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Discussion Starter #1
Or at least plan how to do it in future.

Here's the deal.

Our house is an "eco" home, it's not actually that great overall, but we have good glazing now and (due to Taylor Wimpey messing up) we will soon have even better glazing (triple glazed Swedish windows, nice).

Anyway, our house is designed in a way that makes it (allegedly) easy to service and look after. However it also seems to present some problems for us in terms of heating.

Essentially we have a "service" area on all floors which is stairs, hallways, balconies and bathrooms/utility. Then we have "living areas" which are kitchens, lounge, bedrooms that sort of things. Over three floors.

On the top floor our ventilation system pumps air into the hallway/top of the stairs, this is always colder than the house temperature in winter, always.

We have had a remote thermostat installed (heat miser) as we were not happy with how the builders left it. Originally we had a radiator in a hallway with the thermostat above it downstairs. So we can move this around the house and program it for night - morning - day - evening and different week and weekend settings.

Each room as a TRV in it (* - 6 rather than a temperature scale).

The problem is (we like the house relatively cool, certainly not "hot") that we can't strike a balance between the rooms and the overall heat. Sometimes rooms are too hot, others are too cold...

How can we better sort this out? Do I need to whack up the heating, put the remote thermostat in each room and play with the dials?

Do I need to put the remote thermostat in the coldest room in the house (?) set to an "ideal" temperature with the TRV all the way up and just dial each room/zone up and down to suit (day and night)?

Is there a more "smart" solution?

How is something so basic so difficult?!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Hi Paul

I'd suggest that your best option will be to install fully zoned heating. You can get this from DanFoss - Z-Wave TRVs are about £60 each and then you need a boiler controller at about £50.

I am trying to tempt @OpenTRV to let me trial his system in my house.

HTH
We have (including towel racks in the bathrooms) 12 (was 13, I'm experimenting) radiators. So thats over £800 for the house if we assume I'll have to go back to 13 (I think I will to be honest). Not sure that's justifiable considering we have TRVs already that (I think) we should be able to manage?

Does zonal heating mean any changes in pipework?

How do I know if we have any zones or anything clever?

Is the venterlation heat recovery?
No, the extract and the ventilation are (apparently) completely disjointed and it just blows in whatever air is coolest/warmest in the "hat" (think small, isolated metal roof) or on the roof outside – depending on if you set it as summer/winter etc.
 

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You've got three things going on and you need to understand their effects on overall temperature and comfort:

1) your positive input ventilation will be introducing air at the same temperature as the roof void. In winter this will have a lower relative humidity than the air inside your house, so it's a good thing. Leave it as is! We recently had a similar unit installed in our loft.

2) how your house responds to the external weather – you will lose heat through the fabric and through ventilation (was the house built with claims to air tightness?). But you'll also gain heat from the sun through the windows.

3) the effect of your heating system – room temperatures and boiler flow temperature.

In your shoes, my first step would be to turn the bedroom radiators to * and leave the doors open – to establish how well air flows round your house to balance out the temperatures. Use the thermostat in the room you spend most time in and set your TRVs in kitchen/study/etc relative to that.

It would be good for you to have some temperature measurement/recording so you can get a feel for the behaviour of the house.

Try these and see how you get on.!
 

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Just acquired this system

http://getconnected.honeywell.com/en/

I've fitted 10 Honeywell wireless TRVs and I'm still waiting for the wireless delay and hot water cylinder thermostat to be installed but initial indications are good. It's a nice bonus to have an app to control temperatures remotely..

Another system worth looking at is HeatGenius, which is similar but adds the facility to learn occupation habits and configure heating schedules to accommodate. I looked at this for us but our lifestyle is simple enough not to call for this.

http://www.heatgenius.co.uk
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Just acquired this system

http://getconnected.honeywell.com/en/

I've fitted 10 Honeywell wireless TRVs and I'm still waiting for the wireless delay and hot water cylinder thermostat to be installed but initial indications are good. It's a nice bonus to have an app to control temperatures remotely
Can I get a quote without speaking to an installer? I go through the configurator and get a very vague result?
 

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Or at least plan how to do it in future.

Here's the deal.

Our house is an "eco" home, it's not actually that great overall...

On the top floor our ventilation system pumps air into the hallway/top of the stairs, this is always colder than the house temperature in winter, always.

The problem is (we like the house relatively cool, certainly not "hot") that we can't strike a balance between the rooms and the overall heat. Sometimes rooms are too hot, others are too cold...

How can we better sort this out? Do I need to whack up the heating, put the remote thermostat in each room and play with the dials?
Is there a more "smart" solution?
How is something so basic so difficult?!
it may have an " Eco" label but sounds like it isn't in practice. I'm somewhat surprised at the idea of pumping cold air into the hallways in winter as this implies you are using energy to make house cooler than you want. Does this pump have to be on in winter - can its operation be separate from bathrooms etc.
Basically conditioning air using electrical power for domestic situations in the UK goes against the Eco concept. If you are getting new triple glazed windows, different from original heating concept then you probably now need a process of trial and error stepping down heating until you get each room to comfort temperature - they will vary depending on orientation and usage.
 

