Warm air heating has not always been a very popular heating option amongst those of us who value the environment, but as home insulation and airtightness improve it could become a much more viable option.
Warm air-ducted heating is a technology which was more prominent in the 1970s, but which has rather fallen in popularity in recent years. However, new building methods and materials could make warm air heating relevant again.
The main selling point of warm air heating is just how quickly it warms a home. This is due to the fact that it warms the air inside the house rather than warming the house itself. However, this also means that the temperature falls as quickly as it rises. Modern insulation and airtightness designs mean that this is no longer such an issue as the heat remains in the home.
The better insulation and airtightness of today also mean that mechanical ventilation systems are becoming more the norm, directly lending itself to warm air heating. Mechanical ventilation alongside heat recovery is essentially a warm air heating system.
When to Use Warm Air Heating
Warm air systems are able to produce up to 30kW, but the higher the heat load the longer the system will require to keep the house warm. The perfect situation for a warm air heating system would be in a well-insulated and thermally efficient one or two storey house where mechanical ventilation is being used.
With the upcoming revision to the Building Regulations, it will be required that improved insulation and airtightness measures are taken when building new homes as we aim to create zero-carbon homes in 2016. As that time nears, the need for space heating will diminish and the need for ventilation will increase, inevitably creating something of a rebirth for warm air heating systems.
How to Measure Efficiency
When browsing the market, you will see that almost all gas and oil-fired boilers are attributed a SEDBUK (Season Efficiency of Domestic Boilers in the UK) rating, which used to be on a scale of A to G. Recently, however, the scale has been scrapped in favour of a percentage rating to compare the efficiency of boilers.
SEDBUK ratings are based on water temperatures, but warm air heating systems don’t use any water so they cannot be fairly tested or rated. However, warm air boiler manufacturers also produce efficiency ratings in terms of percentage so that the two can be more easily compared. Make sure to remember that this could be misleading due to the fact that it is a measure of very different factors.
Find more information on the different Types of Warm Air Heating Systems and the Key Facts about Warm Air Heating.
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