Everything is a bit manic right now...
We're installing a heat pump.
Our boiler was on its last legs, so it was either replace it with another boiler, thus locking us into using gas for another 15-20 years, or replacing it with something less dependent on fossil fuels. Hence the heat pump.
As our downstair carpets all needed replacing (the only one that don't have holes covered with duct tape is 39 years old and a major asthma trigger because of all the allergens trapped in its deep pile) we're going for a complete change of flooring as well and have the heat pump feed an underfloor heating system instead of radiators. (Upstairs will still be radiators)
We'd originally decided to go for an engineered wood floor, but vinyl tiles are half the price and conduct heat better.
The first stage of the process has been completed. The chimney in our lounge has been bricked up, the hearth removed and the wall plastered. We chose not to remove the chimney breast entirely, that would have cost a lot more. The lounge looks quite a bit larger just removing the fireplace.
My asthma is not very happy about all the extra dust in the air, but I'll survive. In the long run, this whole process will benefit the asthma.
Next week, two large items of furniture go to auction. Neither of them are terribly practical for what we need to store in them, and sentimental value is all very well, but you can't keep things forever. Several other inherited items are going as well. Space is finite and it will help cover the costs of new shelving for our board game collection.
At the end of next week, all the downstairs furniture moves upstairs.... Old carpet goes to the tip. I stay out of the way as the dust raised will be horrendous....
This will be a major undertaking, roping in other family members to help move everything. For a week or two, we'll be living in a rather compact space in one of the bedrooms as every single downstairs room will have the floor being removed/replaced.
Friday coming, the boiler and the downstairs radiators all get removed. (Can't remember when the upstairs radiators go - they have to be replaced by larger ones, as heat pumps deliver heat at a lower temperature they need a larger surface area on the radiators)
We survive for several days with a portable electric radiator and thank heaven we have a well insulated house...
Monday, the underfloor heating people start work, they and the heat pump people will be working around each other (they're liaising very well) for several days.
I've still got to finalise dates for the flooring and painting people. We've only just finalised the heating dates, but the flooring people are getting back to me today or tomorrow, and the painters have already said they're flexible.
A good chunk of the heat pump and underfloor system should be covered by the Government's Renewable Heat Incentive, though we're not yet sure how much. They pay you back over a five or six year period, which to my mind is very wrong, as only people able to pay upfront (which we can owing to a legacy) are able to take advantage of the scheme.
What we need are government schemes to insulate the homes of people on low incomes and to directly support environmentally friendly heating systems. Heating homes is a large part of the country's carbon footprint and one that has to be tackled as quickly as possible. Every replacement gas boiler is a problem for the future.
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