Cliff L'Aimable _Chartered Surveyor & Building Engineer
Heat yourself not your whole house !!
Updated: Jan 15
When it comes to our homes, I last discussed the concepts of "Fabric First Approach" in one of my earlier blogs (published via my other websites).
I will therefore remind my readers of what that strategy entails.
Its name refers to the concept of the fabric first dwelling, where building materials used to construct your home are taken into consideration well before any heating appliances are installed and used, The fabric of the building should therefore include thermally efficient walls, insulated floors, ceilings, and roofs, and a high level of draught exclusion, and tightly controlled air in and air out pathways.
In order to minimise the need for heating, a fabric-first home is built to air tight standards, designed in the first instance to conserve and therefore reduce energy consumption using low-thermal mass and to emit low carbon emissions over its lifetime.
However, let's shift our interest this time, to a heating regime that involves just heating an individual rather than the entire building, or even a portion of the dwelling-house. Especially for those who live alone, or work alone when the house is empty for up to 8 hours whilst other occupants are at work or at school.
How does using an electric blanket affect my energy costs?
An energy-efficient electric blanket can heat a person for only 2-4p per hour (at 34p/kWh), compared to the cost of heating a 3-bedroom semi-detached or mid-terraced home with a 24-kW condensing gas boiler, costing around £3.90p to £5.00p per hour.
Therefore, using an electric blanket to stay warm is undoubtedly more economical. This is especially true for those who have mobility issues, work from home, or spend a lot of time in one place due to medical conditions that make them more susceptible to illness or the cold.
When used as directed, modern electric blankets are both safe and economical to use. The best blankets are:
• designed with automatic fail-safes, which means they turn off automatically after a predetermined amount of use.
• have zones where you can set different times to heat only your feet, your body, or both.
We reached out to hundreds of owners of renovated buildings who were listed in our database and discovered that they had electric blankets in their inventories. We learned that, on average, after purchasing an electric blanket, these building owners saved 10–20% on their winter heating costs.
That amounts to a significant £325 savings over a year.
Please think about buying one yourself if you can.
Electric blankets are available from Dreamland or Cosi Home, but blankets can also be purchased from many other stores, including Amazon, Curry's, Argos, or Dunelm.
How should I keep warm using my electric blanket?
Electric blankets are an affordable way to stay warm even when used at their highest output settings (depending on their overall design wattages, which range from 100 W to 120 W).
How to maximise the use of your electric blanket
• Rather than using it as a mattress under blanket, use it as a throw over your body to keep you warm. By the way you can buy throw over body blankets that work
• Set the blanket's temperature at its highest setting for a short while, then lower it to a medium setting for prolonged use, or perhaps turning it down to two-thirds of its maximum heat setting.
• Avoid folding the blanket because doing so might make the heating less effective.
Compared to a heated mattress topper, the blanket operates differently.
Although the heat may feel patchy to the touch, the blanket is actually doing its job of keeping you warm by enclosing you in a warm halo.
• To prevent overheating, place the blanket's connector at your feet and keep it clear of objects.
• Be careful not to leave children unattended with the blanket, and refrain from using electric blankets on young babies (consult the manufacturers recommendations)
information about safety
Please be aware of the Fire Brigade's recommendations regarding the safe use of blankets, as well as the recommendation to keep homes generally above 15 degrees celsius and to avoid producing excessive steam in your homes (such as during cooking or indoor drying of clothes) without adequate ventilation.
Children under the age of three should not use these.
Please read the London Fire Brigade's complete safety advice.
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