Effective Heating and no more service costs

Hazelwood House is an early Victorian building that nestles in an area of outstanding natural beauty in Devon. Over the last 20 years it’s become a haven for those seeking peace and quiet, developed as a hotel by three partners. “What we now have,” says partner Janie Bowman, “is a delightful early Victorian house set in 67 acres of unspoilt river valley, combining a magnificent location and the privacy of a private house party.” What Janie and her partners also have is a major heating challenge. There are 14 bedrooms, seven of which are en- suite. The accommodation is gracious and comfortable, which means there are big rooms, providing large areas of cool in the warm, summer months, but which need some serious heating provision in the depths of winter.
Those that use hazelwood house do so for many reasons: as a holiday venue; a retreat; a place of artistic learning and for large parties and special events. The drawing room, main hall and Chapel gallery are all licensed for wedding ceremonies. “With its own water supply from an ancient spring and a river running through the grounds, hazelwood is the perfect place to relax, reflect and refuel,” says Janie. “Renovating hazelwood to become what it is today has been a long haul,” adds Janie, “and when we realised that the time had come to renew the existing heating arrangements – which were rather ad hoc – we wanted to keep disruption to a minimum. “We also wanted to choose a heating system for the main house and chapel that was easy to operate, low maintenance, economical to run, and environmentally friendly.”
Prior to a refit, the chapel was heated by a free-standing electric heater and the bedrooms in the house had, what Janie described as, “nasty little electric heaters”. “We needed something for more effective and cost-efficient,” says Janie. But for many heating installers and buyers the promotion of energy efficiency is fraught with problems. There are so many factions with so many different views – underground, over- ground, solar, wind, wave, compost, nuclear, carbon fuels, electric, gas, oil, renewable, etc.
for Janie and her partners there was a low-cost, no maintenance alternative to a traditional wet central heating system. it’s a new breed of electric heaters that can be independently controlled so that rooms can be individually heated. The electric heaters of the new millennium work to satisfy the green argument as well as reduce costs. They require a low level of investment and there’s virtually no maintenance for the user who enjoys low lifetime costs.

“The electric heaters of the new millennium work to satisfy the green argument as well as reduce costs. They require a low level of investment and there’s virtually no maintenance for the user who enjoys low lifetime costs.”

Hazelwood House, and its chapel, has been fitted out with electric heaters supplied by Süka, technology developed in germany. But how does an electric heating system satisfy the desire by the partners at hazelwood to be environmentally friendly? The Commercial Manager of Süka heating Systems in the UK, Abdul Raaj, says that electricity is the undisputable source of energy for heating in the future. “it can be generated by several means including combined

heat and power plants, solar, wind turbines, sea wave and many more. it is a truly green alternative to conventional central heating systems. “Electric heaters reduce the need for regular safety checks and also mean well-insulated hotels and offices of the future will stay cleaner and healthier for longer. “Süka is committed to doing its bit for the environment. We seek to continually benchmark our customer-service programme by providing sustainable, energy-efficient radiator systems to homes and businesses to the full satisfaction of all. “We can do this because the new generation of electric heaters are slim-line, economical, efficient, and require no maintenance – ever. There’s no boiler, pump or pipe work to carry the heated water. instead the attractively designed radiators provide heat from an internal energy cell, each with its own embedded heating element,” explains Abdul. The maintenance-free Süka heating systems use electricity to power units that plug straight into the wall. Unlike conventional radiators that just heat the air in the room, the Süka heaters radiate the heat to warm up the walls and furniture of the room, which then also store the heat and radiate it out. “The building shell and its contents are used as thermal mass, becoming a store of heat,” explains Abdul. “The traditional ‘radiator’ does not, in fact, radiate, it ‘convects’ heat, so the air is warmed and circulated in the room to reach the required temperature. “These systems cause the hot air to rise quickly – ceilings are warm but the floors are cold,” explains Abdul. “The result is
warm heads and cold feet, and there’s nothing worse in a hotel in the middle of winter.” Remarking on traditional ‘wet’, gas fired systems, Abdul says: “The most remarkable thing about the traditional radiator is that the valves fitted on them only measure the temperature of the hot water flowing into the radiator, not the temperature of the room. “So, if one room needs more warmth than another, or vice versa, the boiler does not and cannot, adjust to that specific need and reduce consumption of fuel.” With maintenance a key factor for hotelier Janie, the fact that Süka products come with a 15 year guarantee was a key factor in deciding to buy. The range is also available with a choice of top class Energy Saving Trust recommended room clock thermostats with remote control features. “Süka’s claim is that 15 minutes of electricity provides 60 minutes of warmth,” adds Janie, “so we’ll be looking for a big impact on our bills in 2010. “Critically, rooms can be individually controlled, and we were attracted to the heaters’ intelligent use of energy, ensuring plenty of heat is available right through the day, while keeping running costs low.” Other key benefits for hoteliers and other business users is that heaters are delivered ready assembled; they comply with relevant building regulations and safety checks. “That meant the heaters could be installed with the minimum of disruption, which is essential in the hotel business.”