The key element that differs from make to make is the heating fin. In some systems, there is a flow and return pipe welded into a radiator style heating fin. In others, the flow and return pipe directly heat the face plate of the heated skirting board. A third version sees the flow and return pipe slotted through holes in heating fins wider than diameter of the pipes. Such system design is mainly used by EcoBoard of http://www.efficient-
Where your flow and return pipes have been welded or glued into the fin holes, you may experience movement and cracking noises as the heating system warms up. This is because the copper flow pipe expands as it heats up – so if it already fits snugly into the fin hole, it will stretch and bend the aluminium, or cause the glue seal to squash up against the inside of the rim.
A copper flow pipe running through a hole bigger than itself, on the other hand, expands to fill the gap neatly – ensuring both an efficient transfer of heat (as there is no glue lying between the copper of the flow pipe and the metal of the radiator fins) and a quiet system.
Over time, it is possible that the heated skirting board system with glued in or snug-fit pipes may warp slightly. This would be a natural result of the action of expansion and contraction where the expanded pipe has no leeway.
Where the flow and return pipe effectively heats the fascia of the heated skirting board, this is not an issue. However, in this model the heat from the installation is perhaps not as evenly distributed or effective – because some of it floats outward from the heated fascia rather than rising in a curtain over the cold surface of the wall.
The purpose of heated skirting board systems is to make the colder, larger wall area surfaces in the room warm to an even temperature. In this way even heat is breathed into the room at every level; and condensation problems are also avoided. It is, after all, the presence of cold surfaces that causes condensation in the first place.
The existence of heating fins behind the faceplate of the heated skirting board system allows a larger surface area of metal to become warm, over the same width and height of space. As such more heat can be dispensed in a smaller area, than from a heated skirting board installation where the flat face of the fascia is the only thing to warm up.
Clearly different sized rooms have different heating requirements. It is also true that rooms with more external facing walls need more heat. The amount of insulation present in the room – for instance, whether it has an insulated cavity wall or a solid external wall – also plays a part in calculating the amount of power required to heat it.
The anatomy of your heated skirting board dictates the heat power it is able to produce. A “double strength” length of heated skirting board, for example, may place two sets of flow and return pipes on top of each other – allowing the room to enjoy twice the heat over the same profile and bask surface area.
It’s important to know the difference between the various types of heated skirting board – this will enable you to make the right decision about your own installation.