How technology has transformed home heating in Northern Ireland

  • Mark Eccles from leading heating manufacturer Grant, outlines further insight into how innovative technological advancements have changed the face of home heating on a local level.

    The concept of home heating is one which has been around for many years and is generally often taken for granted by homeowners today. Remarkably, the invention of central heating itself dates as far back as ancient Greece however, it was the Romans who truly made their mark on the industry during that time with the development of the hypocaust system that facilitated underfloor heating. Following its creation, central heating was not reintroduced until approximately 1,500 years later during the Industrial Revolution and now, in the 21st century, features as the backbone to many homes across Northern Ireland.

    Developments in traditional heating appliances
    Homeowners who use oil as their home heating fuel, can now avail of much more efficient heating technologies through the development of condensing boilers, which offer higher efficiencies and can help to significantly reduce annual fuel bills.

    The Consumer Council highlights that oil consumers in Northern Ireland with a non-condensing boiler tend spend approximately 18% more a year than those with a more efficient condensing oil heating system. Condensing oil boilers on the market such as the Grant Vortex range feature a stainless-steel heat exchanger that helps capture energy that is normally lost during the combustion process in traditional oil boilers. With such sophisticated technology featured in the Grant Vortex, end users can expect much higher efficiencies ranging between 92-97%.

    For those considering an upgrade to their heating system, models within the Vortex range such as the Vortex Pro Utility, Vortex Pro Combi and VortexBlue, which recently received recognition from leading consumer body Which?, could help them save up to 25% on annual fuel bills depending on the age and make of their current system.

    Introduction of smart heating controls
    Thermostatic technology is incredibly impressive nowadays, fitting in well with the demand for smarter homes driven by the ‘Internet of Things’ trend and consumers’ desire for convenience. In the name of convenience, many oil boiler models including the Grant Vortex, are compatible with smart thermostats such as OpenTherm or Nest.

    Giving you the feeling of ultimate control, these thermostats can learn your behaviours and heating preferences, adjust themselves based on ambient conditions and let you control whether your heating is on or off from any device. Those with smart heating controls no longer need to worry about accidentally leaving the heating on when they leave the house.

    Increased use of sustainable heating technology including heat pumps
    With an ever-increasing focus on how individuals and societies as a whole can help reduce their carbon footprint, sustainable heating technology including heat pumps has been growing in demand.

    One strand within the heat pump offering includes air to water which uses basic thermodynamic principles to convert thermal energy in the atmosphere into heat energy that can be used to provide heating and water. Heat pumps are an excellent choice for households seeking to improve their impact on the environment and their overall home efficiency.

    Units such as the Grant Aerona3 air source heat pump can deliver over four times the amount of energy for every 1kW of electricity used depending on the flow temperature and the climate conditions prevailing at the time. With the ability to modulate up or down depending on the climate conditions and demand on the heating system, the units give homeowners the added peace of mind that their home is being heated as efficiently as possible all year round.

    More efficient and stylish radiators
    Radiators are another element of the home heating mix that have seen significant developments over the years. Traditional radiators generally take up large amounts of wall space and are turned up quite high in order to feel their full effect however, nowadays design-conscious homeowners are turning to sleeker and more modern styles that combine high efficiencies and the ability to integrate easily to the ‘feel’ of a home’s interior.

    We most recently launched the Grant Solo Fan convector radiator range that incorporates an aesthetically pleasing design with intelligent technology that delivers faster rates of convection compared to conventional radiators. Delivering the exact amount of heat where and when required with no warm-up time, Solo fan convectors operate for shorter periods of time and consequently consume lower amounts of energy.

    Producing more output per area compared to conventional radiators, the Solo Fan convector range comprises of three models including the wall mounted Solo Compact and Solo CompactMAX along with the space saving plinth heater the Solo Hideaway, which can be easily integrated into kitchen and bedroom designs.

    Innovation in heating technology has certainly excelled in recent years, resulting in a more competitive playing field for those operating in the heating industry and ensuring that homeowners have the choice of the most efficient and technologically advanced products on the market that provide long term environmental and economic benefits for their homes and families.

    You can learn more about the latest business news in Northern Ireland and across the island of Ireland by visiting Sync NI's dedicated 'Business' hub.

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