Save energy with your heated towel rail

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BATHROOM BUTLER LOFT SERIES VISUAL UPDATE 2Craig Taylor from leading heated towel rail and bathroom accessory supplier, Bathroom Butler, provides an overview on how you can use temperature control to reduce the running costs of your heated towel rail.

Heated towel rails (HTR) have become a must-have inclusion in any modern bathroom. Apart from offering a practical and aesthetically pleasing place on which to hang your towels, HTRs provide many other benefits as well.

They ensure that you have dry, fluffy and warm towels all year round, even in very hot and humid areas. They also keep your bathroom space more hygienic – since your towels will be dry, they prevent any possibility of damp breeding grounds for germs from developing.  And since your towels will be dried after each use, you won’t have to wash them as often, nor will you ever have to use the tumble dryer to dry them – saving water and electricity.

The many benefits of DET technology

When investing in an HTR, Craig Taylor from leading HTR and bathroom accessory supplier, Bathroom Butler, says that you should choose one with Dry Element Technology (DET), as this technology offers many benefits. He provides the following outline of the benefits of this innovative technology include:

  • Rapid Heating: The HTR heats up to full operational use within a mere 10 to 15 minutes. In comparison, a fluid-filled HTR will take between 60 to 90 minutes to heat up.
  • Direct Intelligent Heating:Allows heat to be provided only where it is needed – along the horizontal bars under the towels. This can save up to 30% in energy costs, since the two posts don’t need to be heated.
  • No Leaking: Since the bars are not fluid-filled, there is no chance of leakages.
  • 100% Serviceable: DET ensures that every part of your HTR is serviceable or replaceable.
  • Dual-entry Electrical Connections: You can install your HTR upside down if it is more practical for your space.
  • Quiet operation: There is no moving water in a DET HTR, so it is therefore completely silent when switched on.
  • Maintenance-free: There are no moving parts or no fluid, and therefore the DET HTRs don’t need to be serviced regularly.

The ability to control the temperature

However, Craig notes that perhaps the most crucial energy saving aspect of DET technology is the fact that it allows you to control the temperature: “DET technology allows you to directly control the heat levels on your HTR to suit your personal preferences or the varying climate in your area. For example, you can turn it up in winter, or turn it down in summer.”

He notes that when it comes to HTRs, there are two main options with regards to temperature control – these include:

  • Personal Temperature Selection (PTSelect) Switch: This is a switch that allows you to manually adjust the temperature of the HTR, as well as being able to switch it on and off. This can reduce running costs by as much as 60%.
  • Total Digital Control (TDC) Timer: Although all of Bathroom Butler’s HTRs are able to run 24/7, the TDC Timer allows you to conserve energy by as much as 75% by programming the HTR to switch on automatically when needed, and to switch off when the job is done. It also allowsyou to switch the HTR on and off when desired.

How much can you save?

As noted above, it is clear that being able to control the temperature of your HTR can save you a lot of money in electricity consumption. However, it is not always clear on what this actually amounts to over the long-term. Says Craig: “HTRs with temperature controls might cost a little more than those without, but the initial investment can be quickly and easily recovered in relation to electricity saved.”

He explains further: “We are all charged for electricity per the kWh (kilo Watt hour) that we use. However, it is important to note that different regions are charged different rates. If you live in Johannesburg for example, and your electricity is supplied by City Power, then you will pay 94,54 cents per kWh (for the first 500kWh, and then a higher rate thereafter). If on the other hand, you live in Cape Town, then you will pay 125 cents per kWh (for the first 600kWh, and a higher rate thereafter). As you can see, there are big differences, and as such, for the purposes of this calculation, I have chosen a median of the two, and I will work on 99 cents per kWh.”

He says that the power rating of any product relates to the energy consumption it would use in a period of 1 hour. As such, a 100W HTR uses 100 Watts when switched on for an hour.

So armed with this, Craig makes the following calculations for a 100W HTR:

  • Cost of running it for 24 hours a day for a month: R71 per month
  • Cost of running it with a TDC Timer for 6 hours per day for a month with power setting at 100%: R18 per month (saving R53 per month)

(NOTE: The time frame of 6 hours per day was calculated from drying testing, where it took an average of 3 hours to dry a moderately wet towel. Obviously this time is dependent on the humidity of your area (the higher humidity the longer the towel will take to dry), as well how wet the towel is.

  • Cost of running it with a PTSelect Switch, set at 60% and running for 24 hours a day for a month: R43 per month (saving R28 per month)

Of course, Craig points out that he has used a 100W heated towel rail for the purpose of comparison, even though every heated towel rail has a different size element – these range from 45W to 180W. The bigger the HTR, the more bars it will have, the bigger the element will need to be, and the more electricity it will consume.

However, having said that, with all things being equal, Craig’s calculation shows you that with a TDC timer, you can be sure of the driest, warmest towels all year round, and it will involve and small annual cost of only R216. This is R636 less than what it would cost you to run an HTR without a TDC timer.

If you choose a HTR with a PTSelect Switch, and you set the temperature at an average of 60% its full setting, then the annual running cost will amount to R516. This equates to an annual saving of R336, when compared to an HTR without a PTSelect switch.

Bathroom Butler