Heating

  • Fit a timer control – doesn’t matter if you have a central heating boiler and radiators, or a fan heater - there’s no point in heating your shop unless someone’s there. So use a 7 day, 24 hour programmer to control your heating.
  • Take control of the temperature – you need a quality, fast acting thermostatic control as your shop could become cold very quickly. Don’t rely on thermostatic radiator valves as depending on where they’re used and what other temperature controls you have, they can be inaccurate1.
  • Install a high efficiency condensing boiler – these convert gas to heat at over 90% efficiency. Older boilers may operate at less than 55% efficiency, which means running costs are over third higher2
  • Point of use water heating – in staff rooms, kitchens and toilets, fit point of use water heating for supply of hot water. This will stop excessive heat loss from connecting pipes and allow you to shut down your boiler completely in the summer when it is operating least efficiently.
  • Improve your insulation – loft insulation is often forgotten for shops. Use 270mm of fibre insulation and install cavity wall insulation if you can3.
  • Do away with draughts– a huge amount of heat is lost through opening doors, also the gaps around windows and doors. Think about fitting automatic doors and good quality door and window seals.
  • Electric heaters eat energy – plug in electric heaters are often used in shops as a quick way to provide heat. 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.

Details taken from the Carbon Trust: How to implement thermostatic radiator valves.

2 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).

Increasing insulation to 270mm could reduce costs. See Energy Saving Trust: Insulation for more information.