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Anyone successfully made a freezing cold room warmer?

(22 Posts)
ChocolateCakeandTeaPlease Sat 02-Dec-17 08:31:04

We have our kitchen in what was a basement/washhouse of a Victorian house. It has three double glazed windows and a tripe bifold door. It gets some sun in the mornings but FUCK it is freezing cold. It has a ten year old radiator that never seems particularly hot.

For the last few weeks it's been too cold to sit in really. Heating has been on 24/7 for three weeks and the kitchen is currently a balmy 14 degrees... Often around 12 degrees early morning. I have a toddler and I'm pregnant and we all have to camp out in the living room all day with the fire on...

We're about to get some work done and could potentially get an underfloor heating mat put in but it would involve losing our beautiful, expensive tiled floor. It's quite a large space so a new floor is going to cost a fortune.

Any suggestions? New radiator? New bifold doors? New house... (This is my suggestion to DH grin)

RoganJosh Sat 02-Dec-17 08:33:21

If you need the fire on in the living room too, is your whole house cold? Is your boiler not up to it maybe?

ForestDad Sat 02-Dec-17 08:37:31

Stop heat getting out (insulation, draught-proofing etc.)
Put more heat in, if your radiator isn't getting hot then get your heating serviced/adjusted (the radiators should all heat up at the same time and be broadly the same temp throughout the house). There will be youtubes on how to balance and bleed your radiators and refill your heating system if it's a closed system.
It might also not be big enough for the room if incorrectly specced in the first place.
I'd do these things before the expense of a new heating system.

Believeitornot Sat 02-Dec-17 08:38:47

Check the radiator is working. Is it hot at the bottom and cold at the top? Or not hot at all?

Get your boiler serviced and asked them to check the radiator.

ChocolateCakeandTeaPlease Sat 02-Dec-17 08:39:35

Living room is also on the basement floor and is also cold. The upper floors tend to be comfortable enough. I'm not sure about the boiler. I don't know much about it. The whole house was 'done' ten years ago before we bought it, supposedly with all the best stuff.

It is a large, old house with 3 floors and multiple rooms so suspect it needs a really really good boiler. I've always assumed that's what we have but I'm not sure. I'll check with DH as i think he knows. Would a decent boiler make the radiators hotter?

ChocolateCakeandTeaPlease Sat 02-Dec-17 08:40:49

Oh crossed post. Ok thanks for the advice - will start with the radiators and also look at trying to draught proof.

insancerre Sat 02-Dec-17 08:41:24

My whole house was freezing when we moved in
We have
Replaced the old boiler
Fitted thermostatic radiator valves
Replaced the windows and doors
Installed loft insulation
Installed cavity wall insulation
Replaced the gas fire with a log burner

It's toasty and warm now
Before I could have the heating on all day and still feel cold
Now the heating comes on 6-8 am and 6-10pm and it never drops below 18, it's currently 21 with no heating on

busyboysmum Sat 02-Dec-17 08:42:38

We have a couple of portable oil filled radiators in our similar space. We just use them in the winter. They heat the place up beautifully and really quickly. We have them on timer switches so they come on before we get up.

Kr1st1na Sat 02-Dec-17 08:42:43

Bigger and / or additional radiator

Heavy duty curtains with thermal lining on the doors and draw them as soon as it’s dark . Make sure the curtain rod is much wider than the doors so you can draw them off the doors completely during the day .

Thermal roller blinds on windows

ChocolateCakeandTeaPlease Sat 02-Dec-17 08:43:53

Insancerre that sounds blissful! Think from your list we could do the radiators and loft insulation so I'll look into both of them.

user1472377586 Sat 02-Dec-17 08:50:26

You need to find out the cause of the cold - likely to be the tiled floor.

Is it tiled in slate?
We have a sort of sunroom added on to another room that has a (visually beautiful) slate floor. We can't use the sunroom at all because it's absolutely freezing - like walking into a freezer.

