What are the Different Types of Electric Heating?

Electric heating encompasses a range of products, from electric radiators, to infrared panels and they each have their own plus points. We’re looking at the many different types of electric heaters, outlining their advantages and disadvantages so that you can decide which one will be the most suitable for your property.Different electric heaters

Why you should choose electric heating

Electric heating is a great solution for any property, especially when you take a look at what it has to offer:

- Efficiency: all electric heaters convert every watt of electricity taken from the wall into usable heat, making them 100% efficient at point of use.
- Easy installation: no pipework and no boiler fitting. Many electric heaters are compatible with simple DIY installation or can be hardwired by an electrician.    
- Maintenance-free: no annual callouts or checks required. Only the occasional dusting is recommended to keep them in the best condition.
- Safety: electric heaters do not rely on gas so there’s no risk of carbon monoxide leaks.
- Precision control: many are available with precise digital thermostats and smart programming, such as Bluetooth, WiFi and even voice control.

It's clear electric heaters are beneficial for a number of reasons, but that doesn’t mean they’re the same in every way. In fact, each type provides something unique in the way of keeping a space warm. So, what are the different types of electric heating and what sets them apart?

The 4 main types of electric heating

Electric panel heaters
Storage heaters
Infrared panels
Electric radiators

Electric panel heaters

These heaters provide rapid warmth through convection which heats the surrounding air, working fast to get your room up to temperature. Highly responsive, electric panel heaters warm up and cool down quickly, delivering comfortable warmth whenever you need it. They come in a range of styles and use lightweight heating elements for easy portability. However, there is a downside as their heat can be lost to open doors and windows, so you may end up using more energy running your panel heaters for longer, which is ultimately less efficient. They’re not ideal for constant use, but if you’re in need of a supplementary heating solution because you’ve got family coming to stay in the spare bedroom, then panel heaters might just be the answer.

Pros

Cons

  • Warms the surrounding air quickly
  • Highly responsive – heats and cools fast
  • Wall mounted & freestanding installation
  • Lightweight & portable
  • Great for temporary use e.g., in the guest room or conservatory

  • Heat lost easily
  • Uneven distribution of warmth
  • Not ideal as a primary heating system
  • Not as durable as other electric heaters
  • Not suitable for bathroom installation
  • Open heating elements can cause blackening of walls

Storage heatersTechnotherm TTB-E Duo

Storage heaters have been around for decades and were designed as a more cost-effective heating solution for those on cheaper night-time energy tariffs such as Economy 7. They spend all night charging and storing up heat in thermal retentive bricks, to then release that heat slowly throughout the day. The problem is, if you work away from home during the day, you’re unlikely to benefit from the warmth produced by these heaters and many older models also tend to run out of heat by the evening, leaving you in the cold just when you’re settling down to relax. This is why storage heaters don’t necessarily work well for everyone and should only be considered if you are on the right energy tariff.Pros

Pros

Cons

  • Provides comfortable & effective warmth
  • Incredibly durable
  • Uses cheaper overnight tariffs like Economy 7
  • Wall mounted & freestanding installation



  • Could run out of heat by the evening
  • Not ideal for those who work during the day
  • Requires you to predict your heating needs a day in advance
  • Some designs can be bulky & heavy
  • Professional installation required

Infrared panelsecostrad Opus WiFi Controlled Infrared Panel

Infrared panels are one of the newest additions to the world of electric heating and are incredibly effective. Instead of heating the air, they supply gentle radiant warmth which replicates the heat we feel every day, emitted from our own bodies and by the sun. It travels in a wave and is easily absorbed by surrounding walls and surfaces, which then re-radiate the heat back into the room for complete 360ᵒ warmth. This provides long lasting and comfortable warmth that isn’t lost easily, minimising energy waste for a more efficient system. Ultra-slim and contemporary in design, infrared panels also offer a minimalist aesthetic for completely discreet heating and can be fitted throughout your home.

Pros

Cons

  • Warms walls & surfaces directly
  • Heat isn’t lost easily to draughts
  • Slimline space-saving design
  • Gentle on allergies – doesn’t disturb the air
  • Can help to prevent damp
  • Allows you to target your heating where it’s needed most
  • Available in a range of designs
  • Wall & ceiling mounted installation 
  • Many are suitable for bathroom fitting
  • Can be expensive
  • Professional installation sometimes required
  • Warmth only travels in a direct wave so panels cannot be obstructed
  • Can take longer to heat up

Electric radiatorsRC Wave

Electric radiators are similar to central heating radiators, only they are often fitted with dry heating elements or thermal oil which heats up to deliver warmth. Offering the best of both worlds, they supply heat through a combination of convection and radiation, so you get the benefit of quick and responsive heat coupled with deeper and lasting warmth. Some electric radiators, like those made with ceramic stone, provide around 50% radiant warmth and can retain heat for up to 45 minutes, keeping you warm long after the heater has been switched off. Incredibly versatile, electric radiators are great for a range of spaces, which is why they make such an ideal primary heating solution. Add that to the array of styles they have to offer and it’s easy to see why they’re such a popular choice.

Pros

Cons

  • Heats the air and surfaces directly
  • Heat isn’t lost as easily to draughts
  • Available in a range of designs
  • High heat retention
  • Many are lightweight & portable
  • Wall mounted & freestanding installation
  • Many are suitable for bathrooms
  • Professional installation may be required
  • Some can take longer to heat up 

Explore our range of electric heaters today

Knowing the differences between these types of heaters can really help you find the perfect heating solution for every room in your property. Whether you want to install an infrared panel in your bathroom or an electric radiator in your kitchen, we’ve got something to suit all interiors, so why not take a look at our range today? 

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