The Radfan is a low power fan unit that sits on top of any central heating radiator and distributes the warm air more effectively around the room. Using magnets to secure on to the radiator and a thermostat to turn the fans on when the radiator gets hot, the Radfan redirects the warm air into the middle of the room instead of it sitting at the ceiling or going out of the window.
HeatwaveUK Ltd, manufacturer of the Radfan, was recently granted funding from the Department of Energy and Climate Change to run fully funded trials of the Radfan with Social Housing Providers in the 2013/2014 winter.
Working with a number of Housing Associations, including Gentoo, South Tyneside Homes and Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council, the aim of the trials was to see how the Radfan can be used as an easily installed and low cost measure to improve thermal comfort in customers’ properties and reduce energy use. A total of 10 organisations have participated in the trial with positive results already shown.
Selecting up to 15 properties with each Housing Association, one Radfan was installed in the main living space of each property for a two month period, this gave the user and the HA a good time to establish whether the Radfan was effective and helped in their situation. Both pre and post trial questionnaires were completed to understand where the Radfan was most effective and if users thought it a practical product for increasing comfort levels.
From the trials completed to date the feedback from 78 participants has shown:
• 86% found the Radfan increased their thermal comfort
• 97% found it easy to use and practical
• 45% have turned their heating off sooner or turned their thermostat down
• 53% of those that used a secondary heat source to keep warm have reduced this practice
• 87% would recommend to family and friends.
South Tyneside Homes was the first Housing Associations to partake and complete the trial: “We were honoured to be the first Social Housing Provider to take part in the DECC funded Radfan trial. The trial gave us an opportunity to support both our tenants and a new local business. A number of our tenants have said the Radfan product has helped to make them feel warmer in their homes. We look forward to seeing the results of the wider trial and potentially working with Radfan in the future,” said Cllr Jim Foreman, Cleadon Park, Labour.
It’s not only the trials that have proven a success, Gentoo have become a regular customer of Heatwave UK Ltd as they find the Radfan is a great problem solver for properties before full modernisation: “Our aim is to reduce the temperature of the thermostat but we have found even if the property temperature stays the same, the resident feels warmer and therefore more comfortable,” said Dylan Hawick, Technical Advisor, Gentoo.