Heat pump and one stop shop

mir2001

Registered User
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161
Hi, hoping people out there will be able to give me feedback on the following situation either through professional expertise or experience of using a heat pump.
Apologies in advance for the long post but I wanted to ensure I got the details across.

I had a technical assessment carried out on my small 3 bed semi and not surprisingly the BER was E1 despite having had the attic insulated to 200mm under flooring and 400mm elsewhere. The house if freezing within 30 minutes of switching off gas in winter. I was told that I can get to A2 if I do external insulation, new windows and doors to bring the Heat Loss Indicator to 1.9, and then junk the heating system in favour of a heat pump (air to water) with new radiators and zone controls. Cost of this (including grants) will come to approx 33/35K - I don't have a final estimate for windows/doors element so need to finalise that part to be more certain of final price.

From what I can tell, if I leave out the heat pump and just do windows/doors/external insulation then the cost will be about 26/27k and I will only get a grant for the external insulation. Existing plumbing is a one pipe system so I will probably have to look at changing that to a 2 pipe system either way in order to add zones for upstairs and downstairs and to allow individual rads to be turned off in the future to be more cost efficient.

Given how cold the house is at present, and that I will have to invest money on updating the plumbing, and that I will get windows / doors grant by going one stop shop that I won't get otherwise, and that ultimately the difference is at most 9k, I am thinking it might be best to go for the heat pump and not throw good money into fixing a gas heating system that will eventually have to be replaced in the longer run? I think I will achieve B2 rating if I fix the existing system, add external wrap and upgrade windows/doors. I'm in my fifties and so realise it probably won't pay for itself but then again it would be nice not to have to live in a cold house as you get older. I won't have a big pension so definitely can't afford to renovate then. However, I am very concerned by suggestions that the cost of running a heat pump is very expensive and I certainly won't have any spare money after the cost of taking out a loan to do all this on top of an ever increasing mortgage. Any advice/ feedback would be greatly appreciated, thanks.
 
Hi, hoping people out there will be able to give me feedback on the following situation either through professional expertise or experience of using a heat pump.
Apologies in advance for the long post but I wanted to ensure I got the details across.

I had a technical assessment carried out on my small 3 bed semi and not surprisingly the BER was E1 despite having had the attic insulated to 200mm under flooring and 400mm elsewhere. The house if freezing within 30 minutes of switching off gas in winter. I was told that I can get to A2 if I do external insulation, new windows and doors to bring the Heat Loss Indicator to 1.9, and then junk the heating system in favour of a heat pump (air to water) with new radiators and zone controls. Cost of this (including grants) will come to approx 33/35K - I don't have a final estimate for windows/doors element so need to finalise that part to be more certain of final price.

From what I can tell, if I leave out the heat pump and just do windows/doors/external insulation then the cost will be about 26/27k and I will only get a grant for the external insulation. Existing plumbing is a one pipe system so I will probably have to look at changing that to a 2 pipe system either way in order to add zones for upstairs and downstairs and to allow individual rads to be turned off in the future to be more cost efficient.

Given how cold the house is at present, and that I will have to invest money on updating the plumbing, and that I will get windows / doors grant by going one stop shop that I won't get otherwise, and that ultimately the difference is at most 9k, I am thinking it might be best to go for the heat pump and not throw good money into fixing a gas heating system that will eventually have to be replaced in the longer run? I think I will achieve B2 rating if I fix the existing system, add external wrap and upgrade windows/doors. I'm in my fifties and so realise it probably won't pay for itself but then again it would be nice not to have to live in a cold house as you get older. I won't have a big pension so definitely can't afford to renovate then. However, I am very concerned by suggestions that the cost of running a heat pump is very expensive and I certainly won't have any spare money after the cost of taking out a loan to do all this on top of an ever increasing mortgage. Any advice/ feedback would be greatly appreciated, thanks.
A heat pump heated house will be all electricity so you will see a noticeable increase in your electricity bill but if the house retains enough heat it should be more than offset by the decrease in gas costs.
 
Perfect, thanks. Do you need to keep it running in summer for water? And if so, are prices a lot lower?
Yes runs in the summer for water, usage is a lot lower but obviously electricity is a lot more expensive now, but generally running costs in the summer would be a third or so compared to winter
 
Heat pump in older houses are not recommended unless your air tightness is spot on,otherwise the unit will be running a lot.
the cost difference will be massive,on the higher side.
 
