Fri 31 Mar 2017 13:47pm
We are in the process of buying a house (1940s Semi) in a rural village which has no mains gas supply. The previous occupant was a single elderly lady who got by with three storage heaters and an immersion heater. We are a young couple and seeing this as a future family home and therefore want to install a futureproof system that's not going to cost a fortune to run. However, we may sell if work requires in a few years so do want to be conscious of not spending too much upfront if we won't see it back.
We know we definitely want a log burner which has a heater element which we will use to provide space heating and hot water during the winter. This has led us down the thermal store route.
The question is what do we do for the rest of the year when we don't want to light a log fire to get hot water. We have considered:
Air source heat pumps - but think the capital outlay is too great and the results seem mixed. Plus the lower heat supplied would still need topping up by immersion heaters to provide the hot water we need.
Solar Thermal - as we are using a thermal store I understand that the system wouldn't qualify for RHI which makes the savings seem less viable.
Oil boiler - we have space for an oil tank on the plot but I would be put off by the visual impact and would think a future buyer might too. How much would a system for installing a tank and boiler cost? We are planning an extension so trying to find somewhere to put the boiler which then wouldn't get moved after/during the extension is also a challenge.
Solar PV and Diverter to Immersion Heaters in the thermal store - can still claim the feed-in-tarrifs for solar and get paid for 50% export where may not be exporting any if all going to heating water. Also means the power gets used to heat the water even if we are out during the day. With the wood burner taking care of winter, this seems quite nice for picking up the spring, summer and early autumn months. Would have to rely on immersion for cloudy days though.
All of the above will require wet central heating putting in at more cost, but think that would be the only way to make most use out of the wood stove, otherwise we'd just end up with lots of hot water in the winter and a big bill for immersion heating for hot water in the summer (we both like long showers).
Which technology would be best to invest in? Or are we best just updating to new modern electric heaters and getting a better storage tank and insulation for the hot water. Need to find the happy medium between initial outlay and ongoing running costs.
Any advice gratefully received.