DIY Doctor

Thin Electric Panel Heaters to Replace Central Heating

Postby petel » Sun Jun 30, 2019 7:33 pm

Hello.
Seeking recommendations for thin electric panel heaters to replace the CH radiators in my home, preferably from first hand experience please. Object is to phase out gas use in stages over the next two years.

Units can be fixed or portable ( or have options for both ) and should work from the mains in the first instance.

Thank you, Pete.
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Postby ericmark » Tue Jul 02, 2019 9:17 pm

I assume you have a reason not to use gas? In the main gas is so much cheaper than electric, if there is gas, then that's best option.

However electric can be controlled in a different way, so with for example a church, inferred heaters allow fast heat up times, so can work out better, there were heaters ceiling mounted with pull cords gas powered but not seen them for years.

So live style is important, as is building design, but the difference in cost between gas and electric means electric is normally the last resort.

The main point is control, in the main electric is off/on, where gas is often modulated, to get around this problem one can use solid state switching, this means it can be switched off/on every couple on minutes rather than every 15 minutes or more, not really modulated, but next best thing.

But again back to the type of home, at my mothers old house, I could turn off central heating at 10 pm set to 20 deg C and even on coldest nights it had not cooled to 16 deg C. But I have also lived in a house where 15 minutes after turning off the generator the room was icy cold.

But with gas you can fit programmable TRV heads at £15 each so each room is independent, not perfect, but near enough, with electric to get a thermostat to work with 16A the price is a lot higher, and unless solid state the contacts will wear out, so the control costs around £40 does not matter if built into heating or external solid state control is not cheap.

So big question is why?
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Postby petel » Wed Jul 03, 2019 1:35 am

Many thanks for your reply and the time and trouble taken.
Pete.
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Postby petel » Wed Jul 17, 2019 7:33 am

Hello.
Would still appreciate feed back as per the details in the OP.
Thank you, Pete.
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Postby petel » Sun Jul 28, 2019 2:58 am

Anyone please ?
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Postby ericmark » Mon Jul 29, 2019 8:01 am

As said inferred means fast warm-up times, so the hotter the surface is the better at heating, but also the hotter the surface the more dangerous to touch, so in the main we forget about inferred, so then you are still looking at speed and of course what they look like.

For a kitchen a plinth fan heater is likely best, but you would not want a fan heater for the bedroom.

I find the idea of fan assisted good, but not so sure how practical, if you use any fan, does not need to be built into the heater, it gets rid of cool and warm spots within the room, this is mixed blessing, as one can lose heat from surfaces and also gain heat when the sun is out, so it is more down to home design as to if a fan is good or bad.

Having independent heaters allows independent control of each room, but how far you want to go is a big question, I had all sorts of ideas when using standard central heating as to where to place the thermostat, it was wireless so I could place it anywhere in the room, it transpired best place was quite close to the radiator, as one moves away the hysteresis increases. So against what I expected, the TRV is well placed to get a steady temperature in the room. The same applies with oil filled radiators with the thermostat built in.

OK you want thin panel which again depends on home, if the home absorbs heat from panel and then once off releases it slowly then with it switching off/on once an hour it will work fine, but if the house stores very little heat, at once an hour you would feel chill before it switched on again.

Rapid switching would soon cause contacts in a mechanical thermostat to fail, so controlled with a solid state relay far better for rapid switching.

So the whole question hinges on the design of the home, other than inferred or heat pumps, all electric heaters kW in = kW out so all same efficiency, it's only the control which varies.

Old central heating systems did lack control, I will admit that, however today the modulating gas boiler linked to radiators with electronic TRV's gives us individual schedule for every room and is much improved since the 1980's when central heating started to become the norm with new homes.

You have not answered the question why get rid of gas? I am stuck with oil, I would love it if gas came to the village. If we know more about you home and/or reasons for not wanting gas, maybe we could help more, however with so little to go on, really it's a case of selecting what looks nice.
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Postby petel » Tue Jul 30, 2019 3:22 am

Many thanks for your reply and the time and trouble taken.
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