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  • FIRST POST
    • VfM4meplse
    • By VfM4meplse 2nd Jan 18, 8:38 PM
    • 24,486Posts
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    VfM4meplse
    Help! My home is freezing cold
    • #1
    • 2nd Jan 18, 8:38 PM
    Help! My home is freezing cold 2nd Jan 18 at 8:38 PM
    I’m in need of some OS help this evening!

    Situation: it’s a mild 9įC outside, my heating has been on all day and jacked up to 25į as soon as darkness fell. The house - and large-ish living room in particular - feels absolutely freezing.

    Current remedy: new electric fire dragged in from my library on full blast and has only really started to make a difference now I’ve slung a faux-fur throw over my shivering form.

    The future: I’ll be investing in rugs and sorting out the draughts. I have no wish to take up the beautiful flooring on the near future, so underfloor heating is not an option.

    The challenge: what I would like is a recommendation on a modern electric fire that is effective in a space of roughly 200 sq ft (the JML handy heater would be a non-starter here) that is also economical to run. Is there any such thing? Whilst I’m happy to pay an initial outlet for the right product, I’m sceptical of claims that fires cost “a few pence per hour” to run, is this true? Something that costs 99p per hour to run is to me not cost-effective.

    It goes without saying that any proposed solution must be stylish
    Value-for-money-for-me-puhleeze!

    "No man is worth, crawling on the earth"- adapted from Bob Crewe and Bob Gaudio

    Hope is not a strategy ...A child is for life, not just 18 years....Don't get me started on the NHS, because you won't win...If in doubt, don't pull out... I love chaz-ing!
Page 1
    • C J
    • By C J 2nd Jan 18, 8:47 PM
    • 922 Posts
    • 5,652 Thanks
    C J
    • #2
    • 2nd Jan 18, 8:47 PM
    • #2
    • 2nd Jan 18, 8:47 PM
    Do you have a fireplace with working chimney??
    An ever-shifting labyrinth of chiaroscuro
    • VfM4meplse
    • By VfM4meplse 2nd Jan 18, 8:49 PM
    • 24,486 Posts
    • 51,773 Thanks
    VfM4meplse
    • #3
    • 2nd Jan 18, 8:49 PM
    • #3
    • 2nd Jan 18, 8:49 PM
    Do you have a fireplace with working chimney??
    Originally posted by C J
    No, the chimney was blocked donkeys years ago.
    Value-for-money-for-me-puhleeze!

    "No man is worth, crawling on the earth"- adapted from Bob Crewe and Bob Gaudio

    Hope is not a strategy ...A child is for life, not just 18 years....Don't get me started on the NHS, because you won't win...If in doubt, don't pull out... I love chaz-ing!
    • C J
    • By C J 2nd Jan 18, 8:54 PM
    • 922 Posts
    • 5,652 Thanks
    C J
    • #4
    • 2nd Jan 18, 8:54 PM
    • #4
    • 2nd Jan 18, 8:54 PM
    If it could be unblocked, installing a wood burner would be a really good option. It would make your whole house cosy!

    I can’t help but worry that any electric heater is going to be hugely expensive to run.
    An ever-shifting labyrinth of chiaroscuro
    • suki1964
    • By suki1964 2nd Jan 18, 9:21 PM
    • 10,330 Posts
    • 26,357 Thanks
    suki1964
    • #5
    • 2nd Jan 18, 9:21 PM
    • #5
    • 2nd Jan 18, 9:21 PM
    You have just moved in haven't you? Was the house left empty long?

    When I moved into this house it took about a week before we felt comfortably warm after being empty for a week in the midst of winter

    Even now with the size of the rooms we supplement the CH with multifuel stoves. I lit my stove there about 4pm and I'm sitting here in a t shirt toasting at 24oC. However it's not a cheap option either

    Electric heating is as expensive as your supplier. A KW is a KW. If you search out Cardew in the Energy forum he can explain electric heating choices very well
    if you lend someone £20 and never see that person again, it was probably worth it
    • beautiful_ravens
    • By beautiful_ravens 2nd Jan 18, 9:37 PM
    • 741 Posts
    • 2,844 Thanks
    beautiful_ravens
    • #6
    • 2nd Jan 18, 9:37 PM
    • #6
    • 2nd Jan 18, 9:37 PM
    I favour a fan heater over any other type for getting warm air moving around a cold room, especially at floor level.

    I have a couple that I use if the house/a room is properly cold, I run it while I wait for the heating or the fire to get going, or if we are only using that room for a little while.

