New homes to be left off the gas grid

#21
Regarding bathroom fans - my bathrooms have regular ceiling-mounted fans, and I would love to swap with a heat recovery unit (they are needing replaced anyway). Are there any drop in replacements? Can you point me at them?
They used to be only available through trade outlets then just before I left the UK in 2009 they were on the shelves in B&Q. I forget the name but, it was one of the top end bathroom/kitchen extractor fan company's who made them. The unit basically slots into the same hole that the old extractor fan is removed from.

I have forgotten the manufacturers names. For the larger house type units have a look on the self-build sites as they tend to be leading edge for widgets and construction tech. The systems are scaleable with the gubbins being placed up in the attic. Doing a UK/euro house I would only bother doing upstairs areas only as the warm air rises to those areas anyway - and you do not end up with having to try and hide 4" air pipes when bringing them downstairs.

Another interesting widget I saw in Germany was recycling warm air. As we all know warm air rises and 'cos the air rises and we are on the floor we keep pumping out heat to keep us warm. The solution I saw was to have air pipes (around 10cm - 15cm) from a high ceiling back down to floor level with a small PC type cooling fan sucking in the air at the top of the pipe and re-circulating it back down to floor / seating level. I was told it worked very well and saved money - they did baffle me with numbers but, bottom line was they saved money.
 
#22
And that, boys and girls, is what happens to you if you don't do your homework.
Interesting course actually. It was the first factory course I did after I got my CORGI. Seeing their delivery lorries arriving with Italian reg plates on them is also when I found out that many of the boilers sold under British names are banged together in Italy.

But, Hull: Dire. It was bad enough driving around there in the Leconfield days.
 
#23
Very true if you run the process right from raw product, coke ovens, blast, through BOS plant, ladle arc, slabyard then mill. Hmmmm really "Green"
I have said on other subjects too, all this commenting by wnakers or politicos is hypocritical. Be it socio-political or just social.

The simple bottom line is:
Newton's third law : For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.
If he can come up with it in the 1600's, I'm sure it's not hard for people to realise, if you want stuff there is going to be a knock on effect.
Until somebody invents a perpetual motion machine it will be the case.
Make the processes leaner, cleaner, safer yes.
In the news today they were on about using Hydrogen ! Yes, very good, most of the young generation today can't wire a plug but we will let them loose with literally product number 1 on the "bangy as fcuk" list?!?!
I say yes, it will add a frisson of excitement to their otherwise dull lives, the flash of brilliance followed by the bang of consequence. Its a steep learning curve.
 
#24
Start here:
Double glazing is a piece of piddle to install. A decent sized 2 meter wide window used to take me around about 45 minutes, including taking out the old window. Wickes used to do an information leaflet on how to do it and doubtless there are loadsa videos on youtube. Honestly, its easy.
It probably even easier than that, the only issue is when it comes to selling you have to claim it was either pre the money making fensa certificates or not mention it at all. But then the last time I sold a house the lack of a bit of paper so that the council had it on a database somewhere never caused an issue.
TBH I trust my own belt and braces approach over a couple of fitters who not too long ago would have been perfectly happy to use expanding foam to dot and dab it into place when some of it was being marketed as suitable for window fitting on its own.
 
#25
Regarding bathroom fans - my bathrooms have regular ceiling-mounted fans, and I would love to swap with a heat recovery unit (they are needing replaced anyway). Are there any drop in replacements? Can you point me at them?
Here is an FYI for you as you lived in the US too. As you know they do not really consider domestic energy consumption here and only nod at energy efficieny. I perused the energy usage of my 3 large AC units outside the house, sat there with the 100 degree sun beating down on them - just like everyone else's. I wondered how could they possibly expel the heat efficiently from the coil if they are constantly hot themselves. Stick up some shade I thought. So I did. I reduced my weekly electric bill by 20% in the summer by, in the end, spending $30
 
#26
It probably even easier than that, the only issue is when it comes to selling you have to claim it was either pre the money making fensa certificates or not mention it at all. But then the last time I sold a house the lack of a bit of paper so that the council had it on a database somewhere never caused an issue.
TBH I trust my own belt and braces approach over a couple of fitters who not too long ago would have been perfectly happy to use expanding foam to dot and dab it into place when some of it was being marketed as suitable for window fitting on its own.
I called the inspector in for the required fee when I did it, that way I had the paperwork in case some neighbour squeeled.
 