Hi, hoping people out there will be able to give me feedback on the following situation either through professional expertise or experience of using a heat pump.
Apologies in advance for the long post but I wanted to ensure I got the details across.

I had a technical assessment carried out on my small 3 bed semi and not surprisingly the BER was E1 despite having had the attic insulated to 200mm under flooring and 400mm elsewhere. The house if freezing within 30 minutes of switching off gas in winter. I was told that I can get to A2 if I do external insulation, new windows and doors to bring the Heat Loss Indicator to 1.9, and then junk the heating system in favour of a heat pump (air to water) with new radiators and zone controls. Cost of this (including grants) will come to approx 33/35K - I don't have a final estimate for windows/doors element so need to finalise that part to be more certain of final price.

From what I can tell, if I leave out the heat pump and just do windows/doors/external insulation then the cost will be about 26/27k and I will only get a grant for the external insulation. Existing plumbing is a one pipe system so I will probably have to look at changing that to a 2 pipe system either way in order to add zones for upstairs and downstairs and to allow individual rads to be turned off in the future to be more cost efficient.

Given how cold the house is at present, and that I will have to invest money on updating the plumbing, and that I will get windows / doors grant by going one stop shop that I won't get otherwise, and that ultimately the difference is at most 9k, I am thinking it might be best to go for the heat pump and not throw good money into fixing a gas heating system that will eventually have to be replaced in the longer run? I think I will achieve B2 rating if I fix the existing system, add external wrap and upgrade windows/doors. I'm in my fifties and so realise it probably won't pay for itself but then again it would be nice not to have to live in a cold house as you get older. I won't have a big pension so definitely can't afford to renovate then. However, I am very concerned by suggestions that the cost of running a heat pump is very expensive and I certainly won't have any spare money after the cost of taking out a loan to do all this on top of an ever increasing mortgage. Any advice/ feedback would be greatly appreciated, thanks.
The bolded sentence above is key. Your house does not suffer from an insulation deficit. Therefore adding ewi (external wall insulation) will do little for your heat retention. I reckon your main heat loss issue is 100% an air leakage issue. Was your house tested for air tightness during the technical assessment? (with a large fan installed in the front or back door).
I would be very wary of investing in what you have described in the absence on a proper air tightness appraisal (bare in mind that generally speaking windows and doors on their own are rarely the reason for excessive air leakage and ewi definitely does not address air leakage).
Caveat emptor!
 
The bolded sentence above is key. Your house does not suffer from an insulation deficit. Therefore adding ewi (external wall insulation) will do little for your heat retention. I reckon your main heat loss issue is 100% an air leakage issue. Was your house tested for air tightness during the technical assessment? (with a large fan installed in the front or back door).
I would be very wary of investing in what you have described in the absence on a proper air tightness appraisal (bare in mind that generally speaking windows and doors on their own are rarely the reason for excessive air leakage and ewi definitely does not address air leakage).
Caveat emptor!
Thanks a million for the detailed reply. You raise a very interesting point on air tightness, I don’t think that was done - I presumed all assessments were standard so bit annoyed to find out something was missed. Do you know if there is anyway to get this done as a separate test? The front door definitely leaks air but there is a single glazed porch door too. We do have a cat flap in one wall but the technical assessor said that wouldn’t make much difference. The front wall is cavity and the side and back are hollow block. They do feel quite cold to touch in the winter. The windows are mostly very old double glazing.
 
Thanks a million for the detailed reply. You raise a very interesting point on air tightness, I don’t think that was done - I presumed all assessments were standard so bit annoyed to find out something was missed. Do you know if there is anyway to get this done as a separate test? The front door definitely leaks air but there is a single glazed porch door too. We do have a cat flap in one wall but the technical assessor said that wouldn’t make much difference. The front wall is cavity and the side and back are hollow block. They do feel quite cold to touch in the winter. The windows are mostly very old double glazing.

You can pay to get an airtight test done as a standalone job.
(I think there was a tread on here a while ago about it ).
 
