So much to say so little time... but i wanted to start with something that struck me a few weeks ago. The short version of the story is that my mum is planning on getting a conservatory extension in the new year and was asking what would be the best means of heating it. A simple enough question on the face of it one might think, but the answer really depends on what you deem as the best?
For example, from a personal point of view i'd want the most energy efficient system without doubt, a simple answer. Such a system may not be the cheapest to initially install, however the long term savings will prove to be critical. Especially in the current climate where energy bills in the UK are only heading upwards since the fall in the pound. Of course this then leads us to the question of which energy efficient system is best for conservatory heating?
Now we're getting somewhere, for in terms of energy efficiency you can't beat electric heating that sustains a near 100% efficiency rating. Case solved you might think? Well yes and no, you see in the case of heating your conservatory there are a number of other factors in play. For example, if like me you're in the northern hemisphere of our world then a conservatory that faces south will attract a lot more light and this warmth than one facing north.
Further, the efficiency of your conservatory glazing is going to play a big role in just how long you will spend each evening with your heating actually running. If the glazing is not very energy efficient then it's going to leak heat at a far greater rate than an efficient counterpart. On the other hand, extremely efficient glazing is going to let you run the heaters in your conservatory a lot less, thus giving you significant savings.
So now we know what we wanted, me and my mum sat down with a cuppa and had a look about the usual websites for a suitable heater. We did find a few nice ones but i have to say there isn't a massive choice around. We did however find some really good heaters at http://www.heatsystems.co.uk/conservatory-heating/ which will work great for new conservatory. Though i suggested she waits till her extension is built in order to see which heater will best fit with the layout and furniture she's planning.
It's also worth taking into account that you can get some heaters that are specifically short in height in order to fit under your windows. I quite like these as they're small and unobtrusive, and make use of otherwise empty space! Efficiency again, i know, I'm obsessed haha.
Anyway, to cut a long story short, we ended up bookmarking a few suitable heaters for my mum to look at again once everything is built. She does have her eye on one radiator in particular, but has agreed to wait for now. As who knows in 3-4 months that the conservatory extension will take, there may well be new and improved, and hopefully more efficient models on the market.
The moral of the story is, you can't go wrong with energy efficient heating, especially if you can generate your own electricity through renewable means, then electric heating is the perfect choice.