central heating - to be or not to be? that is the question

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flyeogh
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central heating - to be or not to be? that is the question

Postby flyeogh » Mon Dec 07, 2015 8:28 am

We have a 158 sq meter, 4 bedroom home in Puerto de Santa Maria. The previous owners installed central heating (about 10 radiators) but not to a high standard with very visible pipes running everywhere.

The very old combi boiler is propane fed (6 big tanks, 3 and 3) and while it does provide enough hot water the central heating has a fault and cuts out after one minute.

So we are thinking not to spend any money on the central heating and remove it (a job we can do) making the place easier to decorate and clean, and according to SWMBO much more ascetically pleasing.

This week the chimney (not used by previous owners) will be opened up and a double sided log burner will be open to the lounge and kitchen (16 Kw).

We then thought two solar panels and a 300 litre tank (less than 3000 Euros installed) would be good (our bit for the planet even if many years before a return and appreciate that supplements hot water and doesn't do anything for heating (?)).

And then supplemented with electric appliances as required.

We had one builder who said “Central heating - rip it out you won’t need it” and another who said you need central heating or you’ll suffer from condensation and humidity. A mixed reply from neighbours as well. For sure it is nippy first thing but no condensation issues so far - but winter has barely begun and we've only been here just over a week :D

Anyone who has been here for a while I’d love to know your thoughts. 8)
El raton de watford

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Wicksey
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Re: central heating - to be or not to be? that is the questi

Postby Wicksey » Mon Dec 07, 2015 10:30 am

You will need heating .... it's been an exceptionally mild winter so far this year. Your ideas so good to me.

The woodburner does mean a bit of work cleaning it out etc but if you don't mind that it's an excellent source of heat. If you put either individual electric heater in each room or aircon that heats, then you can control where and when you want the heat as necessary. Even on the coldest nights (and it's got down to 1 degree overnight here) we don't ever have any heating in the bedroom. It depends on how hot you like your house.

olive
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Re: central heating - to be or not to be? that is the questi

Postby olive » Mon Dec 07, 2015 11:30 am

Log burner? You will be needing a good regular source of logs, somewhere to store them, someone to keep bringing them in to feed the fire. Draughts ?Mess? We have two and they suit our needs.

Why not spend your money on upgrading the central heating? Radiator controls, reroute some of the pipework and a new more efficient boiler.

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Re: central heating - to be or not to be? that is the questi

Postby TorreDelAguila » Mon Dec 07, 2015 12:13 pm

I think you should work with the log burner for this coming winter, and see how it fares in keeping the house warm. It's easy to make rapid decisions about this sort of thing when moving in, only to find later that it wasn't quite what you needed.

Some log burners have warm air take-offs available on their casing, which can be ducted to other rooms. Our downstairs burner keeps an upstairs bedroom at 20deg+ with a 100mm flexi-duct running to it. You might expect to get through 2 to 4 m3 of wood over a winter, at €50-60/m3.

Air-con is good at heating, and is highly controllable and quiet and clean. Good for additional bedrooms that aren't used regularly. Typically around 900W of electrical input produces something like 2500W of heat output, but this varies by model. For a main large living area, you may need a large unit, or even two medium-sized. Do the homework.

Most of our friends who have boiler-radiator CH don't use it, either because it goes through even the large cylinders somewhat rapidly, or because of a poor-quality Spanish boiler. Installations can be scruffy. A couple of them have fitted good quality boilers, which work well, but guzzle gas. A bulk tank might not be an option for an urbanisation.
Chris

flyeogh
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Re: central heating - to be or not to be? that is the questi

Postby flyeogh » Mon Dec 07, 2015 1:21 pm

Thanks guys for some great input.

The log burner is a continuation of my blightie life and I find it a total pleasure to use, to cook and to heat so a logical decision relating to heating wasn't needed in that regard 8) Sadly the chimney is external upstairs so offers nothing but I'll investigate TorreDelAguila if we could channel some of the heat.

Olive upgrading would be good but this lot would need ripping out and starting over. And that with a new big boiler would hit my budget very hard. Thus my thinking, and my thinking can be a dangerous thing :wink: , is that if we get rid of the central heating we can live with a smaller boiler backing up the solar panels. Luckily we have a nice flat bit of roof with no obstructions to that big yellow thing in the sky 8)

But as suggested it is easy to make a wrong decision. Although without kids or oldens we do have some room to manoeuvre.

As for cost I'm begining to conclude that without a crystal ball it is difficult to predict and that there is likely to be nothing in it. And my wife's delight at the removal of all those pipes is pushing me in that direction. TorreDelAguila interesting you mention gas guzzling. My three tanks cost 140 Euros so while most seem to point out the high cost of electricity I can see that being an issue.

But I will be purusing all your input very carefully over a nice manzanilla so it is very much appreciated. Cheers all :thumbup:
El raton de watford

Flashman
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Re: central heating - to be or not to be? that is the question

Postby Flashman » Tue Feb 06, 2018 4:13 pm

hi

which way did you go with this? I'd love to hear your conclusions....

flyeogh
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Re: central heating - to be or not to be? that is the question

Postby flyeogh » Tue Feb 06, 2018 5:32 pm

I'd forgotten this but if you’re interested:

First spanish MIL came to stay so had to think elderly person. However, she is a person from an era of put on an extra layer rather than turn up the heat.

First the boiler. We bought a new boiler and had an outside cabinet made for it. Supplies hot water and thus central radiator heating. Works like a dream. About 3500 Euros all in. We had the kitchen revamped so the cost and inconvenience of moving the pipes was negligible. No noise, no internal space used – right decision looking back.

When we tested the fireplace in the lounge smoke came out from the kitchen tiles in the kitchen. Had it all ripped out. Then a double-sided log burner (17 KW) put in. All the work, chimney lining, the burner itself, plastering, electrics cost less than 3200 Euros. The builder and his mate worked like trojans and cost for both was 150 Euros a day all in. They were so good they did the wet room for us. Lovely job.

We buy about 360 Euros of logs per year. Not only heats but looks spectacular. And the fact you can feed it and clean it from the kitchen is great.

We left the central heating and use it occasionally. Had to replace one radiator.

On running cost with now four inmates and a dog, the cost of all fuel: gas, electric and wood comes to less than 3200 Euros yearly. Not bad I think for 158 sq, meters.

Despite employing a Spanish lawyer my marriage in Gibraltar to my Spanish wife still is not registered in Spain. We have attended every office as required but now we are coming up to one year and no news beyond – well when it comes it will come. (That said if Spain wasn’t so backward I guess other things would cost more). But that means I’m not resident here and pay more on house tax. I also pay higher than UK Spanish income tax. But overall, with everything accounted for I live on almost exactly the same as I did in the UK.

And I'm fitter and enjoying the experience.

Not sure that sounds very interesting but hope it is what you were looking for :wink: Cheers
El raton de watford

Flashman
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Re: central heating - to be or not to be? that is the question

Postby Flashman » Wed Feb 07, 2018 2:30 pm

very interesting. thanks for the update


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