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New to electric radiators? Here's what you need to know

What are electric radiators?

Mother and child in living room with vertical electric radiator

Electric radiators are an easy-install, efficient heating solution. Cost-effective for the whole home, there are also quick-and-easy portable options available for single rooms.

They are an eco-friendly alternative to traditional central heating, using electricity to create heat rather than hot water. Providing a modular heating system that's suitable for use throughout the home, they allow you to add new radiators into your system with ease. Electric radiators feature precision digital thermostats, in-built energy-saving features, and come in a range of different designs, styles, and finishes to suit any space. If you're looking for a modern, eco-conscious heating solution to replace storage heaters or central heating, look no further than our range of efficient and stylish products.

Benefits of electric heating

Child sat on bean bag with wall mounted electric radiator
  • Simple installation
  • Energy efficient
  • Accurate thermostats
  • Weekly programming
  • Smart control available
  • In-built energy saving features
  • Zero maintenance
  • No risk of carbon monoxide
  • Wide range of sizes & styles

Benefits of electric radiators

Digital programming display
In-depthDigital Programming
UK 3-pin electrical plug
No Heat Loss From Boiler or Pipes
Thermometer reaching temperature
Highly Accurate Digital Thermostats
Falling leaf
100% Efficiency (All electricity is used for heat)
Side-hinged windows opening
Open Window Detection
Thermometer with target reticule
Precision Temperature Regulation
Heated building
Quicker Heat up Times
Adjustable wrench 
No MaintenanceRequired

Are electric radiators energy efficient?

All electric radiators are 100% efficient at point of use, which simply means all of the power drawn from the wall is converted into heat. Some products go a step further however, offering advanced energy saving features that help to cut monthly bills and minimise waste.

The easiest and simplest of these energy-saving features is digital programming, which allows you to specify precisely what rooms are heated and to what extent. Because programmable electric radiators are a modular heating system, you can run separate radiators to different schedules, ensuring you're never heating the whole home or losing heat through extensive pipework for the sake of one room. Additional features also include open-window detection, which pauses your heating if a sharp drop in temperature is detected, and adaptive start, which allows your radiators to pre-heat ahead of schedule to ensure they always reach the right temperature at the right time. Find out more about radiator efficiency here or, if you want to learn about electric radiator running costs, read our in-depth guide.

What's the difference between electric radiators and electric heaters?

Mother and child sat on sofa near to wall mounted electric radiator

The crucial difference between these two products is in how they produce warmth: electric radiators create radiant heat, whereas electric heaters rely on warming the surrounding air. It might not seem like a huge difference but this is actually what makes radiators much more efficient to run compared to products like panel heaters and fan heaters, which only heat via convection.

Radiant heat is a long-lasting form of warmth because it's absorbed and retained by our surroundings. It's not affected by air movement, so even if there's the occasional draught, your rooms will stay warm throughout the day. The fact that electric radiators give off a third of their heat as radiation means that they can keep rooms warm using less energy, which in turn means lower running costs. Electric heaters that rely on convection are much more prone to heat loss because the warm air they create can be easily lost through open doors and windows. This is why most panel heaters have higher wattages compared to radiators because they have to work harder to keep rooms comfortably heated. In general, electric heaters are all about short-term comfort because they can create heat quickly by warming the air, whereas radiators are about providing an efficient, enduring warmth through radiation, which is much better for all-day use. If you want to know more about the main differences between these two product types, read more here.

How do I choose the size of my electric radiator?

Our electric radiator calculator can help you find the right size radiator for your space. All it takes is 3 steps: we'll ask you for room dimensions, basic information about your property, then finally a rough indication of where it's located in the UK.

Using this information, we'll provide you with a minimum estimated wattage for your space so you can choose a radiator or multiple radiators that meet your requirements. If you can't find a product that has the exact wattage you need, don't worry - just round up to the next available size to ensure that you're choosing a heater that will be able to comfortably heat your space. Please note that our calculator is designed to specify wattages for electric radiators only. For all other products, please see their 'heats up to' values to find a heating solution that will suit your room size, or give our Sales team a call, who will be more than happy to walk you through your available options.

