Poll: Dealing with the Tundra temperatures!


  • We have renovated an old Georgian house, built around 1810. We did all the calculations, got recommendations from suppliers and installers, and deliberately fitted an undersized boiler.

    Why?

    Because all the recommendations were based on keeping the whole house warm.
    We fitted thermostatic valves to everything except the heated towel rails and turn the radiators in unoccupied rooms down to the frost protection setting.

    Net result? The condensing boiler is working at maximum efficiency.

    The Aga in the kitchen sounds a far from green, energy hog. In a way it is, it consumes 425 kw/week (about Β£13.50/week from Jan 15). But, we were able to remove two large radiators and free up a serious amount of wall space. (Don't have the BTU figures for the rads, but not running them must mitigate the cost of running the Aga to a certain extent).

    We fitted a log burner in the lounge; green and carbon neutral. When we use that the central heating goes off as the thermostat is in the lounge.

    All our lights are either LED or compact fluorescent.

    We have way more loft insulation than recommended. There are drifts of it a couple of feet high! Before the insulation went in I took great pains to seal all ceiling piercings; light pendants, cable runs, water pipes, etc. Expanding foam is great stuff. Our loft space is freezing in the winter.

    As part of the renovation we had to rip up all the ground floor floorboards to repair or replace joists. We strung netting between the joists and laid insulation there as well.

    Double Glazing: Yes please, we'd really like some, but idiotic town hall planners are insisting like-for-like replacements and an architect's drawing for each and every window!. Prats. There's nine windows needing done. The architect's quote? More than the cost of one of the replacement windows. So for now we're stuck with early 1800's sash windows and 21st century drafts.
    One option that won't involve the planners is to get in a company that specialises in refurbishing sash and case windows. Sometimes they can fit really slimline double glazing, but it's expensive and the payback time is measured in years. uPVC is not an option.

    I bought a Flir One Infra Red camera attachment for my iPhone. It has proved invaluable for identifying cold spots from inside the house and, outside, hot spots from heat leaking out of the house. It was particularly useful when seeking out small ceiling piercings into the loft. I also use it to check the boiler return water temperature to ensure it continues to operate efficiently. It's probably paid for itself.

    If you have thermostatic valves fitted it means your central heating pump is working against a variable back pressure. Read the manual and see if you can change the way it operates. Mine has six settings. Find the right one for your system. The secret is knowing the boiler return temperature. Consult the manual.

    I have an app on my phone and a cheap wifi connected relay in the thermostat circuit. I can use that to turn the heating On or Off remotely. Handy when we go away for the weekend or longer. The kitchen/dining room stays warm, courtesy of the Aga, but we're not wasting gas heating the rest of the house. When we get about an hour from home we turn the heating on and get home to a comfortable house. IMHO Hive is a rip-off. You can get simple on/off functionality for Β£6.99 from ebay. Search for Sonoff wifi switch.

    Despite all our efforts our house is still expensive to run compared to a modern one. Although over the past 5 or 6 years we have reduced our energy consumption year on year, the bills continue to rise. Sometimes you just can't win.
    3
  • We have renovated an old Georgian house, built around 1810. We did all the calculations, got recommendations from suppliers and installers, and deliberately fitted an undersized boiler.

    Why?

    Because all the recommendations were based on keeping the whole house warm.
    We fitted thermostatic valves to everything except the heated towel rails and turn the radiators in unoccupied rooms down to the frost protection setting.

    Net result? The condensing boiler is working at maximum efficiency.

    The Aga in the kitchen sounds a far from green, energy hog. In a way it is, it consumes 425 kw/week (about Β£13.50/week from Jan 15). But, we were able to remove two large radiators and free up a serious amount of wall space. (Don't have the BTU figures for the rads, but not running them must mitigate the cost of running the Aga to a certain extent).

    We fitted a log burner in the lounge; green and carbon neutral. When we use that the central heating goes off as the thermostat is in the lounge.

    All our lights are either LED or compact fluorescent.

    We have way more loft insulation than recommended. There are drifts of it a couple of feet high! Before the insulation went in I took great pains to seal all ceiling piercings; light pendants, cable runs, water pipes, etc. Expanding foam is great stuff. Our loft space is freezing in the winter.

    As part of the renovation we had to rip up all the ground floor floorboards to repair or replace joists. We strung netting between the joists and laid insulation there as well.

    Double Glazing: Yes please, we'd really like some, but idiotic town hall planners are insisting like-for-like replacements and an architect's drawing for each and every window!. Prats. There's nine windows needing done. The architect's quote? More than the cost of one of the replacement windows. So for now we're stuck with early 1800's sash windows and 21st century drafts.
    One option that won't involve the planners is to get in a company that specialises in refurbishing sash and case windows. Sometimes they can fit really slimline double glazing, but it's expensive and the payback time is measured in years. uPVC is not an option.

    I bought a Flir One Infra Red camera attachment for my iPhone. It has proved invaluable for identifying cold spots from inside the house and, outside, hot spots from heat leaking out of the house. It was particularly useful when seeking out small ceiling piercings into the loft. I also use it to check the boiler return water temperature to ensure it continues to operate efficiently. It's probably paid for itself.

    If you have thermostatic valves fitted it means your central heating pump is working against a variable back pressure. Read the manual and see if you can change the way it operates. Mine has six settings. Find the right one for your system. The secret is knowing the boiler return temperature. Consult the manual.

    I have an app on my phone and a cheap wifi connected relay in the thermostat circuit. I can use that to turn the heating On or Off remotely. Handy when we go away for the weekend or longer. The kitchen/dining room stays warm, courtesy of the Aga, but we're not wasting gas heating the rest of the house. When we get about an hour from home we turn the heating on and get home to a comfortable house. IMHO Hive is a rip-off. You can get simple on/off functionality for Β£6.99 from ebay. Search for Sonoff wifi switch.

    Despite all our efforts our house is still expensive to run compared to a modern one. Although over the past 5 or 6 years we have reduced our energy consumption year on year, the bills continue to rise. Sometimes you just can't win.
  • Blimey you sound like millionaires. Good for you to have your own lively home.

    I had to sell my inherited house cos Arthritis had krept into my joints, with no central heating or boiler, my bedroom was freezing cold often Jack Frost painting the windows with icey patterns. So I bought an electric heater it was still cold in the bedroom, I had cold hands n feet every night even with 2 duvet n me sheepskin coat on the bed. The Council granted me a Disabled Facilities Grant for a lovely new but small shower room, as I could no longer get in n out of the bath.

    I applied for central heating grant, the tossers that came to install the pipes, told me, β€œThey are not Joiners campn’t take up the floorboards, in attic and all the other rooms, kitchen Lounge, Craft room n bedroom, I was told when they come to ask them to lay the pipes arond the skirting boards, but they refused. I run up a MASSIVE Β£800 Winter bill, cos all I had to heat me Lounge was an oil radiator, cos I had the gas supply cut off cos I didn’t want gas fire giving ff monoxide fumes.

    My Support Worker at the time advised me to sell my beloved family home, with all fond memories of my parents and I having a lvely warm wood fire in the Kitchen before, I got the fitted kitchen put in n dbl glazed windows which cost me Mam an opawful lot, being ripped off by the builder. My mistake was pa6ing the guy to do up all the rooms, the kitchen looked nice but was unfinished, no beading but all units where badly designed. Which Builder worth his salt puts an electric oven next to the washing macjphine n sink, with expised electric plugs with expised wires? Honest its was a nighmare, I regretted doing up our house, poor Mum got unwelcome callers when I was getting groceries, this shifty looking gypsy fella told me Mam to habd other Β£2,500 for doing minor repairs to missing tiles and remocving the chimney stacks. The Insurance lady told us the job was worth only Β£200. He threatened me with going to cops if I didn’t hand over the money.

