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Air Source Heat Pumps in France Aerothermie pomp a chaleur - Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The benefits of air source heat pumps (aerothermie - pomps a chaleur) are similar to ground-source heat systems (geothermie - pomps a chaleur). Firstly, neither type of system requires the use or storage of external fuel. The systems instead run on electricity, which eliminates the need for a gas connection or storage of oil/solid fuel. Air source heat pumps present an advantage over ground source heat pumps because they require less space to install. Instead of requiring the installation of buried underground coils of pipes, air source systems can be fitted using much less space, typically around half a square meter on the ground or externally wall mounted.

Read the full article on Air Source Heat Pumps in France Aerothermie pomp a chaleur click here

Wood Burner in France - Heating a house with wood burning stoves - Monday, April 21, 2008

Getting fed up of feeding two wood burning stoves with firewood through the winter! Keep feeling hope that the winter is over and the warm weather is here but then it gets cold again :( Come back sunshine!

Wood Burner in France - Getting ready for winter heating - Friday, September 21, 2007 

It's that time of year when the evenings and mornings have a little chill in the air - It's now the moment we start thinking of lighting our first fire in our wood burners in France since the end of last winter.

It is recommended and often insisted on in France that the chimney for your wood burner is cleaned by a professional at least once a year. This could prove essential in the case of a chimney fire - if you don't have a bill to prove that you've had it cleaned then the insurance company may use this as a back out for not paying for your chimney fire!!!!!

There will be a build up of soot in your chimney as the unburnt by-products of the combustion process in your wood burning stove stick to the side of the chimney liner as they cool. In France we normally burn hardwoods such as Oak and Chestnut which leave very little in the way of deposits when well seasoned. However many will be burning pine in the form of trees cut down in the garden or reclaimed wood from French property renovations. Pine gives off lots of unburnt particles - Some recommend cleaning your wood burners chimney twice a year, if you’ve been burning pine wood. Birds nests and the odd clumsy bird that fall down the chimney can all give unwelcome and unpleasant problems.

To ensure you continue to enjoy the warmth of your wood burner in France, ensure your chimney is swept!!!

Wood Heating - Wood Burning Stoves in France etc. - Wednesday, October 18, 2006

The cost of a cord of wood (3 cubic meters ie. a pile of wood three meters long by 1 meter high and 1 meter wide.) ranges from around 130 euros to 160 euros, depending on the mix of wood. The better the quality ie. all or mainly oak the more expensive it is. The other factor on price is the size of the wood. Wood for heating often comes in 1 meter lengths, sometimes the wood is cut to 50cm lengths, this obviously takes more time to do. Further still it's possible to buy your fire wood cut to 50cm lengths and split. This is the most convenient way but can be the most expensive.

Oak is considred to be the best wood for heating in France. Though from my research a fire that has mixed types of wood will burn better than a fire with just one type of wood. Above all your fire wood must be well seasoned and dry!

Stay warm!

Gas Heating in France - Wednesday, October 18, 2006

The cost per tonne of Gas delivered to a house in France for central heating and hot water etc. is currently 1,190euros including TTC (VAT)

Unless you have bought your Citerne (gas tank) from the supplier you can not take delivery of gas from another supplier in France. It's normally the case that a deposit is paid for the gas tank and you effectively borrow it from the supplier.


 Heating your French property with a Wood Burner?

Heating your property in France with wood is a green option.

Wood is the only plentiful and renewal energy source available excepting wind, solar etc. In fact burning wood is actually a form of solar energy. When trees grow they use solar energy and are one of the most efficient forms of solar energy around.

People often wonder about what wood to burn. Everyone in France seems to burn either Oak or Sweet Chestnut, which are two of the most prolific treas in France. I prefer to burn Ash but this is very hard to come by, especially in central Brittany.  Here is an age old verse to help you remember which woods are best for heating your French property.

Beechwood fires are bright and clear
If the logs are kept a year
Chestnut only good they say
If for long it's laid away
Make a fire of elder tree
Death within your house will be
But ash new or ash old
Is fit for a Queen with a crown of gold
Birch and Fir logs burn too fast
Blaze up bright and do not last
It is by the Irish said
Hawthorn bakes the sweetest bread
Elm wood burns like churchyard mould
Even the very flames are cold
But ash green or ash brown
Is fit for a Queen with a golden crown
Poplar gives a bitter smoke
Fills your eyes and makes you choke
Apple wood will scent your room
With an incense-like perfume
Oaken logs, if dry and old
Keep away the winters cold
But ash wet or ash dry
A king shall warm his slippers by.

Ash is also one of the faster growing hard woods. Though it doesn't give of quite as much heat as Oak it is faster growing, coppice's well and doesn't require the seasoning that Oak does. It is also very straight grained and is very easy to split.

Wood for your wood burning stove
Coefficient list in English and French

French Wood English Wood Coefficient
Chene Oak 9.9
Frene Ash 9.2
Erable Maple 9.1
Bouleau Birch 8.9
Orme Elm 8.4
Hetre Beech 8.0
Saule Willow 7.1
Sapin Pine 7.0
Meleze Larch 6.6
Tilleul Lime 5.2
Peuplier Poplar 5.0
An email from a visitor to this page on wood burning stoves, who lives in the Dordogne area of France and uses Hornbeam (Charme) in his wood burning stove, suggests that Hornbeam is as good or even better than burning Oak... One to try perhaps? Thanks Charles!

Some stoves will work with coke/coal etc but be sure you know for sure that your stove will be OK! There are about a dozen grades of Cast Iron - Not all can stand the very high temperatures generated by Coke/Coal etc and must only ever be used with wood otherwise they will begin to melt and sag!!!!!!

It is also advisable to use the wood that is as dry and as seasoned as possible, for two reasons 1. you get more heat, 2. you don't soot your chimney up as quickly. Burning softwoods like pine will also leave build ups in your chimney much quicker than burning a hardwood like Ash or Oak. If burning softwoods you should think about cleaning your chimney twice a year instead of once a year.

Stay warm and safe!!


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