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Electric Radiators Direct

Welcome to Electric Radiators Direct, suppliers of energy efficient electric radiators and towel rails. We champion electric heating as the heating solution of the future because it is carbon free, ideal for use with sustainable energy and perfectly adapted to take advantage of SMART electronic technology. Once upon a time, electric heating was limited to rudimentary storage heaters designed to save money by heating up overnight using cheap rate electricity and releasing heat during the day. Inefficient, bulky, and difficult to control, storage heaters are rarely popular in homes today. However, not all homeowners realise that electric heating has evolved in recent decades, and now electric radiators offer an easy-install, maintenance free heating option with running costs to rival gas central heating.

Electric radiators are a fantastic forward-looking heating solution because they run equally well whether your electricity is generated by burning fossil fuels or by harnessing sustainable resources. As fossil fuels become scarcer and renewable energy increasingly dominates the energy sector, electric radiators provide an adaptable heating option than keeps up with the changing times.

The company was founded in 2013 to meet the rising demand for energy efficient electric radiators at affordable prices. Since then we have been committed to making comfortable heating with a low carbon footprint an affordable option for all households and businesses, whatever the budget.

When you shop at Electric Radiators Direct you will find a comprehensive range of products with something for every property, design scheme and budget. Our website is packed full of useful information, and, if you're still unsure, our friendly team of heating advisors are only a phone call away. At Electric Radiators Direct we're proud to offer exceptional customer service with an award-winning team here to help you before, during and after your purchase. We also offer free next day delivery on most items and a 30 day money back guarantee and best price promise on all our products.

Sounds good? Then come and join the thousands of satisfied customers who have already installed electric radiators in homes and businesses across the country!

Customer Questions

  1. Are electric radiators expensive to run?

    1. Whilst gas is currently available at cheaper rates than electricity, electric radiators can still work out cheaper to run than gas central heating or storage heaters because they are extremely energy efficient.

      The high precision electronics and individual controls unique to electric radiators allow them to compensate for the higher price of electricity, and often they will cost less to run. This is especially true when you consider their ability to manage your home heating on a room-by-room basis.

      With traditional gas central heating, you're required to heat your whole home to the same level, even if areas are unoccupied. You might just want to keep your living room toasty and warm, but this means you'll waste lots of energy heating your kitchen, bathroom and other spaces that are empty as well. This isn't the case with electric radiators. They give you a much greater level of control over your energy usage because they let you set specific heating schedules for every room in the house, accurately reflecting how they're used hour by hour. For example, you can set the temperature in your bedroom to 19 °C in the evening so that it's nice and warm before you go to bed, then for the rest of the day, you can set it to 16 °C for a background level of warmth while it's not being used. Setting individual heating schedules gives you all the scope you need to reduce energy use and trim back running costs to an absolute minimum.

      As your heating schedules run, the radiators will carefully monitor your room temperatures, making sure that they're never drifting too far from their target. This ensures total comfort and means temperatures don't drop so far that your heating has to work harder to bring it back up to the desired level. This is quite a common issue with older thermostats, which can drift from the set temperature by degrees at a time, causing that noticeable 'yo-yo effect' you can sometimes get with central heating. With our radiators, heat levels are managed much more consistently - they switch on for a short period to top up temperatures and then quickly switch off again.

  2. How do you install electric radiators?

    1. Many of our electric radiators are suitable for DIY installation: they simply screw to the wall and plug into a normal 13amp socket. We provide a fitting template and all the necessary fixtures so it couldn't be easier - look for products with the 'plug & go' icon to find DIY compatible plug in radiators.

      If you're installing electric heaters en masse, fitting them in the bathroom or simply prefer a more discreet finish, electric radiators can be installed quickly and easily by a qualified electrician. This is cheaper, faster and much less invasive than the extensive plumbing work required to fit central heating.

      The ease and economy of installing electric radiators and towel rails make them a great retro-fitting choice for period properties and family homes.

