We’ve read today’s news story that many households have the thermostat turned up 4 degrees hotter than in the 1970s.
Obviously they have chosen to ignore Ed Davey’s advice to ‘put on a jumper’ but they may be wondering why they still don’t feel that warm and cosy despite the higher temperatures and increasing energy bills.
Many of us have wall mounted radiators. Despite the name, radiators tend to be convectors that heat the air as it is drawn through a series of vanes at the back. The warm air rises to the ceiling and pushes across to the far side of the room where it cools and slips down to floor level. It’s now drawn back across the floor to be warmed by the radiator and the cycle repeats. These convection currents mean the warmest air is by the ceiling and the coolest air, and strongest draughts, are at floor level.
It’s easy to see that this is the exact reverse of what you want. You feel most comfortable if you are out of draughts, with warm feet and ankles, and with your head in un-stuffy air. Convector heaters fail to deliver any of these comfort factors.
So what to do? If you’re into new build or major renovations then you can specify underfloor heating. Leaving aside the relative merits of the different underfloor heating systems, the reason people find underfloor heating so wonderful is that it doesn’t create convection currents and draughts. It provides the heat where you want it at floor level, and it doesn’t create over heated stuffy air.
If you’re not in the position of being able to re-lay your floors, then a great retrofit option is to have a few under rug heaters around the house in places where you spend the most time. Popular in the US and other parts of the world, these have only now become available in the UK through BeWarmer Ltd.
Under rug heaters work the same way as electric underfloor heating but are a simple appliance that plugs directly into the wall. You can have them anywhere you want; in front of the sofa, under the kitchen table, beside the bed, even in a conservatory. You choose. All you need is an insulating underlay under the under rug heater, and then your own decorative rug on top.
With the warmth where you want it, you’ll then find you can usually turn down the thermostat on your central heating by a couple of degrees – and cut down on some of the draughts and overheated stuffy air at ceiling level too.
Read more on Saving on Energy Bills with RugBuddy