    I sometimes run one for 15 minutes if the kids bedroom is cold at bedtime.

    Ive tried all sorts of heaters over the years and found that this is best for instant warming.

    Even the cheapo ones I get have a thermostat so they go on and off when reaching temperatures, not constantly on.

    Ive used them with timer plugs to warm up a room before I get up etc.

    And, you can aim it right at you and get a good blast of warmth, unlike oil filled/convector heaters where the heat goes straight up and you cant get warm next to it.

    Im pretty sure theres some tasteful and nice looking dyson fan heaters if you want style

    ETA - no heaters are cheap to run!
    Last edited by beautiful_ravens; 02-01-2018 at 9:39 PM.
    ''A moment's thinking is an hour in words.'' -Thomas Hood
    • happy35
    • By happy35 2nd Jan 18, 9:47 PM
    • 1,421 Posts
    • 2,863 Thanks
    happy35
    • #7
    • 2nd Jan 18, 9:47 PM
    • #7
    • 2nd Jan 18, 9:47 PM
    We have a Provence CALOr gas fire in the conservatory, looks like stove, costs pennies to run and gives out loadsof heat.
    I find this to be so much better in a bigger space than an electric heater.
    • Islandmaid
    • By Islandmaid 2nd Jan 18, 10:00 PM
    • 2,293 Posts
    • 34,956 Thanks
    Islandmaid
    • #8
    • 2nd Jan 18, 10:00 PM
    • #8
    • 2nd Jan 18, 10:00 PM
    VFM4 wrap yourself in a stylish blanket for now, then look into how old your windows are, how are the thermal values?

    Then have a look at the Heating system, when was it last Ďflushedí, has it been bled etc

    Do you need to replace single rads with doubles in the larger spaces blah blah blah...

    Once you have got to grips with your new space, furnishings in the correct place etc you will get to know your new space and Ďknowí what to do x
    Note to self - STOP SPENDING MONEY !!


    January GC £250.00/157.00
    • VfM4meplse
    • By VfM4meplse 2nd Jan 18, 10:13 PM
    • 24,486 Posts
    • 51,773 Thanks
    VfM4meplse
    • #9
    • 2nd Jan 18, 10:13 PM
    • #9
    • 2nd Jan 18, 10:13 PM
    You have just moved in haven't you? Was the house left empty long?
    Originally posted by suki1964
    You’re right, but I’ve been in and out this past fortnight and maintained the heating and it’s felt fine during the day, but it’s the first time I’ve been here at night. I think it’s probably a good idea to get the radiations tested with a view to repacing, bit given they are all warm and not piping hot, I’m wondering whether the problem is actually me? If I’m struggling now, I’m going to find it hard-going when the temperature drops.

    I like the look of Provence CalorGas in Honey Glow, but am a bit nervous of having a huge bottle of gas sitting in the house

    So now I’m doing the wussy thing (ie have put some thermals on under my clothes) and will be retiring to a bedroom with the tablet and an extension lead.
    Value-for-money-for-me-puhleeze!

    "No man is worth, crawling on the earth"- adapted from Bob Crewe and Bob Gaudio

    Hope is not a strategy ...A child is for life, not just 18 years....Don't get me started on the NHS, because you won't win...If in doubt, don't pull out... I love chaz-ing!
    • suki1964
    • By suki1964 2nd Jan 18, 10:32 PM
    • 10,330 Posts
    • 26,357 Thanks
    suki1964
    If the rads are only warm to touch, perhaps your boiler thermostat is wrong?

    Are your rads evenly heated? No cold spots?

    A few questions on the energy forum should get you on the right track

    As for the gas bottle , if you place the heater on an outside wall, the gas bottle stays outside in a cage keeping it secure. Mains gas isn't an option for many parts of this country outside main cities and towns so bottled gas is what we use for Hobbs, ovens and gas fires
    if you lend someone £20 and never see that person again, it was probably worth it
    • bouicca21
    • By bouicca21 2nd Jan 18, 11:06 PM
    • 3,374 Posts
    • 4,402 Thanks
    bouicca21
    Have you bled the rads? Draughty Windows? A while ago on another thread someone mentioned Canadian window quilts.
    • carriebradshaw
    • By carriebradshaw 3rd Jan 18, 9:31 PM
    • 1,312 Posts
    • 3,495 Thanks
    carriebradshaw
    I'd second having the radiators bled it makes a world of difference and maybe adding some extra liners to your curtains, just use light fleece type throws and tack or or safety pin in them place as a temporary measure
    • greenbee
    • By greenbee 4th Jan 18, 8:24 AM
    • 12,340 Posts
    • 217,092 Thanks
    greenbee
    Before spending money on additional heat sources you need to work out why the existing heating isn't enough.

