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Classic Cottage, Cornwall

High temperature heat pump gives classic cottage a 21st century boost

A classic Cornish country cottage with its roots in the 17th century is undergoing a massive makeover to equip it for 21st century living in a heritage environment.

At the heart of the project is an upgrade from an oil-fired heating and hot water system to a Daikin Altherma high temperature heat pump, linked to a Sunamp heat battery.

The new system, designed, installed and commissioned by Bodmin-based Abode Heat, not only promises an economical and environment friendly heating system, but also a space-efficient source of ‘instant’ hot water.

High temperature heat pump gives classic cottage a 21st century boost

The four-bedroom cottage, set among farmlands a few miles from Truro, is now warm throughout and has ample hot water on tap.

It is home to Michael and Trish Hawes, directors of the acclaimed landscape architecture practice, MeiLoci, their two teenage children and three dogs. The couple bought it about two-and-a-half years ago and embarked on plans to renovate it, gradually bringing it up to modern standards – including sustainability.

Abode Heat customer service manager Ali Hodges

“The Daikin Altherma unit provides higher output temperatures than most other heat pumps, while maintaining excellent operating efficiencies. The benefits are that the house can be heated intermittently, which cuts costs, and smaller radiators are needed”

A heat loss survey confirmed the need for high temperature heating – and a solution to the slow-running hot water. The Daikin Altherma High Temperature system selected includes a secondary refrigerant circuit, which provides the higher output temperatures needed in this kind of property.

Abode upgraded existing radiators to provide the required heat output and installed additional radiators in previously unheated areas of the house. 

An accumulator tank was installed to ensure a good flow of water for the Sunamp heat battery to provide lots of hot water for the showers.

Michael Hawes says: “If we had wanted to be completely sustainable, we wouldn’t have bought an old property. What we wanted to do was make the beginnings of a rational move towards being more in control of our own heat and power from a sustainable source.

“We accept that we’re not like a modern super-insulated, super-sustainable house but we wanted to retain the character of what we always imagined we’d be living in – to accommodate our lifestyle but go as far as possible away from using non-renewable energies. We’re really pleased we’ve done it.”

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