#27
Here is an FYI for you as you lived in the US too. As you know they do not really consider domestic energy consumption here and only nod at energy efficieny. I perused the energy usage of my 3 large AC units outside the house, sat there with the 100 degree sun beating down on them - just like everyone else's. I wondered how could they possibly expel the heat efficiently from the coil if they are constantly hot themselves. Stick up some shade I thought. So I did. I reduced my weekly electric bill by 20% in the summer by, in the end, spending $30
Brutal.
When we moved into our rental place, we asked where the switch was for the water heating. We got a puzzled look in return - apparently it is just on all the time...

I also asked a colleague why the don't put solar panels on their roofs - it would go someway to offsetting the energy cost of the central heating, and there can't be many places better than Houston for solar - but apparently you have to go a long way to find a HOA that would allow it.
 
#29
Brutal.
When we moved into our rental place, we asked where the switch was for the water heating. We got a puzzled look in return - apparently it is just on all the time...

I also asked a colleague why the don't put solar panels on their roofs - it would go someway to offsetting the energy cost of the central heating, and there can't be many places better than Houston for solar - but apparently you have to go a long way to find a HOA that would allow it.
Hate HOA's. California for solar panels.

A couple of us designed and built a panel to produce hot water when I was on my advanced plumbing C&G. Cost under 100 quid, dead easy for home diy construction.

This place is worth a visit and has a wealth of information: Centre for Alternative Technology
 
#31
Interesting course actually. It was the first factory course I did after I got my CORGI. Seeing their delivery lorries arriving with Italian reg plates on them is also when I found out that many of the boilers sold under British names are banged together in Italy.

But, Hull: Dire. It was bad enough driving around there in the Leconfield days.
Yes, the place is a complete toilet..
 
#32
You won't need gas for cooking as we will all be vegan by then.
Meat will be banned
and we will rely on Bayliss wind up radios for entertainment. Whereupon we will generate enough heat to warm our homes, we deserve it for being Capitalist pigs.

Or let's see, no, because it won't happen, I was told as a kid we would all have hover cars and be living on the moon with Dan Dare and stuff???????? Nope not happened.
The food for the future will be " Soylent Green " .... tops in recycling ... and little human waste .
 
#33
Here is an FYI for you as you lived in the US too. As you know they do not really consider domestic energy consumption here and only nod at energy efficieny. I perused the energy usage of my 3 large AC units outside the house, sat there with the 100 degree sun beating down on them - just like everyone else's. I wondered how could they possibly expel the heat efficiently from the coil if they are constantly hot themselves. Stick up some shade I thought. So I did. I reduced my weekly electric bill by 20% in the summer by, in the end, spending $30
When I first inquired about central air for my house about 20 years ago, the price of an awning was included in the quote by the HVAC company and it was fully explained why it was required for optimum efficiency. I dismissed it as a sell on at the time because it didn't make sense as the unit only need to be moved 1m and it would be shaded by large canopied trees constantly. The HVAC rep tried to use the logic of what happens when there are no leaves on the trees.......he lost a sale. Unlike the US, saving electricity at home seems to be a national pastime in Canada..
 
#35
When I first inquired about central air for my house about 20 years ago, the price of an awning was included in the quote by the HVAC company and it was fully explained why it was required for optimum efficiency. I dismissed it as a sell on at the time because it didn't make sense as the unit only need to be moved 1m and it would be shaded by large canopied trees constantly. The HVAC rep tried to use the logic of what happens when there are no leaves on the trees.......he lost a sale. Unlike the US, saving electricity at home seems to be a national pastime in Canada..
British mentality, mate. Unlike the US where they think there is a bottomless pit of fuel, air cleans itself and global warming is a fairy tale.

