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Air Source Heat Pumps,not feasible for most people.Hydrogen blend boilers are more feasible for most of us.


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As a Gas Safe registered heating engineer I am seeing a lot said about Air Source Heat Pumps taking over from gas central heating and that gas boilers are soon going to go.

Well first of all for existing properties from what I gather gas boilers will still be available.Come on to that later.

Now this Government are banging the drum to try and get people to change from gas central heating to Air Source heat pumps.

Now that is something that is completely impractical for many U.K. households as most will have been changed from the old open vented cylinders to sealed systems with a Combi boiler,as well as extremely expensive(ball park region of about £15K-£20K)just for the installation let alone the destruction of your home to install this properly.

Now I said earlier that gas boilers will still be available(although not being allowed in new builds I think from 2025)And the manufacturers now like Viessmann,Baxi etc are saying that the boilers are now 20% hydrogen blend ready which is what the relevant National Grid companies like Cadent and Northern Gas are starting and planning to do with a view to eventually increasing it to 💯 in years to come(a long time)

This option is in my professional opinion the best option for the vast majority of U.K. households and cheaper along with being more practical as most of the pipework is already there.I will admit that many homes will need some gas pipework to be altered and upgraded but whilst that causes some disruption it is not as much.This should in my opinion be given as much airtime as Air Source heat pumps to allow people to choose the best option when they change,and we all know boilers don’t last forever. 
 

And I along with a fellow gas engineer have been up to a full 💯 hydrogen house up in Gateshead at a gas site so have seen this. And there is a village near there called Low Thornley where about 600 homes have a 20% hydrogen blend in the gas mains and to my knowledge without any issues.

So for me gas is still going to be part of the solution.

 

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2 minutes ago, Johnoco said:

I wouldn't have a new build house given. Actually of course I would as I'd sell it. But I wouldn't buy one for sure. 

I could not agree more.New builds frankly are 💩

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4 minutes ago, Johnoco said:

I wouldn't have a new build house given. Actually of course I would as I'd sell it. But I wouldn't buy one for sure. 

We bought a new build in 2006 - and, thankfully, every move since then we've been able to steer a gazillion miles away from them - but the fad then was for three-pin light bulb fittings and no TV aerial installed. I can't remember the official reason for the latter - we were all going to have cable probably, despite Chesham not being cabled at the time - but the former was some nonsense about energy that actually made no sense once you looked at the various bulb outputs (being very dull, I did).

A single replacement light bulb, not available in any local shop, cost £13 (in 2006). It was, by miles, cheaper to get 'a man' in to put some proper fittings in. So that's what we, and everyone else, in the road did.

All these initiatives always seem to only be for new builds and then only for a short time - and all they really do is add value to existing houses.

Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life. (Terry Pratchett)

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10 hours ago, Robthegasman said:

As a Gas Safe registered heating engineer I am seeing a lot said about Air Source Heat Pumps taking over from gas central heating and that gas boilers are soon going to go.

Well first of all for existing properties from what I gather gas boilers will still be available.Come on to that later.

Now this Government are banging the drum to try and get people to change from gas central heating to Air Source heat pumps.

Now that is something that is completely impractical for many U.K. households as most will have been changed from the old open vented cylinders to sealed systems with a Combi boiler,as well as extremely expensive(ball park region of about £15K-£20K)just for the installation let alone the destruction of your home to install this properly.

Now I said earlier that gas boilers will still be available(although not being allowed in new builds I think from 2025)And the manufacturers now like Viessmann,Baxi etc are saying that the boilers are now 20% hydrogen blend ready which is what the relevant National Grid companies like Cadent and Northern Gas are starting and planning to do with a view to eventually increasing it to 💯 in years to come(a long time)

This option is in my professional opinion the best option for the vast majority of U.K. households and cheaper along with being more practical as most of the pipework is already there.I will admit that many homes will need some gas pipework to be altered and upgraded but whilst that causes some disruption it is not as much.This should in my opinion be given as much airtime as Air Source heat pumps to allow people to choose the best option when they change,and we all know boilers don’t last forever. 
 

And I along with a fellow gas engineer have been up to a full 💯 hydrogen house up in Gateshead at a gas site so have seen this. And there is a village near there called Low Thornley where about 600 homes have a 20% hydrogen blend in the gas mains and to my knowledge without any issues.

So for me gas is still going to be part of the solution.

 

What % hydrogen blend can be used in existing boilers Rob ?

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20 hours ago, gingerjon said:

We bought a new build in 2006 - and, thankfully, every move since then we've been able to steer a gazillion miles away from them - but the fad then was for three-pin light bulb fittings and no TV aerial installed. I can't remember the official reason for the latter - we were all going to have cable probably, despite Chesham not being cabled at the time - but the former was some nonsense about energy that actually made no sense once you looked at the various bulb outputs (being very dull, I did).

A single replacement light bulb, not available in any local shop, cost £13 (in 2006). It was, by miles, cheaper to get 'a man' in to put some proper fittings in. So that's what we, and everyone else, in the road did.

All these initiatives always seem to only be for new builds and then only for a short time - and all they really do is add value to existing houses.

My brother has worked in the building trade pretty much all his life and if I had a period of unemployment/skintness I used to work on sites with him occasionally. I didn't like new builds aesthetically anyway but the 'throw em up and don't forget to scrimp on the materials' was a real eye opener.

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Having grown up in a house with no central heating whatsoever and frost on the *inside* of the windows (as did 95% of our estate) the best advice I'd give to reduce fuel usage is put another coat on the bed.

(It's a duvet as well you know!)

Edited by Johnoco
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15 hours ago, GUBRATS said:

What % hydrogen blend can be used in existing boilers Rob ?

Happy to answer.

At the moment from my understanding most boilers manufactured over the last 10-15 years at least will accept a 20% hydrogen blend.

 And more boilers that are on the market are advertising the fact that they are hydrogen blend of 20% ready.

I know that Viessmann,the ones I recommend to customers are hydrogen blend ready of 20%.

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4 hours ago, Johnoco said:

Having grown up in a house with no central heating whatsoever and frost on the *inside* of the windows (as did 95% of our estate) the best advice I'd give to reduce fuel usage is put another coat on the bed.

(It's a duvet as well you know!)

Me too. Mum and dad didn't have to worry about us going to bed and staying there with the hot water bottle!

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"I am the avenging angel; I come with wings unfurled, I come with claws extended from halfway round the world. I am the God Almighty, I am the howling wind. I care not for your family; I care not for your kin. I come in search of terror, though terror is my own; I come in search of vengeance for crimes and crimes unknown. I care not for your children, I care not for your wives, I care not for your country, I care not for your lives." - (c) Jim Boyes - "The Avenging Angel"

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It would be a great idea to build all new houses the way they would in Scandanavia. That probably costs too much.

I agree with Rob, though. We aren't in any position to change to electric heating because the technology isn't good enough and it's impractical.

Edit: I see BR already articulated my main point.

"I am the avenging angel; I come with wings unfurled, I come with claws extended from halfway round the world. I am the God Almighty, I am the howling wind. I care not for your family; I care not for your kin. I come in search of terror, though terror is my own; I come in search of vengeance for crimes and crimes unknown. I care not for your children, I care not for your wives, I care not for your country, I care not for your lives." - (c) Jim Boyes - "The Avenging Angel"

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5 hours ago, tim2 said:

It would be a great idea to build all new houses the way they would in Scandanavia. That probably costs too much.

I agree with Rob, though. We aren't in any position to change to electric heating because the technology isn't good enough and it's impractical.

Edit: I see BR already articulated my main point.

Indeed chatting with a neighbor this morning a semi retired gas engineer , just to power all the homes in the UK if they were fitted with air source heat pumps ( or basically all electric heating instead of gas ) would require at least 6 more brand new full size nuclear power plants , we are currently building one 

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I'd like to see more flexibility in planning laws for those who live in more rural locations. We're not on the mains gas network, so that's not a heating option. I live in listed building, so solar panels and air source heat pumps are likely to be an issue from a planning perspective. Air or ground source pumps are unlikely to be effective in the property anyway without significant and hugely expensive work to make it more airtight, given the age and nature of the building, and even if that was done, there may well be listed building consent issues. 

