The heat is on

With strict legislation on both safety and efficiency, choosing a space heating system for a school or nursery can be a daunting decision

Rising energy prices and increasingly stringent legislation on carbon emissions has ensured that energy efficiency has become top of the agenda for any organisation in recent years. The need to drive down costs and meet sustainability targets is forcing those in both the private and public sectors to seriously consider ways in which they can reduce the energy consumption of their building.

This need for efficiency is further heightened in the education sector, with government targets which require new build and refurbishment projects to achieve a ‘Very Good’ BREEAM rating. The answer inevitably lies in a combination of energy efficiency measures, from insulation and lighting to glazing and ventilation. One of the biggest factors which will inevitably impact on the efficiency of any building, however, is space heating.

Striving for safety

For schools and nurseries, this need for energy efficiency is combined with an obvious need to ensure the safety of heating appliances. With no specific guidelines for the education sector, many organisations play it safe by following the example set by the healthcare sector. Specifically, this means following NHS Estates Guidance notes, which state that the surface temperature of space heating appliances such as convectors and radiators should be controlled, recommending a maximum surface temperature of 43°C.

However, the same guidelines note that a “preferable solution” is the installation of purpose-manufactured Low Surface Temperature (LST) heat emitters. And, in most cases, direct-acting electric LST panel heaters like Creda’s new model could prove to be the standout option. 

Electric avenue

Electric panel heaters are easy to install, require no regular maintenance and are increasingly simple to use, featuring modern, touch-screen user interfaces. As direct-acting appliances, they use convection heating to heat a space quickly and to create a comfortable environment by accurately holding the desired room temperature until the heater is turned off.

Direct-acting electric heating appliances offer fast warm-up and cool-down time, with market-leading models even using a fan boost to accelerate the hot air from the heater and reach the desired room temperature more quickly. With individual time and temperature control, they can also be operated independently to prevent unnecessary energy wastage in unoccupied rooms.

A common misconception is that some electric heating appliances are less efficient and more expensive to run than others. In fact, all direct-acting heating appliances are 100% efficient in converting energy into heat at the point of use. The key to meeting heat demand most efficiently and cost-effectively, however, is in the development of highly accurate controls – and manufacturers have taken huge steps to improve the technology in recent years.

Appliances which can offer the lowest variance in temperatures will inevitably be able to keep running costs to a minimum. More importantly, they will also minimise wasted energy, drive energy consumption down, and help to improve the overall energy efficiency of the building.

Creda Nobo offers a wide range of domestic and commercial electric heating products, all supported by unrivalled customer service and aftercare support. From the innovative Quantum Energy System to towel rails and small fan heaters, all products are virtually maintenance-free and designed to meet the latest industry standards and building regulations. 

Author Ian Stuhldreer is sales director for electric heating experts Creda

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