A thin film impregnated with tiny heaters and incorporated into floors, walls and even furniture can provide instant, on-demand heating more cheaply and sustainably than conventional space-heating, a Finnish tech start-up claims.
The printed film can warm a room in minutes, with residents able to control temperatures digitally as they might control lighting, heating rooms minutes before they come home.
The Warming Surfaces Company, a spinoff from Finland’s VTT Technical Research Centre, said its “Digital Warmth” product could cut the emissions generated by heating buildings in Europe by 20%.
At just 0.3mm thick, the film can be integrated into laminate floors, doors, walls, and textiles at the manufacturing stage, it added, creating a business opportunity for the $149bn floor material industry, for example.
“Media is full of tips on how to reduce your energy consumption by turning the lights off or cooking recipes that use less electricity,” said Jani-Mikael Kuusisto, chief executive and co-founder of the firm. “This is all important, but the real problem is the heating. This requires massive power production infrastructure, which is still largely fossil fuel based.
“We are doing our part to solve this challenge. Our ultra-thin and light weight electrical heater technology sustainably brings warmth to the surfaces in our living environments.”
Terho Kololuoma, co-founder and chief technology officer, said: “Building structures don’t need high temperatures for structural integrity. The fact that many houses are at 21 degrees celsius even when people are at work or on a holiday trip is wasteful and unnecessary. With our digital solution, you can start to heat up your house minutes before you return home, or even control which rooms are being warmed when you are at home.”
The Warming Surfaces Company said it was preparing for a first commercial launch with its partners in May 2023.