Winter is on its way. To help you get your home ready for those chilly days and nights, keep warm with the help of the latest radiators, stoves, towel rails and underfloor heating ideas.
There’s no one-size-fits-all for heating the various rooms in your home. Your bathroom might benefit from a stand-alone electric towel radiator, for example. Or you may want to invest in a wood-burning stove as a feature in your living room. And, you might want to consider under-flooring heating options, particularly if you have a spacious, open-plan layout.
There’s no doubt that the soaring cost of energy bills has impacted us all. With another cold winter ahead, it’s wise to evaluate how your home is being heated. Whether you need to upgrade your radiators, make a carbon-friendly switch, or consider investing in underfloor heating, there are a few factors you must consider first.
“For larger homes, underfloor heating or skirting board radiators provide a better option. As they are both effective choices for heating large spaces,” says Sean Keleher, technical director of boiler manufacturer Navien UK. “Whereas for new builds or complete retrofits, low surface temperature radiators are a good choice as they are designed to not exceed a surface temperature of 43ºC.”
Statement radiators are hot right now (pun very much intended). Click here for seven of our favourites
Sustainable heating solutions
You can make your central heating system more sustainable and affordable in the long term by installing a biomass boiler or a heat-pump. Biomass boilers run on renewable energy generated from burning wood, plants and organic matter. Heat pumps, on the other hand, work by extracting heat from the outside air or ground and transferring it to warm up your home.
Jon Bonnar, co-founder and managing director of the Cotswold Energy Group, says: “With an average co-efficient of performance [COP] of 350 per cent, these systems produce 3.5 kilowatts of heating for each kilowatt of electrical energy used. In comparison, traditional gas boilers operate at a COP of 70 to 80 per cent. So the verdict is clear: air-source heat pumps excel in both environmental consciousness and energy efficiency.”
Indoor heating: Help to Heat scheme
The UK government is investing billions in Help to Heat schemes, to ensure homes are warmer and cheaper to heat. One of the key initiatives is the Boiler Upgrade Scheme. It provides grants to property owners to cover part of the cost of replacing fossil fuel (oil, gas or electric) indoor heaters with a heat pump or biomass boiler.
This funding is not delivered directly by the government. But, through installers, local authorities, energy companies and other bodies and is currently open to people in England and Wales.
If you live in Scotland, you may be able to get an interest-free loan or a grant to make your home more energy efficient. And if you live in Northern Ireland, you could qualify for a grant to replace your boiler. Find out if your property is eligible and how to apply by visiting gov.uk/apply-boiler-upgrade-scheme.