Wednesday, 23 March 2011

How warm is your house?

Feature Radiators considers an article written by the BBC that asks the question; should we be turning the thermostats down on our central heating?

“Spring is in the air in the UK, but it will be weeks - if not months - before the nation's radiators switch off. The average indoor temperatures of British houses are creeping up now central heating is the norm, and double glazing and insulation are added to older, draughtier homes.” (Lane, 2011)

The article makes it clear that consumer demand for heating has changed.

“Forty years ago, few houses had central heating, and chilly hallways and spare rooms dragged the average temperature down. Radiators now warm rooms that previous generations wouldn't have heated - corridors, bedrooms, and bathrooms.” (Lane, 2011)

But it appears that lowering room temperatures, or even turning radiators off, isn’t enough to adequately reduce our energy use.

“Dropping it [average indoor temperature] to 16C - the lowest setting in this virtual world - only shaves 7% off carbon emissions. Even if we all get in the habit of wearing woollies inside, this will still feel chillier than usual to most people.” (Lane, 2011)

So what else can we do to reduce our energy consumption, whilst maintaining our home comforts?

“David MacKay, the DECC's chief scientific adviser, practises what he preaches in his once draughty semi-detached 1940s house. As well as adding double glazing and insulation, he has turned the heating right down. He hopes that insulating more homes, smarter thermostats and "the promotion of sweater-wearing by sexy personalities" will encourage more people to follow suit.” (Lane, 2011)

The article makes it clear that energy efficiency gained through increasingly effective technology is key, alongside a good dose of common sense.

“So will smart thermostats and radiator valves help, allowing homeowners to target heat where it's needed at different times in the day? Experts say technology can do only half the job. A smart thermostat is only as smart as the person operating it.” (Lane, 2011)

So get smart. Investment in double-glazing, improved insulation and thermostatic controls will mean an initial financial outlay, but these options can dramatically reduce your carbon emissions as well as your heating bills.

For more information on efficiently heating your home or ways of minimising your energy usage, contact Feature Radiators on 01274 567789, visit them at their West Yorkshire showroom or

Lane, M. (2011). How warm is your home? [Online]. 3 March 2011. Available from [Accessed: 21 March 2011]

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