Prior to 2009 I had reduced the heat losses through roof, walls, doors and windows substantially over a period of years. The large reduction in gas usage in 2007 came from a combination of disconnecting the underfloor heating in my conservatory (and sacrificing some tender plants) and pumping foam insulation into the 9" hollow block walls. The reduction in gas usage in recent years is due to the fact that I have been decommissioning my central heating system room by room as I have worked my way through the house putting in underfloor insulation and sealing off each floor with Intello airtight membrane (http://www.ecologicalbuildingsystems.com/). Only the sitting room now remains for this treatment in 2013. Each of these rooms now has a Süka wall-mounted electric heater which is thermostatically controlled and I have each one on a timer suited to the usage pattern for that room.
|Extract fan in back door|
|Cold air (blue) around attic door|
It may seem counter intuitive to be putting in electric heaters but the heat loss for the house is now so low (less than 3kW) that they are only needed to supplement the solid fuel stove I installed in 2006. In addition, I am now generating my own electricity from my solar photovoltaic (PV) system (see my separate post on this for more detail and latest data) and, as I am exporting almost 80% of output to the grid, my net purchase of electricity is running at just over 500 units in a 12-month period at a net cost of about €200. It seems to me very last century to pipe a fossil fuel halfway across Europe into my home to burn it in a boiler and then pump the hot water all around my house!
In December 2013, I replaced the existing solid fuel stove with a dedicated Charnwood C4 wood burning stove. I choose it for its clean-burn and air-wash technology designed specifically to re-ignite volatile by-products emitted by the initial burning. As wood is composed of 80% volatiles this is critical and I am amazed at how little ash is being produced which indicates to me that I am getting a very complete combustion. This series of stoves also features an integrated inlet for ducting external air to the combustion area rather than sucking it from the room and combined with the flue liner connected to it (rather than going straight into the chimney as with the old stove) I now have a closed airtight system. Pat
|Ready for Winter!|