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is heatpumps the only non fossil fuel way to heat your house?

  • 30-08-2022 11:16pm
    Registered Users Posts: 1,273 ✭✭✭

    is heatpumps the only non fossil fuel way to heat your house?



  • Registered Users Posts: 2,332 ✭✭✭bullit_dodger

    Depends on what you mean, but electric heaters powered by solar?

    (Solar panels unlikely to capture enough energy in winter to heat your house, but technically it's not fossil fuels)

  • Moderators, Home & Garden Moderators Posts: 5,469 Mod ✭✭✭✭graememk

    I think I know what your asking, heating without burning stuff locally.

    There's infra red heat panels, and resistive heaters. But they are all 1kwh of electric in and 1kwh of heat out, (more or less)

    Heatpumps depending on how hot you make them run, it's 1kwh in of electric in, it moves 2-5 kwh of heat into your house

  • Registered Users Posts: 11,997 ✭✭✭✭KCross

    The only other options really are Solar, wind and hydro.

    Solar is somewhat limited in winter. Least amount of generation when you need heat the most.

    Wind and hydro are very location specific and not cheap.

    So heat pump is the best option for the majority.

    One thought though, are wood pellet burners considered renewable if the pellets are sourced from renewable suppliers? Maybe that’s an alternative.

  • Registered Users Posts: 436 ✭✭Girl Geraldine

    Geothermal, if your circumstances allow. But it is very, very expensive. You'd probably be cheaper and better off in the medium term to do a bit of insulation and a good oil boiler.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,273 ✭✭✭thebourke

    i am looking at getting the external walls insulated.

    I have a gas boiler.

    House is bult 1960s.

    So was wondering what the alternatives are to a gas boiler?

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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,963 ✭✭✭jkforde

    ++1 invest in as much insulation as possible esp. for dormers and tap into any grants (and yes, you\contractor have to duly jump thru SEAIs adjudication hoops but it's just a checklist process and they have their jobs to do at end of day)

    but yeah, heat pumps are best option but I've read that they only perform optimally in airtight housing

    🌦️ 6.7kwp, 45°, SSW, mid-Galway 🌦️

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,273 ✭✭✭thebourke

    how much does an air pump cost with installation?

  • Registered Users Posts: 11,997 ✭✭✭✭KCross

    Its like asking "how much does a car cost"! 😉

    Depends on the size of the house and what work needs to be done and what company is providing the service and which HP you pick and what grants you apply for.

    It will likely be a 5 figure sum but you need to get quotes specific to your house.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 64,288 ✭✭✭✭unkel

    I use crypto mining rigs to heat my house. 100% efficient and making a profit*, while giving heat for free.

    *at the moment it's making a profit and has done so all of last winter, this was not always the case and will not always be the case. But even when it is making a loss, it will in most cases still be cheaper to heat your house with a mining rig than with gas or oil

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,508 ✭✭✭paddylonglegs

    On external wraps, what is the average square metre cost people are getting? Or is it job dependent?

  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Arts Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 47,840 CMod ✭✭✭✭magicbastarder

    external wraps are suited to certain wall constructions. the cheapest (and least intrusive) seems to be cavity wall injection, if cavity walls (not cavity block) is what was used to build your house.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,508 ✭✭✭paddylonglegs

    Yeah haven’t investigated that far so trying to get gauge of cost for worst case scenario

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,045 ✭✭✭Thespoofer

    Why do the ROI not offer grants to have oil/gas boilers replaced by biomass/pellet boilers as they do in UK/NI ?

    Its a renewable source.

  • Registered Users Posts: 64,288 ✭✭✭✭unkel

    Not really @Thespoofer. If you look into it a bit more, the percentage it is actually renewable is very low. And it is still producing very bad emissions. It's not a solution.

  • Registered Users Posts: 23,065 ✭✭✭✭mickdw

    For a 1960s house, you will need to go full retrofit to make it suitable for heat pump. That will likely mean up to A2 rating which will in most cases mean floor, wall and roof insulation plus windows and airtightness brought up to spec.

    This work using seai one stop shop is absolutely out of hand cost wise as grant amounts just seem to be lumped onto costs to the point of grant not being worth while.

    A more reasonable solution is to insulate where possible without too much disruption and run an efficient gas or oil burner.

