Heating and services in listed homes
Building services can cause particular problems in historic homes as pipes and wiring are
laid into all the main rooms and penetrate the historic fabric. Beware of causing further damage and consider
re-using existing services that can be upgraded or repaired.
Old services that are no longer required, such as an old light switch or a radiator, can often be retained as a
feature and an architectural record. Once gone, these are difficult and expensive to replace.
By law, from 1 April 2005 onwards, most new gas boilers fitted in England and Wales must be high efficiency
condensing boilers (with a few exceptions depending on suitability).
The efficiency ratings of new boilers can be checked by visiting www.boilers.org.uk. Additionally, the Energy
Saving Trust endorses a range of energy-efficient oil, LPG (Liquid Petroleum Gas) and high-efficiency condensing
boilers through the energy saving recommended scheme – visit www.est.org.uk/recommended for more information and
access to a full range of endorsed products.
Thermostat controlled heating can prevent wasted energy and ensure that the building maintains a reasonable
environment (manually controlled systems can allow internal temperatures to rise quickly and unnecessarily).
Underfloor heating is often best with lime concrete, expanded clay aggregate. It is normally advisable to avoid
the use of a damp proof membrane in ground floors, as this will force moisture to the walls, rotting timbers
forming the wall frame. The energy used by lighting and household appliances is significant, so energy efficient
lighting and energy saving recommended appliances should be used wherever possible.