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Yes -- the configurator is useful for defining what you need (although in your case I can appreciate that the situation might be more complicated). In my case, once I got the configurator to design my system I contacted my nearest installer and he came round, but then took four weeks to provide an estimate! By the time I got his estimate I had bought the goods from

http://www.theevohomeshop.co.uk

For customer service and advice I can't recommend these people too highly -- it's run by a heating engineer called Richard Burrows and he was very helpful in explaining all the ins and outs.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
You've got three things going on and you need to understand their effects on overall temperature and comfort:

1) your positive input ventilation will be introducing air at the same temperature as the roof void. In winter this will have a lower relative humidity than the air inside your house, so it's a good thing. Leave it as is! We recently had a similar unit installed in our loft.
Understood. Some people sadly were never told about what this is doing, so switch it off in winter = condensation nightmare!

2) how your house responds to the external weather – you will lose heat through the fabric and through ventilation (was the house built with claims to air tightness?). But you'll also gain heat from the sun through the windows.
The insulation is generally very good (and much about to be further upgraded in the coming year or so, full new roof included!).

The problem here is in that form has certainly lead function. For example we have full height windows and glazed windows. Which is amazing apart from the ones that face north, and the fact it means we can't put any curtains over them as then we wouldn't be able to open them (the doors I mean).

3) the effect of your heating system – room temperatures and boiler flow temperature.
What? :D

In your shoes, my first step would be to turn the bedroom radiators to * and leave the doors open – to establish how well air flows round your house to balance out the temperatures. Use the thermostat in the room you spend most time in and set your TRVs in kitchen/study/etc relative to that.

It would be good for you to have some temperature measurement/recording so you can get a feel for the behaviour of the house.

Try these and see how you get on.!
Lots of work here! :D

it may have an " Eco" label but sounds like it isn't in practice. I'm somewhat surprised at the idea of pumping cold air into the hallways in winter as this implies you are using energy to make house cooler than you want. Does this pump have to be on in winter - can its operation be separate from bathrooms etc.
Yes it does, see above. The houses are more-or-less "sealed" to improve heating efficiency and improve air quality. However it means you have to pump fresh air in otherwise the air would effectively risk going "stale", not good.

Yes -- the configurator is useful for defining what you need (although in your case I can appreciate that the situation might be more complicated). In my case, once I got the configurator to design my system I contacted my nearest installer and he came round, but then took four weeks to provide an estimate! By the time I got his estimate I had bought the goods from

http://www.theevohomeshop.co.uk

For customer service and advice I can't recommend these people too highly -- it's run by a heating engineer called Richard Burrows and he was very helpful in explaining all the ins and outs.
I could do this myself. The question with this I have is is there a difference between a "zone pack" and multiple individual radiators (in terms of the hardware itself).

For me zones would not really tie with rooms. Ideally I'd have a "bathroom" zone, a "living area" zone, a "bedroom zone" and a "hallway" zone and an "office" zone. However living areas are split over two floors, halls over three, bedrooms over two floors, bathrooms... you get the picture. So can I set up three radiators as the "bedroom zone" and another couple as "bathroom zone", then maybe even change what radiator/room is in what "zone" later?
 

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it may have an " Eco" label but sounds like it isn't in practice. I'm somewhat surprised at the idea of pumping cold air into the hallways in winter as this implies you are using energy to make house cooler than you want. Does this pump have to be on in winter - can its operation be separate from bathrooms etc.
Oh, another quick thing on the "eco" front.

They houses are timber framed, partially prefab (to reduce costs, concrete required for the base, time on site) and despite (in theory) lasting for a very long time due to the materials used are much lower carbon and recyclable than your average home.

The counter argument to that is always that despite the higher energy needs up front that more permanent structures may be better, but that's for another discussion I would imagine!
 

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@Paul Could you install a heat exchanger in the fresh air system. I have on my heat recovery and can get the house warm enough to turn off the heating upstairs
 

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@Paul Could you install a heat exchanger in the fresh air system. I have on my heat recovery and can get the house warm enough to turn off the heating upstairs
Apparently other neighbours have asked and been told "no" it can't be done.

We have an extract system an input system and a (passive) solar water heating system up there. They don't seem to communicate or co-work much (if at all) despite being a custom system from the same supplier?
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Reading back it looks like ours SHOULD have some heat recovery. Our hot water part hasn't work and it turned out that was due to a split coil. Said coil may be part of a heat exchanger? The thing looked like a radiator out of my old Mini crossed with a device you'd find in chitty-chitty-bang-bang. So maybe if it gets fixed it will have something?!
 

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Fascinating! According to the blurb here

"The EcoHat is ‘future-proofed' allowing for further adaptations; existing components can be exchanged for new ones. For example, an optional heat recovery mechanical ventilation system can be put in to take the dwelling up to level 3 of the Code for Sustainable Homes rating and adding triple glazing to the properties would take them up to level 4, while local energy generation would enable the development to meet level 5"

http://www.carbonaction2050.com/case-studies/oxley-woods-innovative-low-carbon-housing

you should have an option for heat-recovery. But then I assume you already know that!
 
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