Explore the top energy-saving heating for homes

11 December 2023 Cariad Marketing

As winter sets in, you might be looking for energy-efficient ways to heat your home. If you’re considering investing in energy-saving heating, it can be difficult to decide what would work best for you and your family.

This blog will tell you more about the different types of energy-efficient heaters and tips for maximising energy savings.

Types of Energy-Efficient Heating

Trench Heating

Trench heating, also known as floor heating convector, is a discrete heating system that will blend seamlessly into the architectural design of a space. Trench heating operates via convection and radiation. When the heating system is turned on, the air in the trench is warmed up by the heating element. As warm air rises, it circulates throughout the room, creating a convective loop that ensures an even distribution of heat.

A huge advantage of trench heating is its energy efficiency as it operates at a lower temperature and therefore reduces heat loss. It also works much faster than central heating. Overall, trench heating is the most energy efficient solution, particularly for rooms with glazed walls and large patio doors. This makes it more cost-effective, and better for the environment.

Heat Pump Systems

Heat pumps harness existing heat from the environment, either from the air, ground, or water, to provide heating and cooling for buildings. They are highly efficient, typically achieving an energy efficiency ratio (EER) of 3 to 5, indicating that they produce 3 to 5 units of heat for every unit of electricity consumed.

Types of Heat Pump Systems:

  • Air Source Heat Pumps: Extract heat from the ambient air.
  • Ground Source Heat Pumps: Utilise the relatively constant temperature of the earth.
  • Water Source Heat Pumps: Tap into the heat from bodies of water like lakes or ponds.

Pros and Cons of Heat Pump Systems:

Pros:
  • High efficiency: Achieve EERs of 3 to 5, reducing energy consumption.
  • Dual-function: Provide both heating and cooling capabilities.
  • Environmentally friendly: Reduce reliance on fossil fuels.
Cons:
  • Upfront cost: Initial installation can be expensive.
  • Cold weather performance: Efficiency may decrease in extreme cold conditions.
  • Maintenance requirements: Regular maintenance is essential for optimal performance.

Underfloor Heating

Radiant floor heating is a hydronic heating system that utilises heated water flowing through embedded pipes beneath the floor to provide warmth. This system offers superior energy efficiency due to its ability to heat objects directly, minimising energy loss through air convection.

Energy Efficiency of Underfloor Floor Heating:

  • Even heat distribution: Provides uniform warmth throughout the room.
  • Low-temperature operation: Efficiently heats at lower temperatures, reducing energy consumption.
  • Reduced drafts: Eliminates cold air currents, promoting comfort and energy savings.

Infrared Heaters

Infrared heaters utilise infrared radiation to directly heat objects in their path, simulating the warmth of sunlight. They are highly efficient, converting up to 95% of the energy they consume into heat. This efficiency stems from their ability to heat specific objects rather than warming the entire surrounding air.

Advantages of Infrared Heaters:

  • Targeted heating: Warms specific objects and people, reducing wasted energy.
  • High efficiency: Converts up to 95% of energy into heat.
  • Silent operation: Produces no noise, making it ideal for quiet spaces.
  • Instant heat: Provides warmth immediately upon activation.

Tips for Maximising Energy Savings

Proper Insulation

Insulation is a crucial factor in energy conservation, as it helps prevent heat loss during winter and heat gain during summer. Adequate insulation can significantly reduce your energy consumption for heating and cooling, lowering your utility bills and minimising your environmental impact.

Heat loss occurs when warm air escapes from your home through various pathways, including walls, ceilings, floors, and windows. Proper insulation acts as a barrier, slowing down the transfer of heat, thereby keeping your home warmer in winter and cooler in summer.

Recommendations for Insulating Different Areas of the Home:

  • Walls: Insulating walls is essential for reducing heat loss through the largest surface area of your home. Recommended insulation levels vary depending on your climate and building type.
  • Ceilings: Heat rises, making ceiling insulation crucial for preventing heat loss. Insulating your attic can significantly improve energy efficiency.
  • Floors: Floor insulation is particularly important in homes with cellars or basements, where heat can escape through the floorboards.
  • Windows: Windows can be a major source of heat loss. Consider installing energy-efficient windows that have low emissivity (Low-E) coatings, or upgrading your double glazing to triple glazing.

Smart Thermostats

Smart thermostats are programmable thermostats that can learn your heating and cooling preferences and adjust temperatures automatically to optimise energy usage. They offer various features to enhance energy efficiency, including:

  • Geofencing: Automatically adjust temperature based on your location.
  • Smart scheduling: Learn and adapt to your occupancy patterns.
  • Remote control: Control your thermostat from anywhere using a smartphone or tablet.

Smart thermostats are compatible with most heating and cooling systems, including central air conditioners, heat pumps, and gas furnaces.

Zoning Systems

Zoning allows you to focus on heating the occupied areas of your home, rather than heating or cooling the entire house unnecessarily. This targeted approach can significantly reduce energy consumption. A zoning system divides your home into separate heating zones, allowing you to control the temperature in each zone independently. This approach offers several advantages for energy-efficient heating.

Regular Maintenance

Regular maintenance of your heating system is essential for ensuring its optimal performance and energy efficiency. Over time, heating components can accumulate dirt, debris, and wear and tear, leading to reduced efficiency and increased energy consumption.

DIY Tips for Homeowners to Maintain Their Heating systems:

  • Locate the air filters and replace or clean them according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.
  • Ensure vents and ducts are clear of obstructions to allow for proper airflow.
  • Check the thermostat for proper operation and adjust settings as needed.
  • Remove any leaves, twigs, or debris that could obstruct airflow around the outdoor unit.

Trench Heating: An Innovative Solution

Trench heating systems are a modern and efficient way to heat a space. They consist of low-profile heating elements installed along the perimeter of a room, often embedded in the floor or recessed into the baseboard. Heated air rises from the trench, creating a comfortable thermal barrier and preventing cold air from entering the room. Your home will be warm and cosy all winter!

Get in touch with us for Trench Heating solutions.

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