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Heating

There are many different methods of heating your home, each offering their own advantages and disadvantages largely depending on your financial resources and the individual place that you wish to heat.

We offer a large range of products and heating systems from the latest technologies to the more conventional. As with all other aspects of our business, all work is fully insured and guaranteed. In addition every heating system, be it geothermal or a wood burning stove, is installed in accordance to the « French normes », in other words, we have attended the appropriate French courses and where necessary, passed the exams, so that you can be confident that you are following the French laws and thereby insuring that you household insurance will be valid.

clive masters

Electrical Heating

We offer a variety of heating solutions for your home, direct heating and solutions based on renewable energy sources. Below is some advice and thoughts regarding direct electrical heating and details of heating systems utilising renewable energy sources can be found here.

When discussing with prospective clients the option heating of their home by electricity, one of the most commonly expressed comments is, "Electric heating! I remember those old storage heaters we had in Britain; always cold by the evening." It's then time to dispel the myth.

Electric central heating in France is a world away from the brick-filled storage heater. Here the method is to have direct heating, i.e. the appliance draws the current when required, rather than storing it from a different period of the day.

Advances in technology mean that the heat emitting appliances can be highly responsive to the room's temperature requirement and work in a variety of levels of output to suit the activity. Moreover, the appliance can be installed as part of an integrated central heating installation with programmable control of temperature and time and with energy management to minimize the EDF tariff. In fact, the programming can even be carried out remotely, by telephone or internet connection.

Installation costs.

An electric heating appliance requires no more than a four-core cable running from the consumer unit and an outlet plate on the wall. The cost of installing this would be a fraction of the cost of installing a system of pipes throughout the home.

Fuel stockage.

Of course, there is none. The fuel is delivered as and when required. There is no need for an oil tank in the garage or a gas cylinder in the garden. Therefore, there is no need for ensuring timely deliveries of fuel and no risk of running out over Christmas.

Maintenance.

It is a totally clean form of heating. No soot, no fumes, no cleaning out of boilers or flues, no annual maintenance. There is no maintenance requirement at all. Once the system has been installed and programmed, there is nothing else to do.

Direct heating appliances fall into two main styles and these are radiators and convectors. Radiators can then be subdivided into two further groups, which are those that are fluid filled and those that are not. The first sub-group, i.e. the fluid-filled variety are most similar to the radiators that are used in a conventional gas or oil-fuelled boiler system and in fact in the case of Acova radiators, the same carcase is used for both types of system. However, unlike in the traditional wet central heating system, instead of being plumbed into a network of pipes around the house, the radiators are filled with a hydro-active fluid at manufacture and sealed for life. A thermostatically controlled resistance immersed in the fluid generates the heat.

In contrast, dry radiators have a solid block of material to act as the emitter. This may be in the form of cast iron, aluminium, stone or glass. The iron or aluminium versions have the resistance inserted into the block of material, whereas the stone or glass would have it attached to their rear surface. An example of this type of element is the rear window heater found in a car, although of a much lower wattage the principle is the same. A further development in these radiators is a second element inside the front panel. The principal resistance is used for rapidly raising the temperature and then it switches off whilst the lower wattage front element maintains a thermostatically controlled cycle and allows a gentle heat to be emitted.

The convector heaters work in a completely different manner. These units have grilles in the top and bottom. Air is allowed to enter the lower grille, pass over and be heated by the element and then by convection, pass out of the upper grille and into the room. Traditionally, convector heaters had one or more wire elements, like springs, stretched across their inner carcase. These were quite fragile and could break after a period of use. This method of construction has been discontinued in all but the cheapest varieties and now the elements are usually encased in a finned aluminium block, which makes them much more robust and durable.

The dry radiators heat up rapidly and so the response when first switched on is immediate. This is particularly apparent in the double element radiators, where the surface resistance is located immediately behind the front panel. In contrast, a wet radiator would take longer to feel warm, as the element has to heat up the fluid contained with the unit. Once the heat is built up, fluidfilled radiators have good heat retention.

Even when the thermostat cuts the supply of electricity to the element, the heat retained in the fluid continues to be radiated. A dry radiator with a cast steel block is a similar way of recreating this retention. A down side of good heat retention is the weight and dimensions. A 2000W fluidfilled, traditionally styled radiator weighs 70 kg and is 1300 mm wide; a radiator with a cast steel element of the same rating weighs 49 kg and is 1200 mm wide. In comparison, a 2000W radiator with a single aluminium element weighs a mere 10 kg, but is still 1020 mm wide. In addition, you would not get the same degree of heat retention, so the radiator would appear to heat up and cool down more.

The convector heater is a lightweight and compact unit. It would invariably be smaller and lighter than a radiator of equivalent wattage, at about 7.4 kg and 740 mm. The convector heats up rapidly, but has no heat retention. Whilst heat is felt almost immediately that the appliance is switched on, the heat travels up towards the ceiling rather than across the room. The heat reaches the occupants by circulation of air currents and conduction to the cooler air at lower levels. At a distance of 2.5 metres from the appliance the temperature difference in a room of average height can be 50C between the floor and ceiling. With a radiator, the difference would be around 1.50C.

The final difference is price. For a high specification 2000W radiator, you could expect to pay 600€, a simpler single element radiator would be half of this price and an equivalent convector would cost around 100€. However, these are average prices. You could pay more or less depending on style, specification and quality.

©2017 - Masters Electrcité
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