Central heating

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Midnight Rambler

Central heating

Postby Midnight Rambler » Wed Jan 25, 2006 3:42 pm

Sorry but I have to ask what may seem like a silly question here, but I've read so many times here how cold it is in the winter, so, I'm looking for any information regarding central heating, for example is it possible, practical and feasable to install a full central heating system in a large "Cortijo" about 400 sq metres in total, it can be oil, gas or electricity as long as it's effective, any info would be welcome, thanks!

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Susi
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Postby Susi » Wed Jan 25, 2006 3:55 pm

Depending on where your cortijo is and what state it is in my recommendation is underfloor heating. However, this is only practical if you don't already have floors down. We reformed a cortijo of nearly 300m and put in oil fired underfloor heating. It is wonderful. Although oil is increasing in price electricity is more complicated. Assuming you have electricity you may not have sufficient supply to run this as well. Underfloor heating can also be solar powered, a more expensive option but there are grants available.

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Postby katy » Wed Jan 25, 2006 4:17 pm

I don't find underfloor heating warm enough, ok. for the bathrooms but its just like background heating.

Valencia_Paul
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Postby Valencia_Paul » Wed Jan 25, 2006 7:28 pm

There is no problem installing a full CH system except for the type of fuel you may require and having a suitable space to site the gas or oil storage tanks. I assume there is no piped natural gas in your area? It is quite rare in Spain.

400M2 is a pretty big space to heat. Having good insulation and sealing the draughts can make a massive difference.

Underfloor heating is great if done properly but if you suffer from high heat loss (bad draughts and poor insulation) it probably won't be enough for you.

Simply put, if cost is no problem you will be able to heat your property. :)

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Faire d'Income
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Postby Faire d'Income » Wed Jan 25, 2006 7:30 pm

The cheapest way would probably be with LPG utilising a bulk tank with standard radiators depending on room volume etc. Underfloor heating can work well if it's properly installed but as Paul correctly points out, it is just as important to ensure that the property is adequately insulated first.

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Susi
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Postby Susi » Wed Jan 25, 2006 7:36 pm

We walk around the house in shorts and a t-shirt and we have it on the lowest setting. Everyone who visits us remarks on how lovely and warm it is in our house (which is very open plan). It is lovely to walk around with bare feet on a tiled floor. Another plus is that you don't have ugly radiators to look at. We had underfloor heating in the UK as well and I would always have it if possible.

The temperature is dependent upon the distribution of the tubes carrying the hot water, the closer together the hotter it will be. This is much more economical than radiators because it runs on a much lower temperature.

I can only speak from personal experience!

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Postby Valencia_Paul » Wed Jan 25, 2006 7:38 pm

Just remember not to leave chocolate bars or biccies on the floor with UF heating - they soon melt!

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Postby Bongtrees » Wed Jan 25, 2006 7:55 pm

Susi wrote:Depending on where your cortijo is and what state it is in my recommendation is underfloor heating. However, this is only practical if you don't already have floors down. We reformed a cortijo of nearly 300m and put in oil fired underfloor heating. It is wonderful. Although oil is increasing in price electricity is more complicated. Assuming you have electricity you may not have sufficient supply to run this as well. Underfloor heating can also be solar powered, a more expensive option but there are grants available.


Any idea of your annual running cost for your home? is domestic water heated by other means?

Mike

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Susi
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Postby Susi » Wed Jan 25, 2006 8:27 pm

Hot water is on the same system as the underfloor heating. We previously had a standard butano water heater but the water is much hotter now and we don't have the hassle of bottles running out.

With regard to running costs it cost us just over 1100 euros to get the oil tank filled, holding 2000 litres. However, I can't say how long this lasts because this is our first winter in this house. At the moment we still have plenty.

We do have double glazing, etc, but surely this will make a difference to heat loss whatever the method of heating.

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Postby Valencia_Paul » Wed Jan 25, 2006 8:41 pm

Susi wrote:We do have double glazing, etc, but surely this will make a difference to heat loss whatever the method of heating.


Yes you're right it shouldn't make any difference in theory, whether you have rads or UF heating. From what I've read about UF heating there can be drawbacks such as the slow response time, both to heat up and cool down. I understand there are intelligent controllers that can learn the response times and adjust to smooth out the highs and lows. A leak in a water based UF system is nasty too as you may need to demolish a floor to locate and fix. It would certainly be my preferred choice in my own house if I ever get to build a house in Spain. :wink:

Midnight Rambler

Postby Midnight Rambler » Fri Jan 27, 2006 9:06 pm

Thanks a lot for all your replies, two points, anyone now tell me who to approach for installation, ie the gas supplier (we're going with gas) secondly, not being sarcastic but if CH is readily and easily available why is everyone moaning about being cold in the winter??


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