Gas central heating is one of the most popular heating systems in the country, used in the majority of 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. Innovative new thermal elements, fast and effective electrical components and state-of-the-art heating control features allow you to trim down your energy usage like never before – giving you the potential to significantly reduce your heating costs. Here are a few advantages electric radiators offer over gas central heating:
No System Losses
Gas central heating systems waste energy through the pipe system. As hot water makes its journey through the house towards the radiators, heat will radiate out from the pipes, needlessly heating the walls – a red flag for inefficiency. Another drawback with a piped heating system is that the entire system must be activated to use a single radiator – so you’ll be sending heat through the whole house even if you just want to heat your bedroom.
Not so with electric radiators. With a short cable in place of the gas central heating pipe system, the radiators engage as soon as they are switched on, with no heat loss between the power source and the heat output.
Gas central heating systems normally use a universal thermostat fitted in a central location. The problem with this is that the central thermostat will provide an unrepresentative temperature reading for the rest of the house. Temperatures will naturally vary across your home – it will always be harder to heat a draughty high-ceilinged living room than it will be to heat a well-insulated kitchen where you’re busy cooking. If you have a thermostat set to 20˚C in your living room, your gas central heating will work to heat the whole house whenever the temperature drops in this room – regardless of the temperature in other rooms. In the kitchen, it may already be 22˚C – so by engaging the heating system your thermostat is overheating the room and wasting energy and money.
Each of our electric radiators includes a high precision thermostat built in to the body of the radiator. These thermostats provide accurate temperature readings for each room and will control each room separately – so the radiators in a draughty sitting room might be switching on whilst the radiators in the next door kitchen are switching off to maintain comfortable levels of heat. The high precision thermostats, accurate to half a degree, minimise the degree to which the heat can fluctuate – preventing the radiators working hard to top up the heating after significant drops in temperature.
Heat Zoning & Programming
Most gas central heating systems can be pre-programmed to a heating schedule which suits your lifestyle. However, you cannot control different rooms separately. This limits the energy you can save. Gas central heating systems allow you to save money by switching the heating off in the day when you’re at work and activating it just before you return. However, once you return your gas central heating system will be heating the whole house again – wasting energy heating bedrooms when perhaps you stay downstairs for the majority of the evening. Unless you physically switch off the upstairs radiators a gas central heating will always waste energy in this way.
When you use electric radiators, their sophisticated digital programmers allow you to set up a heating programme tailored to your individual lifestyle which controls the heat across the different rooms in your house. You can programme the radiators in your bedroom to wait until 10pm to switch on, programme your bathroom radiators to switch on first thing in the morning and in mid-evening, and programme the radiators in that spare room to operate at an anti-freeze level. You can even control your radiators from your favourite chair with a programming remote control. This gives you endless scope to reduce your energy consumption and cut down your heating bills.
No Maintenance & Cheap Installation
Installing a gas central heating system is a big job. It can take several weeks for a professional plumber to fit new pipes and radiators, a messy job which involves lifted floor boards, damage to walls and sometimes several weeks with limited hot water and heating. To make it worse, at the end of the process you’ll find a hefty plumber’s bill waiting for you. Then, because gas central heating systems burn fuel within your home, there is always a risk of carbon monoxide production – so you’ll need to organise and pay for a visit from the gasman each year.
Meanwhile, electric radiators are not powered by combustion within the home so they require no maintenance. All of our electric radiators are suitable for DIY installation, a quick and easy process that only takes 10 minutes – so you can refit your whole home within a morning. Even if you prefer a hardwired installation, or you want to put an electric radiator in a bathroom, getting an electrician to install your radiators is still a very quick job with nothing like the costs of installing gas central heating.
Cheaper for you?
While gas is usually available more cheaply than electricity, the losses made from the inherent inefficiencies of central heating and the costs involved in installation and maintenance quickly accumulate. For many people, this can mean gas central heating works out more expensive than electric heating. The cost of gas, a fossil fuel, is also likely to increase as limited supplies become scarcer.
In many cases, the savings made possible with energy efficient electric heating technology, state-of-the-art energy management systems, DIY installation and maintenance-free care can make our electric radiators a cheaper way to heat your home than gas central heating systems. If you don’t want or need to replace your whole home heating system, replacing individual heaters with electric radiators is a great way to make your home heating more controllable at low cost. This is ideal in bathrooms, bedrooms, conservatories and home offices where you may want heat at very different times to the rest of the house. Check your energy tariff or speak to our expert advisors to find out if electric radiators could be an economical alternative for you.