Gas Central Heating vs Energy Efficient Electric Radiators

Electric Heating or Gas

Welcome to the Energy Efficient Heating Championships of 2015! Today we’re pitting against each other two rival heating solutions both competing to show that they can provide the most efficient home heating. On the one hand we have gas central heating – an old time favourite with a huge fan base. Surely the heating solution responsible for heating the majority of UK homes will come out champion today? But on the other side, and playing on home turf, is the worthy challenger – energy efficient electric radiators. A young opponent, storming onto the heating market after an intense surge in heating innovation and development over the last few decades – could electric radiators cause an upset today? There’s everything to play for in the Energy Efficient Heating Championships of 2015!

Round 1 – Technology

Haverland RC WaveIn this round, our economical heaters race against each other as they switch on from a standing start. As they heat up, we trace heat loss and wasted energy to see which heating solution is the most efficient.

Three, two, one, and they’re off! There’s a deep gurgling as the central heating system gets to work with characteristic pomp – whilst a modest click signifies that our electric radiators are beginning to heat up. Over in the centrally heated home, the boiler is alight, energetically burning gas to heat the water. At last the water reaches temperature and begins its journey around the pipe system, eventually reaching the radiators. As the water moves through the pipes they get hot and radiate heat through the walls where it’s not needed – our first red flag for inefficiency.

Meanwhile, the low cost electric radiators are already pushing heat into the rooms. As the central heating system toils, all is quiet in the electric radiator house. With no lengthy pipe system and just a short plug-in cable connecting each radiator to the electric socket, the radiators engage immediately, with the minimum of heat loss from the power source to the heat output. The energy efficient elements push out heat through the recycled aluminium bodies of the radiators which have been carefully designed to produce the ideal mix of radiated and convected heat – heating people and objects directly whilst warming the surrounding air.

At last the hot water reaches the radiators in the centrally heated home. Once warm, the central heating radiators heat in just the same way as electric radiators, but they've got a lot of catching up to do. Tailing behind, just beginning to heat the room while the electric radiators house is already warm and toasty, gas central heating flails in a disappointing second place as we move into the next round.

Round 2 – Control

RC Wave Control PanelIt’s time to introduce a new element into play – can our rival heating systems improve their performance by engaging their heating control systems? For this round, gas central heating is using a single thermostat in a central location controlled by a centralised heating control system. The electric central heating system boasts individual thermostats on each radiator, and a remote controlled programming system that can control each radiator separately.

The heating systems engage and play begins once more! The gas central heating thermostat is ready and set to steady the home heating at 20°C – the temperature pre-programmed into the heating control system. But something’s wrong – the thermostat is positioned in the living room, a high-ceilinged open space with large windows that loses heat faster than most of the other rooms in the house. Whilst the temperature in the living room has dropped to 19°C, the rest of the house is much warmer – indeed, in the kitchen, where the family are busy cooking their evening meal, temperatures are hitting 22°C! Oblivious, the thermostat in the lounge commands the whole house heating system to re-engage, pumping out heat into the already warm kitchen and the rest of the house. What a waste of energy!

Next door, the electric heating system is co-ordinating home heating with the precision of a carefully choreographed dance troop. The individual thermostats on each radiator provide accurate temperature readings – the radiators in the living room switching on to boost heat in the draughty space, whilst the radiators in the kitchen switch off to allow the temperature to return to a comfortable level. The high precision thermostats, accurate to half a degree, minimise the channel within which heat can fluctuate – preventing the radiators working hard to top up the heating after significant drops in temperature. Upstairs, the radiators in the empty bedrooms have been programmed to wait until after 9pm to switch on – whilst in the centrally heated house, heat is draining away as it’s pushed into these empty spaces. Once again, electric radiators emerge the most efficient victors in another round of Energy Efficient Heating Championships.

Round 3 – Installation & Maintenance

The final round is short and simple, and this time it’s all about how economical the rival heating solutions are to fit and maintain. Starting from scratch, each household must install their heating systems – and see, after several years, how the installation costs weigh up with maintenance costs.

The first move of the centrally heated household is to get on the phone to the local tradesmen – there’s no way they’re installing a gas boiler, an extensive network of pipes and water-filled radiators by themselves! As they organise contracts and wait for the tradesmen to arrive, the household of electric radiators is already on the move. All their electric radiators, except those intended for bathroom use, are suitable for quick and easy DIY installation – so they’re off around the house armed with templates, instructions and a screwdriver. Spending ten minutes on each installation, the electric heating system is ready before next door’s plumber has even arrived – and they won’t have to wait for expensive bills to arrive in the post.

As the years go by, the gas central heating system sees numerous visits from the gasman, needed to make sure the fuel burning boiler doesn’t start producing carbon monoxide. The boiler, top-of-the-range when it was installed, is progressively becoming less and less efficient as it ages. The central heating radiators have had to be carefully maintained as the pressure rises and falls around the system – and a few accidents whilst bleeding the radiators have caused costly damage to the carpets.

Meanwhile, the electric radiators have continued to provide heating all year round without any drop in efficiency and with the utmost minimum of maintenance. All the family have had to do is keep them clean – a minor task that they can fit into their usual cleaning routines.

The Final Result

In an utterly convincing win, electric radiators have proven themselves far more efficient heating systems than conventional gas central heating systems. Using the latest heating technology, state-of-the-art energy managements systems and requiring the minimum of maintenance, energy efficient electric radiators truly represent the economical choice for modern home heating. For more information on our electric central heating systems, give our expert sales team a call on 0330 300 4444.

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Electric Radiators Direct are here to bring you the very latest energy news, views and opinions from across the UK. They are also suppliers of energy efficient electric heating solutions and are constantly assessing the market for the best products and the latest ground-breaking technology which they think will make a real difference to their customer's homes. Electric Radiators Direct are devoted to helping you reduce your carbon footprint and bring down your energy bills and they work hard to raise awareness of energy efficient products that can make all the difference. If you're interested in wall mounted electric heaters or infrared panel heaters, call Electric Radiators Direct today on 0330 300 4444 for a free assessment. 

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