Heating Solutions

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asthmatic camel
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Heating Solutions

Post by asthmatic camel » Sat Jul 06, 2019 10:36 pm

So, it's 13 years since we installed our gas central heating/hot water system based around a condensing boiler. While it's been fantastic to date, only requiring one repair, the engineer who came to give it its annual service this week informs me that some replacement parts have already become unavailable, (fortunately, ones that are unlikely ever to fail), and it's probably time to start thinking about our options for a new system.

As things stand here in Britland, new gas heating systems are only allowed in properties which already have them, with new-build homes required to be 100% electrically powered, and I can see the time coming when they're banned outright. They're also expensive to install, maintain and generally not very environmentally friendly, however efficient they might be.

Time for some research.

Here, gas is almost four times as expensive as electricity, so, thinks I, maybe I can look at home-based renewables, perhaps with a Tesla battery thingy. I did. How much??? Either way too expensive and/or impractical for our place. Storage heaters? These used to be the preferred alternative to gas, as you could charge them up cheaply overnight when there was an oversupply of electricity and a special tariff was available. Now that our coal-fired plants are being decommissioned, however, (you can't turn them on and off easily, hence the oversupply problem overnight), this is coming to an end. Not a viable option. Oil-filled electric heaters? Convection heaters? Cheap to buy but way too expensive to run, (I've tried.) Looks like I'm stuck with gas for the foreseeable future, then. Or am I? Think, think think. What was it my old Mum was rabbiting on about at great length that I nodded and smiled at while paying little attention the other day? That's it! Infra-red radiant heating panels!

A quick Google later and I think I have the solution. These things. Simple to install, little to no maintenance required, fairly cheap to buy and, (allegedly), relatively cheap to run.

Image

Not being one to rush into things, I've ordered one unit to experiment with over the Winter, (I'll need five in total). If all goes well, I intend to install them in every room, rip out the old central heating radiators and just use the existing boiler for hot water, which should extend its working life by a few years.

Any thoughts? (I should probably have asked sparks for some advice but he's a cunt, so I didn't. :D )
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Re: Heating Solutions

Post by Doctor X » Sun Jul 07, 2019 9:38 am

You have central heating in the UK?







What?

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Re: Heating Solutions

Post by Rob Lister » Sun Jul 07, 2019 11:10 am

I cannot imagine a world where that is a good idea. 450 watts is half a clothes iron. Just buy an iron. $30 bucks tops. Twice the heating. 100% efficient.

Seriously, you Brits have fucking issues.

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Re: Heating Solutions

Post by ed » Sun Jul 07, 2019 11:37 am

What is this "heating" of which you speak?
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Re: Heating Solutions

Post by Abdul Alhazred » Sun Jul 07, 2019 12:17 pm

Didn't know lake Myakka was that big.

Also, what happened to all the floating debris?
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Re: Heating Solutions

Post by Rob Lister » Sun Jul 07, 2019 12:28 pm

Those are some sexy legs right there.

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Re: Heating Solutions

Post by asthmatic camel » Sun Jul 07, 2019 1:09 pm

Rob Lister wrote:
Sun Jul 07, 2019 11:10 am
I cannot imagine a world where that is a good idea. 450 watts is half a clothes iron. Just buy an iron. $30 bucks tops. Twice the heating. 100% efficient.

Seriously, you Brits have fucking issues.
Hence my decision to only buy one. Electricity is so expensive because the energy companies have been forced to fund renewable energy projects and have passed on the costs.
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Re: Heating Solutions

Post by Abdul Alhazred » Sun Jul 07, 2019 1:15 pm

Rob Lister wrote:
Sun Jul 07, 2019 11:10 am
Seriously, you Brits have fucking issues.
Maybe. But really heating is rather un-British.

AC: You are trying to be American. That's the problem. :)
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Re: Heating Solutions

Post by asthmatic camel » Sun Jul 07, 2019 1:56 pm

Well, it's arrived. I intend to use it in my roughly 4x3 yard den, where I tend to live during the winter. Heating it alone with an oil-filled electric radiator is only marginally cheaper than heating the whole house with gas, so I'll see whether it's worthwhile.
Shit happens. The older you get, the more often shit happens. So you have to try not to give a shit even when you do. Because, if you give too many shits, you've created your own shit creek and there's no way out other than swimming through the shit. Oh, and fuck.

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Re: Heating Solutions

Post by Rob Lister » Sun Jul 07, 2019 3:46 pm

Send it back. A watt is a watt is a watt. Whether you fill it with oil or fill it with shit, it's still a watt.

Buy a clothes iron. Plug it in. Twice the heat a half the price.

watt?

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Re: Heating Solutions

Post by asthmatic camel » Sun Jul 07, 2019 5:59 pm

A Watt is a Watt, sure, but some methods of heating are considerably more efficient than others and there are maintenance costs etc. to consider. I pay an additional £14 per month insurance to cover any boiler repairs, which can be monstrously expensive. I had to pay £180 to replace a tiny circuit board for example.

Here we go, installed and working in five minutes. (Yeah, yeah, I know, I need a bit of trunking to tidy the cable away, and the place could do with a coat of paint. Stop nagging already.)