There are some, not many, people who plant bushes around the external part of the A/C unit but, that is to hide the ugly unit and not to save energy. Most I see here are in direct sunlight at some part of the day, if not all day.
 
#36
Another magnificent energy saving feature I see on many German, Austrian and Swiss homes is what they call the 'windfang', thats a wind trap. It is basically a double door system for entry points into homes. You open the door enter a space, close the door and then open the door into the home - limiting the the amount of cold air entering the home. Basically an enclosed porch area.

Also, in Sweden when they put up houses most external doors open outwards. The tested logic being that with an inward opening door when the wind blows directly at it, no mater how well it is fitted, there will be some give and cold air will blow around the edges into the house. With an outward opener the wind just blows the door tighter shut.

Just as a small experiment: Put your hand up against the external door of your house. Is it warm, or cold? Look to see what your house thermostat is set at then hold a thermometer on the inside of the door - I bet the door temperature is lower than the thermostat. I bet there are radiators pumping out heat to stay warm and there is a door panel bigger than most radiators acting as a reverse radiator (heatsink) sucking expensive heat out of the house. Put up a nice curtain pole and stick a big heavy curtain there. Little things add up, both positive and negative.
 
#37
Another magnificent energy saving feature I see on many German, Austrian and Swiss homes is what they call the 'windfang', thats a wind trap. It is basically a double door system for entry points into homes. You open the door enter a space, close the door and then open the door into the home - limiting the the amount of cold air entering the home. Basically an enclosed porch area.

Also, in Sweden when they put up houses most external doors open outwards. The tested logic being that with an inward opening door when the wind blows directly at it, no mater how well it is fitted, there will be some give and cold air will blow around the edges into the house. With an outward opener the wind just blows the door tighter shut.

Just as a small experiment: Put your hand up against the external door of your house. Is it warm, or cold? Look to see what your house thermostat is set at then hold a thermometer on the inside of the door - I bet the door temperature is lower than the thermostat. I bet there are radiators pumping out heat to stay warm and there is a door panel bigger than most radiators acting as a reverse radiator (heatsink) sucking expensive heat out of the house. Put up a nice curtain pole and stick a big heavy curtain there. Little things add up, both positive and negative.
The enclosed porch is very common in Canada and apparently has been since the 50's for the reasons you point out, seemed pretty common in the northern states as well, no?
 
#38
Yep, so much that the steel plant I work in has to stop the plate mill rolling at times in the winter due to capacity issues.

As an aside, I'd love to let some tree huggers see just what's required to make the steel plates that go into all those wind turbines, it is rather amusing to see wind classed as "green" energy :)
Look Baotou China up on Google maps [pan to the left and zoom in ] it's where they mine the "rare earth metals",
used in wind turbines, the most polluted place in the world
Wind tubines, "green" indeed
 
#39
The enclosed porch is very common in Canada and apparently has been since the 50's for the reasons you point out, seemed pretty common in the northern states as well, no?
Not where we were in Pennsylvania and not that I can remember on the places I saw in NY State either - front door straight into the nice open plan house to suck all the heat out. Most people drive into their garages anyway and go into the house from there.

TBH the houses I saw in Pennsylvania are the worst I have ever seen for the climate in which they are built to function in. Absolute pish, I honestly think with some of them you would have been warmer building a Ray Mears type shelter in the garden.
 
#40
Thanks for that @Effendi, but I've had very little to do with "green" which I'm quite cynical about.

It annoys me that even the latest houses might have plenty of expensive technology, but they don't give much thought to passive.

You should always go for the passive options first, like insulation, before you start looking at high tech savings, which are often snake- oil.

One factor I went for with my house was it faces due south, and the windows are fairly large, so the solar gain in winter is quite dramatic.

Plus the woodburner gives out worthwhile cheap heat, at the same time, giving a healthy air- change.

It's backed up by an Intergas condensing boiler, which is very simply built, with very little to go wrong.

As a rule of thumb, the more expensive technology, when it goes wrong, will cost a fortune to fix, and will be very difficult to find someone capable of fixing it, losing all savings.
 

Similar threads


Latest Threads

Top