In light of the coronavirus pandemic throughout 2020 (and now 2021), office workers across the UK were forced to adapt to a completely new life of working from home.
This year is expected to see twice the amount of people working from home with research showing that more than two-thirds of businesses are planning to permanently shift their employees to remote working alternatives once the current pandemic ends.
With that in mind, Keith Bastian, CEO and founder of Fischer Future Heat
, an expert in dynamic heating, explains how homeowners can diversify their homes to meet new remote office needs, while also reducing the carbon footprint of their home and keeping an eye on energy costs.
For many, working from home would have caused an increase in bills and energy usage particularly for heating.
In order for employees to continue their levels of productivity, it was important for them to create a dedicated workspace within their homes. Employees turned conservatories, spare bedrooms and dining rooms into somewhat of a home office.
The number of outdoor spaces, such as sheds and garden office pods, has also been increasing throughout the pandemic in order to provide people with a dedicated place of work. Currently, one million at-home workers have invested in such, and a further 1.1 million are expected to follow suit throughout 2021.
It is safe to say that this is more than just a trend and remote working will soon become the new norm.
After enduring a third national lockdown during the cold winter months, it comes as no surprise that many homeowners have seen a drastic increase in their heating and energy costs. Pre-pandemic, they may have only been at home during the evenings and weekends, but now, due to restrictions and the need to work from home, it is quite the opposite.
Not only are their bills increasing, but so is their contribution to the ongoing negative effects on the environment.
Currently, if employees are made to work from home due to the coronavirus pandemic, they are able to claim tax relief for expenses related to work. Whilst this is the case for now, the question is posed; for how much longer will this be the case? Will it too become the new norm for all homeworkers?
With that in mind, it should be in everybody’s best interests to save some of their hard-earned cash, while reducing their carbon footprint in the process.
More people are beginning to build offices that are entirely independent and not a part of their home, and with this comes a need for additional insulation and heating systems.
With this being the case, paired with people spending more time at home than ever before, homeowners should be seeking to lead a more efficient and sustainable lifestyle, starting with the way in which they heat their homes.
Traditionally, fossil fuel heating systems, such as gas and oil boilers, require warming up every room in the house. Many will find that the comfort factor across the seasons is often unbalanced, with upstairs hotter than downstairs and conservatories cold and not always connected to the main heating system.
Homeowners might choose to manually turn off every radiator that is not required to reduce their energy consumption, but this is not as cost effective as they think. The water would still need to pumped all the way round the system in order to heat one room, which is a wasteful exercise. It is far more efficient to heat each room independently, as and when required based on a heating program. This is what we define as dynamic heating.
Extending central heating and plumbing into a conservatory or independent garden office can be difficult and costly. Apart from the aesthetic costs such as extending plumbing, removing floorboards or creating holes in walls, it will often require a long diversion from the rest of your system, demanding a high volume of piping for a single radiator. Controlling that single radiator with a single thermostat in the rest of the home is unadvisable, as the heat loss for a conservatory or independent office will be totally different to the rest of the home.
To combat this very issue, dynamic electric clay core radiators can allow consumers and homeowners to be in complete control of their heating and independently heat rooms without the need to add to their existing central heating. Entirely electric with intelligent and wireless room temperature control functionality, they are also easy to install and can be powered by renewable energy solutions such as wind and solar.
As part of the new Future Homes Standard, the government will be banning all fossil fuel heating systems such as gas boilers from being installed in all new homes by 2025. This comes in a bid to tackle climate change and will reduce emissions and carbon footprints by almost a third, whilst keeping household bills low.
Helping to support the UK government’s target for net zero emissions by 2050, electric heating makes economic sense to customers looking to futureproof their homes and continue with at-home working alternatives.
Employees need to be in a comfortable environment when working, due to the extended time spent sitting, and heating plays a huge role. In an office or indoor workplace, health and safety regulations require the working environment to be a certain temperature - a minimum of 16 degrees Celsius. It leaves the question open as to how this can be monitored by employers if remote working continues to rise in the future?
Of course, it can be difficult to find the perfect temperature for a room without affecting the heating throughout the rest of the home, but electric heaters provide homeowners with the ability to do exactly that, giving them with a comfortable and compliant temperature.
All of that, combined with the increase in outdoor home offices, makes us think; is there a newfound need for builders and developers to sell heating systems as a package to aid consumers with cost-efficiency and sustainability? We think so.