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Tube heater in loft conversion

Discussion in 'Floors, Stairs and Lofts' started by InThrees, 1 Feb 2021.

  1. InThrees

    InThrees

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    Hello, we are purchasing a house with a dorma loft conversion. It looks to have been done to a high standard and very well insulated. However, the central heating has not been extended into the converted loft. I suspect because the boiler is located in the basement.

    We don’t want to use as an occasional room but possibly as the master bedroom. Would a large tube heater provide an effective heat source? Or is central heating the only practical option?
     
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  3. stem

    stem

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    By 'tube heater' I assume you are referring to an electric heater. Tube heaters are normally only used for frost protection and not to provide comfort heat.

    If you use an online heat requirement calculator it will tell you the amount of heat that your room will require. Once you know that, simply find a heater of a suitable capacity. You can find an example of a calculator by clicking here. Although if you plan to use it a lot, it's worth remembering as a rule of thumb that heating with electricity costs approximately 3 times that of mains gas. So, personally I would be looking to extend the existing central heating if possible.
     
  4. freddiemercurystwin

    freddiemercurystwin

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    If a loft conversion has been done to a high standard, by definition it should have received Building Regs approval and consequently should have adequate heating already.
     
  5. InThrees

    InThrees

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    Thanks both. I was referring specifically to a tube heater as I thought that looked like a cost effective way of heating with electricity, rather than costly electric radiators or a fan heater, etc. Although not much use if only for frost protection!

    We’re awaiting receipt of building regs paperwork. I didn’t realise that heating was a condition of building regs approval for a loft conversion. The vendor stated that it has 40cm of insulation, which helps keep the space warm. I don’t believe this means no heating is therefore required, particularly if to be used a bedroom, but would welcome your thoughts.
     
  6. big-all

    big-all

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    all electric heaters are a very similar efficiency pehaps 95-100% with fans and lighting being the main variations
    but some are better at placing the heat where its warms you best

    "cheap to run " electric heater means very low output and innefectitive as quick heating
    a fan heater will be far far more efficient to raise to temperature if sporadic use required it also allows you to direct heat to where you are but at 3 times the cost off gas heating
     
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  8. foxhole

    foxhole

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    What insulation has been used in the roof?
     
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  9. cdbe

    cdbe

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    Should be easy to pipe up 1 or 2 small rads from the first floor circuit and most modern boilers should handle it.
     
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  10. JohnD

    JohnD

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    Old or non-compliant loft conversions are often bitterly cold, and expensive to heat, due to poor insulation.

    It's possible that enough heat will rise through the ceilings of the rooms below, and that your loft conversion is so well insulated that it will retain heat, but it is likely you will also need a room heater. A bedroom usually needs around a 1500W heater, preferably with a three-position power switch, and a thermostat. I favour oil-filled radiators as they give a more even heat, and I think are safest, but they are not as quick to heat up (and cool down) as fan heaters. They are usually cheapest as soon as warm weather arrives.

    Pipe heaters are usually around 40/60/100W which can be enough to protect a WC from frost, but not enough to give reasonable comfort.

    Try it for a winter, then consider the cost of having extra radiator(s) installed.

    (I have a bedroom with an electric heater to keep it warm at night when the CH is set low, and in winter seems to use on average 300W to 500W extra, with the thermostat switching it on and off automatically. So around 5p to 8p per hour. This is in a modern, well-insulated house. I once lived in an old house with no loft insulation, and the bedroom took 3kW on a frosty night, and never got really warm.
     
    Last edited: 4 Feb 2021
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  11. InThrees

    InThrees

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    Thanks all, some really useful advice. I’m not sure what type of insulation has been used but will find out. Trialing for a winter seems very sensible.
     
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