Renewable heating

(7 Posts)

MNHQ have commented on this thread.

sarahjmg4 Mon 02-Dec-19 22:39:16

We’re doing a big refurb on an old, grade 2 listed farmhouse. It currently has no plumbing, although it is connected to mains gas. We’d love to make it as eco-friendly (and cheap to run!) as possible and I’m wondering if anyone with a similar type of house has any experience of air/ground source heat pumps? And pairing them with solar panels for electricity?

We’re planning to fit lots of roof insulation, desperately hoping we’ll be allowed to fit heritage double glazing (windows are falling apart anyway and will need to be refurbished/reglazed at least) and we think we’ll be able to do underfloor heating for about half of the house, but we’re aware we will be limited with what we can achieve in terms of air tightness. Are we fighting a losing battle here? Anyone with a similar sort of house got any experience with heat pumps? Has your electricity bill gone up a lot in order to run it? Could it be run off solar panels instead?

If we really don’t think renewable is an option for us, we’re looking at the idea of a hydrogen fuel cell boiler instead. It’s not renewable, as it uses mains gas to create hydrogen, which it uses to generate electricity and then the waste heat from that to heat the house, but overall it’s lower carbon than gas and electricity separately. Can anyone share any experience of using these?

Or any other renewable/low carbon heating method I’ve not come across?


OP’s posts: |
LouMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 05-Dec-19 15:52:38

We're bumping this for you, OP.

Best of luck. smile

Teasville Thu 05-Dec-19 16:37:48

I've no answers but wondering similar re. our (not so old or listed) house...

Fatfat Thu 05-Dec-19 21:32:19

We have an air source heat pump in a 30s extended house. We fitted it, when doing the refurb. We insulated everywhere including floor, loft, walls, we have wet underfloor heating downstairs and larger than average radiators upstairs. We never have an issue with hot water but in some of our downstairs rooms (particularly in our extended room with lots of glass) it can feel a little cool. But we have a log burner so not too worried about it. We are off gas grid and previously was electric. It’s much cheaper and warmer!

We get a grant if approx £11k over 7 years so it pays itself back.... which is a bonus smile

sarahjmg4 Thu 05-Dec-19 21:55:01

Thanks for the info! What sort of wall insulation do you have? We have very thick walls, but no cavities, so that won’t work for us, but maybe you have something else? Is yours listed by any chance? Just wondered how much that might complicate matters further.

We are on the gas grid and while I’m keen to go green, my boyfriend is more keen on saving money and thinks gas will be cheapest (for now at least!). Would you still have gone with the heat pump had you had mains gas?

OP’s posts: |
Bottledate Thu 05-Dec-19 22:06:55

We looked into heat pumps when our boiler needed replacing (large Victorian house with no cavity walls). Although a period house expert said it was a good idea (on the understanding the breathability of the house supported a constant, low-level heating), none of the companies we had come round thought it was and, for the additional cost and uncertainty, we shied away from the idea. They still interest us though, especially as our reliance on gas is not favourable.

We had solar panels fitted a few years ago before FiT plummeted. The earnings/savings equal our gas and electric bills over the year and obviously were another factor in looking at a heat pump, since they are always at least a little but active. We have these wires into the hot water so that on sunny days they heat the water over the gas boiler (we used no gas for several months over summer).

We've put in masses of roof insulation, although the biggest effect would probably be from externally insulating the large external side wall which we aren't so keen to do.

Fatfat Thu 05-Dec-19 22:43:26

@sarahjmg4 we have cavity walls which have been filled, but you can also get inner wall insulation which can work on solid walls, but will take a couple of inches off the overall room size.

If we were on the gas grid then we wouldn’t have got this, as gas will always work out cheaper in the long run.. if you want to be a bit more green then maybe you could consider solar panels for hot water and / or electric.

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