Posted on 14th October 2020

Finding a Heating System Suitable For A School Environment

Many schools within the UK are heated by antiquated storage heating systems which are uncontrollable and expensive to operate. Moreover the dry and oppressive heat delivered is not conducive to a healthy teaching environment.

The Electric Heating Company, with over 10 year’s history of selling German Electric Radiators, have supplied their Electric Combination Radiators to many Schools throughout the UK who have been looking to replace old electric storage heating systems with an efficient and controllable electric heating system sufficiently robust to cope with the rigours of a school environment.


Finding a Heating System Suitable For A School Environment


The challenge of maintaining or upgrading a heating system to be suitable for a School Environment is something that Local Authorities and Councils encounter regularly. When specifying heating for educational establishments there are many factors to consider. As well as ensuring the correct temperature levels are achieved and maintained to provide a healthy teaching environment, it is necessary to consider the safety aspects of radiator design and positioning. Other considerations include energy efficiency, ease of maintenance and aesthetics.

The design of heating systems in educational establishments is dictated by a combination of regulations and best practice. Guidance on minimum temperatures is provided by the Education (School Premises) Regulations 1999, stating “Each room or other space in a school building shall have such a system of heating, if any, as is appropriate to its normal use”. This means that the heating system not only needs to achieve the minimum temperatures (shown below) but also take account of the Duty of Care to the staff and pupils.


Areas where there is a lower than normal level of physical activity because of sickness or physical disability including sick rooms and isolation rooms but not other sleeping accommodation21°C
Areas where there is the normal level of physical activity associated with teaching, private study or examinations18°C
Areas where there is a higher than normal level of physical activity (for example arising out of physical education) and washrooms, sleeping accommodation and circulation spaces.15°C


In each case the temperature is measured at a height of 0.5m above floor level when the external air temperature is -1°C.


In a special school, nursery school or teaching accommodation used by a nursery class in a school the surface temperature of any radiator, including exposed pipework, which is in a position where it may be touched by a pupil shall not exceed 43)C.

Being asked to solve this heating challenge is something that The Electric Heating Company have been asked many times. Often a school is looking to replace old inefficient electric storage heating systems with something more modern, controllable and affordable. With significant funding available for a variety of renewable heating technologies, such as biomass and air source heat pumps, EHC are often last to be asked to provide their products – this is despite being a proven solution. Indeed, EHC have been asked several times to provide an electric heating system to replace an air source heat pump system which just doesn’t provide the right heating experience or has broken down and become too costly to maintain.

EHC Electric Combination Radiators, produced in Germany to the highest quality standards, are perfectly suited to a classroom environment. The EHC Electric Combination Radiators are designed to look similar to traditional wet system radiators and are available in a range of outputs perfectly suited to schools. The high-fin design also enables cooler air from floor level to be heated as it rises through the radiator creating naturally convected heat which in turn circulates warm air throughout the room from floor to ceiling preventing ceiling hot spots.

At EHC safety is paramount and therefore all EHC Electric Combination Radiators supplied to schools can be fitted with special protective Radiator guards. This protects against children injuring themselves on the Radiator or coming into contact with the warm Radiator surface.

The EHC Electric Combination Radiators are also designed to be as energy efficient as possible. When the Radiators have achieved their required temperature the Thermostat will cut the power to the Radiator and the Radiator will then modulate and maintain a constant room temperature. This helps reduce energy use and running costs.


Warmer Classrooms for West Lothian Schools


A frequent specifier of EHC’s Electric Combination Radiators in their Schools has been West Lothian Council. Willie Patterson, Electrical Inspector, West Lothian Council initially tried and tested the EHC Combination Radiators as a replacement for electric storage heaters. The old electric storage heating systems were proving uncontrollable for Teachers and often overheating classrooms in the morning and under heating them in the afternoon. This was providing a poor learning environment for both children and teachers. Further, with Council budgets being squeezed, the costs of operating these old electric heating systems was becoming an issue.

Following a successful trial, West Lothian Council were extremely impressed with the performance and heating experience provided by the EHC Electric Combination Radiators. The easy installation of these Radiators ensured project costs for the heating upgrade were minimised. The low maintenance required for the Radiators has also helped to reduce ongoing maintenance costs and whole life costs.

Feedback from Teachers across the various West Lothian schools where the EHC Electric Combination Radiators have been fitted has also been extremely positive. Willie Patterson confirmed that Teachers love the individual classroom control they now have over the Radiators through individual room thermostats. The Janitors are now also able to ensure classrooms are not being heated at times when heating is not required. This helps reduce running costs for the schools and the Council. Teachers have also commented that the heating experience provided by these EHC Electric Combination Radiators is far superior and provides a much more comfortable learning environment.

Willie Patterson comments ‘the EHC Electric Combination Radiators are far superior to electric storage heaters. Further, the customer care provided by EHC is second to none and is a great help to his team who arrange the heating upgrades as well as the Teachers and Staff who operate and control the heating system’. This affirms the commitment that EHC make to ensure all School Projects are fully supported by EHC’s Technical Department who will supply a full in-house design specification and support service.


For further information on how EHC’s Electric Combination Radiators could be suitable for your school please contact EHC on 01698 820533 or visit our website at


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