The White House (Midlands, England)

Louise Bunting knew she had taken on a challenge when she bought The White House. The grand eight bedroom, grade II listed house was in a sad state of neglect, with boarded windows and leaking roof. Nevertheless, many original features remained and achieving a sympathetic restoration which left the fabric of the building undisturbed became of paramount importance, both for personal satisfaction and to keep the conservation officers happy. Bearing this in mind, and after careful consideration of the heating systems on offer, Louise became convinced that a Unico system offered the best way forward.

The Solution

A suitable contractor was appointed to install two air handlers in the loft, supply tubing and air outlet ducts. As a heat source for the air handlers, hot water was supplied from a boiler. The heavily insulated handlers accomplish an efficient exchange of heat from hot water to air, which is then circulated around the system at high velocity. The rapid airflow has created effective air mixing, or aspiration, in the rooms, leading to a draught-free environment and an even-temperature throughout.

The Benefits

Crucially, the narrow, flexible tubing fitted into the existing structure of the house has made obtrusive, costly radiators unnecessary. The Unico system blows warm air into rooms through small ducts which can be situated either in walls or ceilings. The flexibility in siting the outlet ducts has further enabled the preservation of existing features, with mini-ducts hidden behind walls and in ceiling voids. "That's the beauty of the system," says Louise, "you could remove it, and hardly know it had ever been there." The delighted owner also commented that as well as sparing her the pain of ripping up and probably damaging historic flagstones, the Unico system was also considerably cheaper to install than a conventional radiator-type central heating system. So, the planners are satisfied and Louise and her family are left in peace to enjoy their new house. "I'm amazed", she says, "even though the rooms are large, have sash windows and open fireplaces, our home is comfortable and warm twenty minutes after the heating comes on in the morning".