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Other types of home and water heating

Under floor heating

Facts

  • It is similar to installing a traditional central heating system, both in price and in process but think of it as like having a large, horizontal low-temperature radiator mounted in the floor. It may be expensive to install but in the long term can be cost effective.

Benefits

  • And, due to the even distribution of heat, it is a fairly efficient way to heat a room. Compared to traditional radiators, underfloor heating works at a lower temperature and requires up to 33% less energy, so can save you money every year.

Grants

Underfloor heating pipes before overlaying with wood floor.

District heating

Benefits

  • District heating uses large centralised boilers that can also generate electricity. Therefore, the cost of both the electricity and heat can be reduced, and carbon emissions are considerably reduced as well.

District heating diagram (image: MTS Contracting)

Immersion heaters

Facts

  • Immersion heaters are an expensive way to generate hot water and yet some households, particularly those with older heating systems, use immersion heaters as their only source of hot water.

Benefits

  • Time-of-use tariff customers can set timers so their immersion heater switches on during cheaper off-peak hours.
  • If you currently generate electricity for your home from solar panels or a wind turbine, you can now divert some of this electricity that isn’t being used in your home to your immersion heater. This means you can heat your water free of charge. This will require a small gadget available from several companies costing around £250.00. In addition electricity generated from renewable energy sources qualifies for financial help from the government under the ‘Feed in Tariff Scheme’. Unfortunately the government has recently cut this tariff which reduces the incentive to purchase a system.

Negatives

  • Heating water using electricity is more expensive than heating water with gas.
  • A typical immersion heater uses 3 kilowatts of electricity an hour, so it will cost the average house about 40p an hour to run.
  • Most households will need to run an immersion heater for at least a couple of hours a day to get the water hot enough – costing at least £290 a year.
  • Some heating engineers may recommend you leave your immersion heater on 24/7 – however, this can be hugely expensive unless it has a thermostatic control.

Immersion heater diagram

Rayburns

Benefits

  • In terms of the fuel and heat efficiency of a Rayburn, their post-war origins ensure that they do as much as possible for as little as possible. The use of cast-iron is designed to hold onto heat, and let it trickle out slowly to the home whilst cooking.
  • When a Rayburn is used for cooking, heating and hot water, it operates at a level of fuel efficiency that equals – and sometimes betters – the separate provision of these functions. When you also factor in the ‘AGA effect’ of radiant heat that a Rayburn brings to the kitchen, you have an ancillary energy source that can replace the output of a conventional radiator. This can be used for everything from drying clothes and warming food to incubating farm animals or preparing dried herbs – at no extra cost

Rayburn

Gas fires and fixed gas heaters

Fires with a balanced flue are more efficient, because there’s no need for ventilation. Modern gas wall heaters are also available with balanced flues, which means they’re almost as efficient as modern central heating boilers. They don’t act as a focal point of a room like a fire would, so they’re a better option for halls, stairwells and kitchens where there is an outside wall close by.

Fixed gas heater