If I were you, I'd put layers of rugs, even blankets to cover the floor of your kitchen for a day or so as an experiment. Monitor to determine if this raises the temperature in the room?

insancerre Sat 02-Dec-17 08:50:30

You can do the loft insulation yourselves
We bought it from b and q
Just wear a suit and mask when laying and lay it on top of the old stuff
Also cut a piece and stick it to your loft hatch

DontCallMeBaby Sat 02-Dec-17 08:58:12

Our house was cold when we moved in. We’ve replaced the windows and doors, increased the roof insulation, put in cavity wall insulation (it’s of an age where it should have had it, but didn’t), upgraded a couple of the radiators, put a gas fire in, and added a kickspace heater in the kitchen. The kitchen situation might be relevant to yours - it’s a fairly big room with only one fairly small radiator (we suspect the previous owners had another removed when they renovated the kitchen). There’s no space to add another or upgrade the existing one, hence the kickspace heater. The one thing we can’t do much about is that we have solid concrete floors, which makes the Karndean floor in the kitchen quite cold - will seriously consider underfloor heating when we eventually redo the kitchen.

lettuceWrap Sat 02-Dec-17 08:58:41

Underfloor heating is the answer... our bedroom is in a basement/garden room area (floor is about 2m below ground level). When we built it we put in wet underfloor heating which is on almost all year round (thermostat controlled). It’s a lovely gentle heat (warm stone floor).
In the early years we used to switch the underfloor heating off in warm weather but soon realised the temp of the room ended up very cold after a couple of days as the floor and insulation lost all its heat to the (much colder) underground temperature. Now we leave it on and a thermostat keeps it at a minimum temp.

Wet underfloor heating would be a big job to install but I think dry (electric) underfloor heating is more reliable than it was 15 years ago when we were looking into it, and it’s certainly much cheaper and easier to install.

passthecremeeggs Sat 02-Dec-17 09:06:09

Get an Aga?! That'll certainly warm your room up..

lettuceWrap Sat 02-Dec-17 09:07:14

Additionally, when we did up our (millstone/grand-design/nightmare) house, we super insulated everything walls, attics, and underfloor... people insulate attics but forget that the ground a house sits on will suck the heat out of it shock, especially true for basement rooms!

fuzzyduck1 Sat 02-Dec-17 10:44:22

Ref insulation you may be able to get help with the costs. We just had our loft done for under£100 the best bit was I didn’t have to climb into the loft and get all itchy.

whiskyowl Sat 02-Dec-17 11:37:46

Sometimes you can lift a tiled floor without doing too much damage - takes time and effort, but might be worth it. You can then insulate underneath and put in underfloor heating, then relay the tiles.

Also, do an online check of how many BTUs your room needs - you might want UFH AND a radiator if you have a huge space.

Electric underfloor is easier to install but it is expensive to run!

PigletJohn Sat 02-Dec-17 15:32:59

"It has a ten year old radiator that never seems particularly hot."

Turn off ALL the other radiators. Does this one now get fully hot? It should be "too hot to hold" on the top and "too hot to hold for long" on the bottom (so should all your other rads, when they are heating the rooms from cold).

Was it tacked on as an extra after the rest of the heating system was in place?

VivaLeBeaver Sat 02-Dec-17 15:36:37

If basement rooms were done after rest of house and extra radiators added you may need a bigger boiler? How many kw is the boiler and how many radiators (and what size). Google should be able to tell,you if boiler is big enough.

Blodplod Sat 02-Dec-17 15:47:33

Regards underfloor heating.. water is cheaper than electric. Water will act like a big radiator under the floor running off hot water rather than costly electric. So water is the way to go for cheaper ongoing costs. When we had ours put in there was all this talk of digging down into the floor to lay it, re screeding etc and it being a hugely expensive cost. None of the builders or even building regs knew of a different system. Out of the blue someone mentioned in passing it was now possible to get an overlay system that was very thin (18mm I think? Or maybe 21?) and could be laid over an existing floor, perfect for new builds and renovations. I can’t remember the exact name of it, but polypipe? I think there are now lots of different makes for different budgets. I would investigate the possibility of carefully taking up the existing tiles and laying a system like this. Obviously it’s going to raise the floor a bit so not sure how feasible this will be with bifold’s but you may be able to offset any height difference with a thinner floor covering than the tiles. But! I’m no builder so someone may come along and say how utterly impossible it would be for you to do that!

PigletJohn Sat 02-Dec-17 16:25:50

Unless you are very kind to worms, UFH has an insulating layer under the floor so the heat goes up into the house. It is quite expensive to do it properly, because with a solid floor, you have to dig it out and lay new concrete, insulation, heating, top screed, and them tiles or other flooring. So it's worthwhile if you do it at the time the house or floor is being built, but costly afterwards.

Wooden floors are not as bad.

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