Readers tips of the month - April 2013
Posted by Cathy Debenham on 29 April 2013 at 9:30 am
"Most cost effective measures are to improve thermal performance of property with good insulation generally," says architect Clinton. "But watch natural ventilation/airtightness to avoid condensation problems unless you are installing a mechanical ventilation system.
Use as many passive measures as possible to reduce reliance on technology, maintenance and break downs."
Clinton lives in a property that is over 100 years old, which has been made as thermally efficient as posssible. "I believe in as many passive and non technology methods as possible. These include open solid fuel fire (back-up) to avoid condensation by providing natural ventilation and a conservatory with thick insulated concrete floor to reduce peaks in temperature and provide thermal store."
He has also installed Installed Solar PV to reduce his carbon footprint and dependancy on the grid (weather permitting) and as an investment. More recently he installed an air source heat pump "again to reduce carbon footprint and dependancy on the grid".
Also the prowd owner of an air source heat pump is Prospero, who installed in September last year. "It has worked satisfactorily after initial teething problems, mainly due to the different way to use the heating compared to the existing oil heating. The radiators were upgraded to take account of the lower water temperature provided by the heat pump and it has been the sole source of heating during the winter.
"I still have issues with the fact that the outside sensor seems to have priority over the room sensor to control the heat pump, but by placing the room sensor in various places the problem is largely overcome. It is too early to assess the relative costs yet but early indications are that there will be quite a saving over oil."
Prospero's tips are to get the radiators upgraded when the initial installation is carried out to avoid having to do it later if temperatures aren't high enough. He also recommends getting a reliable firm to do the work (we do too - click here to find one!).
More information on heat pumps from YouGenCathy Debenham
If you have a question about anything in the above blog, please ask it in the comments section below.
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