How We’ll Heat Our Eco Barn Renovation

While we’re both still working full time, my husband and I are working on the renovation of an old steading, or old stone barn. We’re doing most of the work ourselves – slowly – on weekends and the occasional evening. Today, I thought I would take a moment to explain how we’ll heat our new home.

Next week, a crucial step is due to be reached on our project. We are having our Rayburn wood burning stove delivered. The home will be very well insulated, with south facing windows ideal for passive solar design. These measures (according to calculations) should keep inside temperatures above 14-15 degrees C throughout the year. But we will still require some space heating indoors over the winter months.

We have decided to use a Rayburn 355SFW to run 5 radiators, heat hot water in winter, and for cooking. (Though we will have an electric immersion heater for hot water and an efficient hob for cooking when we don’t want to heat the stove in summer. We are grid connected, but have planned to install solar panels in future.)

Eventually, we will also have a smaller wood fuelled stove in our main living room, that we will light on chilly winter evenings. (This is the largest room, double height, up to the roof apex.)

The combination of good insulation, passive solar design and wood-fuelled heating is not necessarily the best solution for every site. But it is an eco-friendly solution where we live – in a rural location with access to plenty of sustainably sourced wood.

We only have 1/3 acre here, so don’t have the land to grow our own fuel. (Though we can supplement the supply.) But we are lucky to live in the heart of a larger estate property, where many trees have been planted over the years, and where woodland areas are managed in a truly sustainable way.

Our wood will be delivered from this neighbouring property – literally dropped over a back wall with no delivery miles to worry about. We will season and saw/chop the delivered logs ourselves.

We have a lot of work ahead of us as we plumb in the new stoves over the next few months. And continue to work slowly towards eventually moving into our new home. But I thought our plans might be interesting to those planning or dreaming of their own renovation or conversion projects.

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