Step 12 = heating – space and water

What are your input systems?

Oh the headaches this one has caused me…

The first thing to determine is which is your over-riding goal – keeping costs down or be ‘green’? With mains gas still the cheapest option (at least in the short term) a modern gas boiler is probably still the best choice if you’re on the mains and cost is a priority (and arguably it’s not so bad on the green-front as other electricity hungry solutions – but I’ll not be having that argument with anyone thanks very much!). With no mains gas we get into the standard set of barn conversion options – oil boilers, heat pumps (ground and air source), combined heat and power (CHP), bio-mass (& 2) and conventional wood burning.

Oil is expensive and looks set to get more so, heat pumps consume electricity (again expensive and looks set to get more so, add PV to generate your own and push up those capital costs even further), CHP may still be too young as a technology (although it may be interesting when used in combination with mains gas in something like the Baxi Ecogen micro-CHP unit) and bio-mass / wood burning are only really suitable if you can ‘grow-your-own’ or at least have a ready supply of firewood and a love of chopping logs (unless you fancy burning pellets and tying yourself to the vagaries of that budding marketplace). I said it was a tricky subject…

I reserve a separate paragraph for solar thermal hot-water as I feel it deserves to stand-alone. Unless you’re really, really pushed for budget, I see solar thermal hot-water panels as an essential feature of any contemporary build, regardless of which other choice(s) you make when building your space and water heating solution.

Those are your options, take your pick…

Don’t forget you should minimise your demand for heating, so maximising your levels of insulation and the solar heat gain from good passive solar design is just as important as your space and water heating solution.

By MBCadm1n-000

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

No widgets found. Go to Widget page and add the widget in Offcanvas Sidebar Widget Area.