Reducing the cost of heating the Farmhouse.
Whilst all of the planning applications have been going into the local planning authority we have been trying to reduce the running costs of Project Farmhouse. The current boiler is circa 1970’s in design and approx 56% efficient so space heating and hot water is expensive. The annual Boiler Juice (www.boilerjuice.com) statement showed that 3,500 litres were delivered at a cost of £ 1,820.62 per annum.
The walls are a mix of solid brick, secondary insulated and cavity walls with minimal loft insulation. There is single glazing throughout as well. Some rooms heat up and other have bad draughts that make the heating pointless.
We have been putting together some temporary fixes to reduce the heat loss in the house to reduce heating costs.
Updating Heating Controls
The current heating was controlled by an old thermostat installed in a draughty hallway.
Step 1 was installing the Hive Hub and Heating Controls to better control the heating and hot water.
Benefits have included using the remote features including sensors to turn the heating on and off as well as the heating and lighting turning on using GPS when turning off the A27. We estimate that the savings will be 20% with the existing boiler and heating system with payback in just over a year.
Temporary Draught Proofing
The biggest loss of heat is lack of air tightness in the house because of the gaps around the old doors and windows.
Our plumber suggested that we use white duct tape. It is a bit crude but it has reduced the draughts considerably. A very cheap way of keeping the cold out. £30 of white duct tape from Screwfix did three doors and 19 windows.
Insulating the Immersion Tanks & Hot Water Pipes
The Immersion Tanks and Hot water pipes had no insulation so we have tried to minimise the heat loss by double insulating as much of the heating and hot water system we could get to.
Overall we think that the property will use significantly less oil over the winter period and will report back in the Spring.
UPDATE: 1st March 2019 - So by measuring the oil bought and used over the winter period we estimate that by doing the simple things above there has been a saving of about 25% on our oil consumption.
The Hive System has allowed for better control of the heating when needed and not just on a standard timer. The ability to manage schedules better and the movement of the thermostat has really helped reduce wasted heat and hot water.
Using white duct tape for draught proofing has had a small impact - there are less draughts but we cannot measure a quantitive impact - there is a bit of paint to replace but overall it worked well.
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