    So go big on attic insulation which is cheap and easy. Pump walls if possible and I would say if you have structural timber ground floor with void, look at insulating and airtightness there too.

  • Posts: 2,078 ✭✭✭[Deleted User]

    The point is that electricity is flexible - what is now gas produced may be wind/solar/fusion produced in the future. The same can't be said of oil or gas ( maybe hydrogen or something else renewable COULD replace it but by no means as easily as electricity)

    Was replying to Ubiquitous

  • Registered Users Posts: 64,288 ✭✭✭✭unkel

    Exactly what @mickdw says. It horrifies me that tax payers money is being made available for deep retrofit. Most of that money will go towards labour costs and profits for the installer. Very little towards actual insulation. We will just have to live with older houses and do the basic insulation that we can for reasonable money. For the rest we will just have to clean up our sources of energy. If we do a good enough job, those older houses can be heated with electricity, but with conventional heating, not heatpumps.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 50 ✭✭Triapin

    So my house was built in the 1980's...triple glazed windows, but room to insulate further. Roughly 130m squared and I am wondering is a heat pump a viable option or would a gas or oil burner be more realistic?

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,963 ✭✭✭jkforde

    if your BER is anything less than A3 (critically air tightness\drafts) I would suggest go with high efficiency oil burner and keep improving insulation and maybe active ventilation (for dampness).

    🌦️ 6.7kwp, 45°, SSW, mid-Galway 🌦️

  • Registered Users Posts: 235 ✭✭thedart

    I would suggest turning down the stat a few degree. Have worked in houses last winter and see stats at 22-23 degree.

    17-18 degree, dial down the heat. Examples mentioned are people who have no medical issues or elderly people or any other thing that may need to have a house at that temperature.

  • Registered Users Posts: 23,065 ✭✭✭✭mickdw

    I would suggest it's unlikely that it would be suitable however if it was of a design that made it relatively simple to airtight and insulate, you could look at heat pump but it would need to be relatively airtight. No 1980s houses were anyway airtight.

    It's all well and good going for heat pump but if it has to work too hard to heat the house, your electricity bills will absolutely be through the roof. I know of a case where the esb bill was 700 for 2 months when the average house was getting a 2 monthly bill of 250.

  • Administrators, Computer Games Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 31,990 Admin ✭✭✭✭✭Mickeroo

    I think there could be potential in these things, though I'm a bit vague on how the tech actually works. Too good to be true?

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,332 ✭✭✭bullit_dodger

    Effectively a sand battery. I like the concept myself, although it only really works if you have access to cheap green tariffs. Heats up the ceramic block internally to 500C or so when the leccie is cheap, and then can release that into the heating system during the day when you call for heat.

    Great if you can do that heating at (say) 2am on a smart tariff like octopus - but people on a flat rate 24hr tariff it could be a pricey replacement.

    It's got a few draw backs for me. It's large (I couldn't replace my boiler unit in the kitchen with it), it's 375 Kg, so not exactly easy to move about, but super to see these alternative heating systems coming to market. Could be a good alternative to someone who has a house where a HP doesn't work. (Drafty etc)

  • Registered Users Posts: 64,288 ✭✭✭✭unkel

    It's just like the "storage heaters" popular in Dublin in cheap ass newly built tiny apartments / flats in the 90s 😁

    Just heat a block of concrete during cheap night rate hours and the heat will be coming slowly off it for the rest of the day. That is the plan, but in practice this mostly didn't work as by the time the occupants came home from work in the evening, the heaters had gone cold again. Now obviously you can overcome this by better insulation and controlled venting. I didn't watch the video, but I guess that is what that does?

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,115 ✭✭✭SD_DRACULA looks quite promising as you can charge them from PV or grid and they can be connected to water cylinder/gas boiler even but I think for now they are only for heating water.

    They are working on a version that can hook up to existing water rads around the house and once that happens it should be a game changer.

    They are not massive and if they can do heating/DHW then what's the point of heat pumps? Also quite cheap in comparison

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,159 ✭✭✭Ubbquittious

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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,676 ✭✭✭geotrig

    Im curious as I've seen you mention this once or twice ,how does it heat your whole house ? you may have explained this already but I haven't seen it ?