What heating system is best.... choosing a heating system?

Postby robert_bullimore » Sat Dec 13, 2008 3:39 pm

I'm confused..... well not confused but I need some help in choosing a heating system.

My home is having an all new central heating system and domestic hot water installed. There is no gas supply to the property and the original form of heating was by oil.
Ground floor heating will be done by under floor heating and 1st floor is radiators.
its a 3 bedroom house with 2 bathrooms with the possibity of a 3rd on-suite at a later date (though this will probably be an ecetric shower)

I've been looking at Heat pumps (Air source and ground source); wood pellet boilers; LPG, and oil fired boilers with solar panels. Other options may include a Raybrun or similar that could heat DHW aswell as be used as an oven.

Then there are thermal stores which seem a good idea for winter time, but in the summer do you just end up with a huge tank of very hot water that is not used?

I'm really lost and have no idea which route to go down. Has anybody got any good advice for me and have had experience with less comon systems such as the heat pumps and thermal store?
Are there any other kind of heating methods that i haven't discovered yet?

any help/advice will much appreciated
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Simply Build It

Postby stoneyboy » Sun Dec 14, 2008 1:09 pm

Your question is very difficult to answer so here are a few pointers.
1. No matter which of the new technologies you select they will all reduce your energy useage.
2. No-one can tell what will happen to fuel prices.
2. If you have money burning a hole in your pocket go for whichever you fancy.
3. None of the new technologies (solar, wind, heatpump etc) have resonable payback periods and if something goes wrong with any of the components the payback period can be seriously extended.
4. You have not specified your occupancy/useage of the house. If your house is to be occupied 24/7 then something like a Rayburn or Aga providing CH and HW could be a good option but not for summer use. The question is how do you provide hot water in the summer? - An immersion heater running on Economy 7 would be the cheapest and simplest way.
5. If you are looking for the most practical and economic way I would suggest that you fit a multifuel stove (space heating only) in a fireplace as near to the middle of the ground floor as is possible. Use a condensing oil boiler for all other heat requirements.
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Postby simon@hwch » Sun Dec 14, 2008 1:40 pm

Heat pumps can work very well as an alternative to oil fired in better insulated homes, especially with low temp underfloor heating.

We fit the Mitsubishi Ecodan system, and NIBE systems. The Ecodan would probably struggle in so far as the hot water requirement in a larger house.

Air source heat pumps offer the best price/performance ratio. Ground Source are expensive to install, whether you are digging horizontally or vertically.

But insulation is the key, and if you can insulate your house well any heating system will be economical. Oil is now down to 35p per litre, from a high of 62p earlier in the year.

In terms of the options, I think you have covered them.
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Postby simon@hwch » Sun Dec 14, 2008 1:44 pm

I would add that any larger heat pump system will use a thermal store of some type, due to the 'degree minutes' that give efficiency benefits, and the fact that creation of washing temperature hot water takes the heat pump out of maximum CoP mode.

If the heat store is well insulated heat loss should not be a major problem.

There is no 'right' way of heating a house, just as there is no such thing as a typical property. You will have to make your own decisions based upon what suits you best.
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Postby robert_bullimore » Tue Dec 16, 2008 10:01 pm

Thank you for all your replies. To be honest, they were the kind of answers i was expecting, but it is very reassuring that i don't seem to have missed anything after all my re-search.

I will take all that has been said on board and will try to make up my mind.

Thanks again, and if anybody is interested i will contune posting with the options i take and how i get on with them.
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Postby Steve the gas » Wed Dec 17, 2008 7:12 am


Large factor -- is hot water demand/ useage.
Just to add to the list.
Steve the gas
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Postby thermodix » Wed Feb 25, 2009 9:52 am

Yeah heat pumps can work very well as an alternative to oil fired in better insulated homes, especially with low temp underfloor heating...
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