Tom Emson, Product Marketing Manager at Vent-Axia, explains why electric heating continues to gain in popularity with end users and installers alike.
Electric heating has come a long way. Gone are the days when a night storage heater was the only option. Now there is a variety of efficient, attractive and user friendly options, including electric towel rails, underfloor heating and aluminium radiators.
Ideal for bathrooms, kitchens and extensions, electric heating is simpler, and cleaner, to install than adding on to an existing mains heating system. It also allows households the option to only turn on specific heaters, e.g. a towel rail, without turning on the central heating system.
Plus it is a good option for whole house heating, particularly for those living off the gas grid. Electric heating offers an affordable heating solution for homeowners with low capital and installation costs. Almost maintenance-free with no moving parts, electric heating also offers households the comfort of not having to worry about costly annual boiler checks.
What is key to this next generation of electric heating is not only do these products offer greater flexibility to households, since they quickly warm a room to provide almost instant comfort, but technological developments now mean their accurate controls ensure they’re more energy efficient than ever before.
Warmth in the bathroom
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 now quickly and efficiently warm and dry towels while adding to the overall style, temperature and comfort of a room. For instance, Vent-Axia’s wide range of towel rails features high quality white or chrome finishes with 10 different models, split into flat, curved and designer styles, allowing customers to choose exactly the right towel rails to suit their individual home.
But it’s control that is central to the range, with the series featuring an optional advanced controller offering five heat outputs. Providing an eco-mode, 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.
Toasty toes in the kitchen
Advances in technology also means electric underfloor heating is growing in popularity in kitchens and around the home and is another opportunity for heating independent of the central heating system, if desired. Manufacturers have been developing systems that meet the comfort needs of households and
energy efficiency demands of legislation.
Electric underfloor heating already has many recognised advantages. On the aesthetic side it is invisible and gives households the freedom to place furniture where they like. Meanwhile, using the large surface area of a home’s floor to heat a room allows the low temperature radiant heat to provide evenly distributed warmth, giving much higher levels of comfort when compared to other more traditional methods.
Using this method the thermal output is 2-3°C lower than using a convection based system where the heat will collect close to the ceiling, thus saving 5-10% of the running cost while eliminating draughts or cold spots in the room. The flexibility of electric underfloor heating is an added financial bonus since it can be installed one room at a time, allowing households to meet their individual comfort and budget needs, adding further rooms as finances allow.
Accurate controls ensure underfloor heating is more energy efficient than ever before. For instance, Vent-Axia’s Bluethermal Underfloor Heating includes a heating thermostat controller that monitors both the floor and air temperature. This allows customers to gain maximum control over their environment by allowing them to set the thermostat at either the ideal floor or air temperature, depending on the room.
Keeping warm around the house
Meanwhile, electric radiators have many benefits and are great for extensions, occasional heating in homes with gas central heating or as whole house systems for homes off the gas grid. They cause little installation disruption for any household since they don’t require the pipework needed by traditional boiler heating systems and a whole house electric heating system means no costly annual boiler gas safety checks. The electric radiators’ flexibility is also an added financial bonus since heaters can be installed almost anywhere in a room, as stand-alone units or as larger systems, allowing households to meet their individual comfort and budget needs.
New advanced electric heating systems also incorporate highly sensitive, integral thermostatic controls. For instance, Vent-Axia’s range of energy efficient Opal Aluminium Radiators, featuring a digitally controlled thermostat, 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.
So with advanced electric heating now available for kitchens, bathrooms and every other room in the house, households now have a range of flexible, efficient heating options to keep themselves and their
towels warm year round!