Heating system if off grid for gas?(18 Posts)
We currently have a solid fuel boiler but BH hates having to fill/ clean it every day and we both hate that hot water is very limited (fine now kids are young and can share but doubt they'll want to in their teens)!
Other options we've considered are:
* lpg- good but stupidly expensive to run and will keep going up in the future.
* oil- same as above but slightly less expensive
* solar panels- not sure how cost effective they are now and as we live in north east, seems highly unlikely they'll provide what we need all year round so we'd still need a back up.
*log burners- doesn't solve heating of upstairs/ hot water so would still need an alternstive.
*some sort of aga type cooker- would have to be electric and again thinking that we'll have to have an alternative as don't think they heat water etc.
What are your experiences please and what would you opt for?
I'm on mains gas so not from personal experience....
Just want to point out this
site has lots of info on much of what you are asking for.
we are semi off grid and use oil ! flipping expensive !! our neighbours have a multi fuel fire in the main living room that also heats water ! they have an esse ( like an aga) in the kitchen and the leave all the doors open so the heat makes it's way upstairs too !
our heat is off most of the time - only on when it's really cold - have electric UFH in the kitchen and that's the only cosy room in the house !!! log burners are fab - but I still haven't got around to fitting one - so have an LPG bottle gas fire in the lounge and one in the garden room ! would love to replace the oil heating with GSHP but this isn't our forever home - so won't be doing that as we'd not recoup the initial investment !
we are oil.....oil fuelled range, that does HW and CH and is, as you know, a bit pricey.
but we also have a woodburner in the sitting room, so we tend to use that when the weather is "inbetween"...to delay to official Putting The Central Heating On moment
Also in the dining room we have another much bigger woodburner with a back boiler.....it piggybacks with the range, so that also does the CH&HW...and it is much more efficient, but it is more work than the range, so we tend to only use that when everyone is in
The main drawback to using the big fire is that the kitchen gets cold as the range doesn't kick in if the woodburner is working but you can't have it all!! :D
We have an electric wet central heating system, which also does the hot water (so just like GCH, but the boiler runs on electricity rather than gas).
It's a bit pricey to run, but we've got a wood burner in the living room and tend to use the central heating for an hour in the morning and a couple of hours in the evening.
We have a biomass gasification boiler which burns wood pellets: it's self-loading and automated so works more or less like any other boiler, none of the cleaning and loading you get with solid fuel boilers.
We have a buffer tank built into the system and in this we have a heat exchanger coil which uses the hot water in the tank which feeds the central heating to heat water for the taps so it's very efficient and works a bit like a combi system.
They're expensive to install initially, but currently eligible for the Renewable Heat Premium Payment which is a free grant towards some of the cost and from May 2014 for the ongoing Renewable Heat Initiative payments which work like the Feed In Tariff for solar panels and wind turbines. They're cheaper to run if you have the space to store large quantities of pellets as you can then buy in bulk at a discount.
we use oil, new boiler in last year. Given that the house needs further work on the insulation, I don't think the oil bill is more than gas would be.
oil produces pretty much the same heat per unit cost as mains gas. You have to keep an eye on the price and shop around, and there is of course the risk of it being stolen.
once it's stolen once - they will be back ! we even have CCTV now !! the joys of living rurally !!!
solar panels will not heat your house. Not enough energy & they get the most energy in daytime not night when you need it.
Oil has been good for us, not that expensive at all if you have good insulation.
I don't think a log burner would that be much work than your current solid fuel boiler.
No gas here. We have oil boiler for central heating plus a multi fuel stove in the living room with a back boiler that heats the water and tops up the central heating.
I don't think oil is as expensive to run as people think.
None of it bothers me apart from the fact that after 25 years I still hate cooking with an electric hob.
We have oil. For a reasonable size 4 bed detached house we pay approx Â£100 PM for our oil, which I think probably compares ok to gas.
Like another poster, I too didn't mind the oil heating but hated the electric hob. We switched to an induction hob last year and it's amazing, better than gas even so I would recommend that as well.
In the past we've had solid fuel then oil.
We now have a wood stove with hot water boiler (dunsley Yorkshire stove) that in winter heats hot water, ground floor with doors open and upstairs via radiators. There's a second wood stove in the lounge that's rarely used.
In summer our hot water is done by solar thermal, but we also have an electric immersion heater (used rarely for baths). We have a dishwasher so don't need much hot water other than for washing and have both a gravity fed shower when there's hot water in the tank and an electric one for cloudy summers days.
That said we were used to living in a drafty cold house and are happy with temps of 17-18 (I find anything over 20 a bit too hot tbh). Our house is now relatively draft free too which means it's more comfortable at lower temps.
Oh and we also have an induction hob, which is fab!
We've no gas in our village. Most houses have oil but our whole estate is electric, including the boiler. The estate agent called it 'wet electricity'. No idea except its two or three times the size of my parents (admittedly old) gas boiler and we have hot water whenever we need it. We very rarely have to flick the one hour boost on. I think the only time we did there was problem with the boiler heating water anyway.
You can get log burners that will do your hot water and central heating too. Look for boiler stoves.
You can also get boilers that run on wood pellets.
I'm off grid, have solar panels and lpg for heating but we heat the house off log burners and keep the central heating off, as it costs a fortune. Next time I would go for a boiler stove and/or a wood pellet boiler.
Have a look at Energy Saving Trust it can give you guidance of what renewables may be suitable for you.
Solar thermal can provide a heating system but either as a preheater for a standard boiler or with underfloor heating (which requires a lower temperature to operate)
Or you could just use it for your hot water requirement
Solar works fine in the NE as long as you have a good expanse of clear un-overshadowed roof.
Insulate, insulate, insulate before changing anything! This will be far more cost effective than replacing a solid fuel system.
We use a mix of cylinder LPG and electric to heat our house, along with a wood burner.To be honest I don't find the LPG too expensive - it's expensive in the winter but we hardlybuse anything in the summer. If you have electric heat then make sure you have a suitable electricity tarrif.
Our neighbours have an air source heat pump - it was/is expensive to run and not particularly cosy. They made it affordable by getting a good feed in tarrif on solar panels they installed.
I just have an open fire with back boiler which heats the hot water and three radiators ... I plan to get a rayburn type kitchen range to do the hot water and heating.
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