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Anything To Watch Out For In A House...

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Hi guys, it's moving time again and i'm off to the green, green grass of kent after 18 months among the black, black concrete of Lewisham.

Anyway, I've found me a 3-bed terraced house at a very good deal (the same as i'm paying now for a 1-bed flat) and in quite a nice area. It's all very nice, and the only downside is it doesn't have central heating. It has gas fires in the downstairs reception rooms and electric heaters elsewhere.

Now i've never lived in a house without central heating before, but i'm assuming it will generally be a bit more expensive, and require a bit more organisation from me and the other half to ensure we use it efficiently. Is there anything else i'm not considering here?

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Hi guys, it's moving time again and i'm off to the green, green grass of kent after 18 months among the black, black concrete of Lewisham.

Anyway, I've found me a 3-bed terraced house at a very good deal (the same as i'm paying now for a 1-bed flat) and in quite a nice area. It's all very nice, and the only downside is it doesn't have central heating. It has gas fires in the downstairs reception rooms and electric heaters elsewhere.

Now i've never lived in a house without central heating before, but i'm assuming it will generally be a bit more expensive, and require a bit more organisation from me and the other half to ensure we use it efficiently. Is there anything else i'm not considering here?

You mean apart from the fact that it's ruddy freezing when you get out of bed in the morning?? I used to live in a place with no central heating and I think the biggest issue for me was always being cold on winter mornings - I had to leap out of bed to turn on the fan heater, then run back into bed and hide shivering under the covers until it got warm enough to get up. The bathroom was regularly freezing too. We didn't have timers on the electric heaters, so there was no way to turn one on to "pre-warm" the room before we went in.

It's also quite hard to dry clothes indoors as you don't want to leave the heaters on when you go out, which may not sound that big a deal but I found it a real pain in winter when I had to wait 2-3 days for dry clothes.

There are some good things - you can save money quite easily be being careful about using the heaters, and if either of you have a dust mite allergy, they really don't like unheated houses.

Are there previous tenants in place? Perhaps you could ask to speak to them about how they found it?

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how about adding in time controls to electric heaters, or portable heaters if its cold first thing.

course, central heating heats the whole house and is set to heat at certain times too.

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I used to live in a house with a storage heater. I would never do so again. If you have children: Don't do it! It was bloody freezing. We used to sit on an eveing with a duvet over us. It was like something out of a refugee camp.

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What a bunch of Jessies.

Be more physically active and wear a jumper.

I was astounded when the government put central heating on the list of things all council houses must have by 2010. Having read this thread I can see just how molly-coddled the populace is.

Storage heaters - I've had those, they're fine. Warm on a cold morning.

When I've lived somewhere with no central heating (ice on the inside of the windows on a winter's morning) I usually went for an early morning run to get me warm.

No wonder we recruit half our soldiers from overseas.

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What a bunch of Jessies.

Be more physically active and wear a jumper.

I was astounded when the government put central heating on the list of things all council houses must have by 2010. Having read this thread I can see just how molly-coddled the populace is.

Storage heaters - I've had those, they're fine. Warm on a cold morning.

When I've lived somewhere with no central heating (ice on the inside of the windows on a winter's morning) I usually went for an early morning run to get me warm.

No wonder we recruit half our soldiers from overseas.

Zigackly. If you're warm-blooded you should be just fine in our very, very easy climate. Only exception to that is if you're ill, and the body is failing you.

Place I lived from 1999-2005 had no heating of any kind. Up on the moors (within the national park) with the wind whistling right through when it blew.

Well, actually it did have central heating, but it wasn't 'til I had a bout of 'flu about late Feb/early Mar 2005 that I found out the heating didn't work (that couple of weeks of 24/7 snow and ice outside). If I'm ever back somewhere like that, I'll be sure to get a plug-in electric heater just in case of illness.

As for staying warm:

- Never let it get stuffy. Keep the windows slightly open so you get air circulation. Stuffiness impedes the body's circulation, and is *the* major cause of *feeling* cold. Also makes you vulnerable to the lurgy, 'cos your body's natural resistance is in that circulation.

- Dress for the season. That includes wearing an old-fashioned woollen pullover over a comfy shirt for sitting around indoors (but use a fleece for going out - you don't want to have to wash the wool in dreary winter weather).

- If you start to feel chilly in the day, you're being too inactive. Go for a walk (or other form of exercise) and you'll feel much better. That also helps get into a routine which will benefit you just as much in the summer.

- Indulgence in a good soak in a hot bath (yes, I'm a wuss too these days) is a real little luxury for those long, dark evenings.

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Having moved from a house with one gas fire & 2 open fires, to a smaller one with central heating, I would say that it costs more to run the central heating. Most evenings we would only heat one room in the old house, you can sit round a gas fire and get toasty warm, to get the same effect on CH means running the entire system full blast..

Cold mornings are a challenge though - an electric shower is the only solution

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Hi guys, it's moving time again and i'm off to the green, green grass of kent after 18 months among the black, black concrete of Lewisham.

Anyway, I've found me a 3-bed terraced house at a very good deal (the same as i'm paying now for a 1-bed flat) and in quite a nice area. It's all very nice, and the only downside is it doesn't have central heating. It has gas fires in the downstairs reception rooms and electric heaters elsewhere.

Now i've never lived in a house without central heating before, but i'm assuming it will generally be a bit more expensive, and require a bit more organisation from me and the other half to ensure we use it efficiently. Is there anything else i'm not considering here?

