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    What is the difference between Radiant Heat and Convected Heat radiators?

    Thu 30th Oct 2014 - 5:14am Radiators What is the difference between Radiant Heat and Convected Heat radiators?


    Benjamin Clarke

    Radiant heat and convected heat are differences in the way electric radiators emit heat.

    Radiant heat electric radiators are fluid filled and emit heat from within the radiator. Convected heat electric radiators draw in cold air at at the bottom, heat the air inside and emit the hot air out of the top.

    We will explore in further detail how each radiator works:

    Radiant Heat Radiators

    Each of these radiators contains a water-based fluid that includes boiler silencer, rust inhibitor and anti-freeze. Because they emit heat from inside by heating this fluid, they generate an ambient heat within the room. As heat is emitted from the whole surface area of the electric radiator, the radiant heat generated will feel much like the heat given off by a standard hot water radiator.

    Internally, the electric element and the water-based solution combine to create a heat cycle. The probe on the element heats up the solution which circulates up and around the radiator. AT the bottom of the radiator, the element pulls the cooler solution up from the bottom and back across the probe, where the process starts again. This cycle of the solution getting hot and rising then cooling and falling continues until the radiator is switched off.

    Radiant heat radiators are very suitable for any room in the house and all come with a thermostatic control, whether it be a single heat element or a variable heat element with a control plate.

    Convected Heat Radiators

    These radiators work differently because they create a physical airflow, almost like an air conditioning unit but with hot air. Cold air is pulled in at the bottom of the radiator, then heated up over an electric element before being projected out of the top. When the hot air starts to cool, it falls and is sucked back in through the bottom of the radiator for the process to start over again. This creates constant air movement in the room they are being used and can mean that air around your ankles may feel slightly cooler than air around your upper body.

    The positive things about convected heat radiators are that they are slightly cheaper to purchase than their radiant counterparts. They also are able to provide a noticeable increase in heat very shortly after being switched on.

    Although they are economical to run, convected heat radiators may use slightly more power than radiant heat radiators because circulating air into a room requires more energy than heating up fluid internally. However, they do come with thermostats, giving you control over the heat that is generated.

    These types of radiators are very useful in cold rooms that require instant heat or rooms that are used less often (e.g. second bedrooms, conservatories). They are also popular as free-standing units as they can be brought out to supplement another heat system and then be put away again when not needed.

    View our Radiant Heat Electric Radiators »»

    View our Panel Convector Electric Radiators »»

    Article by Benjamin Clarke

    Why electric heating is more attractive than ever

    Tue 28th Oct 2014 - 6:33am Energy and Heating Why electric heating is more attractive than ever


    Benjamin Clarke

    Advancements in technology have meant that electrical heating manufacturers are now producing excellent products that meet the needs of a modern family but also adhere to government legislation regarding energy efficiency.

    The number one priority when creating a thermally efficient home is to ensure that hot air stays in during the winter and cool air stays in during summer. New build homes are increasingly built with energy efficiency in mind and improvements in such things as double glazing and insulation, means that older homes are also becoming increasingly airtight.

    Couple this with increasing gas prices and greater awareness of making homes more thermally efficient, and we are now in an era where flexible electric heating has become a far more attractive option to the regular homeowner.

    Heating your home via electric heating systems has many benefits, including a low initial financial outlay for the units and low installation costs. Indeed, if you purchase a standalone unit, you’ll find the cost to buy the radiator is low, plus you have the flexibility to move it around your home in accordance with the room that is being inhabited.

    Additionally, the installation of an electric heating system in your home, causes much less disruption than having a brand new conventional boiler-powered hot water system plumbed in. Standard hot water central heating systems require a great network of pipework to be fitted, whereas the electric heating units only require a electrical connection. This makes the electric option much quicker to fit and, as a result, means labour costs for installation are much lower.

    Electric radiators can be placed virtually anywhere in a room, whereas hot water radiators are usually bound by existing pipework and where the flue is situated. They are also very low maintenance and easy to clean, sparing you added expenses of boiler upkeep, and the effort of dealing with air pockets, leaks and radiator sludge.

    Another important couple of points worth mentioning are the fact that electric radiators heat up and cool down very quickly and you are in complete control of when they are switched on and off and exactly which rooms they are heating at any one time. This kind of flexibility can give you great control over the outcome of your money spent on electricity costs.

    Some have predicted that, as we move towards reducing our carbon footprints by introducing zero carbon homes and decarbonising our energy supplies, the transition from the traditional gas boiler to a heating system powered by electricity will intensify. Manufacturers are very aware of this transition and know that families want heating systems that keep them warm and are financially viable and energy efficient.

    Improvements to electric radiators have meant that the days of simply switching one on or off with no control over temperature are long gone. That option is still available, of course, but we also offer the more sophisticated Electric Aluminium Eco-Max Radiator range, which includes features such as a 24 hour timer, temperature control gauge, an electronic thermostat and programmable settings for different days of the week. These controls allow you complete control over your electric heating system in ways that simply weren’t possible in years gone by and they come with the added benefit of a comprehensive 2 year guarantee and free fast delivery to any address in mainland UK.

    View our Electric Eco-Max Radiator Range »»

    Article by Benjamin Clarke

    How to get the most out of your ensuite bathroom

    Thu 23rd Oct 2014 - 4:24am Home Interiors How to get the most out of your ensuite bathroom


    Benjamin Clarke

    Once upon a time, ensuite bathrooms were considered a luxury, reserved only for those with a lot of money to spend. These days, the ensuite is commonplace and is usually a very useful addition to a home.

    It’s often the case that ensuites are squeezed into very small area, but this is no reason for them to feel claustrophobic, as our design ideas below will show:

    Hide pipework

    Back to wall toilet

    Pipework on display can often make a room feel cluttered, which is fine in a large room, but not so desirable in a small ensuite bathroom.

    It’s possible to create the illusion of space by boxing in pipework behind panels or tiling. It’s possible to buy specially-designed toilets called ‘back to wall’ toilets that hide their inner workings behind a panel, rather than a clunky, on-display pipe and tank system.

    An added benefit of hiding pipework is the streamlined flat surfaces make the ensuite much easier to keep clean!

    Get creative with your basin

    Wall mounted basin with storage

    Where possible, try and avoid installing basins with pedestals as this can unnecessarily take up valuable floor space. It’s possible to buy half-pedestal basins that enclose the pipe work but don’t reach all the way down to the floor. Wall-mounted basins are also very common now and these negate the need to have an unsightly pedestal propping them up.

    Additionally, if you do get a wall-mounted basin, then make the most of the space this frees up underneath. The area below a basin can be used as a very useful storage space either in the form of shelves or a small cupboard. It’s possible to buy well-designed ‘basin stations’ that make the most of the potential for storage around a basin.

    Turn your ensuite into a wetroom

    Wet room

    A design feature that has become increasingly popular is the removal of shower enclosures and shower trays to free up space and give the ensuite a more streamlined look.

    This effectively creates a wetroom whereby the room is not protected by a shower screen and the water flows and drains directly onto the floor.

    This is an excellent way of maximising your space, but it is not recommended that you try creating this yourself. Because of the amount of water that will go onto the floor, a professional will need to be brought in to ensure there are no leaks and that the water is able to drain away properly.

    Lift things up off of the floor

    Ensuite mirrored cabinets

    Key to creating the illusion of space is having a clear, uncluttered floor, so make the most of your vertical wall space by mounting things up higher.

    Toilet roll holders and toilet brushes can definitely be wall mounted and, where possible, add a mirrored wall cabinet. Not only will the cabinet provide useful storage space behind closed doors, but it will also reflect the light and give the impression of space. Plus you’ll have a mirror to see yourself in, a basic feature of any bathroom!

    It’s also possible to get mirrored cabinets with a light and a demisting option, making this piece of multi-functional furniture one of the most important purchase you can make for a small bathroom.

    For extra storage space, why not consider using glass shelves or units? These are functional, stylish but importantly don’t give the impression of clutter that furniture made from other materials can give.

    Again, lifting things off the floor makes keeping the floor clean an incredibly easy task.

    Install a heated towel rail

    Heated towel rail

    Where space allows, a heated towel rail is a vital component of any ensuite.

    Not only does it provide a real sense of style, it serves the dual purpose of creating heat and providing a place to store towels.

    Anyone with kids will know that one of this biggest issues that occurs in a bathroom is wet towels ending up on the floor. A heated towel rail provides an excellent solution to this problem.

    We stock a wide range of high quality and stylish heated towel rails, including rails with small dimensions, perfect for installing in small or oddly-shaped spaces.

    Article by Benjamin Clarke

    How do the Elan designer aluminium radiators have such a high output?

    Tue 21st Oct 2014 - 7:06am Radiators How do the Elan designer aluminium radiators have such a high output?


    Benjamin Clarke

    When it comes to kicking out serious heat, the range of radiators with the highest heat outputs in our catalogue are the Elan Aluminum designer radiators.

    Coming in a range of sizes, both horizontal and vertical, as well as being available in white, black, anthracite or silver, these beauties are more than capable than heating up large rooms efficiently and economically.

    The Elans are made of aluminium, which means they react very quickly to a change in temperature of the water running through it. Couple this with the clever design and you’ve got yourself a radiator that can throw out a fantastic amount of heat.

    The innovative tubular design of the Elan range works efficiently by drawing in cold air through the bottom of the tube. As the air passes up the tubes, it gets heated up very quickly and the hot air is distributed out of the top.

    So not only does the radiator warm the room through radiant heat (warming the air in front of the radiator), the design also allows for convection heat transfer by maximising the surface area of the radiator. The great thing is these radiators can get up to maximum temperature quickly, but, equally important, is the fact that they also cool down very quickly too; vital for efficiency and saving money on your heating bills.

    View the Elan Aluminium Designer Radiators on »»

    See more on the benefits of aluminium radiators »»

    Please see the image below for the technical details behind the design of the Elan radiators.

    Elan Radiator technical details

    Article by Benjamin Clarke

    5 ways to save money on your heating bills

    Thu 16th Oct 2014 - 4:52am Radiators 5 ways to save money on your heating bills


    Benjamin Clarke

    1. Fit double glazing on your windows

    Single-glazed windows are often to blame when we wince at our latest high heating bills. It is much easier for heat to escape through a single pane glass than through brick walls, so looking at installing double-glazing around your house, would dramatically reduce heat loss.

    Double glazing consists of two layers of glass with a small cushion of air in between. It is this air cushion that helps keep the heat from escaping, due to the fact that air is a poor conductor of heat.

    Initially expensive perhaps, but you will soon benefit from lower heating bills as well as a better quality of life.

    2. Upgrade your doors or check your door seals

    As well as sorting out heat loss through the windows, getting double glazing also usually means an upgrade to your doors. Single pane doors are responsible for a lot of heat loss, so upgrading to thermally efficient doors will also help greatly in bringing down the cost of your heating bills.

    If upgrading your doors is not financially possible, then there are still things you can do to reduce heat loss. Fix any gaps in the seals of your doors with a sealant or a foam or use a draught excluder to block any gaps across the bottom. Get a letter box brush and flap to reduce hot air escaping. It’s even worth getting a keyhole flap that covers the gap where the key goes into the lock. These are cheaper options than energy efficient doors but will still make a huge difference.

    3. Install loft insulation

    Because hot air rises, your roof is one of the main areas that heat can escape from your house. Heat loss through the roof can be massively reduced if you install insulation in your loft.

    Loft insulation comes in a range of materials, including mineral wool and sheeps wool. It usually comes in thick quilted rolls and behaves like a thick blanket for your loft, drastically reducing the amount of heat that escapes. An added benefit is it helps to keep bedrooms cool in the summer, by keeping hot air out.

    Loft insulation will help reduce your gas bills in winter but will also reduce your electricity bills in summer if your have air-conditioning, as you will not need to use it quite so much.

    4. Turn down your central heating by 1°C 

    This is actually a very simple and common sensical tip, however it’s surprising how many of us don’t think to do it. If you turn down your thermostat down even by 1°C you’ll see the difference in your bills, without noticing the slight reduction in the temperature in your house. It’s been estimated that reducing the heat by 1°C can reduce heating bills by as much as 10%, so it’s definitely worth considering.

    Additionally, make the most of the timer on your central heating system to ensure the heating is only on when you need it. Time it to go off at some point in the night and to go on again shortly before you usually get up. Make sure it’s not on during the day if there’s nobody at home and time it to come back on just before you return from work. Clever use of the timer will make a difference to your bills.

    5. Close curtains at night & don't block radiators

    Another simple tip, but again, it’s something that is often overlooked. Curtains, and especially thick curtains, provide an extra barrier to heat escaping through doors and windows. Close them at night in all rooms, not just the ones you mainly use, and then open them again in the morning to get the most from the natural warmth of the sun.

    If space allows, consider installing radiators underneath windows and making sure that the room is arranged so that furniture is not blocking the radiator. A sofa right in front of a radiator will absorb a large amount of heat that would otherwise go into the room. If you do have to have large pieces of furniture in front of radiators, make sure you pull the furniture forward, away from the radiator to allow as much hot air to circulate as possible.

    Article by Benjamin Clarke