View Full Version : Living the green life?

Jul 8th, 2007, 01:07 PM
Me and Corum plan to convert our house to green, get 2 wood burning stoves, solar panels, grow more of our own food etc. We can't afford to get the main work done until early 2009 but we can put in a woodburner in a couple of months.
The trouble is we had a look at the old gas boiler today and quite frankly I am not sure if it is very safe. We are discussing ripping the whole crappy central heating system out and spending the next two winters without, only using the wood burner and the shower which runs off independent electricity.
I just cannot decide if I can spend 2 winters in our drafty uninsulated and only half double glazed 1930's house. I think we should be brave and go for it but I'm sure I will be cursing myself come winter:)
What would you do?

Jul 8th, 2007, 01:15 PM
go for it, you'll be fine! ;)
seriously, I have a big multi-fuel burner, it heats the water via the boiler, and also heats the radiators, if you can get it hot enough!. We've survived in N.E Scotland for 2 winters, you'll be fine down there. Invest in a second duvet and some thermal undies and thick socks though! :) .

Jul 8th, 2007, 01:30 PM
Living without central heating is actually quite easy by and large (not to mention much much healthier actually). The only bummer is the mornings, getting out of a warm bed into a sometimes icily cold room, with a floor that feels like it has reached absolute zero... That said, I did it for two years myself in London and it was not bad at all.

Jul 8th, 2007, 03:56 PM
Agreed, Robert, that's the killer - every morning in winter i have to get out of my (double-duvets!) cosy bed, undress out of my thermal PJs, and get into the shower in the freezing cold bathroom, even when there's thick snow on the ground :rolleyes: (outside! :D - my house isn't that bad!). Only then can I get dressed and clean out the fire from the night before, and trudge 35 metres up the garden to the coal bunker before finally being able to light the fire again!.

the first winter we were up here we got literally snowed-in for a week and the local schools closed down for 2 weeks. My husband hadjust come out of hospital after a major operation, too, it was all very worrying. Anyway, there was so much snow that the coalman couldn't get his lorry down the side of our house so he had to deliver the sacks of coal to my front door and I had to carry/drag them through the house :mad: . Nightmare!.

The lovely thing about the multi fuel or wood burners is that they are so cosy, and when there's a power cut you can cook on them/boil water. We often do potatoes on ours :) .

Jul 8th, 2007, 05:05 PM
Sorry to sound dim but why are wood burners more green?

We have economy 7 heaters are they green or not? I don't really know much about it. The only green thing I do is that I'm vegan, recycle, have those energy efficient lightbulbs and don't own a car. I probably could do lots more but don't really know enough about it.

CW that sounds horrible I hate getting out of bed when its cold, actually worse thing is stepping out of shower or bath when its cold brrr!

Jul 8th, 2007, 05:17 PM
We live on the edge of Friston Forest on the South Downs and there is tons of pollarded wood that has to be cut down to let the other trees grow otherwise the forest would be impenetrable, it's a managed forest. Therefore we have green fuel on our doorstep that hasn't come from a nuclear power station and does not emit nearly as much carbon as other fuels see here:


Also it is local, I am not responsible for fuel imported from around the world.

Jul 8th, 2007, 05:26 PM
Cool thanks for info - I really had no idea about wood burners, I thought cutting down trees must be bad for environment but it actually seems better than other heating systems.

I suppose it depends on whether you are 'cold' types of people. I would go for it Hemlock if it was me but my husband would hate it - he gets cold very easily. (I leave windows open in winter and it drives him mad.)

Jul 8th, 2007, 05:59 PM
Thanks everyone for your opinions, we've decided to leave boiler in for now but not use it and put the wood burner in the kitchen chimney breast as that is the coldest room.
If all goes well and we survive the winter without continual whining from me (Corum is a hardy Yorkshireman so he should be ok):) then we will take it all out and put a 2nd woodburner in the living room.

Jul 8th, 2007, 06:33 PM
sounds like a good plan - and you're lucky to get the wood locally ;)