Image

In the spirit of SC scientific inquiry, I turned everything else off and checked the smart meter for running costs. This is costing 7p per hour, my 1800 w emergency oil-filled radiator comes in at a whopping 26p per hour and the central heating system, as expected, comes in streets ahead at a measly 2p per hour, almost exactly in line with the review I read here.

Does it work? Well, it's 24C today, so not great for a test run but it certainly heats up quickly and appears to chuck out a decent amount of warmth. If it keeps my den comfortably warm in the Winter, I'd seriously consider adding a thermostat and kitting out the rest of the house with suitably sized panels.

Watch this space, oh ye of little faith...
Shit happens. The older you get, the more often shit happens. So you have to try not to give a shit even when you do. Because, if you give too many shits, you've created your own shit creek and there's no way out other than swimming through the shit. Oh, and fuck.

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Re: Heating Solutions

Post by Abdul Alhazred » Sun Jul 07, 2019 6:03 pm

Does your house have any sort of built in heating?

A disused coal furnace in the basement from the Golden Age of Manchester, perhaps?
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Re: Heating Solutions

Post by asthmatic camel » Sun Jul 07, 2019 6:44 pm

My place is a Victorian, brick-built terrace dating from around 1885. Originally it would have been heated by open coal fires but these had all been removed and replaced by a gas central heating system long before I bought it. Most who could afford to switched to gas systems back when I was a wee spud and cheap North Sea gas supplies became available. There are still considerable amounts left but with current environmental concerns, I can easily foresee future cash-strapped governments increasing taxation to bring prices into line with those of electricity.

I'm trying to plan ahead, Abdul, hence my proof of concept project. (Do I get to spend a night in the box for saying that?)
Shit happens. The older you get, the more often shit happens. So you have to try not to give a shit even when you do. Because, if you give too many shits, you've created your own shit creek and there's no way out other than swimming through the shit. Oh, and fuck.

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Re: Heating Solutions

Post by shemp » Sun Jul 07, 2019 6:55 pm

Why don't you burn peat? Isn't England just a giant peat bog? Get a shovel and get to work!
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Re: Heating Solutions

Post by asthmatic camel » Sun Jul 07, 2019 7:07 pm

There's plenty of peat around locally, shemp but A) I don't have any open fires or stoves to burn it, B) I don't have a car to transport it and C) if I turned up with a shovel in the Peak District National Park and started digging up the grouse moors, I'd be in a whole heap of shit.

Peat is burned as fuel by some, but it's not a practical solution for most and it's not exactly a p.c. option.
Shit happens. The older you get, the more often shit happens. So you have to try not to give a shit even when you do. Because, if you give too many shits, you've created your own shit creek and there's no way out other than swimming through the shit. Oh, and fuck.

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Re: Heating Solutions

Post by Abdul Alhazred » Sun Jul 07, 2019 7:26 pm

asthmatic camel wrote:
Sun Jul 07, 2019 6:44 pm
My place is a Victorian, brick-built terrace dating from around 1885. Originally it would have been heated by open coal fires but these had all been removed and replaced by a gas central heating system long before I bought it. Most who could afford to switched to gas systems back when I was a wee spud and cheap North Sea gas supplies became available. There are still considerable amounts left but with current environmental concerns, I can easily foresee future cash-strapped governments increasing taxation to bring prices into line with those of electricity.

I'm trying to plan ahead, Abdul, hence my proof of concept project. (Do I get to spend a night in the box for saying that?)
I myself am all electric. 8)
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Re: Heating Solutions

Post by ed » Sun Jul 07, 2019 7:38 pm

I thought that gas was very clean
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Re: Heating Solutions

Post by sparks » Sun Jul 07, 2019 7:46 pm

Rob Lister wrote:
Sun Jul 07, 2019 11:10 am
I cannot imagine a world where that is a good idea. 450 watts is half a clothes iron. Just buy an iron. $30 bucks tops. Twice the heating. 100% efficient.
Common sense says nothing is 100% efficient. But if the object is to convert electrical into thermal energy, what's being wasted and in what form?

Just Googled and found that "electrical resistance heating is 100% efficient". Then there is this on infra-red heaters: https://www.thespruce.com/how-to-choose ... er-4132344

In Russia, heaters heat you, not space.

"(I should probably have asked sparks for some advice but he's a cunt, so I didn't. :D )

You're welcome. Limey wanker. :)
Last edited by sparks on Sun Jul 07, 2019 7:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Heating Solutions

Post by Abdul Alhazred » Sun Jul 07, 2019 7:55 pm

ed wrote:
Sun Jul 07, 2019 7:38 pm
I thought that gas was very clean
Clean burning means no monoxide, fly ash, etc.

It's clean, but the issue is CO2.
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Re: Heating Solutions

Post by shemp » Sun Jul 07, 2019 8:19 pm

asthmatic camel wrote:
Sun Jul 07, 2019 7:07 pm
There's plenty of peat around locally, shemp but A) I don't have any open fires or stoves to burn it, B) I don't have a car to transport it and C) if I turned up with a shovel in the Peak District National Park and started digging up the grouse moors, I'd be in a whole heap of shit.

Peat is burned as fuel by some, but it's not a practical solution for most and it's not exactly a p.c. option.
There's your solution: Get into a whole heap of shit and burn that!

And Sparks is right: limey wanker!
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