What you need to know about ThermaSkirt

What you need to know about ThermaSkirt
DiscreteHeat’s Sales and Marketing Director, Ethan Wadsworth

DiscreteHeat answers the most-asked questions about its infrared radiant heating system, ThermaSkirt.

ThermaSkirt is an energy efficient infrared radiant heating system, cleverly designed to look like a traditional skirting board, that can work with a range of heating systems, whether that’s heat pump or electric heating, and can be controlled just like conventional radiators, using thermostats and timers or smart controls. It’s the perfect solution when installing a heat pump and is a great easy to fit alternative to underfloor heating. It can either be used instead of radiators or used to make up a shortfall in total heat output.

Here, DiscreteHeat’s Sales and Marketing Director, Ethan Wadsworth, answers some technical questions about the system:

How does ThermaSkirt heat the room?  How does the air flow?

The easiest way to explain how ThermaSkirt works is first to explain how a radiator works.

There are three ways that heat energy can be transferred.  There’s conduction – heat is transferred through contact.  Then there’s radiation, which is the infrared rays that come off anything that’s warmer than its environment.  Finally, there’s convection, which is basically both conducted and radiated heat that’s transferred onto air molecules.  The air molecules stratify: the cold dense air falls and the hot less dense air rises, so radiators create a convection current.   Even though they are called radiators, they are actually convectors.

ThermaSkirt is actually a radiator in its truest sense: it’s an infrared heater.  Hot water in the pipe heats up the aluminium profile and the aluminium radiates heat into the room.  Inevitably, some air movement will be created, but the main heat is radiant heat, so no air flow is required.  ThermaSkirt is more akin to underfloor heating in that respect, because you don’t get air flow across underfloor heating either.

There is a common misconception about how heating works.  It doesn’t require any air flow.  It’s offsetting the heat losses of the building, not trying to move hot air around.

How many kW of heat is generated?  Is it powerful enough to heat the room?

With a boiler you can get up to around 180 Watts per metre of ThermaSkirt.  Heat pumps run at a lower temperature, around a maximum of 50°C, so you can get around 100 Watts per metre.  Either way, it’s quite a high heat output and very effective.

For example, a four metre by four metre room has about 15 metres of available skirting area, taking out a metre for the doorway, giving you around 2.8kW in 16 square metres.  Or, to put it another way, it’s 170 Watts per square metre.

How has the design changed over the years since the product was first launched?

Fundamentally, the way the product works hasn’t changed at all, because that’s just physics, and those laws rarely, if ever, change.

The changes we’ve made have mainly been around ease of installation, aesthetics and durability.  Back in 2010, where the corners met there were plastic cover plates and plastic trims.  Now we use powder coated stainless steel, which looks great and is very durable.  We used to use an extruded bracket, which we have changed to an injection moulded design, creating an easier and quicker installation.

Back in the day, you really needed to take your time with the installation, and we even stressed that during our training sessions.  Now, the improvements have made installation a piece of cake, and even a semi-capable DIY-er can make a really good job of installing the product.  Compared to plumbing a complete house with copper pipe, heating engineers say it’s a complete doddle!

If you’re interested in seeing ThermaSkirt in person, DiscreteHeat is exhibiting at this year’s InstallerSHOW on stand 5H25.  Not only will there be live ThermaSkirt installation demonstrations but you’ll be able to touch and feel the skirting working on the stand.

Why not come along to stand 5H25 to meet the team and find out more about ThermaSkirt and our training courses.


Related posts