Care homes in England are under significant financial pressure, with the Local Government Association (LGA) estimating that there is a social funding gap of approximately £3.56 billion. Therefore, facilities managers are faced with the arduous task of upholding standards of care whilst also trying to manage costs.
So what role does efficient heating technology play in this?
Unlike other types of dwelling, turning down the heating in a care environment is simply not an option due to vulnerability of their residents. That’s why energy efficiency should be high on the priority list, to ensure the same level of comfort without extortionate costs.
Upgrading the heating system will have a positive impact on overall energy efficiency, however, to amplify this effect, managers should also consider the type of heat emitters that are used.
A solution to deliver important cost savings is the Low-H2O radiator, which is up to 15 per cent more economical compared to standard steel-panel radiators. Containing a tenth of the water, these products also react at least three times faster to fluctuations in ambient temperature, keeping the residents comfortable. This means that they heat up immediately if the temperature falls below the set level and stop emitting heat as soon as that same level is reached.
Low-H₂O radiators can also be partnered with fan assisted Dynamic Boost Effect (DBE) technology, which improves airflow and boosts heat output by drawing air over the element – increasing the efficiency of the radiator and helping to quietly circulate air around the room.
When safety is paramount it’s important to look for products with Low Surface Temperature (LST) technology. Jaga LST radiators, such as the Maxi 2020, feature a strong, robust casing that is cool to the touch, eliminating the chance of burns.
Many care homes across the UK have already benefitted from implementing the Low-H₂O technology within Jaga’s LST radiators. One example is the historic Royal Hospital Chelsea in London which took the opportunity to revamp its ageing heating system during a renovation of the two Long Wards.
Jaga and contractor CH2M Hill worked together to ensure the right radiators were specified, factoring in the considerable heat loss which would come from the single glazed windows. Bespoke Maxi LST radiators (now superseded by Maxi 2020) with DBE technology were chosen, being one of Jaga's safest, strongest and most flexible heating solutions. It also conforms to NHS Estates Health Guidance Notes on both surface temperature and casing design.
Nzube Igwume, Building Services Engineer at CH2M Hill said, “As well as our trust in Jaga formed through collaborations in the past, our safety concerns were further alleviated because Jaga’s LST radiators have been specified on numerous care home and education projects that required the consideration of vulnerable occupants.”
With the cold, winter months drawing in, now is the time for care homes to upgrade their heating systems to help reduce their energy expenditure for years to come.
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