Warm air heating.

On Mon, 18 Oct 2004 00:15:47 +0100, "Dave Plowman (News)"

BES part number 13489?
.andy
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"Oi IMMate, this conduit is leaking water" "Can't do, its a WA system" "Mebbe so, but ..."
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geoff

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Maxie! Are you saying warm air systems leak water? Gosh!
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Only when you have a part in them
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geoff

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Cor Maxie!
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No experience of owning/running a warm air system myself, but my folks had this type of heating in their bungalow years ago. Warmed the place up ok but made everyone nod off for some reason - and before you ask, no it wasn't on high heat levels and neither was the (gas) boiler leaking gases... I think it may have something to do with air ionisation (+ve charge ?)
Very practical in some ways - no radiators to worry about, lose room/wall space or decorate, but vents in floors/walls/ceilings to aid airflows.
Rog
wrote:

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IMM wrote:

Unforced air in under floor heating ducts was the first carbon fuel mass heating system in the UK (or whatever it was called then) in about 100 AD.
Before that, having the cows underneath the bedroom was considered as good as it got.
Still more interesting than a Combi, even today.
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They've had that for years

I'm not drinking coffee, you're lucky
J & S electronics is poorly designed, primitive and fairly crap

Warm air fans are OK if kept clean.
Dust can knacker the bearings quite quickly
Warm air fans are not cheap to replace
--
geoff

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week,
(gas
Today
replacement
Maxie, they have.

The external controllers they use a decent. Their modulating controls work quite well.

electronic
cause
The filters keep them clean.

That is why they have filters.,
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On Sat, 16 Oct 2004 00:01:43 +0100, chris French

It's difficult to get the ducts in once the house is finished so you generally don't see them as retro fits.
We had a Wimpey house in York (new in 1972) which had been designed to accomodate it, the boiler was in a cupboard in the middle of the house (so wasn't balanced flue) at a point where the corners of the rooms came together and the rooms could be supplied by short stub ducts. The "little bedroom" was on the end of a long duct and didn't get much heat at all. The bathroom and the toilet simply weren't heated, I doubt that would be really acceptable nowadays.
The ducts had been joined by erm, well, ducting tape which had deteriorated quite a lot during the four years we were in the house.
I had worries about the heat exchanger becoming perforated and alllowing combustion products into the heated air. Doubtless there are ways of ensuring safety in this regard. But I'd ask for a Corgi certificate from the seller.
The manufacturer is still in business:
<http://www.johnsonandstarleyltd.co.uk/ammend/prod_warm.asp?p=mainbodyboil

Overall we were more than satisfied, it was a bit like having a big fan heater in the room. However ours had simple on/off controls so when the big fan started up it was quite noticeable, I think there are modulating controls available nowadays.
We were also more than satisfied with the next house we got which had wet central heating.
DG
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When I worked for an Electricty Board, we installed a lot using a central electric night storage heater.

My recollection is that the system was relative expensive to instal. Putting individual night storage heaters in every room would have been cheaper, but early 1970s stoarge heaters were big and ugly. The systems we put in therefore tended to be in high quality new builds, where it was simpler to fit the ducting and appearance was important. Modern storage heaters are a lot less obtrusive.
ISTR that there were also problems with some systems, although I think those were gas fired ones, which gave the concept a bit of a bad name. A couple of my factories still use the same type of electric night storage heater that was used as a central unit for hot air domestic systems and, apart from needing to change a mains switch once, they are still going strong 15 years after installation.
Colin Bignell
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[Snip]
Until recently we had a warm air system in the house we're about to move out of (when we manage to get a buyer). The house was just a couple of years old when we bought it in 1970. The heating system had good and bad points, for our needs the good outweighed the bad until the system finally died a year ago. It was quick acting, easy to maintain (but the filter did need frequent cleaning) and the air grills occupied much less valuable wall space than radiators. Warm air has earned a reputation of being noisy and expensive to run but we found costs quite reasonable. The noise was noticeable without being unduly obtrusive, the sound of the fan first thing in the morning wasn't enough to wake us up like an alarm clock but was enough to gently stir us from a state of drowsiness. I've known radiators to make as much noise.
The biggest drawback was that there was no heat in the bathroom or smallest bedroom but this was a fault of the spec. builder's penny pinching design rather than a weakness of warm air heating in general. When we built an extra room over the garage it was, of course, out of the question to extend the heating system into it.
The thing that finally did for our system was a leak in the flue and not a fault in the heating unit itself. We (unwisely) had a BG maintenance contract for the system and the annual inspection revealed a leak in the flue in the loft. BG promptly disconnected the supply to the heater, slapped a "Do Nor Use" notice on it and claimed that it was not covered under the contract, relying on some very vague wording in their terms which they claimed excluded flues from the cover. They quoted about 500 to repair the flue which they said would need a lot of work to bring it even close to current requirements. I couldn't find anyone else who was even interested in touching the job.
I expect the generous ventilation in our loft might have reduced the danger of fumes from the leaky flue. I think the more scary aspect of an old warm system would be the possibility of a leak in the heat exchanger, this would provide a direct path between the combustion products and the warm air circulating through the house.
We already knew that major spare parts for the old International Janitor "boiler" were no longer available so we felt that it would be more cost effective to replace the whole system with radiators, especially since we were already planning to move and an obsolete warm air system would not be a good selling point.
It's possible that the warm air system might meet your needs, but even if it does it could be near the end of it's useful life like ours. If you make an offer on the house you should allow for the cost and disruption of replacing the heating system. With luck you might even manage to use the existence of the old warm air system as a lever to get the price down by more than the cost of replacement.
--
Mike Clarke

