So winter is on its way out the door. While those lovely spring days mean you have no excuse to avoid venturing outdoors to stretch your legs, there might be one surprise looming from being stuck indoors these last few months (especially those of us working from home). Have you had the shock of your life seeing heating bills come in the post? Naturally, most of us will have had the heating on more than usual these last few months from spending more time at home.
While it’s nice to be cosy on those colder nights, it isn’t so nice when the bill sends a shiver down your bank balance. Right now, the evenings are getting brighter. Still, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you are getting to grips with readjusting the timings for your central heating to come on – if you’re someone who has those older three or four button thermostats, best of luck fiddling with it for the longest time.
I think right now is the ideal time to improve how you use your radiators and towel rails. This isn’t a guide on how to rip them off the wall and get new radiators all over the home (although one can dream). Thanks to the home heating experts of Trade Radiators, I want to highlight some of the unique ways you can update and improve radiators so that this time next year, your heating bills don’t look so egregiously high. So, where do you start with improvements? Well, you look at the room first.
Understanding what your room needs
Every room in your home has individual heating needs. You might have the same size of radiators in your living room, lounge, and kitchen; it’s quite common in modern two-up two-down homes as builders will buy in bulk. While your radiators and towel rails might operate (notice I’m not saying work) tremendously, do you know if they provide adequate heat output?
For a radiator to work, it has to match and partially exceed the home’s heating requirements. That means if you have the same radiators in different rooms, but those rooms are all shaped differently and have unique features, then the radiator may not be working efficiently.
Look at different rooms with similarly sized radiators and ask yourself:
- Do these rooms feel the same when the heating has been on?
- How insulated are these rooms already?
- What obstacles do I have in front of and below my radiators?
- Are my radiators on exterior facing or internal walls?
- Are my radiators below a window?
The more you can glean from your radiator’s location, the easier it is to paint a picture of whether it meets a room’s needs. If you have a big radiator on an exterior facing wall and wonder why you can’t feel the heat when sitting on a sofa at the other side of the room, look at these factors, and if the radiator meets the heating requirements (measured in British Thermal Units) of the space.
Opting for “smart” solutions
Read our recent post on having smart controls at home? While it’s great to be able to control lights and locks at the touch of a button, wouldn’t it be fantastic if your radiators could do the same?
I love smart tech at home. Any chance you have to alter and take care of something passively is a win in my books. I have my routine on my Google speaker to remind me what the family is up to and use smart home tech to control things like when lights come on and the central heating.
Having smart heating at home might sound expensive and daunting, but it is easier than you think; all you need are some smart radiator valves. These are radiator valves that screw in just like thermostatic valves and usually take a couple of AA batteries to power. You sync the valves to a thermostat or app on your phone, and it lets you control heating like never before. Working from home, I now have heating routines for specific rooms, rather than blasting the central heating around the entire house needlessly. Honestly, it’s a game-changer, and I’m already seeing bills come down.
Knowing which materials to use
This last tip is for anyone with a room at home who knows it takes forever to get warm. Some rooms have a hard time pushing heat up because of what the radiator is made from. Steel is the most common radiator material as it retains heat for a long time after turning the central heating off. That doesn’t mean it’s fast.
For speed, you want to go for aluminium radiators or towel rails. Aluminium is a fast conductor and works efficiently to push heat out. While it doesn’t retain as well when turned off, it will heat a room in a hurry; ideal for spaces like a dining room where you know the family might only spend an hour or so every evening. Better that than having the heating on in there all afternoon to get it warm.
Are you thinking of changing things up in your bathroom?
I hope all this radiator chat helps make it easier for you to improve how you heat your home. For anyone in the middle of redecorating their bathroom, I would recommend reading this recent article on How You Should Design Your Shower.