Brook House

Brook House

Application: Private & Public Housing

Med Williams, managing director at Medal Aircon Accessories, recently retrofitted his 17th-century Grade 2 listed house, in Minsterley, Shrewsbury

by replacing costly and inefficient heating appliances with modern state-of-the-art systems, creating savings of almost seven tonnes of CO2 and more than £700 per year.

The 500-year-old building, which previously cost almost £1,800 annually to heat and produced in excess of 11.3 tonnes of CO2, used a combined natural gas boiler and cooker to heat up the radiators and an electric-fired water heater to provide hot water for washing and cleaning.

Working together with Panasonic and Jaga, the team at Medal Aircon Accessories planned to reduce the building’s heating costs and carbon footprint by installing modern heating technology, and also demonstrate that low-temperature hot-water heating and water production is not only possible, but successful, in a retrofit.

Mark Hanson, technical director at Medal Aircon Accessories, said: “Too many people believe that heat pumps can only be used in new builds; however we wanted to prove that this is not the case and that new technology can work in old buildings, such as Brook House. This project allowed us to demonstrate just how straightforward an installation of this type could be – as this is a listed building it was near impossible to replace the existing pipe work yet this was not an issue, we were able to simply remove the radiators and boiler and replace with new, up-to-date models.”

In order to achieve the best possible results, in terms of cost and energy savings and a hasslefree installation, a number of options were considered, including an air to air heat pump, a ground source heat pump, a gas-fired condensing boiler and solar heating, however the most sympathetic energy and cost efficient option was an air to water heat pump.

The existing gas boiler and cooker was replaced with a modern gas cooker and Panasonic’s 16KW Aquarea air to water heat pump, which is able to provide hot water for all purposes, however in order to accurately monitor the new systems, the Aquarea was fitted in this case to supply hot water at a lower level for the central heating system only, and the electric-fired water heater was replaced with a Medal heat pump for hot water production.

Strada DBE radiators, which feature Jaga’s Dynamic Boost Effect technology to provide an instant boost of heat when required, were selected to replace the conventional steel radiators in 11 rooms. The slim design offered an unobtrusive and compact alternative to the traditional models and fit in perfectly with the previous unit spaces within each of the rooms.

The installation of the two new heat pumps has almost halved the previous running currents as when running the two together, to heat up the house and produce hot water, the running current is approximately 20 Amps, whereas the existing system ran at 39 Amps when producing just hot water.

In addition to generating impressive savings of almost 50% reduction on both CO2 consumptions and heating costs, increased comfort levels are an added bonus.

Homeowner and Medal Aircon Accessories director, Med Williams, said: “We’re extremely pleased with how much more comfortable the new heating solution is compared to the previous system. This is firstly due to the immediate response provided by the Strada radiators when turned on and off – you ask for heat and you get heat, you ask them to stop, and they stop.

“Secondly, the radiators are able to provide a consistent temperature throughout the room – the existing radiators would heat up gradually to reach a high temperature and produce hot and cold spots throughout the house, however now we can have the exact heat level we ask for in every single room.”

Paul Taylor, sales manager at Panasonic Heating and Cooling Systems, said: “I’m delighted that the Aquarea Heat Pump system is helping to provide the ideal solution for the customer, the Jaga radiators are able to assist in providing a warm comfortable environment, especially in retrofit situations.”

Mervyn Mayers, director at Pursey & Ball Ltd, said: “We have installed many heat pumps over the last eight years and we were extremely pleased with the simple installation of the Panasonic unit and the performance was also great. The Jaga radiators were surprisingly quiet and we had to check if the fans were running as you can not hear them. This was one of the most comfortable environments we have felt due to the air movement from the Jaga radiators. Overall we are very surprised with how well the system works, as initially this would not have been a property we would have considered suitable for heat pumps due to the lack of insulation.“

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