Keeping toasty around the world

In the UK, the majority of people heat their homes using a gas central heating system which comprises of a boiler and radiators throughout the house. This system isn’t always found though if you start to look at other countries around the globe, even in some very cold countries! Here, we take a look at some interesting methods used for keeping people warm all around the world:

Russia – for such a notoriously freezing place, you’d think you’d find pretty conventional heating methods in most homes. In the urban cities and towns you will indeed find such heating but in most rural areas you will still see people using ‘pechkas’ in their homes. This is a type of oven but is also used for heating purposes as it stays warm for many hours after use. People sleep on top of them in the midst of a cold Siberian winter. It’s a good idea to check your boiler before the winter draws in. For Boiler Installation Gloucester, visit

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Iceland – one of the great things about this country is its volcanic environment which is particularly useful for geothermal energy. This energy is harnessed from the internal heat of the planet with heat and water brought up from the depths to the surface through underground reservoirs. An amazing 87% of Iceland’s buildings are supplied with this geothermal hot water through pipes and it’s even used to keep pavements and car-parks ice-free.

Japan –  winters can get really harsh in Japan and yet the homes there have no central heating. They also don’t go in for insulation or double-glazing much either! Temperatures can reach a bone-chilling -30 so what do they do to keep warm? A method called Kotatsu is used in which a low table is covered with a blanket and a heater is placed underneath. People and their pets will often sleep underneath the kotatsu which provides a snug, cosy atmosphere.

Netherlands – whilst most modern homes will have central heating systems similar to those found in the UK, traditionally a Dutch foot stove was used. It was made from a wooden box with an opening on one side and a slab or holes would be placed on the top. Hot coals or charcoal would be placed inside the slab and you could then rest your feet on top. With a blanket over the legs to keep you warm, this sounds quite pleasant. They were used a great deal until the 1800s and have seen a resurgence in popularity in recent years.

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Greenland –  the Inuit tribes used to build igloos and while most now live in houses, igloos are still built to provide shelter on hunting trips, for example. A dome of ice and snow, it acted as an effective barrier from the harsh environment and the snow provided insulation which trapped body heat inside the thick icy walls.

China – the ‘kang bed’ is the thing that gets the people of northeast China through those cold, winter nights. It features a platform of clay bricks with space underneath for a small fire. The bricks absorb the heat and radiate this through the bed and the rest of the room.

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