The last ten years have seen tremendous improvements in the matter of lighting and heating, and to persist in old methods is to throw away valuable efficiency, and probably to add to the expense of running the home. Gas and electric light provide a service to-day which was undreamed of twenty years ago ; while other forms of illumination have improved beyond all recognition.
In the department of heating and cooking the forward strides have been no less remarkable. The old kitchen range has been deposed by the neat coke boiler, while a whole army of gas stoves, electric stoves, and forms of central heating have been added to the available equipment.
We have dealt with the relative merits of the various forms of lighting and heating in Section IV, but apart from the question of personal convenience, the choice must very much depend on the district where the house is built. In parts of Manchester, for instance —around Trafford Park—electricity is so cheap that it would be folly to hesitate between it and gas. In other parts of the country, owing to old controlling leases owned by the gas companies, electricity is almost out of the question. In remote rural districts again, where gas and electricity have not yet been installed, unless able to afford a private generating plant, there would appear to be no alternative but the old-fashioned coal fire and oil stoves and lamps. Central heating may- be desirable, but the installation is somewhat costly.
Whatever the type of installation chosen, an alternative method should be handy in case of a breakdown.
If open fires are used, those of the well pattern are recommended for economy, diffusion of heat, and cleanliness.