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Offline levissima

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Re: Winter prep
« Reply #15 on: October 11, 2017, 10:39:40 AM »
I say this every year but no harm repeating. If you have an open fire, donít get rid of it for something more modern. Last year I had no electricity for 9 days but with my open fire I had heat, light, hot water and was able to cook. The water didnít fail but Iíd have been able to melt snow if it did. So remember, if you choose a heating system that relies on electricity, and you donít have a generator, you could be rather cold!


Offline GeordieBorn

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Re: Winter prep
« Reply #16 on: October 11, 2017, 11:04:49 AM »
There is nothing like this subject for generating its own heat! I think combined with solar for the summer, OliveOil has the ideal setup for here.

Offline Relaxed

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Re: Winter prep
« Reply #17 on: October 11, 2017, 06:11:57 PM »
When I say I giggled, I meant I giggled.

If you want to interpret it as 'scoffing' that's up to you.

Offline GeordieBorn

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Re: Winter prep
« Reply #18 on: October 12, 2017, 03:20:16 PM »
Well it might be helpful to someone. We spend a lot of time in the UK so itís hard to say how much we spend per year on heating. But there are likely many others here (or looking to come here) that do the same. So for what itís worth, taking just the month we came back here at the end of January just after the cold spell. I would reckon we spent circa Ä50-60 for that month to heat the upstairs of the house. Thatís around 140sqm, single glaze windows, so very, very draughty.  There is a wood burner in the living room and a sansa boiler servicing nice big iron radiators in every room. Living room was hardly ever below 25c in that month as the wood burner was kept ticking over almost 24/7. The boiler was on 2 hours at night, but only for the x2 rads in the bathroom, others were off. We move bedrooms in winter and summer, in the winter its off the living room, so with the door open it gets up to 20c or more. The hall leading to the other 2 rooms does okay at around or just under 20c, but the other 2 bedrooms plummet to under 15c. The cost includes sansa and wood for heating and DHW and is probably a little less than we would pay in the UK for the same period.
What I would add is the oddity we find of feeling freezing here in Italy at 5c, which often feels like a UK -10c. Donít know if itís just the cold wind off the mountains or what? Great advice from Tartufa to dress accordingly!
I certainly be laughing at the cost/month indicated by some on here!

Offline Rustychain

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Re: Winter prep
« Reply #19 on: October 14, 2017, 06:53:07 AM »
Some very interesting thoughts & suggestions here. We aren't planning to do anything different this year; we've stocked up with wood & gas and other than that we'll wait & see.

We were here for the VERY cold snap last winter but missed the very worst of the snow so we avoided the 3 days when our village was without power. Lui reports that they were without power for 12 days & that really must have been grim. Our local ferramenta was giving me a guided tour of his lovely generator recently but it was Ä1,300 and I saw that as 'insurance' really so decided against it.

When we lived in the UK we used to have the house at 21C in the winter but gave up on that idea soon after moving out here! We got the gas tank filled, had the house at 21C then discovered that we'd almost emptied the tank in about 3 weeks.  ??? ??? So, we get most heating from our wood-burner & have the radiators for topping up the bedroom & bathroom. Having really good windows / doors / shutters installed made a massive difference too.
In Abruzzo since March 2013

Offline Vignaverde

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Re: Winter prep
« Reply #20 on: October 14, 2017, 07:35:46 AM »
This is why i like Pellets Rusty. You can keep them running and the temperature good for little money compared to other fuels. IMO unless you have wood in the garden then pellets are the way to go.
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Offline Rustychain

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Re: Winter prep
« Reply #21 on: October 14, 2017, 08:17:28 AM »
I hear what you're saying VV, & thanks for the tip. Friends of ours rave about their pellet stuffa too, which also does their radiators, but we DO have wood in the garden, which we fell / split, plus it would mean a 2nd stuffa somewhere & they are pretty big, plus installing the thing.... If we were starting from scratch then we may well go down that route but I'm not sure it's worth the effort (ÄÄÄ) at this stage.

