We as humans are very wasteful when it comes to radiators, we leave them on when we don’t need to, we turn them up too high when we could just put another layer of clothing on. Consequently, we drive our consumption of energy through the roof when we could be saving it and also saving money in the process. In this blog we will outline in further detail the energy wasted from radiators in the hoping that you will understand how much an accurate hub sensor is needed for controlling the behavior of consumers and also energy usage.
What are the benefits of heating controls?
- You’ll reduce your carbon dioxide emissions.
- You could save money on your heating bills by installing and using your controls efficiently.
- You can schedule your heating and hot water to go on and off when needed.
- You can select areas of your home to heat and the required temperature for each room, rather than heating a whole house at the same temperature.
Potential savings per year
|Installing and correctly using a programmer, room thermostat and thermostatic radiator valves
||£75 and 340kg carbon dioxide
|Turning room thermostat down by one degree
||£80 and 350kg carbon dioxide
How do radiators work?
To really understand where the heat might be lost from, we need to understand how radiators actually work.
Hot water radiators work in a very similar way to steam radiators, except without all the pressure created by the steam and with a more active approach to moving the heat around. Every radiator in a hot water system has an inlet and outlet. The inlet is to take hot water in and the outlet is to let the water back out. During the operation of the system, water is heated up somewhere in a hot water heater. It’s made very hot, but it never reaches boiling.
After the water reaches the desired temperature it’s pumped from the heater and through all the radiators of the home. As the water passes through each radiator it loses some of its heat. Finally it becomes too cool to effectively heat up a radiator and makes it back to the heater once again for re-heating. To warm up a home, the cycle occurs every time that temperatures need to be increased. The heater and pump are typically tied to a thermostat so they know when to kick on. That ensures that they are only operating when heat needs to be provided to the rest of the home.
A useful link – https://modernize.com/hvac/heating-repair-installation/radiator/how-they-work
How much energy is wasted in the UK?
The UK energy wastage statistics have not been released for 2018, therefore I have had to refer to 2017 statistics for the most up to date data.
- Final energy consumption (excluding non-energy use) rose by 1.7 per cent compared to the third quarter of 2016.
- Domestic consumption rose by 8.5 per cent reflecting the cooler weather in the quarter
On a temperature corrected basis, final energy consumption rose by 0.9 per cent.
Provisional data for 2017 suggest that domestic energy bills increased by 1.2 per cent in
current prices, though were down 0.6 per cent in real terms.
- For fixed consumption levels of electricity of 3,800 kWh per annum, bills increased by £33 to £619;
- For fixed consumption levels of gas of 15,000 kWh per annum, bills decreased by £19 to £631.
- The combined average domestic bill increased by £14 from £1,236 in 2016 to £1,250 in 2017.
- Average bills for those using prepayment meters fell by £84 following the introduction of the price cap earlier this year.
How much energy do radiators use?
A 0.7 by 1.4 m single radiator has a heat output of 1800 W and a surface area of
just under 1 metres squared per side. The radiation heat transfer into the room is about 400 Watts. Therefore just under ¼ of the heat transfer is due to radiation. If account is taken of the side facing the wall, the proportion of heat transfer due to radiation rises to 45%. For a double radiator, these proportions are roughly halved.
How being in control saves you money
• Installing and correctly using a room thermostat and thermostatic radiator valves can shave between £80 and £165 off your annual energy bill.
• Fitting a hot water tank insulation jacket will typically reduce your hot water costs by £35 each year.
• Turning your room thermostat down by just one degree could save up to £90 annually, and reduce your carbon emissions by up to 360kg.
How could we change the behaviour of people?
Currently people leave their radiators on when they are not needed. For instance when they leave to go to work in the morning or when they go out for a meal. The house could be warm enough to not have the radiators on, however we as humans still are lazy in turning off our radiators to not only save money but energy as well.
With the current radiator smart valves, they are placed too close to the radiator itself. This isn’t beneficial to the consumer as it will not give accurate readings. The current smart readers would read the temperature of the room but may be inaccurate as the user could have turned the radiator up by accident by a few degrees. As stated above not only does this have cost drawbacks , but the wastage of heat by turning the radiators up by a few degrees can really affect how much energy you consume.
Accuracy of readings from the radiators currently could not be beneficial to the user by placing them near a radiator. This is due to the smart sensors not picking up the actual temperature of the room, but the temperature of the radiator.
If we are to solve this problem, not only could it save consumers money, but it could change the way that we as humans act towards radiator heat wastage. Not only that but it could change the way people ,without radiator sensors, use their radiators to maximise their cost and energy savings.