Are Friends Electric?
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by Readers Question

5 months ago

Are Friends Electric?

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Are Friends Electric?

Hello all, I am planning a small development on the side of my property. It will be a 35m2 maisonette and completely new construction (but adjoining the original house. Will be putting in electric heating and hot water – the question is what type? Would you recommend storage heaters, electric rads and if so oil or convection?

I also saw something about electric “instant on” hot taps which sounded interesting –any pointers would be great as the last time I had storage heaters years ago they were hateful things, but I suspect technology has moved on since then.

Many thanks

UC

Comments

Scott Davison

5 months ago

Avoid storage heaters, big bulky dated technology, they haven't really changed in 40 years!
I've just built a new build bungalow, full electric heated convector radiators, instant water heating and electric shower.
Go for around 9kw instant heater for a decent heat output. If you insulate to a good level, electric heating is quite cost effective.

St. Jims

5 months ago

Those "instant on" hot taps seem great - until one year later, when they clag up and the water starts to taste like vegetable soup.

And having burned my hand with 100 degrees C boiling water only this week, I now have a renewed respect for my kettle. Hot water and boiling water are not really the same thing - boiling water is *incredibly* painful and destructive to skin. Those boiler taps are a disaster/lawsuit waiting to happen, in my grumpy old view! I wouldn't put one in for tenants or any property with young children in the house - and certainly not tenants with young children.

Electric rads are an idea whose time is coming, BTW. No pipes to burst, put them where you like, and some of them look indistinguishable from water rads. But if you're fitting electric rads to a rental, don't rely on their wireless control systems - instead get an electrician to install a fixed-position timer switch where the plug would go. Like this: https://www.electrical-showroom.co.uk/24-hour-fused-spur-electronic-general-purpose-timer?gclid=Cj0KEQiA25rFBRC8rfyX1vjeg7YBEiQAFIb3b63pWj5UPmTk3zigTCmR8rSKiWZ0zuohQTwXbCkVuE8aAlJb8P8HAQ

I've found that the wireless control systems lose their signal all the time, and tenants don't know how to fix that - they'll call you instead!

Gunga Din

5 months ago

Assuming you're not carpeting, consider underfloor heating. Electric would be more efficient than water, adds less depth to the floor and cheaper to install. With the heat coming up off the floor rather than going up the wall from a convector, across the ceiling and down the opposite wall, it has advantages. Also wall space isn't occupied by the convectors. The floor will need to be enthusiastically insulated, to a good few centimetres depth, and you can put it under tile or laminate.

Stan Barlow

5 months ago

We have been installing electric heating for over 30-years and done properly you will get excellent results. If you intention is to rent ensure you comply with EPC requirements. Rumour is that they may change again soon? If you let me know your email contact I can send you info.

Uncle Croatia

5 months ago

Thanks for all the comments so far - very helpful as I know very little about electric heating.

Stan I will send you my email privately. My only other observation is that I haven't 100% decided to rent it out - I my sell it depending on predicted rental incomes and sale prices when it's done. Having said that, I don't want it to go wrong or hurt the residents in a year's time of course! But I will be doing everything with a strict "value for money" ethos. I would dearly love underfloor heating in my own house.....it sounds ideal for this property as it would free up valuable wall space - but would it be much pricer than convectors? I only think I need one large heater downstairs (living, kitchen) and one upstairs (bed) together with heated towel rail/bathroom rad.

Gunga Din

5 months ago

There is a cost associated with plumbing in the pipework for conventional central heating/convectors/radiators, plus the convectors themselves. The underfloor electric matting is not as expensive as I once feared it would be, and you just need a cable to it via the wall controllers and/or thermostats. Since you are building new, you can easily accommodate the several centimetres of foam insulation beneath it, which would cause problems adding it to an existing floor.

Usual advice, seek out some installers and get some quotes/advice, and weigh up the costs. personally I would pay a premium for underfloor heating, but I realise that a potential buyer may not be as broad-minded. I believe the evidence is considerable in favour of its efficiency in both energy terms and in practical terms. I managed to convince myself!

Rob Crawford

5 months ago

If you are considering under floor electric heating check the power consumption and usage costs first. I did this recently and it was very expensive. I opted for gas / water the additional plumbing costs were worth the savings.

Robert Mellors

5 months ago

Electricity costs are about 3.5 times the cost of gas per kwh, so why would any tenant or buyer opt for electric heating instead of gas central heating? I can see the benefits from a landlord point of view in as much as the cost of installation is much less, but it may have a negative effect on your EPC rating and rentability/saleability of your property.

Uncle Croatia

5 months ago

Reply to the comment left by "Robert Mellors" at "18/02/2017 - 11:06":

This property is pretty tiny (35m2) and made to current insulation standards (or above) would surely be pretty economic to heat. If I consider the cost of pipes and boiler I think it would take years and years to actually recoup any savings made by putting in gas.

Stan (or anyone else) - I can't see a way to send a private message on this forum. Is it me being stupid or can't that be done here?

Stephen Smith

5 months ago

Hi,

You can get an electric wet central heating system, looks the same as a boiler system but with a storage cylinder in an internal cupboard. No flues to consider.

Still horrendously expensive to run though with the price of electric.

Stephen

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