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wrote:

"If you make an offer on the house you should allow for the cost and disruption of replacing the heating system."
I can't believe this. Why didn't you just get a new replacement modern modulating unit? See my other post for details. So replaced a radiatorless system with rads, which will eventually leak and stain and look ugly. Amazing!
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You wouldn't say that if you'd seen the original installation. The position of the unit on the ground floor was such that the flue took 2 right angle bends in the void between the ceiling and floor above before going up through the airing cupboard followed by a couple of 45 deg. bends before escaping through the roof. There was no way that any new unit could utilize that flue and comply with current regs. To re-position the heater unit to meet flue requirements would have involved the installation of extra heating ducting which would have been very disruptive. If we were to spend a substantial sum on upgrading the heating then we also wanted it to heat the 3 rooms which were not fed by the original system, this would have involved even more serious surgery to walls and floor joists. Much more than a case of _just_ getting a new replacement modern modulating unit.
Whilst it might have been possible to get a good warm air system it would have been much more expensive than a radiator system. We had already planned to move house within about a year and I'm quite sure that we would not have recovered our costs on the selling price. So despite having been happy with the warm air system while it lasted, it just had to go.
The popular perception of warm air heating systems is that they are noisy and inefficient, this may or may not be justified but your average house buying Joe public expects to see a modern combi system and will regard anything else (no matter how superior it might be) as a negative point. Hence replacing with a radiator system was the most cost effective solution for us.
--
Mike Clarke

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It is. Do you search the internet for these cheap rads that inevitably fail? And haven't you heard of inhibitor which will prevent corrosion?
Perhaps you'd also give details of how you prevent room to room transmission of noise at a reasonable cost with a ducted system?
--
*Why don't you ever see the headline "Psychic Wins Lottery"?

Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@davenoise.co.uk London SW
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I lived in a rented house for a couple of years with a WAU. The house was built by Anglia Homes in 1969, and I think it was around 1983 when I was living there. Like others said, one problem is the rooms which are not heated because they are away from the centre of the house where the ducting is, the bathroom and one bedroom in our case. Bathrooms can't be heated by WAU's because of the recirculatory nature of the system; smells from all rooms get distributed around the whole house (which could also be a problem if you had just one smoker -- confining to their bedroom wouldn't work). Also, you'll probably find your hot water is heated expensively by electricity.
I quite liked the system, in particular the fast warmup. We didn't need it on a timeswitch for evening use -- it was fine to just turn it on when you arrived home. However, it caused some other members of the household serious problems. The air in the house gets very dry, and this was a problem for a couple of contact lens users. Someone else with various allergies had problems with the dust it stirred up. (I found it was missing its dust filter, but fitting one didn't help a lot.)
All the houses on the estate had been fitted with WAU's originally. By 1983, this house was one of the very few left which still had one. I still knew the people in that shared house after I left, and when the regs started requiring CORGI checks on gas appliances for rented properties, it had to be taken out as the landlord had great difficulty in finding anyone who would check and service a WAU, and the cost was high enough for it to be worth replacing the system with radiators.
I actually serviced it a couple of times when I lived there, and the firm that made it in Luton was still selling them and all the spare parts in the early 1980's. Actually, their customer service was excellent, but I don't now remember who they were (they were in the Cosgrove Way industrial estate).
--
Andrew Gabriel

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[ re subject line ] <snip>

There were and are many systems that use a burner to heat the DH water.
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writes:

Bathrooms can be heated, You just don't re-circ the bathroom.

Electrostatic air filters take care of the smells. Alos have a10% fresh air helps get rid too.

J&S units had an integrated gas circulator.

It needed fresh air.

Electrostatic air filter again solves this problem.

To service they are easy. They use the same burner controls as normal boilers.
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chris French wrote:

Had one in a small town house about 35 years ago. Warm-up was fast, lack of radiators made room layout easier.
Every room was heated, including kitchen and bathroom, but these two had no direct return duct.
The system was noisy, both air movement and fan vibrations; adjusting dampers and fan speeds never made much difference. In three years we got through two transformers and a fan motor.
In a family house noise transmission along the ducts could be a problem, conversations could be heard around the house.
Water heating was by a large instantaneous gas heater, which gave no trouble.
Chris
--
Chris J Dixon Nottingham UK
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With good design and installation noise transmission can be eliminated. Sounds like you got a dud one, which most were 35 years ago.
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