Heating upgrades – how green to go

10 September 2017
by Archive

We are in the process of buying a new house which is a standard 1970’s build.

The house needs a number of things doing and some of those are obvious such as double glazing and insulation. The insulation is minimal at present but we plan to do the roof, walls and under the suspended floor. With these we hope to get the house to ‘good’ levels of airtightness.

But…. then comes the heating system & ventilation.

Part of me would like to go the whole way and buy into the best green solutions but both money and the house style/design are worrying me.

Firstly, the house style issue – we are planning to update a number of the windows to doors in this L-shaped house to really accentuate the outdoor living aspect of this house that already has a glass wall to one side of the L-shape. Therefore, we are hoping to spend a reasonable amount of time with large parts of the house open to the outside.

How does this outside living style sit with the concept of heat recovery ventilation systems? It would seem for large parts of the year it would be working against all those openings?

My second question is probably a common one amongst the British – my experience of air con is bad, draughty, noisy and horrible (I have been known to switch it off even in the tropics because it was so annoying), are these ventilation systems any better?

My next question is to do with costs. If, as I expect, we just cannot afford to go for a non-conventional heat source i.e. ground or air source pump, is it still worth doing things such as underfloor heating or heat recovery ventilation systems? (Remembering that this is a retrofit as so will mean disturbing all aspects of the house to install.)

Thanks for any comments and thoughts


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