Air conditioning and heating

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Susann
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Air conditioning and heating

Post by Susann » Wed 26 Oct 2016 10:44

We currently have a wood burning stove and basic electric radiators. The wood burning stove is effective at heating the living areas but we want to improve the heating in the bedrooms. Given we have no gas supply, it seems our options are to install more effective electric radiators or to install reversible air conditioning, with the added bonus of cooling in summer, which would be welcome. Does anybody have any experience of using reversible air conditioning and could explain any advantages/disadvantages?

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Kate
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Post by Kate » Wed 26 Oct 2016 11:44

Hello Susan
We have clim reversible and are very happy with it.
Cool in summer, warm in winter and bills are much lower than electric heaters.
I have heard some people say that it dries their skin, some have mentioned sore throats, but we havent had any of these problems - or maybe as we've had it quite a few years we're used to it! :-)

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exterior aircon unit

Post by Charlotte » Wed 26 Oct 2016 12:07

Beware new regs.Our mayor came round after installation saying that it wasn't allowed to put the unit on the outside wall visible from the road.Absolutely not! We've ended up at a compromise where we make a niche in the front wall and bury the unit in it even uglier than the bracket method. This is even though there are three others installed recently in our street. It also has to have bars in front of it why? I don't know. You also have to pay 130 euros to a company to connect it up even though they are push fit connectors, otherwise no guarantee.It's got complicated.

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Post by Susann » Wed 26 Oct 2016 12:58

Thanks Kate. Sounds very positive. Good to know about regs Charlotte, thanks. Should we go ahead with clim reversible, we'll check applicable regs.

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Post by Allan » Wed 26 Oct 2016 14:16

In terms of heat output, reversible air-con gives out at least twice as much as conventional electric heaters. The manufacturers quote anything up to 5 times as much heat but that is in ideal conditions. Unfortunately reversible air-con is at its least efficient when it is cold outside but even in sub-zero temperatures you will still get the same heat as conventional heaters but at less than half the cost.

We stopped using our wood burner 3 years ago and heat entirely with reversible air-con and the increase in our electricity bills was nothing like as much as I used to spend on wood. You also have the added advantage of cooling in summer.

A couple of caveats:
Most suppliers here, seem to size the system by cooling requirement, so it is important to emphasise that heat output is your principle concern.

The majority of units are controlled with a remote control, many of which have timers built in. There are plenty of units that you can control centrally but local suppliers seem to have had a technology bypass.

It may be that you are quite happy to turn units on and off when you want but if you want to properly automate the process then you need to tell them.

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russell
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Post by russell » Wed 26 Oct 2016 16:17

Make sure you get an inverter air conditioner. The non inverter ones have a constant heat output and switch on and off to try to maintain the right temperature. The inverter type converts the incoming electrical power to DC and the converts it back to a variable frequency AC. That enables the motors to run at variable speed to adjust the heating or cooling output. The result is a much quieter and more efficient unit as well as better comfort.

We have just exchanged a 10 year old unit for a new inverter unit and the difference is well worth the extra cost.

Russell.

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Post by Nigel and Karen » Wed 26 Oct 2016 18:59

I know it varies with different size rooms etc but what is the about, cost for 1 outside unit and 2 inside ones, fitted into bedroom size rooms ?

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Post by Kate » Wed 26 Oct 2016 19:13

When we had ours installed about 10 years ago, we paid about 700 euros per unit. Presumably it's gone up since then!
:lol:

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Post by malcolmcooper » Wed 26 Oct 2016 22:13

We recently had inverter clim fitted and I think it's one of the best things I ever bought. Take good advice on the brand you buy. Cheaper usually means noisier, if not for you then often for your neighbours.

I get nothing for recommending our supplier http://www.pagesjaunes.fr/pros/55941377 His name is Alexandre and he was brilliant. He has already installed for two friends on my recommendation and done a great job of both. All have been Mitsubishi units.
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Post by Allan » Wed 26 Oct 2016 22:54

Nigel and Karen wrote:I know it varies with different size rooms etc but what is the about, cost for 1 outside unit and 2 inside ones, fitted into bedroom size rooms ?
Expect to pay upwards of 3,000€

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Post by malcolmcooper » Wed 26 Oct 2016 23:07

I arranged just such an installation in Sorede last week for friends with a holiday home. The price for one outside unit and two internals in bedrooms was 2780 for Mitsubishi.
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Post by russell » Sun 30 Oct 2016 11:29

We paid €3270 for a split system this year with a small indoor unit in a bedroom and a powerful one for a 40 m^2 sejour. Toshiba units.

Russell

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Post by martyn94 » Sun 30 Oct 2016 17:17

Allan wrote:
The majority of units are controlled with a remote control, many of which have timers built in. There are plenty of units that you can control centrally but local suppliers seem to have had a technology bypass.

