As a result of record increases in global gas prices, our fuel bills are increasing significantly. Wholesale prices have quadrupled in the last year, leading to the raising of the UK price cap by 54% from 1 April 2022.
This means the average household is looking at an increase of around £700 on annual bills. It therefore comes as no surprise that we have seen a marked increase in interest in energy-efficient radiators.
In this blog, we take a look at ways of increasing fuel efficiency so you can keep your home warm without increasing the amount of fuel you use. And we’ll also take a closer look at some of the best energy-efficient radiators on the market.
Make your home more energy-efficient
Even if this is not the right time for you to invest in energy-efficient radiators, you can still improve your home’s energy efficiency by improving its heat retention. If it has been some time since you did any insulation work on the house, it would be a good idea to check that it is still effective.
Make sure your loft is well insulated, preferably with two layers – one layer between the joists and the second over the top. Check the insulation around pipes that go through the walls, such as underneath the kitchen sink; if there is a draught, seal the gaps to stop the cold air coming in.
If you have any open chimneys in your home, be aware that you’ll be losing 20% of the room’s heat; by installing a chimney balloon you will save a lot of heat and a lot of money.
Another way to save fuel is to install thermostatic radiator valves (TRVs) on all your radiators. TRVs control the flow of water into individual radiators, which means you can control the maximum temperature in each room.
For bathrooms and shower rooms, install dual fuel towel rails. There are certain times of the year when it’s warm enough in the rest of the house, but still a bit too chilly for when you’re having a bath or shower.
A dual fuel towel rail will enable you to continue heating the bathroom and drying your towels, but you won’t have to put the central heating on and waste energy by heating the entire house.
Air or ground source heat
The government’s Heat and Buildings Strategy sets out its plan to cut carbon emissions from our homes as part of setting a path to net zero by 2050. Householders will receive financial incentives to replace broken boilers with low carbon heat pumps.
Electric heat pumps use less energy to heat our homes which has clear advantages. However, be aware that because the system will be running at lower temperatures, your radiators may need to be larger than those required on a conventional system.
Energy efficient radiators
Energy efficient radiators are more efficient because they use lower volumes of water. Less water means you don’t need to use so much energy to heat it. For example, aluminium radiators have less water content and faster reaction times than their steel equivalents. And they look fantastic too.
If design is as important as efficiency, the mirror radiator Spekkio is a great choice. Its aluminium base and frame offers high levels of efficiency through its low water/high heat output capabilities. It can also be used with ground source heat pumps.
The flat panel radiators in the Synergy range are ideal for air and ground source heat pumps, as they contain up to 90% less water than conventional radiators. If you’re struggling to heat the room on particularly cold days, some models come with fan assistance to get the room up to temperature more quickly.
If you want a discreet, slimline radiator, the Linea Plus provides an elegant solution for energy efficient heating. Floor standing or wall mounted, it can be installed close to large windows or beneath bay windows or window seats to help keep the heat in and the cold out.
For conservatories and rooms that have large windows, the Mini provides a much higher heat output than its size suggests. With its low-water technology and ultra-fast heat exchanger, it produces maximum heat for minimum energy consumption.
Saving fuel with electric radiators
Electric radiators can help you become more energy efficient because of their controllability. Each radiator comes with a timer, allowing you to set it to come on at the precise time you need it.
Some electric radiators, such as the Vela, come with smart technology, allowing you to control it via an app on your phone. And since 2018, all electric radiators have been built with ‘open window’ sensors.
If the sensor detects a draught from an open window or door, it will automatically switch the radiator off to prevent heat waste.