For many homeowners and conservatory builders, the promotion of energy efficiency and suitable heating systems is fraught with problems.
There are so many different views: do you stick with what’s popular, simply because of familiarity; or do you install an innovative but unfamiliar alternative? And if there’s a low-cost, no maintenance alternative to a traditional ‘wet’ central heating system, is there a catch?
Well, the simple answer is no. The alternative is a new breed of electric heaters. There are a number of things you want to achieve when heating a conservatory. You want heat, so you need heaters that provide almost instant warmth through efficient, radiant heat.
You want to control humidity, so you need patented sensors that monitor humidity and temperature in a way that means you can avoid unnecessary ventilation. You want to save money, so you want something that’s relatively inexpensive to run and where just 15 minutes of electricity will provide 60 minutes of heat. Low energy use also means that you’re lowering the environmental impact of home heating.
You don’t want to damage or modify walls, so you need heaters that are simple to install with free-standing options and radio controllers which won’t leave a mark on your walls. They need to be stylish and inconspicuous. There’s new technology available that signals a new era in central heating systems for houses in the UK, so what better place to start seeing how well it can work than in the conservatory.
The electric heaters of the new millennium work to satisfy the green argument as well as reduce costs. If ambitions for ‘green’ sustainable homes are to be realised then a number of drastic steps have to be taken by homeowners, house-builders and developers. Surely that’s best achieved with electricity.
And before everyone cries ‘shame’ at me for supporting the burning of fossil fuels in ancient power stations, let’s be clear about where I stand. I believe that electricity is the undisputed source of energy for heating in the future.
It can be generated by several means, including combined heat and power plants, solar, wind turbines, sea wave and many more. It is a truly green alternative to conventional central heating systems. It reduces the need for regular gas safety checks and means the well-insulated homes for the future, will stay cleaner and healthier for longer. The heaters can also be used in conjunction with solar panels, making them an attractive ‘package option’ for the conservatory.
There are problems for the homeowner who wants to add a conservatory to their home. To be exempt from building regulations, the conservatory must not be permanently heated and have its own temperature and on/off controls. This means, unfortunately, you can’t just add another radiator to the current wet central heating system.
However, the new generation of electric heaters are slim-line, economical, efficient, and require no maintenance – ever. There’s no boiler, pump or pipe work to carry the heated water. Instead, the attractively designed radiators provide heat from an internal energy cell, each with its own embedded heating element.
Products come with a 15-year guarantee and are available with a choice of Energy Saving Trust recommended room clock thermostats with remote control features. Critically, rooms can be individually controlled, rather than from the one thermostat control often situated in the hallway. The secret is intelligent use of energy, ensuring plenty of heat is available right through the day while keeping running costs low.
With our products, fifteen minutes of electricity provides 60 minutes of warmth. Other key benefits are that heaters are delivered ready assembled; they comply with relevant building regulations and safety checks; they can be an extra source of income with added value and stylish design, and lastly, there are lucrative deals for the trade.
Conservatories are now an integral part of our home all year round. But what’s the best way to keep them warm and how ‘green’ should we be heating the room that leads to our garden? Abdul Raaj, Commercial Manager for Süka Electro Heating Systems in the UK, puts the case for green electricity.