    This 6oung lass followed me home after I had been to bank to get me Mam sone money to pay our bills, then she nocked on the door told me a sob story that would I give her a glass of water cos she was preggers, HA! Liar? She was drugged up on smack to the eyeballs cos she had punk rings around her eyes and druggey smell, her pimp must have come to case the joint, cos he came without her next day , asked for a coffee, then went into the Lounge nicked me purse full of 20ps for my disabled bus pass, he came into the kutchen n said he must go cos he has 5o take care of his girlfriend. She didn’t look 6 month preggers at all.

    Anyway I could not manage the stairs to the bathroom, my Carers were coming each day, I had 5o sleep in the sifa until I was 55, I contacted a great lady who helps older people to downsize n helped with selling me house n moving into my Little Palace flat, with 4 basic bit nice rooms with central heating, lovely new friends, one elderly lady our Resident Comedienne calls this place the Neverwell Hotel. Lol!!

    Anyway I paid off all me debts got awarded ESA n DLA, best thing I ever did moving from me lively but freezing house with me lively gardens. It was hard to let go, but I’ve been in this flat 5 years, I don’t need a 7 room house with stairs, there is a handy luft here for the Residents which I use often. I bought meselt a nice memory foam electric bed paid my rent on time in full, got a Smart telly n ppaid iff me fridge freezer n sofa on Zhp. Not recommended, HP had a huge 73% intrest rate so cost me a huge wack.

    So now I have a lovely cosy home, smashing finushed kitchen, the Head Office of this sheltered housing Assoc contol the gas ch by computer when the temp drops outside the heating goes up, so all I pay is rent and electric. God Bless wonderful PurePlanet Company. I’m truly blessed. MEGATHANKX X
    Peace and Luve

    Yours in Stitches

    Ory 🌏🌞
    1
  • Blimey you sound like millionaires. Good for you to have your own lively home.

    I had to sell my inherited house cos Arthritis had krept into my joints, with no central heating or boiler, my bedroom was freezing cold often Jack Frost painting the windows with icey patterns. So I bought an electric heater it was still cold in the bedroom, I had cold hands n feet every night even with 2 duvet n me sheepskin coat on the bed. The Council granted me a Disabled Facilities Grant for a lovely new but small shower room, as I could no longer get in n out of the bath.

    I applied for central heating grant, the tossers that came to install the pipes, told me, β€œThey are not Joiners campn’t take up the floorboards, in attic and all the other rooms, kitchen Lounge, Craft room n bedroom, I was told when they come to ask them to lay the pipes arond the skirting boards, but they refused. I run up a MASSIVE Β£800 Winter bill, cos all I had to heat me Lounge was an oil radiator, cos I had the gas supply cut off cos I didn’t want gas fire giving ff monoxide fumes.

    My Support Worker at the time advised me to sell my beloved family home, with all fond memories of my parents and I having a lvely warm wood fire in the Kitchen before, I got the fitted kitchen put in n dbl glazed windows which cost me Mam an opawful lot, being ripped off by the builder. My mistake was pa6ing the guy to do up all the rooms, the kitchen looked nice but was unfinished, no beading but all units where badly designed. Which Builder worth his salt puts an electric oven next to the washing macjphine n sink, with expised electric plugs with expised wires? Honest its was a nighmare, I regretted doing up our house, poor Mum got unwelcome callers when I was getting groceries, this shifty looking gypsy fella told me Mam to habd other Β£2,500 for doing minor repairs to missing tiles and remocving the chimney stacks. The Insurance lady told us the job was worth only Β£200. He threatened me with going to cops if I didn’t hand over the money.

    This 6oung lass followed me home after I had been to bank to get me Mam sone money to pay our bills, then she nocked on the door told me a sob story that would I give her a glass of water cos she was preggers, HA! Liar? She was drugged up on smack to the eyeballs cos she had punk rings around her eyes and druggey smell, her pimp must have come to case the joint, cos he came without her next day , asked for a coffee, then went into the Lounge nicked me purse full of 20ps for my disabled bus pass, he came into the kutchen n said he must go cos he has 5o take care of his girlfriend. She didn’t look 6 month preggers at all.

    Anyway I could not manage the stairs to the bathroom, my Carers were coming each day, I had 5o sleep in the sifa until I was 55, I contacted a great lady who helps older people to downsize n helped with selling me house n moving into my Little Palace flat, with 4 basic bit nice rooms with central heating, lovely new friends, one elderly lady our Resident Comedienne calls this place the Neverwell Hotel. Lol!!

