Thermaskirt warming elderly through Scottish wintersThermaSkirt from Discrete Heat has been chosen to provide cost efficient and effective heating for 32 brand new extra-care flats at Cowan Court in Penicuik, just outside Edinburgh, funded by Midlothian Council. The development will benefit from ThermaSkirt’s LST heated skirting board with easy to use controls to create a safe and comfortable environment for the elderly requiring care and assistance.

ThermaSkirt conveniently replaces the skirting board and radiators in one neat package to free up wall space and allow easy cleaning while comfort and well being of the occupants is un-compromised. The rapid response time allows temperatures to be easily adjusted ensuring residents are kept in optimal conditions to reduce ailments while reducing energy wasted through unnecessary heating.

The complex was developed to help re-balance nursing home care with care at home, recognising that the majority of elderly prefer to remain in their own homes and as independent as possible. The Midlothian Council recognised the importance for dementia sufferers to be in familiar surroundings and so the flats were designed to be as close as possible to regular homes regarding comfort and furnishings but remain able to cope with the progression of the disease and various illnesses with simple layouts and easily accessed facilities. The whole development also includes 22 additional units offering mixed general needs housing for rent as well as residential provisions for young teenagers who have been taken into care.

Room was limited so it was important to use fittings that allowed the useable space to be maximised, making radiators and their bulky covers not an option. Similarly the restricted size of rooms would cause problems if underfloor heating were to be used as temperatures can very quickly get too hot when used in small areas.

It was soon realised that ThermaSkirt provided the solution with a heated skirting board that can be easily adjusted due to its rapid controllability similar to that of conventional radiators while navigating the entire space to provide an all round gentle and even heat that is indistinguishable to that of underfloor heating. Lyn Jardine, Project officer for Extra Care Housing who project managed the development on behalf of Midlothian Council, explained: “After careful consideration of the business case (including installation costs, maintenance and cleaning, ease of use and suitability for the client group) we got agreement that skirting heating was our preferred option”.

Re-decoration is simple as being an ‘above ground’ fitting, the carpets can be quickly replaced with vinyl flooring if required and entails no implications to the heating system while re-painting is easy as no radiators have to be drained and moved. ThermaSkirt provides maximum free wall space allowing furniture and appliances to be placed where wished without having to consider the blocking of heat while manoeuvrability for wheelchairs is increased and trip hazards eliminated due to the absence of bulky and sharp radiator covers.

ThermaSkirt is incredibly easy to clean due to being tightly sealed to the wall allowing it to be wiped down of any accidents and spillages ensuring the hygienic environment of the care establishment is maintained.

Lyn Jardine concluded: “ It has made a big impact on how people live in their flats, by not limiting wall space further and providing easy to use controls. We’re confident that this was a deciding factor for some of our new tenants making that big decision to downsize from their family homes to somewhere much easier to manage. Discrete Heat works well for our clients and ticked so many boxes in meeting the needs of housing with care”.

ThermaSkirt is available in a range of profiles and colours while the EasyClean LST version is especially adapted with a highly secure and wipe down top seal, making it especially suited for healthcare and mental health units.