Joule therm heating system

Discussion in 'Home energy' started by shopgirl, Aug 2, 2016.

  1. shopgirl

    shopgirl Frequent Poster

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    Anyone have any experience/comments on the Joule therm heating system? There is an Irish company www.ecovolt.ie supplying them & just wondered if anyone on here knows anything about it. Thanks
     
  2. Buddyboy

    Buddyboy Frequent Poster

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    Had a look at them before and I think they really fit the bill for any apartment or house that has electric storage heating, or any dwelling that does not already have plumbing for water fed heating. Introducing or retrofitting (water) radiators would cost the extra expense of plumbing in this instance and their electric heating negates the need for this (and uses the existing wiring of storage heating if this is already in place).

    In a nutshell, it replaces the storage heaters with instant electric heaters. These are controlled by one or more programmable thermostats. The system is far better than storage heaters for an Irish climate, in that it is far more controllable.

    They state 100% efficiency, which is strictly correct for electric heating - every kilowatt is converted into heat, but one thing I haven't worked out is how much the kilowatt costs.

    If you are in the position stated in the first paragraph, i.e. with existing storage heaters or no heaters, you could work out the installation costs of each system (water v's electric), plus the running costs based on the efficiency and cost of oil/gas/electricity.

    If it were me, having lived in an apartment with storage heating, I would definitely convert to their system, but would do it myself, either using their radiators and thermostat, or sourcing similar. If I didn't have the skillset, I would definitely get them in to do it.
     
  3. Leo

    Leo Moderator

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    See the SEAI fuel cost comparisons here. Even at the claimed 100% efficiency, it's still way more expensive than gas or oil per delivered kW of heat.

    In short, only go for electrical heating as a last resort unless you're in a near passive house.
     
  4. shopgirl

    shopgirl Frequent Poster

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    Thanks guys. I was considering it for a small cottage - the heating system needs to be upgraded and thought as the insulation will be very good it might be a way of avoiding digging up floors etc to put in a new gas central heating system.
     
  5. Buddyboy

    Buddyboy Frequent Poster

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    Don't get confused between the heating method, (gas/oil/whatever), and the heating delivery (Radiators/underfloor/ducted hot air/etc.).

    The upgrade you need, if you already have a wet heating system, might just be a boiler and control upgrade, and possibly replacing some radiators.
    That's assuming you have a wet heating system, and not just fireplaces.

    If you just have fireplaces, then you have to factor in the capital cost of installing the radiator/wet system plus running cost, verses the possibly cheaper initial cost of an electric system with increased running costs.

    And just to throw another cat amongst the pigeons, If it is an old cottage and you have upgraded the insulation, have you considered the need for ventilation?
     
  6. shopgirl

    shopgirl Frequent Poster

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    Hi Buddyboy. There is a gfch system there but the radiators will need to be replaced and more radiators added - I will be putting in vents as per the structural survey. Thanks again.
     
  7. Superstitious

    Superstitious Registered User

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    Hi, we are thinking of getting joule therm heating for a three bed house we just bought. There is very old storage heaters in place. The cost is around 3k approx for 7 radiators. Wondering if anyone uses this system?how much is your electricity bill? How do you heat your water?
    The alternative is gas;which cost around 5k plus we need gas company to supply to house.
    Just trying to figure out which would have the cheaper running cost as i have two young children and we would be in house a fair amount.
     
  8. fizzy

    fizzy Frequent Poster

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    Another option worth considering is Lucht LHZ electric radiators. I replaced a large storage heater & panel heater in 2 rooms with these radiators recently & the difference in thermal comfort is amazing - they actually feel like proper central heating! Early days yet, but so far they have worked out a bit cheaper to run as well. You do lose the cheap night rate of the storage heaters, but should still see a reduction overall & much better warmth for that spend. We got ours from http://www.smartelectrics.ie/lucht-radiators No affiliation, just a happy customer.
     
  9. Leo

    Leo Moderator

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    Oil or gas will have significantly lower running costs. Take a look at the SEAI fuel cost comparisons. Even LPG would have less than half the running costs of electric heating.

    Electric heating should really only be a last resort in your own home unless you're incorporating electricity generating capacity.
     
  10. fizzy

    fizzy Frequent Poster

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    Totally agree with this. Electric heating is expensive to run, so if your budget allows for switching to gas etc, go for that. I only meant that as far as electric options go, Lucht radiators are good - sorry for any confusion.
     
  11. Leo

    Leo Moderator

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    No problem at all, it's all about the circumstances and how they impact on the options available.
     
  12. Superstitious

    Superstitious Registered User

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    Thank leo and fizzy for your replies.
    Thinking of it overall, better to put in gas boiler now as it will end up costing me in the long run.
     
  13. Blondie73

    Blondie73 New Member

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    hi Fizzy - how are you getting on with your Lucht heaters. We have old storage heaters in our house which we bought recently and are going to replace them for modern electric heaters -I was looking at the EcoVolt, Lucht and Fahro heaters and can't figure out which if any is better than the other. Have you seen an improvement in your electric bills since you replaced your storage heaters?
     
  14. fizzy

    fizzy Frequent Poster

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    Hi Blondie,

    I never looked into the other brands so can't offer any input there but I'm thrilled with the Lucht heaters. Have actually just started using them again briefly this week after the summer & it was great that there was no smell at first at all & just 15-20 mins on is enough to warm up the room nicely in this weather in a way the panel heaters never did.

    Now in terms of savings, I think that very much depends on your individual circumstances & use pattern. They are advertised as saving you lots of money, but I didn't buy into that. With storage heaters, they only use electricity on the cheap night rate, whereas the Lucht heaters are charged at the rate applicable at the time of use. If you're usually at home during the day like me, you will still have the heat on a lot in the winter at the day rate, so there is less potential for savings.

    In my own case, I only got the first heater in towards the end of Winter and the other in May, so I'll need to go through a Winter before I can assess properly, particularly as coincidentally I was in the midst of switching electricity provider when my storage heater broke, so I was getting cost savings from that anyway.

    Those caveats aside, from the rough unit usage comparisons I've done to date, I think I'm seeing a 10-15% saving. I actually think I'll make most savings from the panel heater to lucht heater switch I did in a smaller room, because the panel heater was on most of the day in Winter, whereas the lucht heater only tends to be using electricity about half the time it's on & the room is much warmer and more comfortable to boot.

    That's actual the primary benefit to me of the Lucht heaters - the heat they produce feels like proper central heating, not the dry, smelly heat of electric heaters that makes the air really stuffy while still not warming you up.

    The only downside I see is that there are very few places selling them, so if they break down in the future repairs could be problematic whereas most electricians could service standard storage/panel heaters.

    But I'm happy to take that risk & only wish I had switched to the Lucht heaters years ago & not had to endure so many years freezing with storage and panel heaters even though my electricity bills were very high.
     
  15. Blondie73

    Blondie73 New Member

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    hi Fizzy many thanks for your reply. We are leaning towards Fahro heaters which are sold here in Cork but I feel that Lucht, Fahro and EcoVolt heaters are all very similar and will run as efficiently as the other. I'm just looking forward to getting rid of the big ugly storage heaters and the electric panal heaters in the bedrooms. To be able to just flick on the heater as I would if I could this morning for half an hour will be blissful.
     
  16. Leo

    Leo Moderator

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    It'd be interesting to see what the effects will be on your energy consumption over time, comparing the performance of these versus the storage heaters.