Traditionally, domestic hot water has simply been a choice between a combi boiler or a vented system (with the odd Point of Use water heater thrown in).
With water saving design, and zero carbon housing which will possibly become the standard in 2016, this all changes slightly for several reasons -
with PassivhausSee more on [...]
Emitters tend to be of two types – traditional radiators and underfloor heating. It’s a bit of a toss-up as to which is better. They have their respective advantages and drawbacks.
a pleasanter heat because it is better distributed no wall space taken up by radiators possibly more efficient because of lower [...]
It is reckoned that in the UK, heating houses accounts for nearly 50% of the total energy use. Poor heating can render parts of dwellings virtually unusable, partly through discomfort due to cold and drafts and partly through the damage caused to contents through condensation, dampness, mould growth, etc. effectively reducing the house size [...]
In the UK there is plenty of heat energy to be harvested; it just doesn’t all come at the right time. Ideally you save all the surplus heat that comes along and then use it when there is a shortage.
Winter / summer balance
At one extreme is the interseasonal heat store such as was [...]
High thermal massthis is about how much heat something can absorb - so it involves its specific heat capacity and its volume. It can be useful for levelling out the peaks and troughs of temperature within a house. See the page on
thermal mass is generally seen as a useful quality in a building because it can be utilised to trap and save any spare heat which might turn up.
It can also do the reverse equivalent for coolth during hot weather. This quality is utilised in passive solar design, including the PassivhausSee [...]
Heat pumps (both ‘ground source’ and ‘air source’) are being heavily sold at present. GSHPs work a bit like fridges and freezers by shifting heat from one place to another. With houses they extract heat from the ground which tends to have a constant temperature of about 10°C, increase its temperature a bit (to [...]