The heat is on!

As usual a lot of work went on at Auchenard this week – however most of it wasn’t visible. The new pipes were being installed for the heating system, and that takes place under the floorboards. A lot of the boards were lifted when the electrics were being installed there wasn’t much more damage to the floor – for which we are very thankful. It gives us hope that they should be in good shape by the time the works are finished. We are installing 14 radiators plus two heated towel rails for the bathroom and cloakroom so it really is a big task for the team.

First task was to remove all the existing radiators – there were about ten or so. When they were removed there was a lot of silt and dirt and you can see in some of the pictures where they have been removed there is some staining of the floor. Sanding should hopefully take care of that issue.

The radiators have been put on the wall to check that the system is watertight. They will then be removed so that the walls can be plastered back to smooth. When someone comes to renovate this property in 100 years they aren’t going to find half botched jobs and lots of layers of wallpaper. It will all go back to basics before we paint.

So what do you think? Does 14 radiators seem a lot? This house is twice the size of our current home so I suspect the heating bills will be increasing. We are also installing at least one wood burning stove. That should certainly keep things toasty as the winter sets in here in Scotland.

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4 thoughts on “The heat is on!

  1. I have no experience with radiators as most houses built after about 1950 in the northeastern US have forced air heat. My 700 square foot house had 9 cast iron forced hot water radiators that I think are from the 1930’s and a newish boiler. I’m getting rid of two of them, moving one, and hoping that massive amounts of air sealing and insulation make up for it. There will no longer be any heat in the kitchen, but it’s now open to the living room and will be well insulated. Is there a big benefit to getting new ones? Some people think I’m nuts to keep mine when I could have put in a new forced air system and had central air conditioning, (which I hear costs more to run than window units anyway) while others thought I would be nuts to ever junk cast iron radiators in favor of forced air heat, but I’ve never heard of anyone putting in all new radiators.

    Those towel bar radiators are awesome; we had one in a hotel in France and my mom was obsessed with it.

  2. Hi Chad – I read a fair few US blogs and understand your air con systems. Here in the UK and in most of Europe metal radiators are used to heat homes. The benefits are that you can choose to heat certain rooms by changing the heat flow to each radiator and it is a more powerful system more suitable for a colder climate.

    If your system is old its pretty inefficient – all well-maintained boilers burn their fuel very efficiently, but they inevitably lose some heat in the hot gases that escape up the flue. A condensing boiler (which we are installing) has a bigger heat exchanger, so it recovers more heat, sends cooler gases up the flue and is more efficient.

    It makes a huge difference to replace the entire system at the same time are replacing the boiler due to the water being heated before getting pumped around the system dirt can collect and make the circulation of the system sluggish.

    If we had beautiful cast iron radiators we wouldn’t junk them – they are really expensive even reconditioned here – but standard radiators can rust internally over time. As they seem to have been installed for over 50 years some of them were rusted on the outside as well and were identified as an issue in our home report.

    In the fifth picture down on the left you can see the dark sludge that leaked out of the radiator onto the floor. When they are all new and the pipes are upgraded it should be nice & clean!

  3. Thanks, good information! My boiler is about 10 years old and I don’t stand to save much from replacing it at current gas prices. A friend of mine had an original coal boiler that had been retrofitted to burn heating oil, and for him it was a different story! He also got massive rebates.

  4. Pingback: The lighter side of life | eightsandsevens

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