Floor your heating bill

Isaac Moledi

Isaac Moledi

Winter power cuts and high energy bills can be beaten.

Experts believe that old fashioned electricity guzzling geysers and poor heating methods increase electricity consumption, add to your costs and strain the national electricity grid.

But Claus Jakobsen, marketing director of Danfoss, the world's biggest floor heating company, says you can beat power cuts and high energy bills.

He says that floor insulation, coupled with well-installed underfloor heating, can chop 25percent off your electricity bill.

Jakobsen says that underfloor heating is environmentally friendly and healthier for people who suffer from asthma because dust mites hate it.

Because underfloor heating emits no electromagnetic rays, Jakobsen says it cuts down on the very high amount of electromagnetic rays in homes. This has been blamed for the dramatic rise in cancer, especially in children.

He says South Africans are poorly informed on ways to conserve energy and cut costs, and this is placing excessive strain on an already overburdened national grid adding to consumer bills.

"Heated towel rails are seen by many as a luxury, but they consume as little electricity as the dimmest electrical light bulbs - a mere 40watts.

"They also save on tumble drying costs because towels dampened after one use do not need to be spun dry. They dry quickly on the towel rail."

Jakobsen says a 10square metre bathroom heated for two hours a day costs approximately 37 cents a day or R11 a month to run. An intelligent thermostat uses up to 40percent less energy than standard timers or thermostats.

It knows when to switch on or off and ensures maximum comfort - without very hot or very cold areas experienced with old fashioned ways of heating.

Electric floor heating can be installed under wood or laminate as long as there is a floor sensor.

To heat a 30square metre room with 3kW installed and an intelligent thermostat, the standard Eskom rate for 1kW an hour is 37 cents.

If the room is heated for five hours a day it will cost R5,50 a day. But with only a standard thermostat, it will cost about R16 a day. Conventional oil, electric or gas heating costs can be double that - about R25 to R30 a day, says Jakobsen.