The bolded sentence above is key. Your house does not suffer from an insulation deficit. Therefore adding ewi (external wall insulation) will do little for your heat retention. I reckon your main heat loss issue is 100% an air leakage issue. Was your house tested for air tightness during the technical assessment? (with a large fan installed in the front or back door).
I would be very wary of investing in what you have described in the absence on a proper air tightness appraisal (bare in mind that generally speaking windows and doors on their own are rarely the reason for excessive air leakage and ewi definitely does not address air leakage).
Caveat emptor!
Also, does that mean you could have an A rated house that leaked air? Same with the fact that the report I got said I’d have a HLI of 1.9 after doing all the work. Does that mean the HLI is somewhat meaningless as a scale? Very annoying given the big money ordinary punters are expected to shell out for these assessments and work.
 
My understanding is that the test for air tightness does not make up part of the technical assessment and apologies if I led you to believe it was (I'm unsure because I resigned my ber assessor registration in 2009 when I realised how unfit for purpose the whole regime was especially for existing housing).
But it beggers belief that the government / SEAI encourage people to part with 30/40/50/60,000+ euro to these one stop shops on a promise that all will be good when the most basic heat loss test is not done to start off with. Using a flawed BER method to come up with a magical HLI figure is wet finger in the air stuff.
My best advice to you is to do your homework especially around air tightness, try to get an impartial independent assessment of your house to help figure out what are the best measures to employ and only then see if any measures are grant aided.
 
My understanding is that the test for air tightness does not make up part of the technical assessment and apologies if I led you to believe it was (I'm unsure because I resigned my ber assessor registration in 2009 when I realised how unfit for purpose the whole regime was especially for existing housing).
But it beggers belief that the government / SEAI encourage people to part with 30/40/50/60,000+ euro to these one stop shops on a promise that all will be good when the most basic heat loss test is not done to start off with. Using a flawed BER method to come up with a magical HLI figure is wet finger in the air stuff.
My best advice to you is to do your homework especially around air tightness, try to get an impartial independent assessment of your house to help figure out what are the best measures to employ and only then see if any measures are grant aided.
Thanks for taking the time to reply to this, much appreciated. The worrying thing is that I did get an “independent” assessment.
 
Might be worth reaching out to your local library and see if this is any use

Attached from Saturdays Cork Examiner may also help

Heat pumps seem to be quite divisive and it's very unclear from reading online if they are any good or not. Is Solar an option instead?
 
Might be worth reaching out to your local library and see if this is any use

Attached from Saturdays Cork Examiner may also help

Heat pumps seem to be quite divisive and it's very unclear from reading online if they are any good or not. Is Solar an option instead?
First off, thanks a million for those links, will look into those.
The technical assessment has one package of recommendations for reaching b2 (no heat pump but fix existing plumbing to allow zoning) and another for A2 (same as b2 except you’d be avoiding fixing the plumbing since it would all be ripped out for heat pump) - neither mentioned solar, not sure if that is because our house is south-east to north west orientation possibly?
 
Heat pumps seem to be quite divisive and it's very unclear from reading online if they are any good or not. Is Solar an option instead?
The average winter temperature in Norway is -7 degrees, over 60% of houses use a heatpump. So there’s no real question over whether they're any good as a technology, the problem is putting them into houses that are not ready for them. Put one in appropriately and you'll do a lot less damage to the environment and your/your neighbours' health and maybe save a few quid too.
 
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I have asked around my estate but it seems like nobody else has a heat pump to date. Would anyone out there have experience of running a heat pump in a 1970s semi detached? Cheers
 
Perfect, thanks. Do you need to keep it running in summer for water? And if so, are prices a lot lower?
FWIW I retrofitted a heatpump a few weeks ago. It's summer so we're only heating hot water for showers at the moment using a 400L tank, heating it to 50 degrees (from about 40 degrees once 2-3 long showers are had). It runs for about an hour each night and consumes 1.5kWh, so €0.30 per day.
 
FWIW I retrofitted a heatpump a few weeks ago. It's summer so we're only heating hot water for showers at the moment using a 400L tank, heating it to 50 degrees (from about 40 degrees once 2-3 long showers are had). It runs for about an hour each night and consumes 1.5kWh, so €0.30 per day.
20 cent a unit including VAT is a great price. Who is your electricity supplier?
 
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