One of the ways to lower the cost of heating your home is to improve the efficiency of your gas central heating system. Gas boilers and radiators for wet systems (hydronic systems) that heat water that then circulates through your homes pipes and radiators have improved and upgrading your current system will mean you can heat your home by using less gas.
If you have already compared and are getting the best gas and electricity prices then you can look at buying a newer more efficient boiler and replacing your radiators if your current system is not running very efficiently. Whilst not considered to be an eco friendly heating system, boilers and radiators can last for decades and are currently the most cost effective solution for home heating. Ensuring that you buy the most cost effective and efficient system at the time they need replacing will ensure that you are making the best savings for decades to come.
Radiators act as the heat emitters in your home
Choosing the right steel radiators means lower bills
LST radiators run more efficiently and are not hot to touch making them safe for kids rooms
Radiators that replace your skirting boards, no more bulky radiators
The more efficient your radiators are at heating your home the smaller they need to be saving you valuablle space. Energy efficient rads also mean savings on your gas bills.
There are a number of different types of radiator available, many that run much more efficiently compared to conventional steel panelled units. Most people will have the conventional steel panel radiators, these are the cheapest to buy but are the least efficient at transferring the heat from the water into the room. First lets take a quick look at how wet central heating systems work.
Your gas boiler heats up water, the more efficient the boiler is at transferring the heat from burning gas into the water the less it will cost to heat your home. The hot water then runs through the copper piping that then passes through radiators in each room. A radiators job is to transfer the heat from the hot water by heating up the steel in the panel radiator and radiating it into the room. The better the job the radiator can do at transferring the heat into the room the more efficient it will be and therefore reduce your heating costs.
There are several types of steel panel radiators, the more modern convector radiators do a better job of heating up your room. The faster and more evenly the room is heated the less gas needs to be used to heat your home.
The panel part of the radiator is the large area facing into the room. A single panel radiator consists of one single panel that emits its heat into the room. Only having a single panel means that it takes longer to heat the room and also means that you need a larger panel area to effectively heat the room.
A double panel radiator is just two single panels joined together. The benefits of this are that you can have a smaller radiator to heat your room. The two panels are joined one in from of the other.
To increase the amount of heat that can be transferred from the steel panel radiator a zig zag shaped steel fin was introduced essentially joining two panels together. This steel fin increases the surface area and therefore means that more heat is emitted into the room more quickly. This both means that smaller radiators can be fitted saving space and more heat can be emitted into the room at a faster rate making room heating more efficient.
A more advanced type of radiator has been developed that emits heat just like a traditional steel panel system but does so with a lower surface temperature. These LST panels were developed initially for environments such as hospitals where the risk of radiator burns needed to be eliminated. They can replace your existing radiators with the benefit of being able to heat the room much faster without hot panels and claim to reduce heating costs by around 15%.
Low surface temperature work by using an aluminium or aluminium alloy emitter surrounded by a casing. The casing is mostly for aesthetic purposes and so can even be made of wood. As the emitter can transfer the heat much faster it can be much smaller and means that it heats your room much quicker than conventional steel panel units.
Another type of system that can be integrated with your existing gas boiler is the skirting board heating system. These types of heater literally replace your skirting board with a heater that looks just like a skirting board and is available in a number of finishes. Just like an LST radiator these skirting radiators do not get hot but emit the heat evenly throughout the room. The major advantage of this type of heating is that it is discreet and as it heats your room more evenly produces a healthier heat and reduces heating costs by about 15%
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