    Are the radiators hotter at the top or the bottom? If hotter at the bottom they need bleeding, if at the top they need the sludge removing. https://www.247homerescue.co.uk/how-to-clean-a-radiator/

    Where is the thermostat and what is it set at? Once the temperature is reached on the room stat, the boiler will shut down regardless of whether the other rooms are up to the temperature you want.

    Do you have TRVs (valves with numbers on the dials) on all your radiators? What are these set to?

    Have you calculated whether the radiators are the correct size for the rooms? http://www.bestheating.com/btu-calculator

    What is the capacity of your boiler? Is it more or less than the capacity needed for the total maximum output of your radiators?

    Do you have a programmer for your heating? Is there one zone or two? And have you got the timings right for when you need the heat? Some programmers use outside temperature or even weather forecasts to pre-heat so that your requested temperature is reached at the time you want the heating on - others start the boiler then.

    Have you had the radiators balanced so that the heat is being distributed effectively between them? https://www.homebuilding.co.uk/how-to-balance-radiators/

    There's lots more to look into, but the first place to start is with ensuring that the heating setup is suitable for the property and the way you want to use it. You may need to get a plumber in to balance the radiators if this isn't something you are comfortable doing as a DIY job. The same goes for dealing with sludge.

    In the meantime, look into improving insulation - I assume you've already got your books unpacked Books on external walls are good insulation! Check for draughts and where appropriate add/replace draught excluders - you may find some windows need replacing. Use heavy, ideally thermally-lined curtains and blinds. You can layer them as well - blinds close to the window, curtains on poles and by stringing curtain wire along the poles you can add a layer of fleece. BUbble wrap can also be applied to panes of glass (I do this on my single-glazed front door). Ensure keyholes have covers (I put them on the inside of the door rather than the outside, as they are more useful for blocking draughts).

    In the spring you might want to check your loft insulation to see whether you need to add more, and your windows to see whether any need replacing.
    • pipkin71
    • By pipkin71 4th Jan 18, 8:27 AM
    • 18,989 Posts
    • 85,086 Thanks
    pipkin71
    Youíre right, but Iíve been in and out this past fortnight and maintained the heating and itís felt fine during the day, but itís the first time Iíve been here at night. I think itís probably a good idea to get the radiations tested with a view to repacing, bit given they are all warm and not piping hot, Iím wondering whether the problem is actually me? If Iím struggling now, Iím going to find it hard-going when the temperature drops.

    I like the look of Provence CalorGas in Honey Glow, but am a bit nervous of having a huge bottle of gas sitting in the house

    So now Iím doing the wussy thing (ie have put some thermals on under my clothes) and will be retiring to a bedroom with the tablet and an extension lead.
    Originally posted by VfM4meplse
    We have the Manhattan Calor gas fires and they really help keep the rooms nice and warm. The added bonus is that the gas is paid for before we use it
    There is something delicious about writing the first words of a story. You never quite know where they'll take you - Beatrix Potter
    • MallyGirl
    • By MallyGirl 4th Jan 18, 12:13 PM
    • 2,298 Posts
    • 7,314 Thanks
    MallyGirl
    We have struggled over Christmas with the rads not being hot - BG have been in and said we need them flushing which is an expensive job and of course is not covered under Homecall. We have someone coming to do it next week now - not BG - so I am hoping it will make a difference. We tried all the obvious stuff like bleeding them all first.
    We have a range of blankets on the sofas for wrapping up in - even when everything is working it is just a cold house.
    • Floss
    • By Floss 4th Jan 18, 1:38 PM
    • 4,183 Posts
    • 35,699 Thanks
    Floss
    VFM we live in a draughty home, with wooden floors, and I would do the following:

    1. Bleed all the radiators
    2. Check the boiler temperature - it may just be turned down low from when the house was empty
    3. Run your heating 24 hours for a week, set on 19 deg, to get the house warmer before you start setting the timer
    4. Check the radiator valves are all open - we have thermostatic valves on all ours, set at their recommended 4 (often marked in some way)
    5. Stuff an old pillow up your chimney to stop heat escaping!
    6. Cover your windows with Secondary Glazing Film - look in the high street DIY stores - until you are ready to replace them
    7. Keep doors to unused rooms closed - especially the attic
    • Laura_Elsewhere
    • By Laura_Elsewhere 4th Jan 18, 5:14 PM
    • 68 Posts
    • 529 Thanks
    Laura_Elsewhere
    Another thing is curtains - most people seem to close curtains when they go into a room to start using it, regardless of what time that is. So a sitting room might have its curtains closed when you go in about 7ish after eating in the kitchen, or a bedroom might have its curtains closed when you go up to bed about half-ten.
    what works better is to go round just before dusk when there's still enough daylight to move around the house without lights on and close all the curtains then. That way as the temp starts to drop outside, you aren't letting heat out of the room. Even with double-glazing, the heat will go out through uncurtained windows and the temperatures start dropping as soon as the daylight goes.

    We also use a "stone pig" - a Victorian hot water bottle that is actually a bottle, made of thick, heavy ceramic stoneware. You fill it from the kettle, warming it slightly first by swilling round a bit of hot water, and then screw the filler-cap on firmly. It then lies on its side, cap uppermost, and in our experience it will stay hot, not just warm but actually hot, for a good ten hours inside a bed under the covers. Obviously you need a bedstead with a foot to it or else you kick it out and it probably would go through the floorboards
    But it's also excellent during the day to rest my feet on, or simply to leave in a room to take the chill off it.
    It's a form of mini storage heater, I suppose. Cost of boiling 1.5 pints of water = ten hours of heat covered or 4-5 hours of heat uncovered.

    you can find them in charity shops for a fiver or tenner - I would add a bit of silicone to the cap's screw to help ensure no leaking (I've never had one leak and I've used them for forty years, several different ones growing up and my own one now); I just cut a ring out of a bit of old torn silicone kitchenware.
    • VfM4meplse
    • By VfM4meplse 4th Jan 18, 5:18 PM
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    • 51,773 Thanks
    VfM4meplse
    Thanks for all the brilliant advice, all noted and to be implemented when I have a bit of cash to do so! Insulating and boarding the loft is a priority, followed by solar panels on the rear roof.
    We also use a "stone pig" - a Victorian hot water bottle that is actually a bottle, made of thick, heavy ceramic stoneware.
    Originally posted by Laura_Elsewhere
    Excellent idea, googled and P'Inned. My HWB just ain't cutting it at night.

    Last edited by VfM4meplse; 04-01-2018 at 5:22 PM.
    Value-for-money-for-me-puhleeze!

    "No man is worth, crawling on the earth"- adapted from Bob Crewe and Bob Gaudio

    Hope is not a strategy ...A child is for life, not just 18 years....Don't get me started on the NHS, because you won't win...If in doubt, don't pull out... I love chaz-ing!
    • YORKSHIRELASS
    • By YORKSHIRELASS 4th Jan 18, 6:17 PM
    • 4,437 Posts
    • 36,517 Thanks
    YORKSHIRELASS
    Hi

    Definitely important to block up your chimney if you have an open fire that you dont use. Our LR with an open fire is noticably colder than the rest of the house without the fire lit.

    Agree also about drawing curtains, making sure cavity wall insulation is done if you can, closing internal doors - especially if there are rooms that you dont really use, and having door curtains over draughty exterior doors. A cold, windy day is an excellent time to walk around your house trying to find draughts and work out if there is anything that can be done about them.

    Working out electricity costs for any heater is easy. Look at your electric bill and find out how much your electric costs per KWH. So say thats 15p then a 2KW heater will use 2 x 15p per hour = 30p. Now that doesnt sound much but run that for 4 hours a day 7 days a week and you are already up to £8.40 a week.

    Remember that something like an oil fired radiator with a thermostat will cycle on and off so wont be use the full 2KW all the time, but best to overestimate!

    An electric fan heater gives a blast of instant heat that is gone quickly when it is switched off whereas an oil fired radiator takes time to warm up but can be set at a low temperature to take the chill off.

    But the golden rule is that electric heaters are expensive and the ones that are low cost will be low wattage and probably ineffective for anything other than a broom cupboard!
    • frosty
    • By frosty 4th Jan 18, 6:49 PM
    • 1,110 Posts
    • 1,968 Thanks
    frosty
    I think you can buy multifuel stoves that don't need a chimney.They fit a long pipe and then go through the wall.
    We have a multifuel stove and it's like being in the tropics ,I was going to buy my husband a couple of blow up palm trees for Christmas our lounge is far too hot.
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