  3. Are electric radiators better than gas central heating?

    1. Gas central heating is one of the most popular heating systems in the country, used in most homes across the UK. However, in the last few decades electric heating technology has developed at such a rate that energy efficient electric radiators now offer an economical alternative. Here are a few advantages electric radiators offer over gas central heating:

      • Don't need to switch on the whole system to heat a single room
      • 100% efficient - all electricity used is turned into heat
      • Highly accurate individual thermostats
      • No unrepresentative central thermostat
      • Control each room separately
      • In-depth digital programming for each radiator
      • No maintenance or plumbing work required
      • Safer - no fuel burnt in your home
      • No heat loss through boiler and pipes

      The ability to accurately control temperatures room-by-room is one of the key advantages electric heating systems have over gas systems. Rather than heating your whole home to the same temperature, regardless of which rooms are being used, electric lets you pick and choose which rooms get heated and to what extent. Why heat your bedroom, hallway and kitchen to the same level when you just want to keep your lounge nice and toasty? Using electric heaters, you can program a specific heating schedule for every area of your home, fine-tuning your heating on a level that most central heating systems can't provide. This trims down running costs, more accurately reflects how you use each space and makes sure that your rooms are perfectly heated when you come to use them - all while using the minimum amount of energy. Advancements in technology now allow some heaters to bridge the control gap between electric and central heating. WiFi compatible models let you make changes to individual heaters via your smartphone, as well as group them together so they can run to the same schedule.

      Another core benefit to electric radiators is that their thermostats are built into the unit so you're not relying on one central temperature measurement that's unrepresentative of your entire property. In central heating systems, thermostats are typically located in the coldest area of the home (e.g. the hallway) to make sure that your heating doesn't switch off too soon and leave your other rooms chilly. This isn't exactly a sophisticated means of temperature management. Smaller rooms can become overheated and we're all familiar with having to traipse around the house, turning radiators down in order to find the right balance of warmth. This is where the modularity of electric systems really shines. The digital thermostats in our radiators are accurate to within a fraction of a degree so that they monitor room temperatures with near perfect precision. Your rooms are never too hot or too cold - they're always the exact temperature you've programmed into their schedule. All they do is occasionally switch on to top-up heat levels, then switch off again the moment they reach their target.

      Electric heating systems in general are becoming more and more popular with property developers and landlords because of the ease of installation and low maintenance requirements. There are no hidden maintenance costs with electric heating: no gas checks, no monthly protection plans and no risk of carbon monoxide. Once installed, all they need is the occasional dust down to keep them running smoothly. There's also none of the headache of extending pipework, which can be a huge expense in multi-storey rental properties.

  4. Are electric radiators safe?

    1. Electric radiators offer a very safe and reliable heating solution.

      With no boiler or any other internal combustion element there's absolutely no risk of carbon monoxide production, so your electric heating system won't need a regular service. With no pipes or water in your radiators there's no risk of leaks and you'll never have to bleed a radiator again.

      All our electric appliances conform to the electrical safety regulations set by the European Council. Check individual products for details. They are also fitted with thermal safety limiters which prevent overheating by cutting power to the radiator if the temperature rises above the set limit.

      As with any other electrical appliance, radiators are completely safe as long as you exercise a bit of common sense. When wall mounted, they can be used all day, every day because they're firmly fixed into place with no danger of them tipping over. All you need to do is make sure that your electric radiator remains unobstructed by curtains or furniture, otherwise these could block the thermostat, causing the appliance to overheat.

      Portable electric heaters should never be left unattended when they're drawing power because they could fall over and cause a hazard. They might get knocked over by a pet or fall over because they're not on a completely even surface, so whenever you've finished using a portable heater, it should always be unplugged and stored away so that there are no trailing cables.

  5. Can electric radiators replace storage heaters?

    1. Absolutely. If you are struggling to heat your home with old-fashioned storage heaters, electric radiators provide the perfect alternative. Here are some of the benefits you could enjoy by switching to electric radiators:

      • Radiators run on a standard electricity tariff, making it cheaper to run other appliances during the day
      • Radiators use much less power than storage heaters, so they will usually be cheaper to run
      • Fully controllable heating which does not need charging up in advance
      • Heat is released when and only when you need it - no more cold evenings or wasted energy
      • Highly accurate thermostats
      • Fully customisable digital programming
      • No wall blackening effect
      • No overnight heat leak from charging heaters - much better for bedrooms
      • Ultra slim radiators with stylish contemporary designs
      • Gentler on allergies

      Many of our customers enjoy the freedom provided by radiators because they can be programmed to fit any kind of lifestyle. It doesn't matter whether you're at home during the day, work the standard 9 - 5 or dash in and out between split shifts, radiators will fit any and all schedules so your home is heated exactly how you like it. Storage heaters still have their place if you know how to make best use of them but - as they lack the adaptability needed for today's varied routines - many will find the move to radiators a more attractive prospect.

