Central heating was first Implemented in the UK by William Strutt in the 1800’s. His idea involved a fire in a passageway that took warm air to rooms through ducting, this was used in the Royal Infirmary.
In the 19th Century insulation improved and as electric supplies were rolled out some houses used electric furnaces and fires. In the 1930’s cast iron radiators fed with water from gas boilers were starting to become more common.
These became the basis for the modern water based central heating system.
It’s an interesting time to make decisions on how to heat your home and hot water
The amount of information might be confusing and overwhelming with a lot of it being just hot air (sorry!).
As an electrician specialising in electric heating, I have a good understanding of what domestic energy users are facing at the moment. I come into contact with customers who have a wide variety of heating solutions in place; some good some, not so good.
I keep up to date with current heating trends via direct contact with manufacturers and wholesalers, news, social media and trade publications. All that said I am not a technical expert on every heating system available, but I can offer some impartial advice.
So where are we now?
I would say in a word CONFUSED.
As a country we need to clean up our act and lower carbon emissions. With domestic heating responsible for 46% of the UKs energy use, the Government have offered 2025 as a date that gas boilers will no longer be allowed to be fitted in to new build properties.
Despite this there is still a lot of work being done on a number of other potential options: Hydrogen, Hybrid, Ground source heat pumps, Air Source heat pumps, Solar and battery storage to name the main ones. Some of these options are still being trialled and some will only work in particular homes.
The government currently seem keen on heat pumps but the research I have carried out hasn’t all been positive . It seems you need a very well-insulated house to make heat pumps work effectively.
Electric radiators and an unvented hot water
In some ways, if you are in a property with no gas supply, the decision is taken out of your hands and you need an electric solution. A good system of electric radiators and an unvented hot water cylinder is a popular choice.
With the ‘greening’ of the grid through solar and wind you can now get 100% no carbon electricity from some providers. Home battery storage can also be used to great effect with this system.
There are some tariffs available that give a much cheaper overnight rate so you can load the battery up overnight and then use the power to heat your home during the day.
If you are in a property that has space to fit solar panels then you could also add a home battery. This allows solar generated power to be stored and used when needed on electric heating, car charging etc.
I will be setting up this system in my home later this year and sharing the process and the pros and cons of this platform.
Another option for electric heating is a storage heater. There are some very good high heat retention storage heaters that charge overnight on cheaper rate and then give ample heat through the delay.
These HHR storage heaters are similar in principle to older storage heaters but coupled with modern digital controls and as the name suggests, designed to keep the heat until you need it.
Confusingly the current SAP (standard assessment procedure) for EPCs (Energy performance Certificate) still favours gas central heating. There are plans to change this.
This coupled with the high wholesale prices for gas and electric make it even more important to make the right decision.
If you are unsure which heating solutions will best suit your needs and home please contact us with questions and I will do my best to answer them.