Tom Emson, Product Marketing Manager at Vent-Axia, explains how advances in technology make electric heating a very attractive option.
Since the introduction of Part L ‘Conservation of Fuel and Power’ way back in 2000, there have been major changes to the UK heating industry as manufacturers have been developing advanced systems that meet the comfort needs of households and energy efficiency demands of legislation.
Electric heating already has many recognised benefits. Offering an affordable heating solution for homeowners, with low capital and installation costs, the technology is a welcome option in the current financial climate. The flexibility of the units is an added financial bonus since heaters can be installed as stand-alone or as larger systems, allowing households to meet their individual comfort and budget needs. Further heaters can then be added as finances allow.
Using electricity as a fuel makes this technology ideal for rural households that don’t have a gas supply. Meanwhile, electric heaters cause little installation disruption for any household since they don’t require the pipework needed by traditional boiler heating systems. A simple electrical connection is all that’s needed, making electric heating easy for installers to fit it in a few minutes, rather than the day or two needed for most wet heating systems.
As winter bites the cost of heating homes is at the forefront of household’s minds with fuel hikes for both gas and electricity a key focus in recent times. However, as gas supplies dwindle it is gas users that have been hardest hit by the rises and it looks like this will be set to continue.
What is key to this next generation of electric heating is not only do these products offer greater flexibility to households, since electric heating quickly warms a room to provide almost instant comfort, but technological developments and accurate controls ensure they’re more energy efficient than ever before.
The new advanced electric heating systems incorporate highly sensitive, integral thermostatic controls. For instance, Vent-Axia’s range of energy efficient Opal Aluminium Radiators represent this new generation of electric heating technology – slim and stylish in design and offering controllable comfort. Featuring controllers that are fully programmable, this type of electric heating system offers closer energy management, thus saving money for the homeowner.
Ideal for both new build and refurbishment projects, modern electric heating solutions, such as the Opal range, feature on-board energy monitors that allow occupiers to see exactly how much energy is being used to heat a room, and thus make an informed decision on thermal comfort.
The inclusion of highly sensitive, silent operating, digitally controlled thermostats allows electric heating to act quickly to maintain constant room temperature levels, reducing temperature overrun and minimising energy consumption of the heaters.
Households can now expect improved efficiency and control across a wide range of electric heating technology. Towel rails are traditionally marketed to homeowners for their aesthetics, rather than efficiency. However, the next generation of heated towel rails quickly and efficiently warm and dry towels while adding to the overall style, temperature and comfort of a room. For instance, Vent-Axia’s range of towel rails features high quality white or chrome finishes with ten different models, split into flat, curved and designer styles, allowing customers to choose exactly the right towel rails to suit their individual home.
But again it is control that is central to the range, with the series featuring an optional advanced controller that offers five heat outputs. Providing an eco-mode that is ideal for use when drying towels to ensure minimal energy use, the controller turns the rail on full power for 30 minutes and then reduces the output to the user setting for a further 90 minutes, before turning the towel rail off. Households therefore have warm, dry towels without wasting energy, bringing greater comfort to the towel user but also adding to the overall temperature and comfort of the room.
As we move towards the future and a decarbonised energy supply, electric heating is set to become the heating technology of choice. Already boasting improved efficiency and control, electric heating offers installers a technology that promises their customers the comfort and style that households desire.