Did some body say cheap heat ..!!

(Writen by Ian Fisher)

Hot water filled radiators, gas central heating. A thing of the past! As an engineer and company director I have been waiting for the time when people will actually start to see how benificial and cost effective the simple air conditioning system has become. We take forgranted the gas fired burners that heat our radiators and seem to take ages to warm up. Not with an A/C unit! Switch on and instant heat or instant cooling at the flick of a switch. Please take a look at this blog that Ian Fisher has thankfully save me the time in doing, and see for yourself. I can hosestly say i back his words 100%.

Please feel free to conctact us for more details and prices on how to convert your home.

I have been meaning to do this blog for a while now, especially before the data gets to old.

To set the scene In September 2014 my old trusty gas central heating system was on its last legs, I decided to act before winter and replace before it breaks. I received quotes between 4k & 6K for a new gas central heating system.

Now I have always bleated on about the fact that air conditioning is really good at heating, in fact it’s excellent, and also that no one really seems to stress this point, so I though what the hell, I’m an air conditioning engineer, practice what you preach and do it yourself Ian, so I did, and installed air conditioning in my home as the primary heating source (and now cooling) and monitored the energy consumption throughout 2015, read all about it below.

This is my house

A very simple lay out:

Occupancy profile

  • The Missus: Usually leaves house around 10am and comes home around 4pm
  • The Daughter: At college 9am – 3pm most days and works some evenings as a waitress
  • The son: Works at Airmaster normal working hours are 8am -5pm Mon to Fri (he wishes)
  • Me: Works at Airmaster normal working hours are 8.30am -5.30pm Mon to Fri (I wish)
  • The Dog: Easy life, in all the time unless on walkies

Chosen air conditioning equipment brand was

The retro fit was very easy

Down stairs Living Room 1 x 3.5kW Wall Mount

Upstairs 1 x 2.5kW Wall Mount in each bedroom above the door

Nothing anywhere else

This gave better control and monitoring, I pretty much let everyone choose their own temperature set point and mode, and the only restrictions I put in place were three off times per day for all units in case anyone accidently left one on and went out, and also a home frost protection setting of 14c.

Once everything was up and running I then fitted an energy meter, this meter registers the usage of all 4 units combined. Below is a typical weekend day, weekend days are good to show as usually this is the time most people are in and the units are used the most.

This day was Sunday 17th January 2016, it was cold outside, and hovering around freezing point I’d say as there was frost, the living room unit was running 24hours that day (was moving router around so no Wi-Fi to auto turn it off) and the other three were turned on and off as and when they were needed.  To keep our house warm on average we used less power than one plug in electric heater.

I was couldn’t wait to get a full year of monitoring done, and when I did the data was very interesting indeed. Below is the Monthly kW hrs used during 2015 for all 4 units combined.

Which added up to 2080 kW hrs,

If kw Hours are not your thing, I pay 10p per Kw hour used on a Tariff I get from Eon (which makes math’s easy doesn’t it).

My cost for keeping my house at the temperature I want when I want using air conditioning was £208 for all year, yes you read that correct £208 for the year.

I monitored meter readings closely as I thought there may be a problem with the energy meter, but no they were right.

I uploaded the readings to my supplier and my monthly payments went down to £79.00 a month for gas & Electricity, below is my latest bill February 2016, you can see I’m in credit as well. 

Sadly I never monitored readings before installing the air conditioning and billing was just done on estimated readings, all I can tell you is I used to pay £135 a Month with Utility Warehouse and after I gave my first reading a sum of £180 a month was suggested to make up for a short fall.

So, by installing maintaining and using air conditioning correctly I have saved a considerable amount of energy and cost, while having the luxury of ultimate comfort with regards to temperature all year round.

I did this all myself but I’m guessing you may be wondering how much this install would cost, well if I was to charge myself it would be £6,500.00 + VAT.

Maintenance costs £140 for an annual visit, but you would also have to clean the indoor filters every 3 months yourself.

I’m also guessing you also want to know what did about hot water, well I also used technology that’s considered “not efficient” I installed, a 27kW multipoint FF gas water heater and I use around 25m³ of gas a month which is around £18 

Like my air con, no storage and used on demand is the key saving energy. (but that’s another story).

For taking out the old system and installing the new instant water heater it would have been £ 1,200

Maintenance cost £50 for an annual visit

My point is, not many people understand the energy profile of a large building so when presented with figures it doesn’t mean much, but however, pretty much everyone knows how much energy is used for their home.

Do I think all homes should air conditioned, probably not, I don’t think people would maintain them well enough to get the savings.

But my message is…….My house could be a doctors, a dentist an office, a shop or anything else, so if you’re looking to replace your heating system for something that’s easily installed and gives you cheap heat then give strong consideration to “air-conditioning”, after all, it saved me money, it will you too.

My favourite good points are.

  1. Its fast to get to temperature (timed living room from 14c to 22c in less than 30 minutes
  2. It’s cheap to run.

Bad Points

No radiators to hang washing on, we had to buy a clothes horse

  1. No heating in bathroom, we had to buy an infra-red bulb (275W), I actually like this bulb.
  2. Other areas like Kitchen, Hallway and landing are usually 2-3c below air-conditioned rooms in winter (but this hasn’t been a real problem to us).
  3. You have to keep them maintained and clean, fit and forget is not an option.

The outdoor units are not every ones liking, mine are hidden from view round the back of a tree so it isn’t an issue, and you can have all indoor units of a single condenser though if you want, but this is more expensive. 

Hope you found the post interesting.

Regards, Ian Fisher