Finding one solution to fit all churches is impossible. Instead, each church must strike a delicate balance between encouraging use of the building, energy efficiency and conservation.
Renewable Heat Sources:
Most churches have a traditional 'wet' system of radiators and pipework operated by a gas or oil-fired boiler. This is controlled by modern timing and thermostatic/humidistatic equipment. Other churches, particularly in rural areas, have electric heaters.
But, as energy prices rise, renewable sources are also being used. These include:
The Government's Renewable Heat Incentive will pay you for generating heat from renewable sources.
Think People not Building:
It is not always necessary to heat the whole building; in fact it is often better to consider how to heat the people within it.
Many churches have installed under floor heating but there are cheaper alternatives to keeping people warm, for example sheep-wool pew liners.
One of the most important challenges facing churches today is providing sufficient comfort for the many different users of the building, from worshippers to staff to visitors.
There is no universal solution to making a church comfortable and the key to arriving at a solution that provides reasonable comfort at a reasonable cost is to devote sufficient time and effort to understanding the particular needs of your own church.
Guidance on choosing the right heating system. This document is intended to guide those considering upgrading an existing heating system or installing new heating through the planning and decision making processes involved.
If you are considering a new heating system it is important to talk to your DAC Secretary early in the process - a list of DAC Secretaries can be found here.
It is also important to check the insurance implications, Ecclesiastical provide guidance on fire risk with a section on heating in churches.
The Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers maintains a register of consultants working in the heating industry.