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Hotting up at Hendra's home

The loft has two inches of ancient lagging. The walls have cavities which are full of cold air and nothing else. The floors are wooden boards above a 12 inch void which is vigorously vented to allow adequate air to let the woodworm breath.

The boiler fell out of the ark. It has a pilot light and a tiny hot water cylinder, which is gravity fed. The heating system is a single pipe system with rads everywhere to cope with the inefficiencies. But the the icing on the cake is the UPVC single-glazed windows.

The old place was an average sized, 1920s detached house and as a result should consume less than 3000 kWhrs of heating per month in the winter, if it's maintained at 21 degrees C. Mine consumed 6250 kWhrs of gas just to maintain the place at a constant 16 degrees centigrade.

So what have I done about it? Thanks to the world's best offer from B&Q for loft lagging, we’ve insulated every floor void on the ground floor and blocked up every hole we could find everywhere else. Thus cutting the air change rate from 250 air changes per hour to just a handful. Total cost £25. When you are talking about payback times this is the future. My estimation is this investment will pay back in less than a week.

On a more high tech front, we have installed a heat pump boiler and slung the old one out.

The only draw back here is that the single pipe system is pretty useless at the best of times, especially with the lower water temperatures. This type of system relies on convection currents in the water to make it work so low temperatures are not good. The high-pressure water cylinder is a blessing offering countless hot showers for us to warm ourselves up.

Plans for the next couple of weeks include cavity wall insulation, some lagging in the loft and a conversion to a two pipe heating system. All will be complete by this time next week.

In the next installment, I am expecting to report record breaking savings in my energy bill.

Hopefully large enough to finance a nice holiday somewhere in far off climes, which will completely negate the carbon savings I have made.
Posted by Graham Hendra 09 February 2010 12:38:58 Categories: Graham's Gossip

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