      If you're looking for electric radiators to replace storage heaters, it's a good idea to discuss your project with a professional electrician. They'll need to disconnect all of your storage heaters from the mains and fit your radiators. Before you make the switch, you'll also need to call your electricity supplier to discuss coming off your economy tariff and moving to a standard tariff that's right for your needs. They can then inform you of the process and make any changes to your electric meter as necessary.

  6. Are electric radiators eco-friendly?

    1. Electric radiators are carbon neutral at point of use. This means that they do not produce carbon dioxide or other pollutants. When used with green electricity generated from sustainable energy sources, they offer one of the few entirely carbon free heating systems on the planet.

      Of course, if you're using mains electricity to power your radiators you may well be using electricity generated by fossil fuel burning power stations. If this is the case, any form of electric heating that you use cannot truly be classed as carbon-free.

      However, as the energy sector makes further shifts towards renewable energy, we may well reach the point where all electricity supplied through the mains will be carbon free - and at that point electric heating systems will offer a truly eco-friendly heating option. The National Grid is making huge strides toward ensuring most of the power we use comes from green sources, whether that's from renewables generated here or abroad, to help the UK meet its carbon emission targets for 2050. As we reduce our dependency on fossil fuels, electric heating is going to play an increasingly vital role on the roadmap to a zero-carbon society.

  7. Why buy from Electric Radiators Direct?

    1. Here at Electric Radiators Direct, we're proud to be the UK's number one supplier of electric radiators. Our extensive product range includes radiators of all sizes for every room in the house, whether you live in a rambling country cottage or a two-bed flat in the city. It's our philosophy that energy efficient heating should be accessible to everyone, so all our products represent the top quality on the market, and are competitively priced with something to suit every budget. Here are just some of the benefits we're proud to offer at Electric Radiators Direct:

      • Top-quality products sourced from around the world
      • Radiators of all shapes and sizes, with something for every location and every budget
      • Free next working day delivery
      • 30 day no-quibble money back guarantee
      • Expert heating advisors only a phone call away
      • Sole UK distributor of the Haverland RC Wave electric radiator range
      • 100% secure site
      • Informative site with buying guides, radiator calculator, full product specs and extensive FAQs
      • First class customer service
      • Awarded 'Platinum Trusted Merchant' status by Feefo

      It doesn't matter what size your property is, we're always on hand to help you choose the perfect electric heating solution for your project - call us today for a free quote with no obligation to buy. If you're a landlord, property developer or buying for a business, you can also contact us about setting up a Trade account, which will give you access to a range of perks like 30 day credit and exclusive discounts.

  8. I need some help before I make my purchase. When are your advisors available?

    1. Whether you need help choosing the right size radiators for your room, would like some advice about the best heating solution for your property, or just want to find out more about a particular product, our friendly sales team are always happy to help. The team are available 08:00am - 06:00pm Monday to Thursday and from 09:00am - 05:00pm on Fridays. Give us a call on 0330 300 4444 and you can expect a quick response, expert advice and friendly, common-sense service - there's no "hard-sell" at Electric Radiators Direct, we believe our products speak for themselves. Calls are charged at your standard local call rate.

      Alternatively, if you prefer, our team are also available throughout the working day on our LiveChat instant messaging service.

  9. Do you offer trade accounts?

    1. We offer a scheme for trade customers where they can access exclusive discounts across all of our websites. Call us on 0330 300 4444 to speak to a dedicated account manager who will help you get started and access our benefits.

  10. Do you just sell electric radiators?

    1. We sell a broad range of electric heating products so you can find the perfect solution for every room in your property. Whether it's an electric radiator in the living room, a towel rail for the bathroom, an infrared panel for your bedroom or a panel heater for your guest room, you'll find yourself well-catered for with Electric Radiators Direct. And, if you're ever unsure which heater is best for your project, our helpful staff will be more than happy to point you in the right direction.