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Eco heating strategies for renovators

A major project can signal the perfect opportunity to upgrade your heating system. Nigel Griffiths reveals what you need to know about everything from getting insulation right through to selecting the best appliance and emitters
If you want to add renewables into your setup, you’ll need to invest in a twin-coil cylinder, such as this Greenstore model from Worcester, Bosch Group. Above middle: Made largely of recycled newspaper, cellulose insulation (such as Thermofloc) provides vapouropen thermal protection – making it a good choice in period buildings where the structure needs to breathe. Above right: An air-source heat pump, such as this Dimplex A-class, is relatively straightforward to install on a renovation – but you may need to upgrade the building fabric and emitters for best performance

Renovating an existing home can throw up a wide range of complex choices – not the least of which is getting your heating system right. If you’re taking on a major project, chances are you’ll be keen to make a significant upgrade here to keep your energy usage in check and reduce running costs.

Together with your heating engineer, you’ll need to decide on the best source of warmth (boiler or renewable), the distribution system and the optimum size of the equipment. Your choices may, however, be slightly constrained by the characteristics of the existing building. And that’s before you get on to considerations such as the subsidies available for renewable heat. So how can you unravel all of this?

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About Build It

Get your self-build or renovation project started with advice & inspiration from Build It magazine. Here's what to expect in the January issue: • How the Rogers built an Arts & Crafts-style modern home • The latest on smart home technology • Are woodburning stoves eco friendly? • Heating options for renovations • Avoiding grand designs disasters • Plot Watch: Did they get planning consent? ...and much more!