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ThermaSkirt: An ideal alternative to UFH


An ideal alternative to UFH

It is rare to find someone who truly loves their radiators. At best they are functional and relatively discrete, at worst they are ugly monstrosities despoiling your walls with their very presence.

The other problem with radiators is that they don't work very well with alternative fuels. This is because most radiators are designed to work with water at about 80°C, while most 'alternative' fuels tend to work best at about 35-40°C. You can of course 'up-size' your radiators (run much bigger radiators at much cooler temperatures) but at this point 'discrete' goes out of the window and 'ugly monstrosity' starts to loom into view.

This is why many people opt for underfloor heating; it is the ultimate in discretion, it operates at much cooler, and therefore efficient, temperatures and it generates a more even warmth around the room. The problem with underfloor heating is that it costs a fortune to convert a traditional radiator based central heating system into underfloor heating. It also means kissing goodbye to your shag pile carpets as, in order to work effectively, underfloor heating requires that the floor itself be a good conductor of heat.

So is there an alternative? Well, as we wandered around Ecobuild 2010 last week, we came across a product that really does look like a winner and it's called "ThermaSkirt". Ok, I know it sounds like something your granny might wear throughout the winter months but it is actually a radiator system cunningly disguised to look like skirting board and/or plinth.

But low-level skirting board tyle radiators have been around for ages, what's makes ThermaSkirt any different? Well it's the 'cunningly disguised' bit; whilst older systems might be at skirting board level they are about as discrete as Ashley Cole at a nightclub! In fact, they usually look as if someone has just put pig-ugly metal trucking all around your house... and that will be because they just have!

'ThermaSkirt', on the other hand, actually does look like skirting board and comes in a variety of 'wood-look' colours to match your home. Not only does it hide its presence nicely but it also has heating properties very comparable to underfloor heating, in that it operates at cooler temperatures and spreads the heat around the room better than a traditional radiator. What's more you don't have to throw your carpet into the skip!

So what are the downsides? Well, if you're converting from a traditional radiator system it's going to be cheaper than underfloor heating but still more expensive than just upgrading your radiators. I suspect that the 'wood-look/oak effect' versions, whilst nicer to look at, are going to be less efficient than plain white (not true)... And that's the only downside I can think of!

By the way, if you're wondering why all this rings a bell it will be because the ThermaSkirt was featured on BBC’s 'Dragons Den'. A fact that was blindingly obvious to everyone but me - but then you can't write blogs and watch the tellie at the same time!


Source:
Yell.com - 8th March 2010


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DiscreteHeat Company Limited
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