First check there is a current gas safety certificate. Gas fires are much more potentially dangerous than room sealed boilers. If the flame is yellow not blue, it is dangerous as incomplete combustion is taking place ( methane being burnt to carbon monoxide rather than carbon dioxide). Make sure you have a carbon monoxide detector ( about fifteen pounds). Electric fires are a higher fire risk ( catch your nightie on the elements and you will see why). How old is the fuse box, does it have trip fuses or the older fuse wire types?

Get a timer plug so the fire comes on ten minutes before you get up and goes off five minutes later.( about ten pounds).

Normal other checks on the property, do all appliances work, any damp, does bath/wc's function, do windows/doors close properly, are locks secure, tv aerial, do gutters need cleaning, state of garden. Check inventory and take photo's for condition.

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First check there is a current gas safety certificate. Gas fires are much more potentially dangerous than room sealed boilers. If the flame is yellow not blue, it is dangerous as incomplete combustion is taking place ( methane being burnt to carbon monoxide rather than carbon dioxide). Make sure you have a carbon monoxide detector ( about fifteen pounds). Electric fires are a higher fire risk ( catch your nightie on the elements and you will see why). How old is the fuse box, does it have trip fuses or the older fuse wire types?

Get a timer plug so the fire comes on ten minutes before you get up and goes off five minutes later.( about ten pounds).

Normal other checks on the property, do all appliances work, any damp, does bath/wc's function, do windows/doors close properly, are locks secure, tv aerial, do gutters need cleaning, state of garden. Check inventory and take photo's for condition.

Errmmm... thanks for the advice, but i've lived in rented property for the past 8 years so i've got the second para covered.

But thanks everyone.

It's just me and my girlfriend living there, and neither of use feel the cold that much (me especially), so it shouldn't be an issue. And we have plenty of jumpers if needed.

The storage heaters had timers on them when we looked so shouldn't be a problem. The reason there no CH is it's quite an old house (probably about 150 years) and I guess it just never got it installed.

Anyway, i'm going to go for it. The price is good, the area is lovely and near where I grew up, transport connections are adequate and it becomes available at pretty much the same time we want to move from here so it works out pretty good for us.

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Errmmm... thanks for the advice, but i've lived in rented property for the past 8 years so i've got the second para covered.

But thanks everyone.

It's just me and my girlfriend living there, and neither of use feel the cold that much (me especially), so it shouldn't be an issue. And we have plenty of jumpers if needed.

The storage heaters had timers on them when we looked so shouldn't be a problem. The reason there no CH is it's quite an old house (probably about 150 years) and I guess it just never got it installed.

Anyway, i'm going to go for it. The price is good, the area is lovely and near where I grew up, transport connections are adequate and it becomes available at pretty much the same time we want to move from here so it works out pretty good for us.

As somebody who is equally hardy and has lived on a windswept hill in Scotland and currently a house built in 1769, I would say that a 150 year house will just leak heat and it is easy to look at it now on a nice warm bank holiday weekend and say it will be OK but I can promise in the middle of January it won't be so nice.... I hope the price is representative of the of the lack of heating?

If you do take it, it will be interesting to see how you get on in 7 months

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As somebody who is equally hardy and has lived on a windswept hill in Scotland and currently a house built in 1769, I would say that a 150 year house will just leak heat and it is easy to look at it now on a nice warm bank holiday weekend and say it will be OK but I can promise in the middle of January it won't be so nice.... I hope the price is representative of the of the lack of heating?

If you do take it, it will be interesting to see how you get on in 7 months

I know what you're saying, but it's quite a sheltered area with lots of trees around. The price is very good, i'd be looking at considerably more for a place of similar size and location normally. If it is unbearably cold, the 6 months will be up by January and we can move, so I'm going to go for it.

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With jumpers you will be fine. Just remember that gas fires (unless enclosed) give off quite a lot of water in the combustion of gas, so you will require ventilation.

If the place has double glazing, you will have "damp" problems. Otherwise, thegurlfrommarz who "didn't have timers on the electric heaters," suffered a load of discomfort for a few quid.

One top tip. Buy an electric towel rail for the bathroom and leave it on 24/7. Delivering towels that are toasty warm, dry and do not smell damp (as they otherwise will) this is a cheap way of ensuring great comfort. Cost you about 50p per day and will be money very well spent indeed. Otherwise bathrooms are grim in unheated houses.

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With jumpers you will be fine. Just remember that gas fires (unless enclosed) give off quite a lot of water in the combustion of gas, so you will require ventilation.

If the place has double glazing, you will have "damp" problems. Otherwise, thegurlfrommarz who "didn't have timers on the electric heaters," suffered a load of discomfort for a few quid.

One top tip. Buy an electric towel rail for the bathroom and leave it on 24/7. Delivering towels that are toasty warm, dry and do not smell damp (as they otherwise will) this is a cheap way of ensuring great comfort. Cost you about 50p per day and will be money very well spent indeed. Otherwise bathrooms are grim in unheated houses.

Yes, damp was something i'm a bit concerned about as the place is double glazed throughout.

Is it worth getting a dehumidifier? (sp?)

Might look into the towel rail option too, as I do enjoy the heated towel rail in my current flat.

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I'd love to follow all your advice on warmth, but alas, for some of us, it just doesn't work and we have to rely on radiators to keep warm. A drop of just a couple of degrees, even in August, has me running for a jumper/coat just to avoid getting numb fingers and toes.

I agree about windows though. I always sleep so much better with a bit of fresh air coming in.

Finally got my colleagues to open the window instead of turning on the air con. Makes such a difference to the place.

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