A new electric system that mimics a hot water system by warming the fabric of the building – without using a boiler and running on electricity.
That’s just one of the innovations from CRE exhibitor Christopher Dunphy Ecclesiastical Heating.
‘It is particularly useful for churches in more remote locations where mains gas is not available,’ explained Dunphy, who juggles being chair of League One Rochdale FC with running a firm which has designed and installed cost-effective heating systems for more than 40 years.
‘We’ve probably heated more than 1,000 churches,’ said Dunphy. ‘If you’ve got a medieval or Victorian building you’re looking at walls two to seven feet thick. They act like storage heaters. The worse nightmare is a church built in the 1960s or 70s – with low heat retention. Give me an old church any day!
‘It is a complex issue with far-reaching implications which affect the very fabric of your building. Factors almost uniquely relevant to churches that have to be considered. Noise, excessive movement of air, changes in humidity and of course the visual effect on the aesthetic of the church. To get any of these wrong can lead not only to a poorly heated church but can also lead to considerable damage of the building via thermal shock, distortion, condensation, wood rot or even organ damage’.
In short, warns Dunphy, a bad heating system can be disastrous.
‘Our philosophy on church heating is quite simple: to produce the most cost effective solution to your individual needs in the long term,’ he maintains. ‘The criteria for this will be different in every church. When we install a heating system, we like the finished product to be unobtrusive as possible. We pay great attention to every detail. Heat emitters can be colour coded if required and piperuns made as neat and discreet as possible.’