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How to move away from oil boiler for Rads and UFH ..?

  • 28-10-2021 10:41pm
    Registered Users Posts: 110 ✭✭

    I’m planning a PV array to offset energy from the grid, to run the house , divert to hot water tank and charge car.

    however I’m still left withe the oil boiler for radiators, underfloor heating in the living area of the house and hot water when the solar’s not enough.

    before I commit to solar I’m just wondering if there are viable alternatives to the oil boiler for the uses above ( eg air sourced heat pump / geothermal …?)

    We are in a 1970’s rural bungalow , renovated with external insulation , windows, MHRV.

    thanks for any suggestions of options I could explore and if possible where I could go for pro advice.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,476 ✭✭✭bullit_dodger

    To be honest, as much as I'd love to give you the good news.....the reality is that solar panels sadly just don't capture enough energy to heat the house directly in winter. Even with a massive array something north of 10+Kwp. The times you need the heat in the winter (think Dec/Jan/Feb) are short days, cloudy/rainy, and the panels can't grab enough energy in the brief time that they get active to give you enough heat.

    Your best bet is as you say a ground (ideally) or air sourced heat pump for the heating/hot water. These are great systems, but (and the "but" is big) your house needs to be well insulated and airtight. If you don't have top notch insulation, you'll find that the heat pumps not a great solution.

    The good thing about solar is that you can with a bit of forward thinking get a system which you can expand easily enough. If your rural bungalow, you might be able to couple your solar installation with a 1-2Kw wind turbine. I've no experience there, but it might be a good option for you.

  • Moderators, Home & Garden Moderators Posts: 5,906 Mod ✭✭✭✭graememk

    To go the heat pump route, your already most of the way there with the insulation, MHRV, Underfloor heating etc.

    to switch to Heatpump, the remaining radiators might need to be changed to aluminium ones, but thats about it.

  • Registered Users Posts: 11,031 ✭✭✭✭the_amazing_raisin

    The handy thing with the heat pump is that you can in theory power them from your solar array

    In reality as others have said, your times of highest heat use are when your PV array is generating the lowest amount of energy

    FWIW, I've an air source heat pump on our A3 rated house and it keeps the house nice and toasty. I did a cost comparison to gas and the heat pump does work out cheaper overall

    My advice would be to find a brand that is well supported in Ireland and go with an official installer. There's a few horror stories of lads installing heat pumps and not having a clue what they were doing and folks ending up with cold houses

    "The internet never fails to misremember" - Sebastian Ruiz, aka Frost

  • Registered Users Posts: 23,298 ✭✭✭✭mickdw

    Cold houses or massive power bills seem to be the main issues with cowboy installers.

    Firstly, I dont believe heat pump is a runner unless your house is right up to current regs - A2 rating.

    Getting a 70s bungalow up to A2 would arguably require complete gutting including renewing floors to get insulation up to standard.

    Any lower standard and it just won't make sense.

    If you house is of average size and has recently been upgraded reasonably, oil or gas bills should be small.

  • Registered Users Posts: 547 ✭✭✭Blue4u

    Insulation is king first, upgrade as much as possible before going any further.

    Even after all of that you are probably looking at trying to reduce oil as much as possible, smart heating system etc

    Or a hybrid heat pump could be option. You have high temp heat pumps but probably the cost to run would be expensive, a hybrid should* massively reduce oil requirements

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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,470 ✭✭✭MAULBROOK

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,530 ✭✭✭Car99

    What thickness kingspan solid foam floor insulation to get up to A2 standard?