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    • Tinytim10
    • By Tinytim10 30th Nov 17, 9:02 PM
    • 2Posts
    • 0Thanks
    Keeping my flat warm
    • #1
    • 30th Nov 17, 9:02 PM
    Keeping my flat warm 30th Nov 17 at 9:02 PM
    Hi there,

    Iím new here so apologies if Iím not following any rules etc.

    I need some help, as soon as possible ideally, with keeping heat in my flat.

    Myself and my girlfriend (both 18) have just moved into a new rented flat. Itís part of a grade 2 listed mansion, so it is quite old. This means we have single glazing, vertical opening windows (with slight gaps), two French doors (again with gaps in them at the bottom) and a lot of windows.

    It is only a 3 room flat with a living room/kitchen, a bedroom and a bathroom.

    Heating inside consists of 1 storage heater and 1 electric panel heater in the living room, 1 panel heater in the bedroom and another in the bathroom. However, I am convinced the storage heater doesnít work so we have been using the electric panel heater in the living room on full power from the moment we get home until we go to bed.

    As the colder weather has been setting in, when I get home from work the flat has been as cold as 13įC, with the heaters on it then may rise to about 17įC ish by about 10:30pm.

    I am, however, worried that the electric panel heaters are using a lot of electricity.

    I have a few questions.

    1: Am I right in thinking that the panel heaters will be using lots of electric?

    2: Would it be worth asking the landlord to get the storage heater fixed? Are they better than the panel heaters?

    3. What can I do to keep heat inside the flat? I have draught stoppers at the base of the French doors but I donít think they help much.

    Thank you in advance for any help!
Page 1
    • molerat
    • By molerat 30th Nov 17, 9:16 PM
    • 18,789 Posts
    • 12,943 Thanks
    • #2
    • 30th Nov 17, 9:16 PM
    • #2
    • 30th Nov 17, 9:16 PM
    1. Yes, especially if you are on an E7 tariff as daytime electricity is at a premium price.
    2. Yes, get it fixed or at least explained to you how to switch it on. Do you know how to work it - you leave it switched on all the time and it charges up on cheap overnight electric and lets it out during the day.
    3. Heavy curtains and maybe taping over the gaps in the frames.

    Do you know what electricity tariff you are on ? Did you take meter readings when you moved in and give them to the current supplier of the property ?
    • Tinytim10
    • By Tinytim10 30th Nov 17, 10:31 PM
    • 2 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    • #3
    • 30th Nov 17, 10:31 PM
    • #3
    • 30th Nov 17, 10:31 PM

    Yes we are on an E7 tariff, itís a variable one if that helps at all?

    Iíve turned it on and left it for 3 days to give it a chance to work, but nothing happened so I can only presume itís not working. I wasnít sure whether or not it is better than the panel heaters, but your point of electricity being cheaper at night makes sense.

    We do have fairly heavy curtains up already, we open them and the blinds during the day to allow the sunlight in and then close them when I get home from work.

    No I didnít take the meter readings when we moved in, Iím not actually sure where the meter itself is

    Thanks for the help
    • badmemory
    • By badmemory 1st Dec 17, 12:13 AM
    • 1,709 Posts
    • 2,305 Thanks
    • #4
    • 1st Dec 17, 12:13 AM
    • #4
    • 1st Dec 17, 12:13 AM
    I'm not sure if it is still available but there used to be a "cling film" that you could use to cover the whole window frame that would act as a form of double glazing. Anything you use to seal the drafts will be good, blue tack even (or white tack may be a better match). Anything you can use to seal drafts that can be removed when you leave.

    Good luck - this can be a sharp learning curve!
    • Lord Baltimore
    • By Lord Baltimore 1st Dec 17, 12:54 AM
    • 1,315 Posts
    • 1,305 Thanks
    Lord Baltimore
    • #5
    • 1st Dec 17, 12:54 AM
    • #5
    • 1st Dec 17, 12:54 AM
    This place is going to bleed you dry if you're not careful. A sensible and responsible bloke like you will know that single-glazed windows, french doors, gapping, poor wall insulation, probably high ceilings and no gas is not something that can be resolved easily, if at all. I appreciate that funds are probably tight but can't you move to somewhere more modern?

    Oh, and find that meter!
    p.s. what about a calor gas heater?
    all your base are belong to us
    • nic_c
    • By nic_c 1st Dec 17, 8:32 AM
    • 1,523 Posts
    • 832 Thanks
    • #6
    • 1st Dec 17, 8:32 AM
    • #6
    • 1st Dec 17, 8:32 AM
    You can do a lot of removable options to winterise your flat. Taping over gaps in windows has been suggested, as has the window film that you shrink with a hairdryer to make a type of double glazing. Heavy drapes over doors and windows will help trap in heat. It is a case of whether you try and heat the whole flat or part.

    Storage heaters tend to only be with economy 7 tariff, which you say you are on. They do become less effective over lifetime as the bricks they use to store heat degrade. They are expensive - I pay a third in bills for gas & elect in my semi which is nice and warm than I used to in my old electric only 1-bed rented flat with storage heaters and single glazed windows that was never warm enough over winter (similar to your situation).

    We would wake up nice and warm, but the storage heaters were stone cold by 5pm - because of their age. Approach your landlord and see what they will do, but if not willing to do anything you have a few choices. As you're both 18 do you invest in thick jumpers and leggings and extra bedding and just live with a cold flat, or try and insulate the rooms and put up with high heating costs over the winter. We did a combination - oil filled radiators that would go on for an hour to take the chill, curtains attached to a couple of nails on top of door frames, and blankets on the chairs to wrap us up in each evening. We used to open the windows during the day if one of us was home, at least for a couple of hours to blow air through. Without doing this the lack of ventilation can lead to damp, since old properties like this were designed to be draughty (because often had coal fires), and otherwise you may find clothes etc stored away may get foisty smell and black spots appearing on walls behind cupboards.

    You may also want to consider whether you want to find somewhere new next year or whether you can put up with cold winters.
    • macman
    • By macman 1st Dec 17, 9:26 AM
    • 41,920 Posts
    • 17,396 Thanks
    • #7
    • 1st Dec 17, 9:26 AM
    • #7
    • 1st Dec 17, 9:26 AM
    Either get the LL to sort out the NSH's, and remove the panel heaters, or get the metering and tariff switched from E7 to single rate. It's insane to run panel heaters on E7, as you are paying a large premium for all the day rate hours. Typically you need to use around 33% of your total kWh on cheap rate to make E7 pay, which you will be nowhere near
    Variable rate makes me think you are on standard variable tariff, which is the default tariff, and the most expensive. Switch to a cheap fix.
    Not getting the meters read as soon as you occupy means that you are setting yourself up to pay for the previous tenant's usage, and without any evidence to prove the actual readings, so I'd suggest you take ownership of that issue. It's your job, not the LL's. And, by the sound of it, he's an amateur.
    No free lunch, and no free laptop
    • House Martin
    • By House Martin 1st Dec 17, 10:15 AM
    • 1,380 Posts
    • 1,163 Thanks
    House Martin
    • #8
    • 1st Dec 17, 10:15 AM
    • #8
    • 1st Dec 17, 10:15 AM
    Excellent advice from Macman as usual. OP, check out Iresa Energys one year fixed eco 7 tariff.It could be as much as 30% cheaper than a suppliers standard tariff.
    Also please have a good look at the meter and visually establish when the cheap rate kicks in.Do not go by published times.Many set ups see the cheap 7 hrs coming on at any time in the 24 hrs depending on what type of timer switch is installed.
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