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Space heating - cheapest method?


imokyrok

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With the way heating costs are soaring I can see people having to go back in time with their heating strategy. Before having central heating, as kids we would get ready for bed and dressed in the morning huddled around the solid fuel cooking range. Generally the kitchen was the room heated all day and then the sitting room in the evenings.

Any way I was wondering if people have ideas on the most cost effective way to heat one or two rooms? For example is it worth installing zones in the central heating. Going around turning on and off rads is something it's hard to keep on top off. What about installing a wood fired stove? Or is a simple electric heater to heat one room while the central heating is off a cost effective thing to do?
 

imokyrok

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imokyrok

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haha -very funny. some serious suggestions would be welcome now. The bill for the gas heating in my house last year was 2000euro and that will be going up by 30% next year. Our electricity bills are also going to see big hikes. Pratical solutions people please.
 

garlandgreen

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imokyrok said:
haha -very funny. some serious suggestions would be welcome now. The bill for the gas heating in my house last year was 2000euro and that will be going up by 30% next year. Our electricity bills are also going to see big hikes. Pratical solutions people please.
Sorry I ain't got nuttin Imo. I don't do serious so good.
 

Wolverine2

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Insulate insulate insulate insulate...

Did I mention insulate?

Air Tightness Test - get it done and get all the air leaks it shows up blocked.

After that start thinking of heat sources.

I put a small wood burning stove into my living room - just put it where the fireplace was, ran the flue about 2 metres up the chimney and then blocked the area around the flue with rockwool. Works a treat and heats a large part of the house.

Zoning your central heating is definitely a good idea - thermostatic rad valves are the handiest method of doing this.

Put some reflector strips down behind your rads too, especially if they are mounted on external walls.
 

C&AG

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Take wolverine's advice and splash out on some insulation - try to turn your house into a Thermos flask and next year, with the savings you've made, buy yourself a ventilation system that freshens the air but doesn't let your heat escape.

For less than 2K you can get a solid fuel Stanley stove into which a good plumber should plug your existing radiator system for around the same cost. Open fires are pretty and pretty useless. A stove takes a bit more work but you should have plenty of heat and you can turn off the rads in all but one or two of the rooms. Dual and multi-systems are about to make a big comeback.

If your house is way too big for your needs then you deserve all you get.
 

imokyrok

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C&AG said:
Take wolverine's advice and splash out on some insulation - try to turn your house into a Thermos flask and next year, with the savings you've made, buy yourself a ventilation system that freshens the air but doesn't let your heat escape.

For less than 2K you can get a solid fuel Stanley stove into which a good plumber should plug your existing radiator system for around the same cost. Open fires are pretty and pretty useless. A stove takes a bit more work but you should have plenty of heat and you can turn off the rads in all but one or two of the rooms. Dual and multi-systems are about to make a big comeback.

If your house is way too big for your needs then you deserve all you get.
I wish! Just a standard dormer bungalow with pretty small rooms. Believe it or not that 2000 euro bill is despite cutting back seriously on switching on the heat last year. Double jumpers and blankets in the sitting room have become the norm in my house. Most families I speak to are gobsmacked by the rise in heating costs in the last couple of years and as I said it looks like it's going to get far worse. Couple that with incomes dropping due to economic downturn and I reckon facilities like whole house heating are going to become a luxury rather than an expectation. I guess there is the silver lining from an environmental point of view - and asthma rates should drop too.

Is a Stanley solid fuel stove also an environmentally friendly option C&AG?

Wolverine - I like the idea of an air-tightness test. Our home is in a wind tunnel which sure doesn't help with heat retention. What sort of company does that kind of test?
 

imokyrok

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Has anyone tried paper briquettes in a solid fuel stove? I know it's very "Little House on the Prairie" ish but we fill a green bin weekly so might be worth considering - mucho newspapers!
 

C&AG

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imokyrok said:
I wish! Just a standard dormer bungalow with pretty small rooms. Believe it or not that 2000 euro bill is despite cutting back seriously on switching on the heat last year. Double jumpers and blankets in the sitting room have become the norm in my house. Most families I speak to are gobsmacked by the rise in heating costs in the last couple of years and as I said it looks like it's going to get far worse. Couple that with incomes dropping due to economic downturn and I reckon facilities like whole house heating are going to become a luxury rather than an expectation. I guess there is the silver lining from an environmental point of view - and asthma rates should drop too.

Is a Stanley solid fuel stove also an environmentally friendly option C&AG?

Wolverine - I like the idea of an air-tightness test. Our home is in a wind tunnel which sure doesn't help with heat retention. What sort of company does that kind of test?
Be thankful your house is small so. Warming yourself through a bit of physical work is the best way too so your stove with a back-boiler isn't just a switch-on device but should prepare you for the coming Apolcalype where we will end up chopping up wood like they do currently in Germany. They have enormous homes there but survive easily through a combination of using locally-grown wood, solar heating/electricity and oil.

