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Everything posted by Devon

  1. Thank's to all the contributors to what has become a very informative thread. I have just returned from a fortnight working on my build and giving further thought to heating my house. My plumber suggests the geothermal, heatpump, underfloor heating. I am sure this would be the most economical system to run once installed but installation costs are prohibitive. I am also concerned about the working life span of the underfloor pipes and the pump. How long are the pipes guaranteed? I did hear of underfloor heating pipes failing after 18 months.  Concrete is corosive and renewing the pipes means breaking up the whole tiled slab floor [:(] Another downside to underfloor heating is the time and care required to dry the floor: I think I am right in saying the concrete slab can be damaged if it is heated too quickly too soon. The system also requires 2 days to 'get up to heat' I believe, not a problem for winter but not great during the odd Autumn/Spring cold snap. I managed to find a couple of air heat pumps working on domestic buildings and, IMHO, the slight humming sound they emit would be annoying on a quiet day or during the night. I also thought they were unsightly. At the moment a woodburner fitted with a heat exchanger (I have some trees to fell for a supply of logs) backed up with electric wall heaters would seem the most economical heating method once installation costs and lifespan of systems are taken into acount.  Btuckey/Brian, the level and standard of insulation you have incorporated into your build is very impressive. I keep coming to the the conclusion that insulation would is the best place to invest my money to reduce heating running costs, complimented with doubleglazed windows.
  2. From Quillan  Great your doing your thing for the environment but you will be broke after you have installed it. Do you think the greenies will then feed you because you can't afford to buy food afterwards because you spent all your money on being green, I don't think so. This level of being green is only really for the rich which I find disgusting but there you go, its now a big multi national, multi billion dollar industry getting bigger by the day.   I couldn't agree more. I am a property developer in the UK. I have looked at incorporating 'green' construction methods in my last couple of projects but it seems most of these 'green' initiatives are little more than costly tokenism. I hadn't come across Heat pumps before a French plumber suggested the system. It seems to be a good idea but installation costs appear to outweigh the benifits of the systems. Saying that, the wall mounted air systems advertised in the Brico link aren't too expensive and would work well alongside a conventional heating system.
  3. Thanks for the replys so far. My place is being built on rock so geotherm is not an option and the cost and lack of efficiency (in cold weather) seems to rule out an air exchange heat pump.
  4. I am building a new place in the Charente maritime region and considering underfloor heating worked by a heat pump. Does anyone have any experience of this heating method, good or bad? Would I be better off with a conventional heating system and loads of insulation? Thank's in advance.  
  5. Many Thank's for the replys. [:)]
  6. Hi all, I am a UK builder and I am about to start work turning a ruin into new house. I need to familiarise myself with materials and methods of construction used in the Charente Maritime region: can anyone recommend a book or offer advice on construction techniques? I have purchased 'Renovating & Maintaining Your French Home' and whilst being useful, the book is not technical enough. I specificately need to find out the steel reinforcing required in the foundation of the build. Thanks in advance [:)]  
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