Key Post Tips to save money on fuel costs in existing homes.

DavyJones

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As most of us have typical wet heating systems I have put a list of tips that will save money. Many of us can't afford to fit condensing boilers or fit triple glazed windows so here are affordable changes we all can make.


Fit Thermostatic radiator valves.

When heating is on, keep doors closed. The radiator is sized to heat the space it is in.

Fit a cylinder stat, It will minimise the amount of oil needed to heat entire cylinder.

The more stats on system = better control= less cost. Not always practical in existing homes.

On bright winter days open curtains and blinds on south facing walls, make the most of the solar heat gain. Close when sun drops.

Don’t allow curtains hang over the tops of radiators, you are only heating the space between window and curtain.

Reduce flow to radiators in spaces that aren’t used e.g. guestrooms

Turn down the stat on your boiler, if you find it is too cool, turn it up a little bit at a time, find your own comfort zone.

If your not using open fire, block it up using the many products on the market e.g balloon etc.

Get you boiler serviced every year by an approved serviceperson, making sure working pressures are checked and set right.

Balance your heating system.

If you have an outdoor boiler, ensure pipes are lagged.

Insulate your hot water cylinder.

If you must use your immersion, fit a time clock and set it.

Insulate the back of attic access lid, sticking a bit of aero board to it is better than nothing.


Use draught stoppers or fit curtains over doors that are old.




This list is incomplete, please feel free to add to it.
 

Lex Foutish

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If you're putting in a new fireplace, consider getting one with a baffle plate. It's a little plate at the top of the opening which you can shut when the fire isn't on and all your warm air literally won't go up the chimney. We got one. Great job altogether.

If you have crawl space doors in a converted attic etc., insulate the back of them with aeroboard etc., as DavyJones recommended you do to the trap door of an attic.
 

Pope John 11

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If you're putting in a new fireplace, consider getting one with a baffle plate. It's a little plate at the top of the opening which you can shut when the fire isn't on and all your warm air literally won't go up the chimney. We got one. Great job altogether.

If you have crawl space doors in a converted attic etc., insulate the back of them with aeroboard etc., as DavyJones recommended you do to the trap door of an attic.
Is it possible to get ones to be retro fitted to existing firehearths. It seems that a lot of houses have the heating on with quite a large % of the heat escaping through the chimney.
 

callybags

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Do many people with open fires have a back boiler linked to their central heating system. I currently have my gas boiler in the fireplace and am looking at getting a wall mounted boiler and reverting to an open fire. I just wonder would the added expense of installing a back boiler be worth it?
Thanks in advance for any response.
 

NHG

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1,100
If you are puting in new windows or replacing glass in old ones always look for "A" rated double glazed units glass (such as optiwhite/tgi warmedge spacer bar/ optishield with a 90% argon fill or simular) as we need to use our windows for solar gain and to reflect the internal heat back into the house. There is not much of a difference in the uvalues between triple glazing and double glazing except there is a massive difference in cost . Triple glazing is more for noise reduction.

Also ask to have a night vent on window sashes which allows you to vent a room while still having it locked in a secure position when required. A total airtight house will suffer with condenstaion problems like mould etc.

Always fit proper draught excluders to the bottoms and sides of external doors.

Check your window and door seals every year or two and replace any that have perished.

Fit reflective panels behind your radiators and top-up your existing attic insulation - there are some very good posts on insulation.
 

gipimann

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4,763
Do many people with open fires have a back boiler linked to their central heating system. I currently have my gas boiler in the fireplace and am looking at getting a wall mounted boiler and reverting to an open fire. I just wonder would the added expense of installing a back boiler be worth it?
Thanks in advance for any response.
I don't think you can have a back boiler and gas central heating at the same time - I used to live in a property which had oil c/h and a back boiler system, and when I converted from oil to gas, the back boiler had to be disconnected for safety reasons (I still had an open fire, but it didn't heat rads or water).
 

DavyJones

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I don't think you can have a back boiler and gas central heating at the same time - I used to live in a property which had oil c/h and a back boiler system, and when I converted from oil to gas, the back boiler had to be disconnected for safety reasons (I still had an open fire, but it didn't heat rads or water).

you can have both back boiler and gas boiler providing you have an open vented gas boiler/system. when they fitted your new gas boiler they may have pressurised system and in doing so then had to disconnect back boiler.
 

