The Future of Home Heating – What to Expect

You’ve no doubt heard the news that home heating is going to be seeing upgrades in the near future and if you’re wondering what that means for you, then have no fear, we have the answers. For home heating the future is simple; it’s all about efficiency. Gas central heating has already seen its day as the undisputed champion, but it is time to look to a greener solution. There are a number of ways to heat your home whilst saving on energy and keeping costs low, in fact, many people have already followed this trend towards a more economic lifestyle and have reaped the rewards. So, what does the future have to hold for home heating? It’s time to find out.

The first steps to towards a greener heating solution

Whether you’ve kitted out your house with eco-friendly lightbulbs, recycled more frequently than you used to or have even made the switch to an electric car, chances are you have already made environmentally conscious changes to your lifestyle. Well, now it’s time to consider your heating system. Gas central heating is one of the biggest contributors to the UK’s carbon footprint which is why it will need to be replaced if we are to hit net zero emissions by 2050. In five years, gas heating will be banned in new builds, forcing property developers to turn towards modern alternatives. This is one of the first steps towards a more economical society and it will no doubt continue until the heating in every house is powered by a greener solution.

What will the future of home heating look like?

Despite 2050 seeming far off, making the changes to your heating now will benefit you in the long run. In the future, the landscape of home heating will have improved dramatically, with smarter technology and better efficiency being key to this change, so it’s best to get ahead now. Several ideas have been floating around about the best way to heat our homes come the end of gas central heating, so what can we expect?

Heat pumps

Heat pumps could become one of the primary ways to heat our homes in the future. Using electricity, a heat pump transfers heat energy from one source to another, which is usually taken from the ground or the air outside and moved to your home, providing effective warmth. This has already proven popular in some parts of Europe, however installation can be costly and time consuming as it means fitting an entirely new heating system, especially with ground source heat pumps which require pipes to be installed underground.

Pros

Cons

·    Energy efficient

·    Safe (no carbon monoxide leaks)

·    Lowered carbon footprint

·    Can be used for heating & cooling

·    Long Lifespan

·    Better air quality

 

·    Installation can be difficult and expensive 

·    May need planning permission

·    Works overtime in extreme cold

·    Big & bulky

·    Not ideal for old, draughty properties

·    Radiators must be larger to offset lower operating temperatures

 

Hydrogen Boilers

One possible outcome in the future is hydrogen heaters. The idea here is to replace gas boilers with hydrogen ones, supplying heating in much the same way, making for a smoother transition rather than having to install a completely new system. However, installing this method of heating will be expensive and extraction of hydrogen generates carbon dioxide, so technology would have to be created to prevent it from polluting the atmosphere which will only increase costs. Uncertainty surrounds hydrogen boilers, especially since they have yet to be tested which means we won’t truly know how effective they are until they have undergone multiple tests.

Pros

Pros

Cons

·    Energy efficient

·    Renewable energy source

·    Safe (no carbon monoxide leaks)

·    Zero carbon emissions

·    Can be used with existing gas grid

·    Easily replace old gas boilers

 

·    Installation is expensive

·    Yet to be tested

·    Hydrogen is difficult to store

·    Highly flammable & volatile

·    Extracting hydrogen is costly and creates carbon dioxide

 

Electric Radiators

Electric radiators are just as effective as gas central heating only they’re much more efficient. They have already been used in many homes for a number of years now and make a safer option than gas central heating, which is probably why you’ll see more electric radiators in the future. As electricity is already a staple part of our society, implementing electric radiators is an easy adjustment. Plus, many now come with WiFi control compatibility and 24/7 programming, proving they really are the ideal heating solution of the future.

Pros

Cons

·    Energy efficient

·    Easy to install (DIY)

·    Safe (no carbon monoxide leaks)

·    Already implemented in many homes

·    Low maintenance

·    No boiler or pipework necessary

·    Precision control

·    Smart technology (WiFi, voice control, weekly programming)

 

·    Electric prices are currently higher than gas

·    Cannot heat water 

Infrared Panels

A recent addition to the world of heating is infrared heating panels. Using infrared radiation, the warmth provided by these panels rivals the same natural warmth you feel from the sun, only without the damaging rays of ultraviolet. Instead of simply heating the air, the radiant panels produce a gentle and deeper form of heat that travels in a wave to warm objects and people directly. Infrared panels are an established modern, heating solution and many have DIY installation options, making the transition to this system simple enough for any household. 

Pros

Cons

·    Energy efficient

·    Safe (no carbon monoxide leaks)

·    Heats on a deeper level

·    Ultra-slim and discreet

·    Targeted heating

·    Gentle on allergies (doesn’t disturb the air)

·    Can help to prevent damp and fight mould

·    Low maintenance

·    No boiler or pipework necessary

·    Precision control

·    Smart technology (WiFi, voice control, weekly programming)

 

·    Can be expensive

·    Some need professional installation

·    Heat only travels in a direct wave

·    Cannot heat water

 

With a variety of avenues to go down, it is difficult to predict which one our country will choose to take over from gas central heating. Undoubtedly, an energy-efficient solution is the way forward, so why not get ahead and make the upgrade today? 

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