SarahBeenySpringIssue2017 - 148
▲ HOME IMPROVEMENTS
Many purpose-built apartments will
come with individual electric heaters
attached to the walls, rather than central
heating incorporating electric radiators
or hot-air outlets fuelled by gas.
Installing a new heating system, or
even making smaller alterations such
as changing the types of windows for
better insulation, may not be possible
This is because the freeholder
- not the individual leaseholder of
the flat - still owns the whole building
so is responsible for its structure
and shared areas. Check your contract
before starting any work.
'Occupiers' leases can vary even
within the same building,' warns the
Energy Saving Trust.
'The lease will determine exactly
what belongs to you and whether,
for example, you can make structural
improvements inside your own flat
- including installing new heating.'
148 | MAY 2017
You usually have to
seek permission from the
ONE BENEFIT OF
freeholder first and may
HAVING A PORTABLE
even have to pay an admin
GAS HEATER IS
fee to gain their consent.
THAT IT WORKS
With that in mind,
your options may be limited
- but on the other hand, a
studio apartment can be relatively
easy to keep warm.
Consider which storey you live on:
unless it is the top, you will benefit
from a degree of extra insulation due
to being surrounded by other flats.
Heat is 'lost' through exterior
walls; so the fewer of these you have,
the more thermal energy the property
will manage to retain. Judicious use of
the wall heaters can save you money.
If your flat has a communal water
tank and no central heating system,
stragetically placing a few cheap
halogen heaters around can be more
gentle on your energy bills than
deploying electric ones, as they do
not use as much power.
Thinking along the same lines,
consider purchasing a portable liquid
petroleum gas (LPG) heater that runs
on bottled fuel. They can cost well
under £100, don't need fitting to the
walls and can be placed anywhere,
especially as most are on wheels.
A 15kg cylinder will give you about
50 hours of use, and replacement
bottles can be delivered to your door.
Finally, do not underestimate the
simple power of cooking to heat up
a small room: using an oven, if you
have one, to make your dinner will
go a surprisingly long way towards
keeping a studio flat warm.
WORDS: NATALIE BOWEN, IMAGES: GETTY IMAGES,
SOURCE: *PARLIAMENTARY OFFICE OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY