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If you walk into the Bilski family home you will notice one glaring difference between it and other similar homes. It has no radiators at all. Even when its -2C outside, there’s not need for them. Something else keeps the Bilski home warm, and the answer might surprise you.

According to an interview conducted by the BBC, the Bilski home is covered in infrared wallpaper. Thin, metallic sheets are hidden behind house walls and connect to the main electricity system. These sheets generate heat using infrared waves that create a lasting heating effect. By using a uniquely designed app, you can easily choose to heat a specific room and have more control over the heating time by setting a timer.

The wallpaper system used by the Bilski family was made by a local firm called iHelios. As well as being available for private installation, the company is currently trialing the technology with landlords that provide social housing across the UK, with the ultimate goal of saving money and creating more green housing.

“Electric wallpaper is a really good way of heating your home,” says Philip Steele, a future technologies evangelist at Octopus Energy. “It has two copper strips down each side of it and then a graphene layer, and when it’s powered [with electricity] the graphene emits infrared, which is like the heat you get from the sun.”

As well as not requiring gas, electric wallpaper is also thought to produce better air quality in properties. It doesn’t dry out the air so much and generates less mold, for instance around windows.

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