It may be that you are quite happy to turn units on and off when you want but if you want to properly automate the process then you need to tell them.
I can see Allan's point, but on the whole I suspect that I prefer to have individually-controlled units. Partly because two or three of my five upstairs units are not needed most of the time, and partly because I don't often know on any particular day whether I need mine until I try to do without. And it's so mild anyway, where I am, so much of the time. But then I've lived half my life in badly heated houses, and I'm a northern lad who tries not to be "nesh".

When you do decide that the heating (or cooling) season has come, the individual units can generally be programmed (as Allan says) to do what you want (and other things you haven't thought of). It's a faff (and don't on any account lose the instructions), but they give you the closest control you could reasonably want.

I find that the downside, if that's what it is, is that you use the cooling in the summer when hitherto you might have just thought that it's a warmish day and lumped it.

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Post by Allan » Mon 31 Oct 2016 10:23

martyn94 wrote:
Allan wrote:
The majority of units are controlled with a remote control, many of which have timers built in. There are plenty of units that you can control centrally but local suppliers seem to have had a technology bypass.

It may be that you are quite happy to turn units on and off when you want but if you want to properly automate the process then you need to tell them.
I can see Allan's point, but on the whole I suspect that I prefer to have individually-controlled units. Partly because two or three of my five upstairs units are not needed most of the time, and partly because I don't often know on any particular day whether I need mine until I try to do without. And it's so mild anyway, where I am, so much of the time. But then I've lived half my life in badly heated houses, and I'm a northern lad who tries not to be "nesh".

When you do decide that the heating (or cooling) season has come, the individual units can generally be programmed (as Allan says) to do what you want (and other things you haven't thought of). It's a faff (and don't on any account lose the instructions), but they give you the closest control you could reasonably want.

I find that the downside, if that's what it is, is that you use the cooling in the summer when hitherto you might have just thought that it's a warmish day and lumped it.
I think my point is that if you had a conventional central heating system with 9 radiators, you wouldn't expect to go around. All of them every time you wanted to change your level of heating comfort. Yet that is exactly what you have to do with most reverse climat systems, even though most manufacturers have centralised control products in their portfolio.

Like Martyn, we have rooms that are unused in winter but we still have 6 units to control in the rooms that we use. I would much rather have a centralised control system rather than running around with a remote control every time I feel too hot or too cold.

It may be that many people are happy with, or prefer individual controls but at least consider the options. From what I have seen, installers are either not aware of the technology available, or choose to ignore it.

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Post by martyn94 » Mon 07 Nov 2016 22:07

Allan wrote:
martyn94 wrote:
Allan wrote:
The majority of units are controlled with a remote control, many of which have timers built in. There are plenty of units that you can control centrally but local suppliers seem to have had a technology bypass.

It may be that you are quite happy to turn units on and off when you want but if you want to properly automate the process then you need to tell them.
I can see Allan's point, but on the whole I suspect that I prefer to have individually-controlled units. Partly because two or three of my five upstairs units are not needed most of the time, and partly because I don't often know on any particular day whether I need mine until I try to do without. And it's so mild anyway, where I am, so much of the time. But then I've lived half my life in badly heated houses, and I'm a northern lad who tries not to be "nesh".

When you do decide that the heating (or cooling) season has come, the individual units can generally be programmed (as Allan says) to do what you want (and other things you haven't thought of). It's a faff (and don't on any account lose the instructions), but they give you the closest control you could reasonably want.

I find that the downside, if that's what it is, is that you use the cooling in the summer when hitherto you might have just thought that it's a warmish day and lumped it.
I think my point is that if you had a conventional central heating system with 9 radiators, you wouldn't expect to go around. All of them every time you wanted to change your level of heating comfort. Yet that is exactly what you have to do with most reverse climat systems, even though most manufacturers have centralised control products in their portfolio.

Like Martyn, we have rooms that are unused in winter but we still have 6 units to control in the rooms that we use. I would much rather have a centralised control system rather than running around with a remote control every time I feel too hot or too cold.

It may be that many people are happy with, or prefer individual controls but at least consider the options. From what I have seen, installers are either not aware of the technology available, or choose to ignore it.
A belated response. If you have a conventional central heating system, you have one boiler pushing hot water through the whole system. Unless you control it, you will heat everywhere all the time. If you want to control what it does, you need some kind of thermostat and programmer, maybe thermostatic valves on the individual radiators, programmed and timed zone valves for parts of the house (mine were never big enough for that) etc.

Split reversible aircon is not like that. No individual unit is on unless you put it on. Each of them (or at least mine) are individually programmable to the ninth degree. They respond quickly (in my experience, and if your house is decently insulated). Mine have not been needed often, or for long, particularly in my bedroom, though that's to some degree a matter of luck as regards recent years' weather, and personal taste.

I do entirely agree with Allan that I was not offered the option of centralised control. But I'm not entirely sure that I would have lived up to it even if I had had it. My experience with tech of all kinds (from my electric toaster upwards) is that I only use about 10% of its potential capability, falling to something rather lower once I lose the manual. Life seems too short to me to learn how to play my heating/cooling kit like a Wurlitzer.

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