Background (Full testimonial video below)
Chris and Catherine Stonehewer-Newbold were looking for a new heating system for their whole house, including outdoor garden room and garage utility area. Their house was built in the 1950s and had a solid fuel Rayburn inside that provided for the cooking, heating and all hot water. Whilst this was effective in doing its job, it was of course bad for the environment and extremely costly with the prospect of both costs of solid fuel escalating and the increasing restrictions on the supply of coal over the next few years. The house also had three old electric storage heaters which proved far too expensive and were not effective at heating their space due to their poor insulation at the time. As part of the works, Chris and Catherine installed cavity wall insulation and improved the loft insulation. They also replaced old windows at the back of the house with new double glazed units.
In terms of options they looked into oil and gas but as they’re not on mains gas in central Devon, they would have needed a gas tank installed in their front garden or a large gas oil tank in the front or back garden both of which would have taken up valuable space and looked unsightly. More importantly, gas and oil would have had a hugely negative impact on the environment being fossil fuels, something they wanted to avoid. They also looked into an air-source heat pump but ruled this out due to the high upfront capital cost, complexity to install and significant disruption to install the wet system and radiators. They also felt that they are not an aesthetically pleasing option and take up a lot of space.
When looking for their replacement heating system, Chris and Catherine realised that they have a south-facing roof, making their house a perfect spot to install solar panels (4.2kW). When combined with Herschel Infrared, solar battery storage (18kW), a smart power diverter (MyEnergi Eddi) for the generated solar and an efficient hot water tank solution (Mixergy) linked to solar, they managed to create an entirely zero-carbon and low cost heating system. Chris travelled up to Bristol to look at our new showroom and feel the comfortable warmth given out by our panels, and decided to proceed. Chris said that he “liked the idea of the heat coming down through the solar panels and out through our XLS panels on the ceiling”.
For heating a whole house our expert team specified the following heaters:
- 4 x XLS800W panels
- 5 x XLS600W panels
- 1 x XLS400W panels
- 1 x XLS700M (700W Mirror)
- 1 x Aspect XL3 (1950W Zero-light space heater)
- 8 x T-MT Thermostat (Mains Powered)
- 1 x T-T2 Thermostat + Receiver (Battery Powered)
The Select XLS infrared panels that were installed provide a flexible solution, that allow Chris and Catherine to keep warm in their bedrooms, hallways, kitchen and outdoor garden room, while maintaining complete control over the temperature with the thermostats in each area. Not only that, their valuable wall space is not taken up by traditional heating methods and their heating does not have a negative impact on the environment. The Aspect XL3 was installed in their garage utility room, making a well-heated workspace for Chris when he’s working on a variety of different projects. The mirror heater ties together the aesthetic of their front room, while maintaining a comfortable temperature. In terms of controls, Chris and Catherine wanted a mains-powered solution, so we specified the T-MT thermostat ensuring their heating system is controllable, offering a variety of settings and schedules for different spaces. Enhanced control and improved flexibility is available with the use of the Smart Life App on their mobile phones too.
“Once we’d been through the journey of looking at gas and oil and deciding we won’t, then the same with an air-source heat pump, we came back to infrared and looked at it in detail. I had the pleasure of coming up to see your showroom in Bristol and actually looked at the panels and thought this is for real, this is a real solution, then took it from there. It was a real surprise how clean and modern it was, infrared for us was always outdoor heaters in pubs, we had no idea how we were going to fit these into our house. When we told our friends what we were doing, they didn’t really have any idea and couldn’t picture it. But since friends have popped round they’ve all been amazed, they don’t even notice it, they ask how we’re heating our house because it’s so streamlined. None of the rooms have anything imposing on the walls, there’s no radiators on the walls, it’s all up there on the ceiling and it just gives us so much extra space, you can put furniture wherever you want and you’re not constrained by a radiator giving out heat that’s being lost goodness knows where. It just gives the house a steady temperature, it keeps us comfortable, it’s gentle, you don’t get a hot head or anything. On a cold winters day, walking into the kitchen with the two panels on the ceiling, there’s nothing nicer than sitting there and thinking ‘this is just like the sun’ it’s fantastic. Combining our new insulation with this heating, it’s working so well I can’t really put it into words, it’s such a lovely heat and has been 101% successful.”
Showroom Open Morning
Chris and Catherine also kindly agreed to return for a video call (full video below) to give some further background and information about their whole house Herschel heating solution for our Showroom Opening Session for customers. They discuss their previous heating solution, alternative solutions to infrared that were considered, the benefits they’ve found from installing Herschel Infrared heating, a breakdown of the running costs and how they’ve linked their Herschel Infrared panels to solar power and a battery storage energy source. Chris and Catherine also took questions from our customers and helped them to better understand why Herschel Infrared works as an efficient, highly practical solution for homes and for the environment. Thanks again to Chris and Catherine.
Watch the full Zoom call here: