Advice on heating my home to be eco friendly and cheap, electric or gas? We have storage heaters, a gas supply but no gas meter...

  • 10 December 2020
  • 9 replies
  • 223 views

Userlevel 1

Hi

I am looking for advice on what is the best solution to heat my property, gas or electric?

I have recently purchased a first floor 2 bed maisonette which has been vacant for 2 years. It currently has a 40-50 year old old storage heating system, with gas to the property but no meter installed. The loft is well insulated and double glazed windows fitted.

I want an eco friendly, cost efficient solution. 

Combi gas boiler, electric radiators or underfloor heating? 

I could do with some professional assistance.


9 replies

Userlevel 7
Badge +4

Hi there @Mark G ,

This sounds like it could be a pretty deep topic, but there’s a few members who can almost certainly offer advice.

Based on my own personal experience (one-bedroom flat, new build, double glazing and electric underfloor heating), underfloor heating has been extremely cheap for me to run and a lot more efficient than the radiators at my parents house - I also get some degree of heating effect for a good few hours after I shut the heating off.

Chances are that pretty much anything will be a lot more suitable than those ancient storage heaters, but I think @Transparent has some advice.

Userlevel 7

Yep I agree with @Blastoise186 this could be a great topic. I’ve separated it out so it has some space.

 

Great question, @Mark G 

 

@Transparent would be a great go to for this. Let’s wait and see if we hear from him. In the meantime, some things to consider:

 

No gas meter but a gas supply. That might be costly. The amount depends on if the National Grid would need to visit when the meter is fitted for mains pipe work. See our topic guide on costs, here. For a gas supply we provide with a new meter needed, it’s £106. I have a feeling it’s more then that in your case. So please factor in the costs of the upgrade into this. 

 

Also factor in that this is an investment. Gas boilers, heaters etc are still widely used, but there’s efforts being made to reduce this, costs for electric alternatives are coming down. You might want to be ahead of the curve on that. 

 

Keen to hear from others. @Jequinlan @ArundaleP @sylm_2000 and @NinjaGeek might not be that far away from getting some electric powered heat pumps installed so may also be worth flagging with them...

Userlevel 5
Badge +2

@Mark G It sounds like you have a great opportunity to start from scratch. 
 

Have you had a professional do heat loss calculations and price up a gas solution? It is most likely the gas combi / radiator option will be the cheapest upfront cost but not the most eco friendly (could be wrong but I would get some estimates with specs).

You have quite a few options available depending on budget and suitability of the building. I would get some estimates for a few options to narrow down your choices.

 

 


 

 

Userlevel 6
Badge +1

@Mark G really depends on your budget, bearing in mind that gas boilers are to be banned in 2033 I think, if you plan on staying that long an air source heat pump coupled to underfloor heating using water pipes.  Obviously this would be expensive, about twice the cost of a gas boiler installation and require some work on the floor.

 

if your budget is limited as I suspect, modern storage heaters are much more efficient than the old ones you have, this might be cheaper than a gas boiler and radiator solution and obviously require less work to install.

Userlevel 1

Hi

Thank you for your comments @Blastoise186 @Tim_OVO @PeterR1947 @ArundaleP 

My budget is slightly limited but I would like to go green as long as it offers reasonable running costs . I like the idea of underfloor heating. I guess that alternative underfloor option to water pipes is cheaper to install but less efficient to run.

I am being quoted about £52 per month if I had a gas Combi boiler and radiators, with electric oven/hob.

The property also has a concrete floor with boards on wooden struts above.

Which products should I look at?

 

Mark

Userlevel 7
Badge +4

Hi again @Mark G ,

Sorry for the wait! If you’ve got a concrete floor with wooden boards, that might work with underfloor heating. If it’s a brand new build and you put the system in right from the start, then it’s pretty easy to do. I’m told it can be possible to retrofit as well, but it may be a little more tricky in such an old building like yours. The downside is that you’d have to redo the floors both before and after the install, which may add to the installation costs.

I’d strongly recommend asking for professional advice before committing to this type of system (preferably on a no-obligation basis), so that you have an emergency exit and can walk away early if it turns out that underfloor heating might not work out and the only cost would have been for the advice at most.

If you’d rather not dig up the flooring, that would exclude underfloor heating from being an option. In terms of storage heaters though, I do wonder whether something like the offer that OVO has with Dimplex Quantum might work for you. If you already have storage heaters anyway and would like to keep using this type of heating, getting them refreshed for a more modern system would help.

There really is a lot of possible options here, but not everything works for everyone. It’s definitely worth getting an expert to do a survey and offer suggestions on what would be best. We’ll also be happy to offer some tips too!

Userlevel 1

Hi @Blastoise186

Thanks for your assistance. I have been looking online and will hopefully be contacted by a couple of people who can hopefully advise me on best options.

 

I will look at the Ovo/Dimplex offer as well.

 

Mark

Userlevel 7
Gas meter boxes in 2021

 

Here’s another reason to avoid a gas boiler, @Mark G - gas meter boxes can be a nightmare to maintain :rofl:  

Userlevel 7
Badge +5

Hi @Mark G - It’s taken me a week to arrive here on your Topic, so let’s see what I can help with.

Firstly, I’m a self-builder. I have practical hands-on experience with house renovation, energy efficiency and all sorts of renewable-energy inputs.

 

Storage Radiators: When I arrived at my current house, I removed the two large storage radiators. I’ve actually kept the internal bricks to use as a heat-retentive floor in a greenhouse (yet to be constructed). There is a new design of electric storage radiator, the Quantum, which combines the manufacturing expertise of Dimplex with the control system from Kaluza.

Dimplex Quantum storage radiator

You set the required temperature and Kaluza’s Flex Platform calculates how much energy to put in and when it’s cheapest to do so. As Flex has weather forecast as an input, it will only “sell” you the energy you actually need for the following day.

 

Underfloor heating: I’m currently in the middle of compiling a series of topics about UFH, so have a look there.

 

If your existing storage radiators are particularly old, I don’t suppose there’s any chance that the maisonette still has a hot water storage tank, is there? If not, then how is Domestic Hot Water (DHW) heated at the moment?

 

Roof/attic: You say it’s well insulated. Do you actually own the roof, or is it a shared asset with the flat below you?

If you were legally allowed to do so, have you considered using the roof for solar panels (of either type)?

 

Finally, please fill out your Forum Profile page. Your geographical location makes a difference to which solutions are more viable than others.

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