Tasteful heating solutions for the kitchen

flames in a kitchen range

Modern kitchens can often feel cold and draughty. As the kitchen is the heart of the home, it’s fundamental to make it a place where all the family will enjoy spending time. A number of heating solutions for individual styles are now available to create a warming and welcoming environment.

Whether you prefer traditional rustic stoves or the contemporary minimalism offered from underfloor heating, there are numerous possibilities for any kitchen. These six alternatives are hand-picked to exude optimal style whilst also producing a cosy atmosphere.

Kitchen with vertical wall radiator

Column radiators

Radiators are by far the most common means to heat the home. The great variety in column radiators allows you to choose a style to fit into any space in the house. This is particularly important in the kitchen.

Column radiators exude style and classic charm. Highly versatile as either a beautiful period feature for traditional décor or a more contemporary interpretation with tall vertical columns. The robust structure creates a characteristic focal feature for the home and is a great decorative alternative to the standard panel radiator.

Available in a variety of sizes and heights, the column radiator can act as a focal point for any room as they’re highly attractive in design. These elegant radiators are also designed to be as high-performing as they are attractive.

Kitchen with plinth heater

Plinth heaters

A plinth heater is a perfect option for home-owners seeking a minimal and uncluttered kitchen. Not only are these heaters economical on space, they also save your feet from a chilly floor. They fit into the base of a kitchen unit and produce instant heat once switched on. Plinth heaters are most effective when placed in areas where you often stand. These heaters are great for heating your floor and are a cheaper alternative to underfloor heating.

Underfloor heatingcredit

Underfloor heating

Underfloor heating is often considered a luxurious item that costs a great deal to power. However, through innovative developments it is now achievable to heat efficiently with a modern system. The general overall heat emission from the floor creates an even temperature making it a highly efficient alternative. As it warms the entire area from the ground up, underfloor heating eradicates that unpleasant experience of stepping onto a cold floor during winter. The almost invisible feature of heated floors makes it ideal for kitchens with limited space or for those wanting minimalist design.

There are two types of underfloor heating; wet system which uses pipes to circulate hot water from your central heating, and electric which uses heating mats placed onto the sub-floor.

Range cooker in a kitchen

Traditional cookers

Aga or Rayburn stoves are iconic features of the country kitchen but in recent years they’ve been slowly making their way into suburban households. This style of cooker is an investment piece for your home that creates a real design statement. Whether you want to bake meringues in the warming draw or cook some chips in the oven, a stove provides you with the means to do so.

Once lit, these stoves generally need to be kept on at all times during winter to prevent damage from constant temperature changes. Some people chose to have them off during the course of the summer so you would need a separate cooker during this time.

Multi-fuel stove

Stoves

Get toasty with a hearty fire from your wood burner or electric stove in your kitchen. These popular burners are a great way to efficiently heat your home and create a beautiful design feature for any room. Available in traditional wood burning or multi fuel stoves as well as electric, stoves have become an accessible accessory for any home.

You may assume that multi fuel stoves are only found in large houses in the country. However, modern developments such as clean burn technology mean these contemporary stoves are now easier than ever to use and maintain. The multi fuel stove offers a choice of fuels so you have the options of wood, coal and paper, giving you more control over your heat output.

Electric stoves provide a similar cosy atmosphere with an understated fireside ambiance ideal for those with kitchens that have limited space. A stove will definitely add the wow factor to your home.

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How do cast iron radiators work?

Modern bathroom with pair of cast iron radiators beneath windowscredit

***Article supplied by AEL Heating Limited***

If you’re considering installing cast iron radiators in your home, and deliberating the pros and cons of old and new systems, then you may be interested to get the low down on how cast iron radiators work.

If they’re installed and functioning properly, cast iron radiators can be incredibly effective for heating areas, even large rooms. The downside is that they can be bigger in size than their modern radiator counterparts, so you should always bear this in mind. However, that doesn’t negate from the fact that they’re stylish, efficient and affordable too.

Industrial loft apartment with wall of under-window radiatorscredit

The power of steam

Having been around since the mid-1800s, cast iron radiators have played a vital role in heating homes and businesses throughout the world and come in a variety of different styles and designs. But despite their shape, size or style, the principles behind the way they work are the same – steam power.

By converting water into steam, cast iron radiators will then transfer this heat into the atmosphere through radiation and convection. Although, despite the name ‘radiator’, more of the heat is transferred through convection – where warm air rises and cold air sinks – than through radiation.

The steam system requires a hot water boiler that will be the heart of your heating system; continuously heating the water to convert it into steam. The water boiler uses a heating element inside that brings the water to boiling point to generate steam. This steam is then forced up through the pipes into the radiators by sheer pressure, to transmit heat without the need of a pump.

As the steam passes through the radiators and pipes, it will naturally cool down and turn back into water condensation. But this is all put to good use, as the condensation from the cooled steam travels back down to the water boiler, where it is reheated to create more steam to recirculate through the pipes and radiators.

Small cast iron radiator under circular windowcredit

The technical side

Of course, the steam process sounds relatively simple, particularly when you consider the modern day radiator designs, with their water filled radiators that heat the water, and use a pump to circulate it through the system. However, underneath the exterior of these sturdy cast iron radiators are a series of individual sections that are connected by valves and seals that allow the steam to pass into the radiators, pressurise to retain the heat so it can be emitted into the air in the room, and then allow the cooled condensation to flow back down to the central water boiler.

These valves play a vital role in ensuring the cast iron radiator heating system functions efficiently, as small holes in the seals, or cracks in the metalwork can cause leaks and loss of pressure. This results in steam will escaping into the atmosphere, rather than heating the system.

Detail of gold coloured cast iron radiatorcredit

The reality of cast iron radiators

Having been used in homes and businesses for well over 150 years, there is a lot to be said for the effectiveness and efficiency of using cast iron radiators to heat areas. Although, you should be aware that these steam systems takes longer to heat than a more modern water baseboard system as they need to reach boiling point to create steam, rather than just reaching an optimal water temperature. Thus they may consume more energy in the water heating process, but that being said, the amount of heat that is passed through convection into the atmosphere is often much greater and lasts much longer too.

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