The South African winter may not be the coldest when compared to the rest of the world but most of us can agree that the icy winds, crisp, dry air and rain in some parts of the country are cold enough to warrant a few changes to cosy up your home.
We asked interior designer, writer and editor of SA Decor and Design, Marcia Margolius, award-winning lifestyle blogger, Karen Kelly (Lovilee Blog), Interior Designer and winner of the Johannesburg HOMEMAKERS Expo Designer Spaces Challenge 2020 winner, Lindiwe Ludonga (Blooming Oaks Inc.) and Deputy Editor of Visi magazine, Annemarie Meintjes to share how they are getting their homes ready for winter. (more…)Read More
We are lucky to have mild winters in comparison to colder parts of the world. However, the chillier snaps may have you piling blankets on to try to keep warm. Underfloor heating has been around for a few decades but rising electricity prices have kept many away from investing in it as a home or viable business heating system.
In this article, we discover the best underfloor heating options for you. Underfloor heating is low maintenance suitable for any type of floor.
Wet and Dry
Hydronic underfloor heating (wet) uses water to heat the floors. With water heating, a series of pipes beneath the floorboards or tiles are connected to your water heater (geyser) which then circulates warm water throughout the structure. Developments in hydronic underfloor heating systems offer an alternative to electrical systems. The hot water alternative will keep your entire home warm at a reduced long-term cost.
Electric underfloor heating (dry) uses a large system of wires placed under the floor in the room you wish to heat. Some people opt for heating mats that can be laid to cover a large portion of the room, whereas others go with a system of individual wires that can reach all parts of a room. The heating mats tend to be a bit more affordable as they can be mass-produced in a variety of shapes and sizes.
Long-term Savings or Not?
The initial cost of installing hydronic underfloor heating is higher than its electrical counterpart. However, in the long run, it is cheaper and more efficient to run than other heat sources. Hydronic heating systems also have an extremely long lifespan and require little maintenance once installed correctly. The system should last a minimum of 50 years.
Electrical underfloor heating, on the other hand, is generally more costly to run than hydronic underfloor heating. It may be wise to restrict it to smaller living areas.
As a radiant heating source, underfloor heating is able to evenly heat entire rooms from the ground up. That means there are no cold spots and the room can easily be kept at a constant, comfortable temperature. Different heat sources are available to suit your needs and preferences. Heat pumps, boiler pellets and solar heating are the most popular. Installing a buffer tank to store heated water for when it is needed can prolong your heat pump’s lifespan.
Electric underfloor heating is a lot easier to install compared to the pipes required for hydronic systems. It is not expensive to install and can most probably be done by you.
To make it a cost-effective investment, hydronic heating is best suited to spaces that are bigger than 100m². Therefore, it is best to have water underfloor heating installed across your entire home or as an integrated part of your home’s water heating system. Single rooms such as bathrooms are best suited for electric underfloor heating as it will most likely only be used during the winter months.
Ready for underfloor heating? Find a specialist here on HOMEMAKERS.Read More
Around half of all your heat can escape if your home is not properly insulated. Efficient insulation is one of the most energy-efficient ways to keep your home warm in the winter and cool in the summer. The added benefit is a reduced electricity bill and a much smaller carbon footprint.
How does it work?
Insulation is a layer of material in your walls, ceiling, floor and roof that moderates the temperature inside your home. Heat flows naturally from warmer areas to cooler ones. During the winter, heat moves directly from warm spaces to unheated spaces and outdoors and in summer, it moves from the warm outdoors to the cooler interior of your home.
Insulation slows the movement of heat from a hot space to a cooler space, increasing the energy efficiency of your home by reducing the amount of heat that escapes.
When installed properly, insulation can increase the comfort levels of your home by maintaining a consistent, uniform temperature from room to room.
What to look out for?
If you are in the process of replacing your insulation, or building from the ground up and need to make the decision on what insulation, you want to look at the R and U values of each material. The R-value is a method of measuring how well a material resists heat. The U-value is the measurement of heat transfer in a particular material.
The higher the R-Value, the better the material is at insulating your home and restricts thermal heat from entering or exiting your home. The lower the U-Value, the better able the material is at insulating your home.
Three Types of Insulation
- Fiberglass is one of the most widely used types of insulations, and it can be installed as a blanket system of rolls. Examples include Aerolite, Granric and Knauf.
- Polyester like Isotherm and Think Green
- Cellulose Insulation is one of the most environmentally friendly types of insulation. It is made up of 80 per cent recycled newspapers. It is also one of the best types of insulation for soundproofing.
Quick Product Overview
Think pink aerolite is still the best-known insulation on the market, with isotherm insulation becoming more popular in recent years. Aerolite, Isotherm and Think Green all have very similar R-values, making it more about budget and preference.
Aerolite is a type of fibreglass insulation. It is better defined by its composition, pink in colour, high in quality, thermal and acoustic components. It is manufactured in rolls that can be easily cut, is safe, non-flammable and affordable.
Isotherm is popular with homeowners as it does not contain chemicals or fibreglass, is eco-friendly, safe, non-allergic and has a 30-year manufacturer warranty.
Think Green is an eco-friendly polyester ceiling insulation produced by using PET plastic bottles. This product is locally produced in Johannesburg, which keeps costs down.
Contain that heat, make an informed decision and keep your home nice and toasty this winter. Choose a HOMEMAKERS expert here.
Mamela ho Sengoloa sa insulin ka Sotho mona (Listen to The Lowdown on Insulation in Sotho here):Read More
It’s that time of year where you need to start thinking about how you will be heating your home this winter. With so many options available, we want to give you the lowdown on what we think is best for our South African winters.
Whether you choose a traditional fireplace or underfloor heating, choosing the right option for your home and budget is important. Below we look at a few popular ways that South Africans are using to heat their homes.
Fireplaces are probably the most classic way to heat your home. They come in all shapes and sizes making it convenient to choose the right style for your home. From woodburning fireplaces and enclosed fireplaces to electric fireplaces and ventless built-in fireplaces, it is important to decide what suits your lifestyle and family environment best.
Radiators might seem old-fashioned but they are a surefire way to heat your home effectively. They are used more predominantly in central heating systems found mostly in large homes with big families. Radiators also heat your home’s water so you do not have to rely on a geyser to do so. Traditional radiator needs to be heated to a fairly high temperature (between 65 and 75 degrees Celsius to warm a room effectively. This consumes a lot of energy and is not the most sustainable way to heat your home.
Underfloor heating is known to distribute heat more evenly than any other heating system. It has a lower temperature than radiators making it more efficient and eco-friendly. This can also save you costs in the long run. Also known as radiant heating, you get two types of underfloor heating. Both electric and water-based systems supply heat from the floor up. Underfloor heating is basically maintenance-free making it a popular choice for homeowners.
Solar Water Heating
We know that sustainability is huge at the moment and that incorporating eco-friendly elements into your home, significantly increases the value of your home too. Solar water heating is becoming very popular as it omits the use of your home geyser to heat your water. A solar water heater uses the sun to heat water. The water then flows through water pipes that supply hot water to your home.
Find a heating specialist to get your home warm and cosy just before the cold winter strikes right here on HOMEMAKERSRead More