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Is Skirting Board Heating Really the Heat of the Future

Date Added: October 16, 2012 07:24:42 AM
Author: Serhiy
Category: Home-and-Garden-Blog

Earlier this year, a Channel 4 programme entitled Home of the Future examined a completely energy efficient house in an attempt to find out how we will live in the future. The programme showed a refurbishment of a five bedroom house in Sheffield, which included skirting board heating, solar panels and heat pumps. There’s been a debate raging for some years now (when you look around, the first posts referring to skirting board heating start popping up prior to 2010) about just how efficient the heated skirting board actually is.

The statistics claim that it can save as much as 30% off the energy costs associated with the average home: but the price of the heated skirting board unit is assumed to be significantly higher, in most cases, than that of a radiator. So the real question is: does the initial outlay cost of installing skirting board heating devalue the savings your house makes once the installation is complete? It is no secret that energy costs are rising – despite the profits made recently by the major energy companies. So it seems reasonable to suppose that the cost of buying the energy to heat your home will continue to go up as the years roll by.

Currently the cost of installing skirting board heating is less than the cost of under floor heating – another option for homes where traditional radiators won’t do, or where the homeowner is trying to find a more even way of heating a room – but more than the cost of radiators. To some extent this belies the myth that a heated skirting board system is more expensive than it needs to be, or than it is worth – particularly given the relative health of the heat it generates. The skirting board heating system generates what is known as “healthy heat” – that is, heat that does not disturb a large volume of dust and dirt particles from the floor, or from its own heating fins, as it heats the air around it.

This is because the heated skirting board warms air gently – operating at a lower total temperature than the radiator or the under floor heating system. By acting slower, heated skirting boards are less likely to create discrepancies between the temperature of the heated air and the air as yet unheated in the room. Such a lack of distinction means fewer eddies and currents. It is these currents that raise dust particles, bits of dirt and microorganisms (such as bacteria and viruses) from the carpet or the cracks between floorboards.

Over time, the money saved by a household using a skirting board heating system begins to pay off the discrepancy between the price of the heated skirting board and the cost of a radiator system. If heating and energy costs are indeed to carry on rising, then the value of the energy savings made by the heated skirting board system will increase at a faster rate. At the moment, there is a definite issue surrounding all eco-friendly heating. The more efficient the components, the more they cost. This has left a number of homeowners for whom energy efficiency would be of the most immediate benefit, out in the cold. Poorer households, which need direct help to alleviate their heating costs, can’t afford the very equipment that would put a dent in the bills. Even this objection can be called into question, though.

The Government has now officially launched its Green Deal finance scheme, which aims to lend money to people looking to install more eco-friendly heating systems in their home. They can then pay off the cost of the system through future heating bills – the saving amount becomes the payback amount. So is a skirting board heating system really the way of the future? With energy prices on the rise and efficiency required almost at all costs, the answer is a cautious “yes”.

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