Improve your heating efficiency.
A few tips and pointers to help improve your heating energy efficiency:
- Get the right system – large airy spaces, like workshops or pack houses are difficult and expensive to heat, so you must focus on getting heat to where it’s required. A good choice might be a blown air heater. Also radiant heating gives localised and directional warmth for workers who are carrying out tasks in a specific area.
- Control your heating – for heating in livestock production – such as creep heating for pigs – it’s vital to achieve the right environment while controlling your energy costs. The key to this is control. Temperature profiling during rearing periods is a technique that automates the daily adjustment of temperature to delivers the best performance and efficiency.
- Efficient condensing boilers – if you use a boiler, install a high efficiency condensing boiler – these convert gas to heat with over 90% efficiency. Older boilers may be operating at less than 55% efficiency, which means your running costs can be over a third higher than they should be1.
- Smarter water heating – in the dairy industry, water heating is a big concern, and most systems are electrical. To get a greater economy, make sure that all your water is heated on a cheap night rate tariff – also that all water containers, lids and pipes are well insulated. Consider heat recovery from the refrigeration system and solar systems to pre heat washing water.
- Improve insulation – insulation is important for livestock systems at both building and room level as it conserves heat and also limits solar gain in the summer. With buildings in use all the time throughout the year and at a high temperature, materials like insulated cladding boards and composite panels can help to retain heat in winter and slow solar gain in summer.
- Heat for drying – there’s a high demand for heat in grain drying during the autumn months, so the control of this is critical to both production costs and crop quality. Calibration of humidity sensors, crop moisture content measurement and close managing of the drying process should be your main focus of attention.
- Heat in horticulture – glasshouse heating demands a great deal of energy, so the integrity of your glasshouse structure is really important if heating is to be minimised. Keep an eye on how well vents close and seal, and also look into using thermal screens.
- Electric heaters eat energy – plug in electric heaters are often used to keep workshops or offices warm. But using on peak electricity in this way can be expensive over long periods, so it might be worth looking at a more permanent solution. Controlling the times you use electric heaters, and how high you set the temperature is critical – that’s why a time switch is a good idea.
1 The Boiler Efficiency Database lists gas boilers that operate at 90% efficiency.
Older boilers may operate at less than 55% efficiency, which means running costs are over third higher (figure taken from Which).