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Heating your home the English way

Heating your home the English way

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WORDS Victoria Tait

Radiator central heating is an effective and stylish heating option for New Zealand homes.

When I travelled to the UK and Europe in my early twenties, I was surprised to find how warm the homes were that utilised central heating and radiators. I don’t understand why, in New Zealand, we think we have to freeze indoors throughout the winter, and why our heating systems seem more compatible with an Australian climate than the realistic sub-zero mornings we experience here in the south. Thankfully, this school of thought is slowly changing, and homeowners are looking to more efficient central heating systems. Radiators are becoming more commonly used, and what follows is a breakdown of some relevant facts.

How do they work?

A boiler (generally located in the garage or laundry) heats the water through a series of pipes that pump the warm water out to the radiators. The water returns to the boiler for heating and continues its cycle. The temperature of individual rooms is controlled through valves on each heating radiator.

Pros
Radiators create an even temperature within the home, thus, in turn, create a healthy environment.

Each radiator is warm to touch but won’t burn, making this a safe option for children, the elderly and pets. For extra safety there are also low-surface temperature models available.

They can be controlled by a thermostat and timer to ensure your home is warm when you need it to be. This also saves on energy when you are not home.

Modern, stylish options are available and can create a feature for the room. Or, disguise radiators by selecting them in your wall colour.

Cons
There needs to be sufficient under-floor space for installing and running the piping.

Finding enough clear wall space for radiators can be tricky. (Though, they do come in a range of sizes.)

If installing within an existing home, the process can be disruptive and expensive.

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