I'd love to reduce the carbon footprint of the house, but our options are very limited. When requiring a new boiler last year, we eventually came down to oil, lpg or biomass. Trying to find anyone around here that will/can work on lpg is very difficult, which ruled that out. We don't have free space to run a biomass system, which ruled that out (and again, may have led to lbc issues anyway). Guess what we now have! 

I'm sure technology will offer more options in a few years time, but unless there is flexibility in allowing listed buildings to be modernised to continue to allow them to be habitable I'm not sure that such properties will be so viable in the future. 

Please view my photos.

 

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Little Nook Farm - Caravan Club Certificated Location in the heart of the Pennines overlooking Hebden Bridge and the Calder Valley.

http://www.facebook.com/LittleNookFarm

 

Little Nook Cottage - 2-bed self-catering cottage in the heart of the Pennines overlooking Hebden Bridge and the Calder Valley.

Book now via airbnb

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3 hours ago, gazza77 said:

I'd like to see more flexibility in planning laws for those who live in more rural locations. We're not on the mains gas network, so that's not a heating option. I live in listed building, so solar panels and air source heat pumps are likely to be an issue from a planning perspective. Air or ground source pumps are unlikely to be effective in the property anyway without significant and hugely expensive work to make it more airtight, given the age and nature of the building, and even if that was done, there may well be listed building consent issues. 

I'd love to reduce the carbon footprint of the house, but our options are very limited. When requiring a new boiler last year, we eventually came down to oil, lpg or biomass. Trying to find anyone around here that will/can work on lpg is very difficult, which ruled that out. We don't have free space to run a biomass system, which ruled that out (and again, may have led to lbc issues anyway). Guess what we now have! 

I'm sure technology will offer more options in a few years time, but unless there is flexibility in allowing listed buildings to be modernised to continue to allow them to be habitable I'm not sure that such properties will be so viable in the future. 

Have you sorted out your heating issues yet?

If you did go for gas central heating you could go for LPG be it tank or propane bottles.You would need at the very least 2 47 kg propane bottles depending on what gas appliances you have in your house if indeed you do.

 

 I would look at the Calor Gas website and that might give you some idea of what you could possibly have. And yes I am LPG qualified too,based in Manchester.

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7 hours ago, Robthegasman said:

Have you sorted out your heating issues yet?

If you did go for gas central heating you could go for LPG be it tank or propane bottles.You would need at the very least 2 47 kg propane bottles depending on what gas appliances you have in your house if indeed you do.

 

 I would look at the Calor Gas website and that might give you some idea of what you could possibly have. And yes I am LPG qualified too,based in Manchester.

Yes, we replaced the oil boiler with a new one. 

We actually already have an lpg tank as well as on oil one, as we have an lpg aga. The aga specialists don't work on boilers however, and I could only find one lpg certified plumber in about a 25 mile radius, whereas there a numerous with the ticket to work on oil. The plumber that did the work that we've used previously told us he gave up his lpg certification because the cost and effort of it wasn't worthwhile given there are only a limited number of potential customers. I can see that being a valid point. 

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Please view my photos.

 

http://www.hughesphoto.co.uk/

 

Little Nook Farm - Caravan Club Certificated Location in the heart of the Pennines overlooking Hebden Bridge and the Calder Valley.

http://www.facebook.com/LittleNookFarm

 

Little Nook Cottage - 2-bed self-catering cottage in the heart of the Pennines overlooking Hebden Bridge and the Calder Valley.

Book now via airbnb

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Moved to AOB to give a wider audience rather than just politics.

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"When in deadly danger, when beset by doubt; run in little circles, wave your arms and shout"

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Interesting topic. We have a wall mounted conventional gas boiler,  a power shower etc. Its at least 16 years old, works well etc etc. When it fails it will be replaced by an up-to-date modern gas boiler.

No intention of getting a heat pump, air or otherwise.  Can't see how we can insulate the house any more than we have already, too.  Double glazed, roof and cavity wall insulation etc etc. but no heat pumps. A mate of mine and his wife have built 5 super energy efficient houses, sold four of them and live in the fifth. Steel frame construction, ( Huff Haus was considered but too expensive)  1000 litre water tank in roof, heated from thermal panels, wall construction super insulated bought from Canada, etc.. b, huge houses, - three floors, 4 and five bedrooms, etc etc. annual energy bills around £400 to £500 a year.  

