I have just completed a report on a small domestic heating trial (12 households) which we ran here in rural Wales during January and February. Our aim was to explore a way that households could reduce the energy consumption of oil or LPG powered central heating and improve occupants’ thermal comfort by introducing simple, supplementary, conductive and radiant IR ‘spot heating’ devices which focus on heating people rather than space. The experiment affected both behaviour and thinking and shed new light on what it means to keep warm. The results point to possible techniques for reducing household energy whilst improving thermal comfort – particularly in older, poorly insulated housing which is unlikely to be adequately fixed for some while.
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