Wednesday, 29 August 2007

flat hunting: part one

This morning, I was sitting doing my forecasts thinking what should I be blogging.

As much as it seems that my life sort of revolves around blogging, it is actually not true. It’s just that I have set a challenge to myself to blog everyday, where possible. Besides, I enjoy blogging, so why not? Yes, I know sometimes my posts do seem like really boring and mundane stories that may just bore the tears out of you who take the time to read it. My apologies in advance. ;P

Anyways, I thought why don’t I share my flat hunting experience instead.

So far what I had been doing is sitting in front of the computer poring over flat after flat online. Again and again. Day after day.

The worst thing that I feel for me is the unfamiliar location and surroundings of the property. Say, the flat may look really nice in pictures but the area around it is dodgy or transportation is a problem. So, nice flat but lousy area - no.

Then another thing that I’m rather particular is I want gas central heating. So far, I think and through my experience, I believe that gas central heating is so much (or maybe just slightly) cheaper than electric heating.

TS once said that whatever has a heating element in it is expensive on the electric bills. That means that boiling water, shower heating, boiler, radiator/heater, stove, oven and even toaster will mount up the cost. That is why it has been encouraged that if you want to boil water in the kettle, just boil the amount that is enough for what you need.

One thing that comes up again and again on most listings is ‘white meter heating’. I went around asking what white meter heating is and not many people know what the hell it was. Until I asked one of my colleagues.

Apparently, white meter heating is electric storage heating that comes with a white meter. What this white meter does is that it only turns on (or you can set the timer to have it turn on) when it is off-peak where the charge for electricity is the lowest. Because it uses the cheapest electricity, it is called white meter. Turn on in this case, is when the electricity will be use to heat up the elements. Then what happens is that the heat is stored up and disperses when required. The stored heat will last for about 3-5 hours (I think).

This is not the best heating. Firstly, it does provide instantaneous heating. Say if I’m cold and I want heating but I did not store any from the night before, I don’t get any. Otherwise I have to turn on the electric panel heating, if there is any. Again, as mentioned earlier, electric heating = expensive.

Also from various testimonials, storage heating has not been the most economical and efficient form of heating. Someone said that many prefer to install white meter heating because it is cheaper to install and supposed to be cheaper to use, face value wise. But I think many did not look far enough, or so I think. After all, if storage heating is so good, people won’t consider changing it to gas central heating. TOH said that it is going to cost him £3,000 to change his storage heating to gas central heating.

Another thing is that storage heating normally disperses during the day, which, for me there is no one at home! So what’s the point?

What frustrates me is that those who advertise the flats, does not give clear description of the flat, such as the type of heating and the location of the flat, whether it is ground floor, 1st or whatever.

I will blog about the location of the flat in my next post.

No comments: