Month: January 2018

What’s the Difference Between Electric Radiators and Electric Panel Heaters?

It’s often said that the world of technology never stops moving. And while we all know that’s true of things like phones and computers, it’s also true for electric heating products. There are always new innovations being made, and you could be forgiven for being a bit confused! But by the end of this short guide to electric heating, you’ll have all the information you need to make an informed decision.

Radiation and Convection

Let’s start with the simple part. An electric radiator radiates heat stored within a heat-retaining medium, usually thermal fluid or ceramic. Think of it like how the sun radiates warmth; if you step into the shade and therefore out of the direct radiation, you feel less warmth.

By contrast, an electric panel heater or "convection heater"; heat the air circulating within an enclosed area. (If you can smell the heat, you're likely experiencing convection heating. The smell exists because, just like a toaster, the panel heaters heating elements are exposed to the air, and so, burn the dust particles floating about in it.)

Just to Confuse You…

After having explained this difference to you, we’re going to confuse you a little. This is because an electric radiator and an electric heater both use a combination of radiated and convected heat. However, while an electric radiator has a thermal retention medium fitted (which is what stores the heat and redistributes it), an electric heater doesn’t.

But a lot of that might not matter to you. All you really want to know is which one you should buy. Well, it really depends on what you want to use it for.

Everyday Vs Occasional Use

The economic choice of electric radiator or electric panel heater for your room mostly comes down to deciding if the room is for everyday or occasional use.

Because electric radiators store heat, they are ideal for use as the primary source of heat in those rooms you use every day, or for long periods of time (e.g. a living room or bedroom). But electric panel heaters are ideal for those rooms that only get used occasionally (like a guest bedroom or conservatory), so don’t need continual heating.

In terms of upfront and running costs, electric radiators are cheaper to run but cost more to buy initially. Electric panel heaters are cheaper in the beginning, but cost more to run. This is because electric panel heaters don't store heat, and so continually draw upon the power supply whilst they heat the air. By contrast, electric radiators require power only whilst they are heating up the storage medium. You can see our comparison on pricing here. At Electric Heating Expert, we provide a wide range of electric radiators to suit any room, any size and any budget. For more information, just take a look at our range or get in touch with us today.

2018 – The Year of the Electric Radiator

Well, that’s it. The Christmas decorations are back in the box and it’s time to look ahead to all things new. Whether that’s learning a new language, taking up a hobby or just taking some more time for yourself. But this year, the electric industry is also making some new year's changes, thanks to the introduction of some new EU regulations.  These came into play on January 1st and will mark the end of electric products with poor controllability. But what does this mean for you?

What Are the New Regulations?

The new legislation (catchily named ‘Lot 20) was designed to change the landscape of available products for manufacturers and consumers alike. It’s derived from the Ecodesign Directive, which was designed to create a framework of basic requirements to make them as efficient and environmentally friendly as possible. Lot 20 takes this directive, enhances it and turns it into an official regulation that must be followed. The regulation covers a very large range of products, from something as small as a portable fan heater to something as large as an infrared panel. Its aim is to bridge the huge gap in efficiency between the smaller and larger items and level the playing field of product efficiency. This also means running costs will be reduced and lessens the burden on power stations to meet high demands.

But What Does This Mean For Electric Radiators and Heaters?

For the heating industry, this change means new design plans, new products and a lot of new buying and installations. All newly manufactured electric heating equipment must now meet a certain set energy efficiency percentage target in order to be sold within the EU. The percentage target will differ for each type of appliance - for example, electric radiators will be required to meet a target of 38%, while portable heaters will only need to hit 36%. But none of those percentages will dip below 30%, allowing all appliances to meet a base level of efficiency. So those low-end radiators with sub-standard controls will be phased out in favour of the new, improved ones.

How Will This Affect You?

As with most EU regulations, there is a slow burn approach to bringing it in. So while manufacturers needed to comply from the 1st of January, consumers may not see a change for quite a while. In most instances, these electric heaters will be almost identical to their older counterparts but with a just few minor improvements so that they meet their efficiency target. And you don’t need to worry if you bought an electric heating appliance before January 1st - most pew-2018 models are already borderline compliant thanks to their digital thermostats and weekly programmers. Newer models will be brought out, and gradually all older electric radiators will be replaced with newer, more energy-efficient models.

At Electric Heating Expert, we are proud suppliers of a wide variety of styles of electric radiator to consumers and businesses. That means that now, we will be including these higher efficiency models in our range, phasing out the older models over time. For more information, just browse our range of electric radiators, or get in touch with us today.