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Talk to me about hot air heating systems

(18 Posts)
NickMyLipple Fri 27-May-16 22:35:44

You know, with the vents? We have had an offer accepted on a house. No radiators, just these hot air vents. I don't like having the heating on anyway, really as I'm a hot bod. I'd be very keen to know if they have the capacity to do air conditioning though!!

What do I need to know?

FishWithABicycle Fri 27-May-16 22:38:28

Airconditioning is a completely different thing. I doubt the vents could be adapted.

I grew up with warm air heating and consider it "normal" and radiators to be a weird and unpleasant way to heat a home. I was very disappointed to find how difficult it is to find a house with warm air heating.

Bassetfeet Fri 27-May-16 22:47:32

We have hot air heating system . In fact have just renewed our ancient still working when house was built system ( forty years old but serviced regularly) .
It seems to be seen as old fashioned but for us was and is very effective and heats house quickly . User friendly as in once warm enough you turn it down or use the timer . Cost of running good.
My new system has air conditioning but haven't used that yet . We love it .

disappoint15 Fri 27-May-16 22:53:29

Very drying. You can turn vents on and off individually but they often squeak or rattle when off. No residual heat - either on or off so house cools down really quickly. Gets very hot upstairs.

NickMyLipple Fri 27-May-16 23:31:51

Oooh Basset - exciting regarding the air conditioning. Did it cost you much for the installation?

I do like the fact it works quickly to heat, but also quick to cool. My partner and I get so hot, to the point where even in winter I have the windows open!

PigletJohn Sat 28-May-16 00:08:57

If you are in the UK, you will most often find an Electricaire (note the spelling) system. They were usually incorporated in a central cupboard when the house was built, there will be a fan, timer, ducts, heating elements and a block of concrete or bricks as a heat store. In the 1960's they were considered very modern. There was also ducted warm-air heating with a gas furnace.

They became unpopular when the price of electricity went up (it is now three or four times more expensive than energy from gas). Perhaps they are a worthwhile proposition if you have solar and/or an economy 7-type of tariff.

Last time I looked, there were specialists offering replacement parts, and a few electricians with experience of them. The system is not very complex, but will be unfamiliar to younger people. You would probably want to add dust filters.

The gas furnace system must be very rare now, I have not heard of anyone using it, and I expect that parts are unobtainable.

Bassetfeet Sat 28-May-16 00:10:25

Hi Nick
Spoke to DH and he says it is not so much air conditioning but circulates cold air when needed . Turn thermostat to certain temperature if hot weather .
It is unobtrusive and background fan noise like a hum when running.
I think it was about £ 2000 to renew system .
Google Johnson and Starley for info .
One thing I forgot to mention is that hot water will have to come from other source . But even with that our bills are competitive .
disappoint is right that there is not much better residual heat like radiators . But with good insulation it is fine for us .
It is different . What I Iike about it is that it is almost instant heat when you wake up or come home .

Bassetfeet Sat 28-May-16 00:17:58

And as PigletJohn said .....meticulous cleaning of air filters . Especially with dogs and the never ending hair . But easy job while wondering where the hell the muck comes from .

GETTINGLIKEMYMOTHER Sat 28-May-16 09:05:11

Warm air system was in this house when we bought it, a very long time ago now. It's worked fine, and we only recently replaced the 'boiler' which was installed in 1998 or 9. New one - also Johnson and Starley - is much more fuel efficient, as are all new units compare to much older ones of whichever system. Ours does provide hot water as well.
Main advantages to me are almost instant heat when you come into a cold house, and you don't lose a lot of wall space to radiators.

GETTINGLIKEMYMOTHER Sat 28-May-16 09:07:33

Oops, should have read, previous 'boiler' installed in 1988 or 9! In other words, lasted absolutely ages, and could still have been fixed, only we thought it high time, plus new ones are much more fully efficient.

PigletJohn Sat 28-May-16 11:39:09

Pleased to hear there are modern gas furnaces available to upgrade homes with an old one.

I imagine the technology will be developed in countries where they are more common. I have seen them in Canada.

notthe1Parrot Sat 28-May-16 12:36:03

We recently moved from a 1970s house that had a Johnson and Starley gas hot air central heating system. We had been used to a 'wet' system and were a bit apprehensive.

We loved it - no need for timers, you switched it on on the landing when you got up, and 5 mins later the house was warm.

We were there for nearly 20 years, and really missed the heating when we moved and returned to a wet system.

whois Sat 28-May-16 13:49:08

Ah, hot air takes me back to 70's posh houses!

We had it. It was a nightmare as the vents were in the feeling so you always had cold feet and a boiling head.

The filters were expensive and hard to get.

Replaced with underfloor and radiators and the house is a million times nicer.

The lack of radiators does look pretty cool though so I can see why it was the thing for architectural houses of that time.

Bassetfeet Sat 28-May-16 15:02:20

Laughed at your description of 1970s posh house whois grin. Mine sure is not posh but has still has lots of original features ahem . Let's just say I hope I live long enough for artex to come back in fashion and estate agents call it a' Period Property ' .
Aghast at heating vents in the ceiling though . Hot air rises doesn't it? Mine are all low on the wall or on the floor . Not much good admittedly if dog is lying next to or over one .

burythechains Sat 28-May-16 15:06:36

I had an 80's house with hot air run from a gas boiler. I really liked it and never cleaned any filters in 7 years. Didn't have any animals at the time though.

SquinkiesRule Sat 28-May-16 16:23:42

Ours was gas, and if you put it on without the heat, it would circulate the air, so when we had the wood burner fired up we could turn the system on and it would circulate the hot air for us and save on gas use. Worked well for us.

SquinkiesRule Sat 28-May-16 16:24:39

Oh Dh used to clean the filter every month when we had it on a lot. We had a reusable washable filter.

notthe1Parrot Sat 28-May-16 17:34:33

Oh, yes, forgot about the filter - we just hoovered it 3 or 4 times a year, not a problem, (and had the boiler serviced annually)

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