Lex Foutish

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825
Is it possible to get ones to be retro fitted to existing firehearths. It seems that a lot of houses have the heating on with quite a large % of the heat escaping through the chimney.
Hi JP. I'm fairly sure that you can't retro fit a baffle plate to a fireplace. I just checked mine now and I reckon you'd actually have to take the fireplace out to do so. The plate is the size of the opening and is hinged at the bottom but unfortunately these are on the inside so no access without removal. When shut, the baffle plate falls out in a top heavy fashion.

I'm far from an expert in this area so maybe you should check with someone who really knows. I think a Private Message to someone like DavyJones would be a good idea.

Lex.
 

RSMike

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Switch from ESB to Airtricity and save 10% on your electricity bill, immediate return for zero cost.
I have no connection to Airtricity and am in the process of switching myself.
 

Canny39

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Regarding heat loss up a chimney - has anyone used a chimney ballon? Am considering getting one for my dining room, do not light fire often and can have very bad down draft. Also have seen reference to a website on another thread http://www.chimneyclosure.com which seems interesting but as I have cowls fitted anyway, think that this might be a waste of money for me.
 

angela59

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594
Hi,

I had a large open fireplace - the heat was all going up chimney. I purchased a Charnwood stove with boiler which heats up to 13 rads and it has transformed the house. My husband also put silicone around windows inside and out. Also we had leaded glass in hallway with only one pane of glass at other side, so we got a second thicker piece for other side and it does cut down on draught. I had wooden floors upstairs everywhere, I have now put down carpets and the difference between noise and heat is amazing.

Angela59
 

Sandals

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1,257
Hi

We just put in a mulberry yeats (not enamel) non back boiler stove (€650 for complete job, husband fitted it) in an open existing fireplace in the main sitting room. We never got much use out of this room due to the temperature drop and also the hall would be colder where the sitting room door was. The stove has completely stopped the chill in the room and in the front part of the hall.

I lit the stove for the first time yesterday evening with a tiny fire and heat was good. Will put on bigger fires for next days to break the stove in. But its been well worth the money so far.

Bit worried about the curtains over the rads which are all under the windows and all my curtains are heavy and lined 90x90. Tried putting my daughters curtain on the rad but it left terrible wrinkles on the good curtains. Anyways.....
 

glic83

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where would the thermostat on the hot water cylinder have to be wired back to?
 

DavyJones

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where would the thermostat on the hot water cylinder have to be wired back to?

To keep it simple, it can be wired into a motorised valve that is fitted to the heating pipe on cylinder. When the stat reached a preset temperture, the motorised valve would close. This would stop hot heating water circulating through cylinder. this will save you fuel and money over the long term.

Once temperture in cylinder drops below preset temp, the stat would activate vavle and heating water would top up temp of cylinder water.
 
P

Pat H

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Hi, thanks for that list of tips. I have an open fire with a back boiler to heat rads. I've been looking for a fire front (Stanley or other) to increase efficiency, but last year was told they had stopped making them. Any ideas on where I might source one? Do you know of any safety reasons why a fire front shouldn't be used? Thanks in advance for any advice.
 

glic83

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thanks DavyJones,there is 3 motorised valves in my house 2 in the hot press and 1 in the utility but they are connected to nothing, also as there is no stats in my house im planning to put trv's on all my rads and now put a stat on the cylinder and extra insulation in the attic,also added up the btu values of my rads and they came in at just over 80,000 my house is 2,000 sq ft and i have a firebird heatpac 70-90 i would have thought the 90 would be 2 small and a 120 would be a better fit for the size of the house the rads and water in the system?
 

DavyJones

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Pat H. Try buy and sell and the like. Will look into them as i don't know a whole lot about them. I will get back to you on it.

glic83. How did you calculate BTU outputs? 80000 plus 15% for DHW (domestic hot water). 90000 should do. the boiler is rated 70000 to 90000, ensure it is set to it's right. Serviceperson will do this no problem.

you have zone valves? have you switchs instead of stats I.E turn off switch to shut down zone.
 

glic83

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117
glic83. How did you calculate BTU outputs? 80000 plus 15% for DHW (domestic hot water). 90000 should do. the boiler is rated 70000 to 90000, ensure it is set to it's right. Serviceperson will do this no problem.

you have zone valves? have you switchs instead of stats I.E turn off switch to shut down zone.
even 80,0000 plus 15% that still comes in at 92,000? no switches if i want to turn off a zone i would have to move the little lever on the valve itself the boiler seems to run constant when the heating is on kicks out for 3 mins then back on again seems to me like its under a lot of pressure to keep the rads hot the stat at the boiler itself is set around 67 degrees,i got a chart from heatmerchants messured my rads then got the figure off the chart for each rad 17 in total and it came to just over 80,000
 
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