The wood-burner is great & it keeps most of the downstairs warm but heat doesn't really percolate into this study or the bathroom & the heat doesn't get upstairs, but for practically 'free' fuel & a 100% reliable system, it's hard to beat.
In Abruzzo since March 2013

Offline GeordieBorn

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Re: Winter prep
« Reply #22 on: October 14, 2017, 02:58:52 PM »
Somethings I did mean to add to my post was that you need to haul wood, pellets and/or sansa. In addition they all take a fair bit of storage space. Whereas obviously with town gas or electric you have no such problems. As for cost, from what Iíve read here and elsewhere wood is the cheapest option especially so if you have your own supply, after that I would say sansa is cheaper than pellets and like I said if you have a multi-boiler like OliveOyl, better still!
I was very interested in OliveOylís comment about checking out PV solar and batteries for back-up power. I suspect this is a far better option than a generator in the long term. A recent article on some guys setting up systems in Africa made it sound very straightforward and very cheap to do!

Offline levissima

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Re: Winter prep
« Reply #23 on: October 14, 2017, 04:55:03 PM »
I have a wonderful gismo, courtesy of my sister after last winter, itís a battery for charging phone/iPad and it charges by solar or hand crank, itís a torch and radio too! Just the thing to have when all else fails 🙂

https://youtu.be/Qo26ZBaN1BQ

Offline Olive Oyl

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Re: Winter prep
« Reply #24 on: October 14, 2017, 06:51:23 PM »
Apparently the PV panels will also charge even under snow according to the enel man I spoke to but I want to have a chat with our neighbours son who works for enel and will give us the honest facts rather than just a sell. Will keep those interested updated when I find out ALL the nitty gritty 😉

Offline Red Mistral

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Re: Winter prep
« Reply #25 on: October 14, 2017, 10:04:01 PM »
We use mains gas which keeps the bulk of the house warmish and a 6 kw pellet stove in the lounge which makes it quite toasty. Since we arrived here weíve taken up skiing ⛷ to take advantage of the slopes which are readily accessible. Thereís now a bunch of who go and, whilst thereíll be no Olympic medals for anyone anytime soon, we have a hoot! And on a sunny day, the views from Mamma Rosa are breathtaking! Failing that we just hang around our private Caribbean island :D

Offline GeordieBorn

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Re: Winter prep
« Reply #26 on: October 15, 2017, 11:21:26 AM »
More out of curiosity than intent I had a look by searching DIY PV solar systems and came up with this site. I also had a look for PV solar kits and all sorts of sites came up like this originally names ďbuypvdirectĒ site. The cost still look high and it is still a very long term investment. However if you were to go off grid altogether and/or be selling back to the grid it could be a lot better deal. I guess an alternative on a bit of a larger scale than Leviís charger would be to buy a small kit to use simply for power cuts to have a light and keep the fridge/freezer going. I suspect for this a generator might be a better and/or cheaper solution. I noticed the site above was reluctant to quote the price of batteries (which were not included in the kits), quick look around indicates they are double the price of the kits!
Perhaps the private Caribbean island is the way to go ;D

Offline Relaxed

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Re: Winter prep
« Reply #27 on: October 16, 2017, 01:18:19 AM »
The snag with pellet stoves, (which have a lot to commend them), is that they do depend on electricity being available. The same goes for most gas central heating systems, and 'sophisticated' wood burners.

If (and let's hope not) there is another dire winter with extended power outages, the only 'secure' heating solution is a completely simple woodburning stove. (Or, a personal generator)

Offline Vignaverde

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Re: Winter prep
« Reply #28 on: October 16, 2017, 08:15:08 AM »
I agree BUT let's be honest the vast majority of people are only without electricity a few days most winters. In extremes this can be longer but again rare and considering you have many months to contend with a cheap heat source is very important. I think having a fire that can run without any electricity is a must item but just as a backup.
Has Enel  updated wires in anyone else's area?
I would be interested in Sansa prices and running costs if anyone has them? Unless you have your own source of wood I found pellets much cheaper than wood to heat a house for a winter.

Would be good to know more about sansa if anyone can give any info.
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Offline Mammamia

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Re: Winter prep
« Reply #29 on: October 16, 2017, 08:35:10 AM »
Can anyone tell me about the noise generated by pellet stoves. We would need a stove in our living room and anything which created a noise would be a problem