    Anyway I paid off all me debts got awarded ESA n DLA, best thing I ever did moving from me lively but freezing house with me lively gardens. It was hard to let go, but I’ve been in this flat 5 years, I don’t need a 7 room house with stairs, there is a handy luft here for the Residents which I use often. I bought meselt a nice memory foam electric bed paid my rent on time in full, got a Smart telly n ppaid iff me fridge freezer n sofa on Zhp. Not recommended, HP had a huge 73% intrest rate so cost me a huge wack.

    So now I have a lovely cosy home, smashing finushed kitchen, the Head Office of this sheltered housing Assoc contol the gas ch by computer when the temp drops outside the heating goes up, so all I pay is rent and electric. God Bless wonderful PurePlanet Company. I’m truly blessed. MEGATHANKX X
    Peace and Luve

    Yours in Stitches

    Ory 🌏🌞
  • Quote Originally Posted by Oakbank View Post

    I have an app on my phone and a cheap wifi connected relay in the thermostat circuit. I can use that to turn the heating On or Off remotely. Handy when we go away for the weekend or longer. The kitchen/dining room stays warm, courtesy of the Aga, but we're not wasting gas heating the rest of the house. When we get about an hour from home we turn the heating on and get home to a comfortable house. IMHO Hive is a rip-off. You can get simple on/off functionality for Β£6.99 from ebay. Search for Sonoff wifi switch.
    Good tip @Oakbank
    Thanks for sharing
    Community Manager - Pure Planet

    1
  • Quote Originally Posted by Oakbank View Post

    I have an app on my phone and a cheap wifi connected relay in the thermostat circuit. I can use that to turn the heating On or Off remotely. Handy when we go away for the weekend or longer. The kitchen/dining room stays warm, courtesy of the Aga, but we're not wasting gas heating the rest of the house. When we get about an hour from home we turn the heating on and get home to a comfortable house. IMHO Hive is a rip-off. You can get simple on/off functionality for Β£6.99 from ebay. Search for Sonoff wifi switch.
    Good tip @Oakbank
    Thanks for sharing
    Community Manager - Pure Planet

  • I used to be A. Especially in our old terraced house. I got to the point of sitting at my computer in gloves, hat, multiple layers and under a blanket - and then thought it probably wouldn't hurt to have the heating on a little bit! I'm a bit more balanced these days.
    1
  • I used to be A. Especially in our old terraced house. I got to the point of sitting at my computer in gloves, hat, multiple layers and under a blanket - and then thought it probably wouldn't hurt to have the heating on a little bit! I'm a bit more balanced these days.
  • Having a home that has solid walls and no cavity, heating can be on for 3/4 hours at least to simply warm up by 2 degrees in the morning. But we do not set the thermostat above 19, the lowest my wife is comfortable with as she suffers from MS. External solid wall insulation is our Holy Grail but due to cost will need to be done in sections I feel. Jumpers, thick socks etc at this time of year and ( not meant to sound too crass) but the decision to switch provider has all helped keep costs more affordable.
    1
  • Having a home that has solid walls and no cavity, heating can be on for 3/4 hours at least to simply warm up by 2 degrees in the morning. But we do not set the thermostat above 19, the lowest my wife is comfortable with as she suffers from MS. External solid wall insulation is our Holy Grail but due to cost will need to be done in sections I feel. Jumpers, thick socks etc at this time of year and ( not meant to sound too crass) but the decision to switch provider has all helped keep costs more affordable.
  • Ha, it was when I moved out that I really started to turn lights off and not have the heating on. We used to spend as much time as possible at our parents houses over the winter

    I think it's cos I'm also a yorkshireman (we are like the Scots but without the generosity )
    1
  • Ha, it was when I moved out that I really started to turn lights off and not have the heating on. We used to spend as much time as possible at our parents houses over the winter

    I think it's cos I'm also a yorkshireman (we are like the Scots but without the generosity )