Green square blog featuring current issues and information on renewable energy and its efficiency, reliability and how to make the swap to renewable energy. Information on products biomass boilers, biomass stoves, air source heat pumps, ground source heat pumps, solar PV, solar thermal.

A heat loss report – what is it and why is it so important?

If you are considering purchasing a renewable energy heating system, a very important consideration is - will I be warm? After all, that’s the prime objective of any heating system.

A traditional Gas or Oil engineer uses a very simple method to size a heating system. They go through each room taking the width, length and height then multiply by a ‘factor’ to gauge the correct sized radiator for the space. They then simply add them all up – add a bit for hot water and hey presto – you’ll be warm and have plenty of hot water.  Easy, but hugely inaccurate and generally you end up with a much larger system than you need and often pay more than necessary.

Using renewable energy heating technology requires a much more accurate system, especially ground source heat pumps or air source heat pumps that run at lower temperatures when compared to a traditional boiler.  It is crucial the radiators or underfloor heating are sized correctly. Oversizing a system, although easy to do – doesn’t produce an efficient system and costs more than necessary.

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The benefits of a ventilation and material heat loss report

This is where the full ‘ventilation and material heat loss report’ helps us better understand exactly the size of system required in terms of boiler output and radiators.

Firstly, we measure the room in the same way as a traditional engineer, but we also look at each fabric that makes up that room: 

  • What’s the wall made from - is it insulated and if so, by how much and what type? 
  • How many windows and doors are there, and are they double or single glazed? 
  • What’s above the ceiling and what’s below the floor? 
  • What temperature do we want the room to get to, and at what temperature should we estimate it to be outside?

But this doesn’t include ventilation or ‘air changes’.  For this we need to understand ventilation rates which dictate air changes. Typically, bathrooms and kitchens that use ventilation fans have up to 3 air changes per hour whereas a bedroom may only have 1 or less

We can calculate a very accurate fabric formula

All these and more are the questions we need answers to before we can calculate radiator sizes or even types and styles, underfloor heating spacing and design and ultimately boiler sizes.

When a heat loss survey and report is conducted, each fabric is measured – floor, ceiling, windows, walls, doors.  Each one will have a different dimension and U-value, and each fabric needs to go through the same fabric formula for each room in the home.

Once we have the total house measured and calculated we can then size the boiler, all the radiators and calculate how many kilowatts of energy each year will be used, but more importantly, we can ensure you are kept warm all year round.

 
There’s never been a better time to get a quote for your renewable energy solution, with so many options available you are sure to find the best suited to you and your property with Green Square.

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