if the existing system is at end of life with your climate I would look at air to air heat pumps or geothermal depending on what runs your electrical grid. If it's a natural gas ele tropical grid anyways stick to a natural gas heater if there is a lot of wind and low carbon power; heat pump. Wood heat is a great source of heat if you have the wood. If not it can be part of the problem...
Gavin Prentice wrote:
I live in the UK and will be buying a ground floor garden flat soon. Based on the flats I've viewed so far, I will probably end up with a solid wall Victorian property - which will probably have a gas combi boiler for water/heat when I buy it.
Would be interested to hear some initial thoughts on whether it's likely to be beneficial in cash and/or energy-use terms for me to consider alternative systems for water and/or space heating? Possibly a ground heat pump or a wood burning system? I read a bit recently about masonry stoves being very efficient, but I'm new to permaculture and there seem to be so many different options to choose from. I also read that it's often not worth changing any type of heating system until it comes to the end of its life (due to the embodied energy used to make the device), even if it's not very efficient.
It seems clear that I'll need to do lots of work on insulation, with hopefully some passive solar elements incorporated into the alterations that I make to the building (but I need to do lots more research first because I only have a basic grasp of all this so far).