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4 Heating Options for Your French Rental Chalet

With new regulations in France from January 2022, there have been clear shifts in the way that people choose to heat their properties. 

So, what are the choices out there and which solution suits your holiday rental? It’s important to consider what’s available locally, as well as what’s affordable, reliable and realistic to maintain.

Here, we’ll be discussing four main types of holiday chalet heating and listing some useful pros and cons to help make the decision that little bit simpler.


1. Underfloor heating

Pros:

  • A cosy option for toasty feet after a day out in the cold!
  • No need for bulky radiators, so your property will have a cleaner, more spacious feel.
  • An ambient heating type, ensuring an even spread throughout your spaces.
  • It’s possible to add thermostats to different zones, and to set maximum temperatures.

Cons:

  • Ambient temperature changes can take a while.
  • It’s difficult to install if not laid at the point of construction. However, there are electric underfloor systems that can be fitted fairly easily over existing flooring, and then wooden parquet (adapted for underfloor) can be fitted over the top.
  • If the system develops a fault, it can be troublesome to fix (although maintenance does tend to be on the boiler.)

2. Electric heaters

Pros:

  • An easy, quick and convenient option.
  • Fuss-free installation.
  • Great for quickly heating smaller rooms.

Cons:

  • They’re generally more expensive to run than other types and aren’t necessarily a viable long-term solution.
  • They’re not as aesthetically pleasing and take up more space than underfloor heating.
  • They come with more health and safety risks, which require vigilance.

3. Heat pump systems

A heat exchange setup works like a 2-way air conditioner, gathering heat in winter (from the air, ground or body of water) and releasing it inside the home. Conversely in the warmer months, it extracts heat from the house and pulls in cooler air. 


Pros:

  • An ideal solution for alpine properties which experience chilly winters and balmy summers, with one system to both heat and cool.
  • Unlike burning oil, they produce zero carbon emissions on site.
  • A safer option.

Cons:

4. Wood burning stoves

Pros:

  • Create that classic cosy cabin atmosphere.
  • Pleasing to the eye, with an abundance of traditional and modern designs available.

Cons:

  • Not very eco-friendly (although pellet stoves are less polluting than wood stoves).
  • Not all areas allow them.
  • You’ll need a log / pellet store.
  • The cost of purchasing wood.
  • Organising fuel deliveries can be a challenge in difficult winter driving conditions.

General considerations

  • Schedule oil deliveries and factor in fluctuating costs. Bulk deliveries are often the most practical option, so you’ll need to budget appropriately. 
  • Make sure you have plenty of wood stored for fires.
  • Ensure radiators have individual adjustable thermostats, so guests avoid leaving windows open and risking frozen pipes.
  • Remember, not all heating options are now available to everyone. Many holiday chalet heating systems in older properties are oil-fired or electrically powered. New legislation means that open fires won’t be an option for some, whilst it’s no longer possible to install an oil-fired boiler system (although you can still buy fuel and repair existing ones). If a wood burning fire isn’t an option for you, you could consider an ethanol or electric flame effect focal point.
  • Don’t forget legal checks. Make sure someone’s available when they take place and that guests aren’t staying at the time.
  • It’s also advisable to invest in boiler breakdown cover or emergency cover.

When choosing the most suitable holiday chalet heating option, you’ll need to balance your budget, local emission rules and what’s available and practical. Make sure you factor in how your choice will impact both the look and feel of your property.

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