For those of you who haven’t heard of Economy 7, this is a type of electricity tariff which works similarly to that of phone bills which offer peak and off-peak tariffs. When you use an Economy 7 tariff, electricity is more expensive during the day than on the night, so it benefits people who rarely use electricity during the day and generally only use it during the night. Appropriately named, Economy 7 is called what it is because the electricity is cheaper for 7 hours each night. These tariffs use use a different meter, which unlike a standard meter, will track the electricity used during the day and switch over to a different tracker on the night. Convenient for when you only use electric heating throughout the night to maintain heat while the sun is down.
Electric heaters are generally quite cheap to buy, but will eat your electricity quite quickly, causing them to be rather expensive in the long-term. In theory, electric heaters are designed for short periods of time, to increase the heat of a room without having to switch the gas on.
Electric heaters are suitable for smaller rooms that only get used occasionally, or instead of portable LPG heaters or open fires. Electric heaters are safer than both LPG heaters and open fires, as well as being cheaper to run in houses where you have no other options, rented houses for example).
The heating capacity of electric plug-in heaters is typically no more than 2.4k kW, which means in larger, or poorly insulated rooms, you may need to run more than one heater to ensure healthy and comfortable living temperatures.
Electric Heaters – Efficiency & Types
There’s always been the rumour than some electric heaters are more efficient than others, which is a lie. Other than heat pumps, all electric heaters are equally efficient, converting all energy they consume into useful heat. Don’t believe the myth that some are more efficient than others, as all energy is used, and none gets wasted.
With various types of electric heaters available, including radiant, fan, convection and night store, it’s important to know which heater is right for you, as they all distribute heat differently. If you’re paying for the energy consumption, you might as well be making full use of your electric heater.
Below, HS Electric give you an insight into the different kinds of electrical heaters and when the best times to use them are:
Radiant Heaters – A radiant heater is a bar with glowing elements and a reflector, used to heat people and objects rather than the air in the room. Available as either free-standing, wall or wall mounted models, radiant heaters can be useful in rooms with high ceilings, in large rooms where you only need the heat in one area, or where you want to feel instant heat without waiting until the air in the room is warmer.
Fan Heaters – Also known as ceramic heaters, the fan heater is used to distribute heated air around the room rather than letting it form a layer of hot air below the ceiling. These can sometimes be loud, but noise aside, they can be useful for boosting a convection heater or providing quick heat in smaller rooms which only need heat for short periods of time. High wall mounted versions are available to keep children safe.
Convection Heaters – Convection heaters are used to heat air rather than surfaces. These include column heaters and convection heaters with a heating element inside a casing which has grilles at the top and bottom to allow air to flow through. Ideal for use in medium-sized rooms where heating is required for a longer period of time. Bedrooms and Living Rooms are generally the best places to use convection heaters, as they steadily warm the air by convection. The hot air rises and slowly circulates around the room.
Panel Heaters – Flat-panel heaters are often thought to be cheaper to run as they offer a very low heat output. Because of the low heat output, they can’t really heat medium-large sized rooms, although where occupants have small children, they are generally considered the safer option as they don’t usually get hot enough to burn.
Night Store Heaters – Smart pieces of technology, night store heaters store heat from cheaper off-peak electricity at night, and slow release it during the day. These are considered more economical than common electric heaters for houses that have occupants during the day and houses where Economy 7 or cheaper night tariffs are used. Don’t use Night Store Heaters if there is no one home during the day, as you will be wasting electricity.
Electric Underfloor Heating – This type of heating positions perfectly between floorboards and any floor covering, like carpet or thin timber flooring. Thicken flooring isn’t recommended as anything that goes on top of underfloor heating makes it harder for the heat to be released into the room. It is important for the floor to be well insulated underneath though, otherwise a lot of it will go downwards. This will cost you not only heat , but money too, as you will be paying for wasted energy. This kind of heating can be expensive to run.
At HS Electrical, we can repair all makes of storage heaters and advise on all types of electric heating. Contact us today and ask us any questions you might have regarding electric heating. We serve the Stanmore, Middlesex and North London area.