04: Keeping warm!

Being able to keep warm is one of the fundamental concepts of “home,” and over the winter period you often notice areas which parts of your home aren’t so warm. Particularly in older homes, so here are a few tips to improve the efficiency of your heating.

  • Lagg (insulate) your pipes, sometimes I have come across boilers located in attics or garages with uninsulated pipework allowing heat to be lost to the outside even before entering the habitable parts of the home. When you lagg the pipes it keeps the heat in the system for longer, meaning it starts to work more efficiently. It will also help reduce the time it takes to heat the hot water taps.
  • Draught proof your external windows and doors. The benefit of double glazing can be lost if the frames are draughty and heat escapes through gaps, this can simply be rectified by sealed with insulating tape. You may also look at draft excluders at the bottom of the doors in the colder winter evenings.
  • Bleed your radiators, if there is air within the heating system it will naturally fill the top of a radiators, bleeding will remove the air allowing the hot water to heat the whole of the radiator
  • It’s easy to turn the thermostat up full blast when it’s cold and then leave it on. Aim to set your main room thermostat somewhere between 18°C and 21°


These first four can be quick and cost-effective ways to make your heating more efficient

  • Service your boiler
  •  look at providing more control and zones for your house, the old single zone control heated rooms you hardly ever used as it is all on or all off. Installing thermostatic radiator valves to each radiator will enable control of each radiator even when still on a single heating circuit. The next step up from here is looking at smart thermostats allowing you even more control typically through your phone or tablet.
  • Replace open fires with stoves. Stoves are typically for more efficient at providing heat into a room rather than it escaping straight up the chimney and at the same time will provide a more regulated / even heat. Using a modern constructed stove will reduce the harmful emissions produced when burning wood, and reduces the amount of fuel required to produce the same amount of heat output.

It can be at this point where you maybe wishing to do something more drastic, how about reviewing the way heat is produced, rather than radiators consider under floor heating. For a retro fit there are now very good under floor heating over lay systems which can be installed over an existing slab or deck with an increase of about 20mm to the floor build up. There are lots of things to consider, the existing floor finish will have to be replaced, where to put the manifolds, raising skirting levels and raising the base of the doors, but there are a lot of benefits such as:

  • Easy to control and to create multiple heating zones
  • More space, with the removal of radiators giving more flexibility to room layouts
  • Under floor heating provides a consistent heat from the floor up, reducing cold spots and creating a more even heat across the room
  • Radiators generally require the water supply to be at a high temperature (between 65-75 degrees Celsius) in order to heat up a room effectively, whereas floor heating only needs to run at a temperature of 29 degrees Celsius or less, depending on the floor finish, in order to warm the room – thereby consuming less energy, and keeping your energy bills far lower.


We are finding for most of our project’s client are requesting under floor heating and it is something that is part of your initial discussions. If you would like to discuss your project please give Simon a call or drop him an email. We’d be happy to help with your architectural plans and discuss ways we can work together. Check out our contact page here.