Using a stove is carbon neutral, as in theory the wood can be grown locally and used locally and wood liberates less CO2 than peat or coal. If you splash out some more you could get a stove that is self-regulating so even less wood is burned.

Insulating your home is the low-tech, relatively inexpensive way of starting off and we should be able to have our homes tested in this country for their energy value. But mark my words, wood should be a viable intermediate solution as an energy source but unfortunately we haven't prepared ourselves well here by growing trees for sustainable energy use. This could be one of the greatest mistakes this country has made since the Famine.
 

Bobert

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I hate o admit it, but so-so-so-solar panels might work with heating water and shit like that. God, I feel so dirt now.
 

Centurian

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Storage Heaters. No - I'm only joking ! . :)
 

Bobert

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Centurian said:
Storage Heaters. No - I'm only joking ! . :)

Whist boy, I've finally solved that issue. Seeing as I've to use the oven, dryer and toaster anyway, I'm now using them for heat aswell so I can kill two birds with one stone. Oh, and my laptop's transformer.
 

CookieMonster

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Bobert said:
Centurian said:
Storage Heaters. No - I'm only joking ! . :)

Whist boy, I've finally solved that issue. Seeing as I've to use the oven, dryer and toaster anyway, I'm now using them for heat aswell so I can kill two birds with one stone. Oh, and my laptop's transformer.
Couple of years ago my "office" in work was lacking in heating of any kind (save the hear off the computers) and the back wass backed onto the big industrial cooler for the pub next door. It was usually about -4 degrees in there. So Cookie had the bright idea of using the toaster to take the chill out of the air. Long story shory, there was some bread stuck in said toaster which burnt, caused smoke (LOTS OF SMOKE), the fire alarm to go off, the public areas of the building being evacuated and the fire brigade being called. Cookie was, as you can imagine, MORTO and was not allowed near the toaster again.
 

Bobert

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CookieMonster said:
Bobert said:
Centurian said:
Storage Heaters. No - I'm only joking ! . :)

Whist boy, I've finally solved that issue. Seeing as I've to use the oven, dryer and toaster anyway, I'm now using them for heat as well so I can kill two birds with one stone. Oh, and my laptop's transformer.
Couple of years ago my "office" in work was lacking in heating of any kind (save the hear off the computers) and the back wass backed onto the big industrial cooler for the pub next door. It was usually about -4 degrees in there. So Cookie had the bright idea of using the toaster to take the chill out of the air. Long story shory, there was some bread stuck in said toaster which burnt, caused smoke (LOTS OF SMOKE), the fire alarm to go off, the public areas of the building being evacuated and the fire brigade being called. Cookie was, as you can imagine, MORTO and was not allowed near the toaster again.

Typical...
 

CookieMonster

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Bobert said:
CookieMonster said:
Bobert said:
Centurian said:
Storage Heaters. No - I'm only joking ! . :)

Whist boy, I've finally solved that issue. Seeing as I've to use the oven, dryer and toaster anyway, I'm now using them for heat as well so I can kill two birds with one stone. Oh, and my laptop's transformer.
Couple of years ago my "office" in work was lacking in heating of any kind (save the hear off the computers) and the back wass backed onto the big industrial cooler for the pub next door. It was usually about -4 degrees in there. So Cookie had the bright idea of using the toaster to take the chill out of the air. Long story shory, there was some bread stuck in said toaster which burnt, caused smoke (LOTS OF SMOKE), the fire alarm to go off, the public areas of the building being evacuated and the fire brigade being called. Cookie was, as you can imagine, MORTO and was not allowed near the toaster again.

Typical...
So I tried to burn my customers back then, so what! Can you imagine what I would do to my current clients if they ever got near me?!
 

imokyrok

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Mar 4, 2008
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CookieMonster said:
Bobert said:
Centurian said:
Storage Heaters. No - I'm only joking ! . :)

Whist boy, I've finally solved that issue. Seeing as I've to use the oven, dryer and toaster anyway, I'm now using them for heat aswell so I can kill two birds with one stone. Oh, and my laptop's transformer.
Couple of years ago my "office" in work was lacking in heating of any kind (save the hear off the computers) and the back wass backed onto the big industrial cooler for the pub next door. It was usually about -4 degrees in there. So Cookie had the bright idea of using the toaster to take the chill out of the air. Long story shory, there was some bread stuck in said toaster which burnt, caused smoke (LOTS OF SMOKE), the fire alarm to go off, the public areas of the building being evacuated and the fire brigade being called. Cookie was, as you can imagine, MORTO and was not allowed near the toaster again.
Sounds to me that your boss should have been MORTO to leave his employees working in those conditions. Surely there are labour laws to prevent that kind of thing. Reminds me of working in a Dunnes Stores in the late 80's that was being closed down and so they didn't bother to heat the place in December! The cold brought on an asthmatic cough and so I was wearing a sweatshirt under my uniform. I was told It was in breach of uniform rules and had to be removed. I refused and was fired. Ahh Dunnes - always the epitome of workers rights. But I'm surprised anywhere would get away with that nowadays.
 
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