Do You Need Central Heating in a Loft Conversion?

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Economical Portable Heating May Be All You Need To Heat Your Loft

If you’re planning a loft conversion, or already have one and are thinking of how to heat it, then various options are available at various price points and disruption levels. Of course, the key factor is what use the loft conversion is being put to; if it’s acting as a storage area then full heating may not be necessary, and even an ‘occasional’ bedroom may not warrant major heating provisions.

Taking stock

What the loft conversion is to be used for and what basic steps can be taken to conserve heat are two basic considerations.

Purpose of conversion – is it for regular, occasional or seasonal use? If it’s an extra bathroom, then very possibly a towel heater might provide enough general heat especially if it’s a smaller shower room.

If it’s a smaller box-type extra bedroom, then is it going to be worth extending the central heating system to heat it when simpler methods might suffice?

Heat conservation – warm air rises, so areas higher in the property such as the loft will benefit naturally from heat coming from heated areas below. It’s a main reason why lofts are insulated; to prevent heat from below rising into an often empty space.

While warm air rises, it will soon exit through the roof if it’s not insulated or levels of insulation aren’t very efficient so this will need some thought – and may be all that’s required to retain heat generated from below. In any event, there’s also a requirement to insulate a loft conversion to a certain standard.

Extending the central heating

It may seem the obvious solution, but think carefully as it may be the proverbial ‘sledgehammer to crack a walnut’ measure if you’re not careful.

Expense and upheaval – even if it’s possible to add one or two radiators, it’s still a major undertaking and significant expense to run pipes to the loft and plumb in more radiators. Bear in mind they’ll take up space, so if your conversion has only created a small area be aware of this.

Possibility of your heating not being up to the task – your boiler may not be up to the task of supplying more radiators which will be situated that much farther away than the others. Consequently you could be looking at a boiler upgrade which turns the adaptation of your heating into a major and expensive project.

Tubular heater options

White Tube Heater with plugTo boost the background heat, or maybe provide background heat that could be boosted by the occasional use of a convention heater or similar, you could consider tube heaters which offer a compact and very cheap to run solution.

As their name suggests, they’re a tube shaped heater and are very popular in providing background heat in larger cupboards, conservatories and other smaller spaces. They can be run for fractions of a penny per hour, start at less than £30 each to buy, and can be supplied with optional timers so heat can be programmed to come on as and when required. They can be plugged in with a three pin plug or permanently wired into the mains electricity supply.

They’re easy to fit and, if more than one is required, can be specified with brackets and linking kits so as to be tidily fitted into the space. In conjunction with a well-insulated roof, you could find this is all the heating you need.

Consider needs carefully

As the above illustrates, you may not need to go to the expense of extending your central heating system and run the risk of it costing more than you might have thought possible. Careful insulation and investing in a few tubular heaters may be as much as you need do to comfortably heat your loft.

FAQ’s

Are Tubular Heaters Safe To Use in a Loft Conversion?

When converting a loft, it is necessary to meet certain building regulations for a living environment and when planning how to make your loft a comfortable environment for a bedroom, office or bathroom – you will need to consider how to heat it in the cooler months.

Out of the options available, tubular heaters are among the safest and are designed with safety in mind. They are a safe way to heat an area without the fire risk a paraffin or electric heater can pose. Not to mention they do not emit fumes or dry out the air too much.

If you are considering a loft conversion you may be thinking about any additional costs or jobs associated to make the space liveable. One of these is how to heat the area and you might be considering the pros and cons of extending your central heating to the roof. However, this might not be entirely necessary, as hot air rises your loft can often harness the heat from the rest of the house so will not need as much power to keep it at a comfortable temperature. A tubular heater can be an ideal alternative as it provides enough heat to warm a small area, is cheap to run and easy to install.

Tubular heaters are a fantastic affordable option for heating a space, both with the outright equipment purchase and the running costs. Prices can start as low as £20 each to buy depending on the size and design you need. You can also invest in a thermostat or timer from our tubular heater accessories page to programme heat to be activated ready for when you come home or as the evening begins and the temperature drops.

They’re also very cheap to run too and can cost less than a penny an hour to run, so you won’t see a jump in your electric bill as you begin using your new loft space.

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