Updating central heating system advice

I’m hoping someone could guide me in the right direction.

I’m looking at options on changing my central heating system over.

It was oil but I’v since removed the tank. I’m now looking for websites for comparison for either LPG gas, wood heating system or electric heat not that I’m a great fan with electric heater!

I’ve two wood burners I will however be using.

Any advice or tips would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks Steve

Its i saw Stoke and i used to live in Stoke or at least just outside in Trentham

Chris thanks for the post.

I already have two wood burners but they’re not connected to the main heating system. It used to be oil, plus the size it was I could have heated the village with it!

I’ll see if it’s possible to have existing burners connected, thanks for the suggestion.

Regards Steve

Hi James, thanks for the link, and email address apparently to send a mail pm, through this sit you need to be accepted as friend which I had send a request this morning. I’ll have a read on the link you’ve sent me and any more information I’ll drop you a mail if that’s okay. Good luck with the move. - Steve

Hi John, We lived in Derby but were preparing for our retirement move to Normandy. The ASHP website is: http://www.wharfplumbing.co.uk/product/air-source-heat-pump/wharf-air-source-heat-pump-8kw/ I installed it myself, bit of plumbing and electrics but not really difficult. Its Chinese, as they all are nowadays, but has given us no problems whatsoever during our first winter in France.

Steve, not sure how you can pm on this site, I'm also relatively new. I'm at james.m.bolland@gmail.com if you want more info.

Some seven years ago we installed a woodburner that also heats six radiators around the house. It's very cost effective and a great alternative to oil, gas or electric systems.

James your pump was from near Stoke i presume its Stoke on Trent did you live there or just buy the pump

Michael we had a guy give us an estimate for a wood chip stove bearing in mind we already had the radiators installed from the oil heating his estimate was €19K he had gone to town he was quickly shown the door conveyor belts and hoppers we didn't need contacted Enershop, Michael Swan came in did a survey of the whole house his estimate was €8K plus we hope to get about €1K return on our tax the boiler uses logs no more than 37mmx8mm with a 5 hour burn on average for a full boiler yes you need expansion tanks the excess heat goes into the tanks in the form of hot water then is released as the fire cools back into the radiators plus it provides domestic hot water we were paying €2500 for oil plus about €400 for wood using our cooker more than was needed so close on 3K now we pay €600 for wood, bought in bulk the cooker is on less no longer a heat source so a saving of €2400 each year i estimate 3 years and we will be in profit. Being to far out in the sticks for gas other than bottled i saw it as a no brainer there are those around us who throw up their arm in horror at the thought of cutting and stacking wood and are happy to throw a switch then complain about the bill but hard work has never frightened me in fact my old boss said i could even go to sleep as the side of it

Hi James, thanks for the information. Yes agree 20k is a rather lot of money on heating system. The size you have taken is very interesting just ideal for the house and same number of rads.

James I’m new to the site so I’ll have to work out how to send a pm. I’ll drop you a pm later. -regards Steve

My numbers were for a 30K system bought in France. I agree both heat pumps and boilers are much cheaper in UK but there may be problems with installation, servicing and warranties in France for UK boilers even though they have CE mark and are mostly made in EU anyway. I have been told that few French chauffagistes will install boilers that don't have NF marks - yes I know its not legal to take this position but its France!

€20k for a heat pump?! Ours cost £1000 (from near Stoke) - it is 3kW converting at a coefficient of anywhere between 2 and 3 to up to 9kW heating - gives us enough heat to pump warm water through our 30m2 underfloor heating system. We put in panels onto the floor, then tiled over it, so it can be a retro fit. We also have a woodburner with backboiler which heats a Ballon upstairs and distributes to 6 rads. It is very effective. If you want details pm me and we can discuss.

We have a 20Kw system -- three floors, five bedrooms so a lot to heat. I assume they do less powerful systems but Nicolas Rey or David Hadji at 19.7 will be able to tell you, or your local Okofen rep if you're not in their area. They cover a big area. We live in Lozere and it's a near 2-hour drive from their Montpelier office to give you an idea.

We have a seven-tonne silo placed exactly where the oil tank used to be in our basement. There are several options for storage, starting with the size of the silo which was a compromise between estimated consumption and available space. We don't actually use seven tonnes a year. This year we've used between three and four tonnes. We get delivery once a year. Big lorry which blows the pellets into the silo through a large pipe. No mess. You can store the pellets indoors or outside. There's a wide range of options.

In our case the silo is linked to the burner by flexible tubes connected to a worm drive in the bottom of the silo. The burner has it's own storage which is automatically filled as and when required (usually once a day) by sucking the pellets along the tube, and this is the only noise we hear from the system.

I've got some photos buried somewhere in the computer and I'll send you a couple if I can find them!

Michael, thanks for the figures, I could heat the village with those prices.

How much did it cost to install?

When I did the sums a couple of years ago it was about €12000+ for wood chip €20,000 for air source heat pump and about €1500 for a gas boiler. You get a lot of gas for €10,000.

Hi Michael, thanks for the info on wood burging boilers. I agree on time + cost if only I was a little younger Hey! I’ll continue to read, then do the number crunching, see which more suited to the house. Thanks for your time - regards Steve

Terry thanks for the information much appreciated for your time. It’s good to know you only empty the ash once a month. Which size system did you take? I’m only looking for a smallish between 6kw and 10kw. Did you need a large space to store the pellets? How’s the pellets feed into the burner, is done manually or automatic? Thanks for the links I’ll have a look later! Thanks again - regards Steve

Steve, we switched from oil to wood pellets (granulés) two or three years back and never regretted it. Very efficient, cheaper than oil or electricity (probably gas too but I don't have any figures), clean, doesn't smell, minimal maintenance (I empty the ashes at the most once a month even in winter) and you get tax credits and other bonuses.

Our system includes two solar panels which provide most of the hot water in winter and all of it in summer. This is what we installed http://www.okofen.fr/ and These are the people who supplied it.

I looked into this a while ago. Fortunately we do have gaz de ville so it’s relatively cheap ( about x2 wood). The problem with using a wodburning boiler for ch is controlling the output to the radiators. It seemed that to get this to work well with a self stoking wood chip boiler you need a large heat sink to even out the fluctuations as wood burners don’t respond as quickly as gas/ oil boilers. This needs to be about 1500 L water tank. Heavy and expensive. Add in the very high cost of the the “Eco” boiler it didn’t stack up economically. You can buy an awful lot of gas for the cost of the wodburning installation. Much the same with heat pumps. Unless you are very young you may not live long enough to recoup the costs.

John, thanks for the information much appreciated. I’ll do some number crunching and see what’s the best price for the house. Living in a location with a microclimate, sure helps. Just looking for something to give out no more then 6kw, I have already two wood burners which gave out max of 10Kw, just looking for something to give a boost from time to time, if the weather does turn a little more cooler. Bon weekend - Steve

We have just changed our oil to wood gasification boiler we already have a wood cooker in the kitchen so all out fuel is wood we use about 15 stere and my wife feels the cold so as soon as there is a drop in temerature the fire at least is lit as we buy our wood in 2m lenths it works out at 40€ stere so 600€ we were using 2500 ltrs of oil at close on 1€ so one hell of a saving for a bit of work Michael Swan from Enershop they have a facebook page and webb site also tax rebate as renewable energy