If the thought of taking a shower in a cold bathroom is enough to send chills down your spine, then you might dread the arrival of winter temperatures. It’s no wonder that it can be tempting to stay in bed for just a few more minutes while we delay the inevitable.
While it might seem to be a simple solution to just put on the central heating to heat the house if you’re then dashing out to work, it might seem like an unnecessary expense for such a short period of time.
Affordable Ways to Heat Your Bathroom
Thankfully there are alternatives to keep your bathroom nice and warm, even using the bathroom radiator, while keeping the electricity bills to a manageable level.
Thermostatic Radiator Valves
It used to be that when you turned on your central heating, then that caused all the radiators to heat up. To avoid that, you then need to go to each room, scrabble around on your knees and then work out which way to turn the valve to switch it off.
The thermostatic radiator valve (TRV) changes all of that. When fitted onto individual radiators, the TRV can control the temperature of a room by adjusting the amount of hot water that flows into the radiator.
So, that means that you can create heating ‘zones’ around your home even though you have just one heating system. And in the morning, that means you might just have the heating come on in the bathroom and the kitchen. Now, you can have your shower and your morning coffee in the warm.
A convection heater works by pulling in cold air from the room and then heating it via a heating coil. Some heaters also work by drawing the air across a filament filled with oil. There is a wide range of convection heaters available, from small portable heaters up to wall-mounted ones.
Do be aware, though, that convection heaters do not produce even heat; they’re great if you’re standing right in front of them, but they don’t effectively heat the air in the room.
Heated Towel Rail
Towel rails provide a great secondary source of heating in addition to providing a touch of luxury in your bathroom. There are two types of heated towel rails available electric and hydronic.
Electric Towel Heater
The electric towel heater plugs into a power outlet or the mains electricity supply. There’s no need to worry about plumbing or the need to top them up with water for them to work efficiently.
While you may get a little warmth from an electric towel heater, it’s not going to make an awful lot of difference to the overall temperature of the bathroom. The rails provide heat at around 50 degrees, and so the towel soon becomes lovely and warm. In fact, it takes about 5 minutes for them to get warm along around another 30 to get to their maximum heat level.
Hydronic Towel Rails
Hydronic Rails, meanwhile, are designed to heat the room as well as the towels. They do this by pumping hot water through the rail, which means that they need to be connected to the boiler. A hydronic towel rail heats up to 55 degrees.
So, while this is an excellent option for providing warmth, it does come back to having to fire up the boiler to get the heat returned.
Heat lamps, also known as infrared lamps, are an excellent heat source. It’s a popular way to heat a bathroom because they are so easy to install and use. An infrared heat lamp uses a special incandescent light bulb, which produces some light but is primarily designed for heat production. The bulbs then produce heat by generating infrared light.
Infrared heat lamps don’t use up too much power, so they are relatively efficient to run. However, they’re designed as a short-term heating solution, so they shouldn’t be left on for long periods of time.
This type of heating should be installed with a switch that can be used to control it, which is separate from the bathroom lighting.
Wall heaters are similar to space heaters, but they require permanent installation. Depending on the heating requirements of your bathroom, these can be either 120 or 240 volts. They should be fitted by a qualified engineer who will ensure that the install location offers the best way of heating the room.
Most wall heaters are equipped with thermostats and even timers to make it easier to control the temperature and ensure efficiency.
The radiant floor heating system is a great way to avoid the dreaded cold feet every time you step into the bathroom. The system uses water-heated tubing or electrically heated coils to provide heat to your bathroom from the floor up.
Although many people consider this to be a ‘luxury,’ underfloor heating is actually very efficient to run. This is because the water temperature is much lower than is needed to heat a radiator.
There are two different options for underfloor heating, water systems and electric systems.
Underfloor heating that uses a water system are generally put in place within the floor construction when the house is being built
Electric underfloor heating can be installed when you’re renovating your bathroom. These systems can be in the form of loose wires when the bathroom is an irregular shape, or they can be laid in 50cm wide mats. The mats are a really quick and easy way to install underfloor heating, and they cause very little difference to the height of the floor.
Another advantage to putting in underfloor heating is that it’s well known for its ability to increase the value of your home.
There’s no need for a cold bathroom!
With so many options available, there’s really no need to dread entering an icy cold bathroom. Whether you need a long-term solution such as underfloor heating or a quick fix from a portable convection heater, there will be a way to make your morning shower a much more pleasant experience.
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