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- Which system: central heating or electric heating?
- Choose a radiator: convector, inertia radiator, radiant panel, etc.
- Other options: towel radiator, underfloor heating, wall heating, blower…
- Our favorite: ceramic heating and timer for gentle warmth
- Bathroom heating: save energy!
1. Which system: central heating or electric heating?* If you have a boiler or a heat pump, it may be worth installing a hot water radiator in your bathroom. Generally made of cast iron, aluminum or steel, it is connected to the central system by pipes and diffuses a gentle heat to the entire room. It is an economical solution, but with a drawback: when the boiler is off, no heating! However, in mid-season in particular, a little bit of heat is not luxury ... * An electric heater can be turned on at any time. It remains to choose which one, because there are many systems: we will come back to this! * Unless you choose answer C: the mixed radiator! Connected to central heating, it is also connected via an electrical outlet to operate when the boiler is off, and its ignition can be programmed with a timer. The mixed radiator therefore combines the efficiency of a radiant panel and the strength of a convector, balancing these two processes for maximum comfort. You did not understand everything in this last sentence? We explain the difference right after. One last point: take your precautions during installation! Wet rooms like the bathroom are subject to very strict safety standards, which apply to electrical and heating appliances. All electrical installations must therefore be earthed. The equipment must bear the NF-Electricity symbol, belong to class II, and be installed at least 60 centimeters from the shower or bathtub. In a small bathroom where you do not have the possibility of moving your device away from the water points, you must imperatively install a hot water radiator, connected to the central heating.
2. Choose a radiator: convector, inertia radiator, radiant panel, etc.
© Castorama Once the type of heating has stopped, the question arises of the choice of the radiator itself. To put it simply, there are three main categories of radiators: * The electric convector: this radiator is based on the principle of hot air which rises. Cold air enters the convector through the lower inlet. It is heated by a resistance, then continues to rise as it rises in temperature. This solution is cheap and easy to install, but its advantages stop there: convectors have low yields, which makes them very energy-consuming and therefore expensive to use! What's more, they dry out the air and heat the room very unevenly, with a feeling of coldness on the floor. A convector costs between 25 and 300 €, depending on the model. * The inertia radiator (dry or fluid): in this system, the resistance is surrounded by a material that stores heat, solid (ceramic, volcanic stone, cast iron, brick, etc.) or liquid (oil, water). These radiators produce gentle heat, similar to that produced by a central heating system. Even when the radiator is off, it continues to heat the room through inertia. Remember that they are heavy and expensive to buy: prices range from 100 to 2,000 €! * The radiant panel (or radiant panel): this radiator reproduces the action of the Sun's rays. Indeed, its resistance emits infrared rays which heat the objects they meet (or people, walls…), rather than the ambient air. More comfortable than a convector, the radiant panel allows a rapid rise in temperature and diffuses a gentle heat. It is ideal for people with allergies or asthma since it does not rely on air circulation! Some models incorporate a timer to program the heating at the most opportune times. It is lighter and easier to mount than an inertial radiator, but a little less efficient. Count around 900 € (average price).
© The PKE store
3. Other options: towel radiator, underfloor heating, wall heating, blower…
© Thermor Note that after all, you don't have to fix radiators on the wall to heat your bathroom. There are other options: * Underfloor heating: the underfloor heating diffuses a soft and homogeneous heat, but takes a little time to heat, like any low temperature system. Very comfortable, but its installation is a bit expensive: around € 50 per m2 of heated floor. * Wall heating: little known in France, it is compatible with central heating. Hot water circulates in pipes placed in the wall. Easier to install than the floor, it also heats up faster, but it is much more expensive: count 100 € per m2! Scandinavian countries like ceiling heating, which works like floor heating. Despite its easy maintenance, this solution is still underdeveloped in France. Solutions such as a halogen radiator (which can be activated with a pull tab) or a fan heater should be kept as backup solutions. Very energy-hungry, they risk rapidly exploding your electricity bill.
4. Our favorite: ceramic heating and timer for gentle warmth
© Espace Aubade As the temperature rise is quite slow, the ideal is to have a timer thermostat. If your radiator does not have one, install one! It allows you to schedule the heating to start 30 minutes or even an hour before you use the bathroom, and to stop it automatically when you no longer need it. The key to reducing energy consumption!