Mr Richard decided to install infrared heating after considerable research.
“The decision to install infrared was not taken lightly but the independent tests and reports we read were positive enough for us to choose to invest in the technology which we hoped would work well alongside the planned 4kW photovoltaic panel installation”.
- Herschel Select XL panels were installed in four rooms together with the Herschel iQ remote and thermostat system.
- Panels were ceiling-mounted. The property conversion had new ceilings at the same time as the panel installation so the panels could be positioned in the most effective location and to fit the arrangement of the downlights.
- Panels were painted to match the ceiling tone.
We compared many companies and their products and bought a cheap(ish) 400W panel to test. Although we were pleased with the heat output we were disappointed by the aesthetics of the panel and the thermostat was hard to connect due to inaccurate instructions. As a result of this experience we looked in detail at the Herschel range and arranged a visit to their office in Bristol where they have some panels on display. It was well worth the two hour trip to see at first hand the quality of the panels, to experience the heat output and to hear detailed answers to questions we had. The installation was initially for five panels to heat three rooms and Herschel subsequently provided a system specification after ascertaining the dimensions of the rooms and the insulation qualities. They also provided our electrician with an online guide for installation of the system and at this stage we felt we were confident enough to place an order for the recommended Herschel Select XL panels and thermostats. The panels were later delivered on schedule by courier and were protected in excellent packaging.
We had planned from the outset to install the panels on the ceiling as all the information we had read suggested that this would provide by far the best distribution of heat throughout the room. As the property was a conversion and had new ceilings, we could design the arrangement of the downlights and the heating panels to complement each other and the electrician laid out the wire to the panels and the isolation switches as part of the first fix. After plasterboarding and skimming we were ready to paint. We took one of the Select XL panels along to our local building supplies and they scanned it and then mixed a batch of paint to match the tone – very simple and extremely effective. After painting we installed the panels, a very simple job given the superbly designed mounting bracket and template that is supplied. We screwed the bracket to the joists where possible or simply added a short section of timber behind the plasterboard if the fixing location did not meet an existing joist. A hole then needed drilling to feed the panels’ cable through to meet the wiring in the loft (or between joists if installing in the ground floor). After that it was a simple matter of locating the lugs in the back of the panel into the corresponding slots on the bracket and the installation of the panels was done – 30 minutes per panel!
In a couple of hours the electrician connected up the wiring, the isolation switch, we programmed the thermostats and we had heating throughout the house!
We have now been up and running for two months, through periods where the outside air temperature has been down to -4 degs overnight and we are delighted! From the outset, the information, assistance, support and communication from Herschel has been excellent. The process of installation was extremely easy and efficient. The panels are so unobtrusive that visitors are surprised when they are pointed out, the Building Control inspector had not seen these units before and remarked on their efficiency – the electrician has said that he will be installing one or more in his home! The panels energy usage can be easily monitored using the app that monitors our solar system.
The flexibility of use of the panels is excellent – all three rooms have very different heating requirements and the individual thermostats allow for this. The rooms heat up quickly from their “standby” temperature (we have set this at between 16-18 degs) to “running” temperature (between 18 and 20 degs depending on the room). On the coldest days we are using around 35kW of electricity for all our heating, cooking and lighting needs and generating 6kW+ from the solar panels, so we feel that the net expenditure is positive given that this is not a highly efficient new-build property.
In summary, we are delighted with the Herschel Select system and thoroughly recommend Herschel as a company that you can rely on to advise, supply and support (if necessary) your infrared heating needs.
Hugh Richards, January 2016