Here's the problem: cost.  Sold 4 of them for around £1 million each ( built using huge loans, pension pots, investors etc that had to be paid back)

 Us normal types just cannot afford that sort of thing and the technology doesn't readily translate to the sort of properties mist of us have. 

 

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“If you understand, things are just as they are; if you do not understand, things are just as they are.” Zen Proverb

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4 hours ago, JohnM said:

Interesting topic. We have a wall mounted conventional gas boiler,  a power shower etc. Its at least 16 years old, works well etc etc. When it fails it will be replaced by an up-to-date modern gas boiler.

No intention of getting a heat pump, air or otherwise.  Can't see how we can insulate the house any more than we have already, too.  Double glazed, roof and cavity wall insulation etc etc. but no heat pumps. A mate of mine and his wife have built 5 super energy efficient houses, sold four of them and live in the fifth. Steel frame construction, ( Huff Haus was considered but too expensive)  1000 litre water tank in roof, heated from thermal panels, wall construction super insulated bought from Canada, etc.. b, huge houses, - three floors, 4 and five bedrooms, etc etc. annual energy bills around £400 to £500 a year.  

Here's the problem: cost.  Sold 4 of them for around £1 million each ( built using huge loans, pension pots, investors etc that had to be paid back)

 Us normal types just cannot afford that sort of thing and the technology doesn't readily translate to the sort of properties mist of us have. 

 

£4-500 per year energy bills. Fantasy time for me: ours is around 10 times that, and that's before the recent price increases. 🙄

That's one of the two reasons I'd like to be able to generate my own electric, subject to being able to find a way around the listed building consent issues. 

Please view my photos.

 

http://www.hughesphoto.co.uk/

 

Little Nook Farm - Caravan Club Certificated Location in the heart of the Pennines overlooking Hebden Bridge and the Calder Valley.

http://www.facebook.com/LittleNookFarm

 

Little Nook Cottage - 2-bed self-catering cottage in the heart of the Pennines overlooking Hebden Bridge and the Calder Valley.

Book now via airbnb

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5 hours ago, JohnM said:

Interesting topic. We have a wall mounted conventional gas boiler,  a power shower etc. Its at least 16 years old, works well etc etc. When it fails it will be replaced by an up-to-date modern gas boiler.

No intention of getting a heat pump, air or otherwise.  Can't see how we can insulate the house any more than we have already, too.  Double glazed, roof and cavity wall insulation etc etc. but no heat pumps. A mate of mine and his wife have built 5 super energy efficient houses, sold four of them and live in the fifth. Steel frame construction, ( Huff Haus was considered but too expensive)  1000 litre water tank in roof, heated from thermal panels, wall construction super insulated bought from Canada, etc.. b, huge houses, - three floors, 4 and five bedrooms, etc etc. annual energy bills around £400 to £500 a year.  

Here's the problem: cost.  Sold 4 of them for around £1 million each ( built using huge loans, pension pots, investors etc that had to be paid back)

 Us normal types just cannot afford that sort of thing and the technology doesn't readily translate to the sort of properties mist of us have. 

 

Is it a Combi boiler or heat only?

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I have an old style wall hung gas boiler , had it 10 years plus , never broke down . On the look out for a new heat exchanger for it as it must be due to fail .

Does our hot water (indirect cylinder Y Plan ) can do heating but its never needed .

Got multi stove that works a dream , use wood / smokless fuel warms full cottage up lovely . Its been on nigh n day for 3 months . 

Will be putting in some pipework and altering position of cylinder next year as im going to fit a back boiler to stove that will gravity feed hot water to cylinder . I'm hoping this will see boiler been used even less . 

Heat pumps lol 

Solar Panels good for domestic situation (maybe)

Insulation/draft proofing big yes . 

VAT on insulation big NO 

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On 11/01/2022 at 08:43, Bedford Roughyed said:

 

Last year I stayed with my friend in Norway. All the houses looked to be individual in that particular area, no housing developments (old or modern). Also, the house had a fuel pellet boiler/heating system thingamajig, the noise of the vacuum sucking up the pellets at 5am was ridiculous.

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