Why there are so many things to consider with kitchen heating.
You can argue that the kitchen is probably the hardest room of the house to heat. It has also transformed the working room of the house into the social room for many. Can you think of another room that has more challenges than kitchen heating? In this blog we look at the many issues we face with the kitchen, and how human behaviour is the key to getting the kitchen heating working right.
Space – or lack of it
Kitchens are busy places; the working room of the house. There are many appliances we need in the room: fridge freezer, cooker/oven and hob, dishwasher, washing machine, microwave, kettle, toaster, etc. We also require storage space for all of our food, cooking, and cleaning equipment. Kitchens usually have two doors: one internal and one to outside. With space at a premium, it may force us into having a radiator on the only wall space left which can leave some kitchens with cold and warm areas no matter how hot the radiator gets. And lets not forget, kitchens have hard floors that get cold easily.
Extreme changes in temperature
It is obvious statement to make that we cook in the kitchen, but with cooking comes extra heat. Pans boiling on the hob rings and the oven baking, roasting or grilling, there is a lot of heat being produced. Our cooking only happens periodically through the day so we end up with spikes of heat generated in the kitchen. We switch fans on and open windows and doors to compensate for the lack of balance in the heat input. Suddenly, we notice everything becoming colder as the cooking stops and the kitchen heating cannot cope with the cold air flooding in, so we then switch fans off and shut all doors and windows.
Can you see the pattern? In fairness for many this is unavoidable. No matter what heating we provide in our kitchens, it will struggle with these extreme swings in temperature. So it is a case of managing the air circulation as best we can.
Kitchen heating options
There are a couple of alternatives that can provide a kitchen with better heating control. We have written about the use of thermostatic radiator valves to control your heating, and this is a must in the kitchen. A main issue is not providing even heat distribution throughout the kitchen. Heat loss through windows and doors and heat gains through cooking makes this tricky, especially for smaller kitchens, but one option for balance is to install a kickspace heater.
These are mini radiators that fit in at the base of a kitchen cupboard. The heaters come with built in fans which blow out the warm air generated by the heater. These are great for kitchens that suffer with draft or that have radiators positioned away from external doors. The heat is almost instant and can be a welcome relief to those spending time in the kitchen. Myson are the original makers of kickspace heaters and you can find out more here.
For larger kitchens, a good option would be underfloor heating. In our blog about underfloor heating we discuss the many benefits it provides, not least the fact you don’t need radiators! This would be suited for a planned kitchen renovation as the floor will need to be removed to install. This is ideal for maintaining an even temperature throughout the kitchen. When cooking, the extra heat will build up, but the underfloor heating will switch off as soon as it senses the change in temperature, and likewise when it cools down.