14 January 2008

Jaga Low-H20 Radiators to Heat Our Home

Just on time for the colder months we had central heating installed. To take advantage of our condensing boiler and to save as much as possible when turning on the heat, we went for the Low-H2O radiators by the Belgian company Jaga, called Energy Savers.

Low-H2O stands for low water, meaning that the radiators contain less water than traditional ones. They function on average with only 2 instead of 20 litres. If you run your central heating system like us on a condensing gas boiler, we don’t recommend traditional radiators (as you would not be able to save much energy despite the efficient boiler) but endorse Low-H20 ones or radiant floor heating. The latter was not an option for us due to the weight that would have had to be added to the floor and could have caused structural problems to the over 100 year old building.

The Low-H20 system brings with it the advantage of warm radiators immediately. A newly developed heat exchanger made from aluminium and copper (instead of heavy steel plates that take longer to warm up) lets the heat immediately into the room. Another advantage is the cost savings. A scientific study by Jaga has shown that Low-H20 radiators consume at least 12% less. This is because less water needs to be heated up and the radiators react sooner to the heat; both when starting and stopping the heat. Jaga also claims that ‘homes with Low-H20 radiators annually emit as much as 1000 kg less CO2, and Low-H20 is therefore much less polluting for the environment”. For those of you with kids, there’s no need to worry about burned fingers anymore; the Low-H20 heaters release the heat evenly and therefore don’t need to be super hot. This also results in a greater comfort for everyone at home.

Something that surprised us was the way the radiators arrived at our house. They came flat-packed with one of the radiators measuring 10 x 60 x 120cm in a 10 x 10 x 120cm box for example. A bit worried at first, we realised that the assembly was very straight forward and quick. From an eco point of view we love flat-pack: it reduces the transport and packaging impact drastically. We would also like to mention that Jaga produces in Spain, which is perfect for us in terms of keeping the transportation impact as low as possible.

To give you an idea about pricing, the wall-mounted model 'Strada' measuring 10 x 60 (height) x 100cm (wide) costs 170€. It is suitable for rooms of around 12 m2. In total, our 5 radiators with their installation pieces cost us 1500€ IVA included, and their full installation 1360€. For those of you who have a bit more money to spend than us, check out the Knockonwood series with gorgeous FSC-certified wooden panels as decoration for the radiators. More about those on TreeHugger.

Last but not least, it’s not just the type of heating system that saves you money and is kinder towards the environment, but also the way it is used. Insulating your home (more on double glazing here) or simply putting on another sweater is all part of wise heating. “Each degree Celsius less will save about 10% on your energy use”, says TreeHugger. For more tips, check out How to Green Your Heating.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for all your precious work for spreading the knowledge of wise home renovation! And specially for that post. I've already bought "normal" purmo radiators :( before I could read that post, but it's great to know that there are better ones (for future changes, or to tell friends about).
I wonder if it makes sense, in meaning of energy balance, to change radiators now...
Hard calculation I guess.