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  • FIRST POST
    • Jules31
    • By Jules31 6th Jan 18, 5:07 PM
    • 1Posts
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    Jules31
    Need to change heating system
    • #1
    • 6th Jan 18, 5:07 PM
    Need to change heating system 6th Jan 18 at 5:07 PM
    Advice required please. We have old night storage heaters in our 4-bed bungalow which are no longer efficient. We are pensioners with limited capital but need to install a cost effective alternative to keep us warm in our old age without massive bills. Mains gas is not available, we don't want a wood-burner so feel the options are oil, ground or air source or even upgrade the storage heaters. Any suggestions, in non technical language, with approximate costs would be welcome please.

    Many thanks
Page 1
    • Cardew
    • By Cardew 6th Jan 18, 5:40 PM
    • 27,137 Posts
    • 13,254 Thanks
    Cardew
    • #2
    • 6th Jan 18, 5:40 PM
    • #2
    • 6th Jan 18, 5:40 PM
    Welcome to the forum.

    Firstly, electrical appliances, including storage heaters, do not 'lose' efficiency in the sense that they will produce less heat for the same consumption of electricity.

    They might be broken, in which case they are easy to repair or replace. There are loads of cheap second hand storage heaters for sale on Ebay.

    So considering capital cost, the cheapest option will be to stay with storage heaters; but it is accepted that storage heating is not everyone's choice.

    Oil CH installation costs are high, you will probably have little change from £10,000 for a tank and system suitable for a 4 bed bungalow.

    Air source heat pump(ASHP) installation costs will be similar to oil, with Ground source heat pumps considerably more. There are grants available under the Renewable Heat Initiative(RHI) but they will depend on the insulation standard of your bungalow.
    • jk0
    • By jk0 6th Jan 18, 5:48 PM
    • 2,141 Posts
    • 23,851 Thanks
    jk0
    • #3
    • 6th Jan 18, 5:48 PM
    • #3
    • 6th Jan 18, 5:48 PM
    I agree with everything Cardew said above.

    If your storage heaters are very old, they might not have weather sensitive inputs. You can rectify this quite easily by fitting one of these items:

    http://www.pactrolsolutions.com/403901-weather-watcher-including-external-sensor-54-p.asp

    This might save as much as 20% of heating cost compared with leaving the controls set at a compromise setting based on the season.
    • lotteryman
    • By lotteryman 6th Jan 18, 5:51 PM
    • 34 Posts
    • 32 Thanks
    lotteryman
    • #4
    • 6th Jan 18, 5:51 PM
    • #4
    • 6th Jan 18, 5:51 PM
    Hi,
    there are lots of new radiators and 'greener' energy sources available but it depends on where you live, the type of property and the space you have.

    I assume you are on dual tariffs for electricity e.g. Economy 7 - if not then storage heaters are expensive and probably not appropriate. If you are you can replace them with newer, more efficient storage heaters. storage heaters now have thermostats and fans allowing them to be controlled better. However, they are relatively more expensive. and can be upto £1000 each depending on the output needed.
    You could replace them with modern oil filed radiators (many flats have these) which allow you to program when they switch on and off and the temp wanted but you can override the program to have heat when you want it. They are easy to install as they use a standard 13amp socket and can be freestanding or wall mounted. They range from £150 to £600 depending on the output required. just search for electric radiators

    Greener options
    Another option you could look at are heat pumps which take heat from outside air. A device sits outside the house and they are deemed to be efficient forms of heating (and yes they do work through the winter). I believe you can get subsidies for installing these but they are relatively expensive. go to " http://www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/renewable-energy/heat/air-source-heat-pumps " an independent organisation to find out more about them. If you contact companies to quote just take the usual precautions as there are some sharks out there!

    I'm sure you will have lots of other advice but hope this helps you get started
    • jk0
    • By jk0 7th Jan 18, 8:17 AM
    • 2,141 Posts
    • 23,851 Thanks
    jk0
    • #5
    • 7th Jan 18, 8:17 AM
    • #5
    • 7th Jan 18, 8:17 AM
    Don't get talked into Fischer 'storage heaters', will you? This is the comment from just one MSE member who bought them:

    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showpost.php?p=72986582&postcount=541

    However, there is a whole thread of disgruntled users.
    • matelodave
    • By matelodave 7th Jan 18, 9:41 AM
    • 3,269 Posts
    • 1,987 Thanks
    matelodave
    • #6
    • 7th Jan 18, 9:41 AM
    • #6
    • 7th Jan 18, 9:41 AM
    I agree with everything Cardew said above.

    If your storage heaters are very old, they might not have weather sensitive inputs. You can rectify this quite easily by fitting one of these items:

    http://www.pactrolsolutions.com/403901-weather-watcher-including-external-sensor-54-p.asp

    This might save as much as 20% of heating cost compared with leaving the controls set at a compromise setting based on the season.
    Originally posted by jk0
    It seemes ever so expensive at £180 plus the cost of a contactor, say another £80 plus the cost of getting an electrician in to do the job, not much, if any change out of £300. I wonder how effective they actually are in saving money.

    I'd agree with Cardew, get the storage heaters checked over and learn how to use them properly and make sure that you are on the best E7 tariff.

    An oil or lpg system will be very disruptive and from other threads looks like will cost around 8k. Heatpumps will cost more but you can get the Renewable Heat Incentive to mitigate the cost.

    As said above, do not get tempted with Fischer or any other type of "magic" heater filled with oil, ceramic or other ingredient which runs on full price leccy as they will cost a fortune to run, despite what the adverts or salesmen say.
    Last edited by matelodave; 07-01-2018 at 9:43 AM.
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    • jk0
    • By jk0 7th Jan 18, 10:15 AM
    • 2,141 Posts
    • 23,851 Thanks
    jk0
    • #7
    • 7th Jan 18, 10:15 AM
    • #7
    • 7th Jan 18, 10:15 AM
    It seemes ever so expensive at £180 plus the cost of a contactor, say another £80 plus the cost of getting an electrician in to do the job, not much, if any change out of £300. I wonder how effective they actually are in saving money.
    Originally posted by matelodave
    In the last week my storage heaters have used:

    Today: 54 units
    Saturday: 52 units
    Friday:40 units
    Thursday: 37 units
    Wednesday: 35 units
    Tuesday: 44 units
    Monday: 36 units.

    If I had set my heaters to use a fixed 36 units per night, (totaling £12.60), there would be 46 extra units required at the day rate. (£5.52) Grand total of £18.12

    If I had set my heaters to use a fixed 54 units per night, the cost would have been £18.90

    If I had set my heaters to use say a compromise of 45 units per night, totalling £15.75, and a top up of 16 day units (£1.92). A grand total of £17.67.

    However, my storage was controlled to the figures above, so used 298 units which cost £14.90.

    Therefore I have save £2.77 this week at worst by having my controller. Therefore maybe just over 100 weeks of heating to repay the investment?
    • FreeBear
    • By FreeBear 7th Jan 18, 1:33 PM
    • 1,417 Posts
    • 2,040 Thanks
    FreeBear
    • #8
    • 7th Jan 18, 1:33 PM
    • #8
    • 7th Jan 18, 1:33 PM
    How old is the property ?

    If it is an old, draughty bungalow, you'd be better off spending money on insulating and plugging the draughts.

    I live in a late 1920s semi that has always been difficult to keep warm - Slowly going round the place adding insulation and fixing the draughts (many of which are hidden behind the floors & ceilings). The work has been very messy at times, but there is already a noticeable improvement for not a lot of money.
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