walls, R7 ceiling, and uw1.1 windows you’ll see that 500W is enough heat the place even with enough ventilation to keep the place pleasant.

    I would agree with the suggestion to fit new electric heaters . The new breed of gel filled wall heaters are very good , and prob a massive improvement on what you all ready have fitted . My boss fitted one such style heater when he converted his garge into a new kitchen diner , I think he only got a 800 watt and say it heats the room with no trouble and hardly runs to maintain the heat !

    Edukator, insulation is all good, but the amount of work/labour involved in insulating walls and making good the reveals/sockets/switches, lifting the entire floor if timber or raising the floor if concrete is prohibitive when you just want to replace the heating.

    If you are renovating a property then yes, its a realistic option.

    nealglover
    Member

    Nooooo it’s not. Passivhaus, whilst using those principles, is actually a whole new level of specification.

    I know what passivhaus is. I used to work in the industry.

    My point was that suggesting polystyrene backed plasterboard and some underfloor insulation would allow body heat to heat an entire house in the UK is beyond unrealistic.

    And to achieve that level of insulation would be a lot closer to Passivhaus standards than “some insulation”

    Edukator
    Member

    So what were your gas and electricity bills last year, Neal? People who live in insulated homes don’t usually need convincing. I’ve never claimed just body heat is enough, however, body heat and appliances can be enough. It seems that the only way you can argue against me is to distort what I say. 44kWh/m2/year is passivhaus standard. One person in a flat probably wouldn’t use enough electricty to completely heat the place so a 1kW heater would be needed in cold periods.

    I didn’t lift the wooden floor to insulate under it I made an access hole and crawled, digging where necessary.

    Sockets and switches in plasterboard require a socket housing that costs about 80p, if the wires need extending use dominoes.

    Whilst a new heating system will be installed by a professional, insulating and fitting an electric heater can be DIYed.

    trail_rat
    Member

    what if he has a solid concrete floor….. (as many houses especially old ones) in the uk tend to have ?

    fwiw i went with new oil heating system self fitted and signed off at the end.

    i ALSO insulated.

    i know for a fact one of those is visible and thus will gain me money if i sell and the other will gain me money while i live there…..

    ill never get back the money ive spent on insulating the place – odly if i fit some cheap UPVC windows in place of the wooden windows i have ill gain value and desirability – which is madness but folk like the easy life.

    b r
    Member

    Its also worth reiterating the point that the OP lives in Scotland, so that’s going be a lot lower average temperature than South Wales never mind France.

    Snow Gates are shut, today!

    Premier Icon thetallpaul
    Subscriber

    ***Hijack warning***

    We are in the planning stages of extending + improving our present house. We are currently on oil CH and are looking at the best and realistic options (exterior insulation, Bio-mass, Ground source heat pumps, MVHR, solar, etc) for us.
    Does anyone know of any Yorkshire based (preferably York) firms who advise on these systems as a whole? There seem to be many firms that specialise one thing or another, not the whole caboodle (caught myself almost writing ‘Jointed up solution’, Phew)

    trail_rat
    Member

    biomass if you want the hassle relating to it

    or GSHP if you can afford it …..

    next best plus best value for a family home when i looked last year was definantly another oil boiler and minimising the use of it with insulation and wood burner….. our boiler is primerily for hot water only. used 600 quid in oil last year and 150 quid in logs.

    the air source heat pumps are getting comically bad press just now due to sensitivity to set up …. ask somafunk how his is doing 😉

    bear/stoner will be along shortly – they are the experts round these parts 😉

    I didn’t lift the wooden floor to insulate under it I made an access hole and crawled, digging where necessary.

    Sockets and switches in plasterboard require a socket housing that costs about 80p, if the wires need extending use dominoes.

    My floor is suspended, but I can hardly get my arm under the joists, let alone me. Same as my last place.

    The OP said he doesn’t want to diy his rads, which means there is a good chance he won’t be up for all the work. So you need to factor in carpet fitter, electrician, and someone who can do the insulating/plasterboarding/taping/skirting/decorating etc.

    You make it sound quick, easy and cheap but it isn’t…its a huge job but I agree it makes sense but only really viable when renovating.

    nealglover
    Member

    So what were your gas and electricity bills last year, Neal?

    No idea, I live in a rented place and bills are included.

    But I have offered to do a survey and let the landlord know what needed to insulate the place properly and how much it would cost. And then do a deal with him for the installation vs rent.

    So if the bills are high I guess he will want them lowering.

    People who live in insulated homes don’t usually need convincing.

    In my own experience, The people who live in insulated homes were living in the homes I had just insulated for them. So I didn’t need to convince them of anything.

    Premier Icon thetallpaul
    Subscriber

    tr,

    You recommend an oil burner. Can I ask why?
    We also have the option of gas as there is a main in the street (previous owner did not connect).

    Edukator,
    You mention special socket housings. Do you have any links/recommendations?

    Cheers

    trail_rat
    Member

    you didnt say there was gas near by

    gas every time 😉

    id have put gas in if it was anywhere near my house.

    I just wrongly assumed that as you were on oil you were offgrid.

    nealglover
    Member

    Gas outside but they want £400 for a meter of pipe…bastards!

    😉

    Premier Icon totalshell
    Subscriber

    OP
    i m a heating installer.
    for my ten bobs worth i’d update the electric heating, you can do it one heater at a time to spread the cost.

    putting in gas ch will be disruptive and as its a flat compromised by compromises.. ie a relatively new flat will have solid floors and ceilings.. where would the pipes go..

    the cost would never be recupped and frankly you dont need it you ve probably already got an unvented hot water cylinder delivering lains pressure hot water you have to accept less than that with a combi..

    no value in a conversion of your proerty is my opinion .. but its your money..

    epo-aholic
    Member

    totalshell-cheers for that, any recommendations?

    Premier Icon thetallpaul
    Subscriber

    tr – Thanks. We plan on moving to gas for cooking at the least (on induction at the mo). Just looking into options for heating when we refit the house.
    Edukator – Thanks too.

    trail_rat
    Member

    dont get me started on that one paul.

    im sticking in bottled gas for cooking when i redo the kitchen . i hate my induction hob.

    Edukator
    Member

    I like both Marmite and my induction hob. Cooking on the wood burner is the most entertaining though, it’s almost a pity when the house is too warm to justify lighting up.

    trail_rat
    Member

    havnt tried that yet at this house.

    did it at my old house in the glen as the power and water would regularly stop.

    i miss that house , properly in the sticks , didnt have to worry about pikeys there – no phone and no mobile signal either bliss

    Premier Icon thetallpaul
    Subscriber

    Father in Law makes the best slow cooked currys on his wood burner. Near on 24 hours of slowly simmering to produce Lamb Rogan Josh that just melts in the mouth. Good job I’m out for a curry tonight. It’s on my mind now.
    REALLY miss cooking on Gas.
    Marmite and tomatoes on toast – heaven!

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