Renovation Blog - September 2017

September 2017

1 September - Green Heating - a minor rant

Those who follow this blog will know we installed a biomass boiler some 10 years ago, which has provided green heating for our house, using woodchip as the fuel. While it hasn't been exactly straight-forward, I have worked out its little foibles and now know how to keep it running smoothly and fix any problems.

However, of late it has got a crack in the heat exchanger, which is not accessible to weld (and that would only be a temporary solution anyway). The cost of the replacement heat exchanger is about 40% of the cost of a new boiler, so not really economically viable.

Moreover, because we installed it before the Government launched their RHI Scheme we haven't received payments for running it. If we are to replace it we would like to receive some payments to make up for the (very high) cost of installation.

Some research has revealed that as of 20th September 2017 there is a cap on the RHI payments, and moreover the ones for biomass are, not to put a too fine point on it, rubbish. In essence the Government does not want us to use biomass to heat our homes. I don't know why this is, but since I've paid for one boiler already it seems particularly harsh that I will only get a fraction of the cost back if I install another one, despite the very low effect on the environment...

Further research has led me to consider Ground Source Heating, which may provide a green(ish) solution, though it's not really that appropriate for a Listed building with single glazed windows and no scope for underfloor heating.

Any experts reading this feel free to get in touch with advice! Not long until winter though...

In the meantime I have bought a large (8.5kW) wood-burining stove to install in our dining room which I hope will provide a centre of warmth to the house once the weather gets colder.

22 September - Woodburning oven

Very pleased with this beast, which throws out plenty of heat..

30 September - School Project

Pencil sharpener
My son has made this (with supervision) for a school project. It's a desk tidy made out of a chunk of spalted beech (from the tree we had taken down) with holes for pens/pencils, and 'blades' made from an old brass door threshold.