Remember when car seat belts were optional? Being without one now would seem as primitive as having to hand crank your engine, or having pop out indicators on the side of your car. But technology has moved on. Saab and Volvo led the way in the late 1950’s, when the first seat belts were fitted as standard in their vehicles. Yet it wasn’t until the 1970’s that wearing a seat belt became law and, mercifully, road accident fatalities went into a dramatic decline.
Another instance in which innovation has finally become legislation is in the design of central heating systems. Not so long ago you could only time the heating to come on or off, set the temperature and that was that. You heated every room in the house or none at all, and all at the same temperature, regardless of cold spots or the fact that some rooms were rarely occupied.
Then companies like Worcester Bosch – for whom Harpers are approved installers – pioneered a massive leap forward in home heating and fuel efficiency: Thermostatic Radiator Valves (TRVs) that allow individual room temperatures to be set independently. The advantages have long been recognised, yet it is only this year that this innovation has become a legal requirement for new home builds under the provisions of the official Energy Performance of Buildings Directive.
As Martyn Bridges, Director of Product Management at Worcester Bosch says: “TRVs are far more sophisticated, creating heating zones and supplying a controlled level of heating to suit individual rooms. By making their installation a legal requirement, thousands more homes across the UK can now benefit from the energy efficiency and cost savings that they provide.
“Given that TRVs are fairly inexpensive, have a fast payback period and, in most cases, can be easily installed onto existing radiators, I can foresee them becoming a requirement for most installations moving forwards.”
Happily, Harpers customers haven’t had to wait for it to become law to enjoy the benefits of this new product innovation, and they’ll be pleased to hear that they’re also ahead of the curve in another area in which Worcester Bosch have anticipated legal requirements: the provision of smart controls, which allow users to easily monitor and control a household’s heating and hot water.
These are not just an economic advance on traditional, manually operated systems, they’re also fantastically convenient. If you feel chill in the middle of the night for example – not unknown with the variable summer we’re experiencing right now – you can bring up the heating in the bedroom as easily as switching on your bedside light.
By the way, If you like the idea of smart, multi-zone central heating but think an upgrade would entail a complete refit, you might be in for a pleasant surprise. Some manufacturers make sophisticated controls that can be retrofitted to existing systems.
Fasten your seat belts and we at Harpers will have you there in no time!