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HEATING, VENTILATION & SERVICES


Radiating future relevance


With energy efficient heating systems fast becoming vital components of new homes, Chris Harvey of Stelrad Radiators looks at some of the hottest ideas when it comes to radiator innovation for self-builds


W


ith the major changes taking place in the UK heating sector, self-builders are among those


taking a good hard look at the options available to them to keep their new homes warm and cosy, while also taking advantage of the technology available to them. The Government has said that from 2025, no new properties built will be allowed to utilise fossil fuelled heating systems, so it’s ‘bye bye’ to boilers as we know them although there is a lot of hot air currently being shared by boiler manufacturers about the arrival of hydrogen-fuelled boilers.


Having a boiler that works and having the infrastructure to provide the quantity of hydrogen required to power the millions of boilers operating in the UK is something very different. Many people are realising that the tried and tested technology of heat pumps – air source or ground source – makes total sense. This comes slightly later than our European cousins, who have embraced the proven technology already and are installing hundreds of thousands of heat pumps every year. Here in the UK we are managing something like 25,000 heat pump installations a year, although that number is set to increase exponentially in the next two or three years, with new build developers in particular, likely to lead the way with a switch to heat pumps to provide heating and hot water in far better insulated new build properties up and down the UK. And it seems likely that self-builders will be joining them to raise the levels of acceptance of heat pumps as the primary source of heating and hot water in their homes.


RADIATOR TECHNOLOGY


But as well as the technology to drive the heating system, it's important to consider the means of sharing the heat generated effectively around the home. Will the


may/june 2021


current technology be able to cope with the lower 45-50 degrees temperatures generated by heat pumps when compared to the 80 degrees plus generated by boilers?


The simple answer is yes, they will, but as with all radiators even nowadays, they will need to be sized correctly for the heat source and for the rooms they need to heat. Better levels of insulation will add to the cosiness of homes and the heat from a renewable heating system is more than adequate to keep us all warm even during the coldest days of winter. Just think of the areas of the world where heat pumps are most popular – Scandinavia, Canada – hardly the warmest parts of the world, yet they are more than happy to entrust the heating and hot water to heat pump driven heating systems. The


It’s ‘bye bye’ to boilers as we know them


although there is a lot of hot air currently being shared about the arrival of hydrogen-fuelled boilers


www.sbhonline.co.uk 59


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