Pilots enjoy ‘soft landing’ with Stelrad Radicals

Two pilots – husband and wife John and Chrystyne Karman – are enjoying the experience of replacing the heating system in their beautiful Sussex home, incorporating the latest energy saving options including the award winning Radical radiators from Stelrad.

The new serial feed radiators from the UK’s leading radiator manufacturer offer a wide range of benefits over traditional parallel feed radiators including an independently assessed 10.5% energy saving, along with much faster heat up and cool down, much increased radiant heat output, and a major contribution to a condensing boiler as the lower return temperature of the circulating water to the boiler ensures the boiler really operates in condensing mode reducing energy use, energy bills and emissions from the heating system.

However wonderful the house, the garden and the location, the Karmans inherited a really cold home! The heating system, such as it was, seriously under performed. So in between flying aeroplanes around the world, they set about revamping their home to make it as cosy and welcoming a property for them and their two wonderful black Labradors as possible.

John is a self-confessed anorak when it comes to heating systems, having done his own research before calling in Simon Connolly of Complete Plumbing Services from Oxted in Surrey, to perform the system integration he required from the components he had selected. He had tracked down a Viessman Vitocrossal 300 condensing gas fired boiler to power the system – before the boiler was actually available in the UK! He ordered it from Germany and it was installed in early 2013. In addition, Viessman solar thermal system arrived and provides at least 50% of the hot water required during the year. There’s a Rehau underfloor heating installation downstairs and upstairs the heat is shared through the award winning Stelrad Radical radiators that have been installed across the upper floor.

Why the Radical we asked John and Chrystyne: “Like many people, although there are UFH systems you can install upstairs we didn’t feel confident of that so we decided to stick with tried and tested technology above ground level. What we didn’t know when we made that decision was that the Radical had recently been launched by Stelrad in the UK, offering a serial feed radiator for the first time with an independently assessed energy saving of 10.5% over standard radiators. We were delighted when we found out about the Radical and earmarked them as ‘definites’ for the upstairs. Not just for the lower bills and the lower energy usage though. In addition, using Radical’s helps a condensing boiler such as the Vitocrossal 300 we had selected to operate even better, because the lower return temperatures of the circulating water to the boiler, made sure the boiler operated effectively in condensing mode to get the best possible energy efficiency and energy savings.”

Simon Connolly had been introduced to the Radical at EcoBuild in 2012 when it was first unleashed on the unsuspecting heating industry: “I was impressed from the moment it was explained to me on the Stelrad stand at EcoBuild. As a company we specialise in finding the best possible ways to heat properties, and the best possible options for integrating different technologies to gain the best outcomes for our customers. It’s rare to be fair, that our customers have as much interest in the heating system as John has had in this installation, but it makes it really interesting and fun when you can discuss the intricacies of the different technologies with a customer who is that ‘switched on’, if you’ll excuse the pun!”

There’s still a lot of work to do in the Karman’s home, with a new Aga being delivered shortly, a new kitchen to install and some decisions to make about stud walls that need to be incorporated upstairs. But it’s a case of so far so good as far as the Karmans are concerned: “The system is working really well and we have had to have thermostats installed in every room to keep room temperatures down! The boiler includes weather compensation as one of its benefits and you can control the output of the boiler very specifically to keep the temperatures at the levels you want them. We’re delighted with the way things are progressing and are total converts to the Radical radiators – they look very similar to standard parallel feed radiators but because they are designed for the front panel to heat up first – you benefit from much better radiant heat levels than a standard radiator and because you rarely need a radiator to be belting out 100% of the heat it can – in fact once the system is on it rarely needs to operate at more than 50% of its output capacity, the back panels of the radiators rarely need to heat up…making it even less expensive to use the heating system than we imagined.”

Simon Connolly is also a convert to the Radical: “We have a number of potential installations that will work well with Radicals coming up in 2014 so we’re looking forward to getting a closer relationship with Radical and with the guys from Stelrad in the months ahead.”

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