There are many solutions on the market today for heating. Although “conventional” heating systems (electric, oil, gas, etc.) are still the most common for a reasonable investment, changes in lifestyle and the trend towards the use of renewable energies have brought to the market many new very attractive products: radiant ceiling, heated floor, geothermal or solar heating. Heaters that, for some, become reversible, and play the role of air conditioners: blowing the heat in the winter and giving you the freshness at the height of summer! there are many types of heating and types of advantages.
The number one asset of electric heating is that it is the most economical. It offers a completely satisfactory comfort for a very reasonable starting investment: it is the ideal solution for tight budgets. Two systems to distinguish: by radiation, we will pay attention to the cost of use (off-peak tariff is strongly recommended), and by convection, this system requires efficient insulation and a good level of ventilation. Only problem for lovers of the environment: electricity comes almost entirely from nuclear power plants.
Due to the rising cost of the raw material, oil heating is gradually being abandoned, even if the technological advances allow the “new generation” boilers to be more economical and ecological, for a cost between 500 and 2000 $.
For most single-family homes in France, gas is at the top of the energy mix. Beyond the price, it is the flexible and clean use of natural gas and propane that is acclaimed. And if the cost of fossil fuels is constantly increasing, a parade has emerged in recent years: an innovative formula combining gas and solar energy used alternately.
The different types of heating
1. The solar
Whether solar thermal (which allows to heat water directly) or photovoltaic (which transforms light into electricity), solar collectors are effective about fifty years. In addition to their usefulness in terms of functionality, the current solar collectors no longer distort the landscape. And fit perfectly in the roof in the form of a roof window or even a facade. It is however recommended to inquire in the town hall to know the legislation in force. It is the best types of heating.
2. Wood heating: an increasingly popular alternative
Widely used in the Nordic countries, heating with “wood-energy”, crushed into wood chips or compressed into pellets, is progressing well in France. Due to the rise in fossil fuel prices and tax incentives, individuals are starting to equip themselves. It must be remembered that wood is the first renewable energy in France. Ecological, its use allows the limitation of emissions of greenhouse gases (1,000 tons of wood consumed = 250 tons of fuel saved).
There are different forms of wood fuel today: the traditional log. Which is making a big comeback in fireplaces, inserts, and stoves, and wood pellets and reconstituted briquettes or sticks. These last two solutions require the installation of a wood boiler. Remarkably efficient, this equipment is still expensive (count the double or triple of an oil boiler).
3. Radiant: PRP and PRE
Beyond the spatial and aesthetic aspect, the invisible heating by radiation offers an unequaled comfort compared to the other heating techniques because, like the heat lavished by the sun, the heat produced by the PRE (radiant floor electric) and PRP (radiating ceiling plaster, also electric) is perfectly homogeneous and uniform in each room. That is to say, it is not hotter under the ceiling than at the floor! If the installation costs a little more than that of its competitors, the “radiant” are very quickly economic to use.
4. The heated floors: silent and invisible.
There are two types: the electric floor heating that works with a heating cable as a resistance, constant power, fixed on a plastic frame itself placed on a flat insulation slab. And the heating/cooling floor (also called reversible) connected to a heat pump: water circulates in pipes placed under the ground. This system is particularly economical, and not only warm in the cold seasons. In summer it replaces the air conditioning advantageously. This last process is particularly reliable and compatible with all energy sources: gas, fuel, electricity or geothermal energy.
5. Geothermal energy.
Reversible geothermal systems (winter heating, summer cooling) operate thanks to a heat pump whose principle is to “pump” the energy (free!) Naturally present in water, air or earth – thanks to buried collectors or geothermal probes – to return then to heat or cool a home.
The choice of one source rather than another depends on the geographical area where your home is located. And the nature of the soil (In theory, geothermal systems can be installed anywhere in France, whatever the climate).
Until recently, the main disadvantage was that it required a large area of land to “collect” enough energy. This is no longer the case today since 180 m² of land is enough to heat 150 m² of housing!