Category: Electric Heating

Cheap Ways to Save On Apartment Heating Costs

As summer gives way to autumn, many of us are already reaching for the thermostat and turning on our central heating. But with budgets tight this year and costs for goods spiralling, it’s more important than ever to keep your monthly bills down to a minimum. Given the fact that heating accounts for a large proportion of household energy expenditure, it’s a great place to start making savings.

So to help keep your energy costs down to a minimum, we’ve put together some top tips for minimising your heating costs down this winter. Some require the help of a professional tradesman, but there are many that you can implement yourself.

Switch providers

When it comes to energy suppliers, there are no rewards for loyalty anymore. The best deals tend to be for new customers only while existing customers languish on costly tariffs. Changing suppliers might sound daunting, but it’s actually straightforward to do. Check out Uswitch for the best deals. Tariffs are continually fluctuating, and even if your fixed deal isn’t about to expire, you may still make annual savings if you switch.

If your fixed deal has already expired, you should definitely check that you’re on the best rate, as you’ve probably moved on to a standard variable tariff. Switching to a new energy supplier could save you over £200 a year – the price of a weekend away! So it’s definitely worth looking into cutting your monthly energy bills.

Install electric radiators

OK, so this may not be the cheapest option, but it definitely won’t break the bank as a new gas boiler will.

Many apartments share a central heating system, with warmth delivered via radiators or underfloor heating. While landlords will generally have to maintain such systems in rented apartments, if you own your apartment you’ll have some autonomy over the decision making. If you feel your gas heating system is no longer fit for purpose – be that spiralling fuel costs, inefficiency or unreliability – then you can choose to switch to an electric heating system. Indeed, given the impact of climate change, all homeowners are now being encouraged to move away from heating systems that use fossil fuels. New low-carbon options and those that use renewable energy will definitely be the future for home heating.

The best and most straightforward option for all-electric home heating is electric radiators. Not only are they easy to fit, but they also provide amazing functionality to make your home comfortably warm, with heat supplied just when you need it. In terms of installation, electric radiators run independently of each other, so there’s no pipework or fiddly connections. Many simply require an electrical plug for installation and can be fixed to the wall using a set of brackets. They’re amazingly energy-efficient, converting 100% of the energy they use into heat. They also come packed with additional features, including WiFi connectivity, open window detection and 24/7 programming, to fit your lifestyle.

Even if you rent your apartment and can’t persuade the landlord to update a tired central heating system, you can easily install supplemental heating, in the form of electric radiators and electric heaters. Use these new radiators and turn down the existing heating system, to instantly start making savings.

Turn down your thermostat

Apartments are unique from houses in that they can benefit from the heat in surrounding units. Indeed, if you’re on the top floor, you could profit from the heat rising from apartments below. So check your thermostat setting, and see if you can dial it down a bit. Even if you can only manage a 1-degree drop, this could save you up to £80 a year. Again, you can boost your heating using electric heaters. Fan heaters can be more expensive to run, so look for convection models to ensure lower energy costs.

Check your insulation

Gaps in windows are the main culprits for heat loss from apartments, and there are two solutions to drive energy savings here. Firstly, you can install draught-proofing strips to seal cracks around windows. These can be bought at any DIY store and are a quick and easy solution, Secondly, you can install double glazing. This may be more costly, but it will deliver instant energy savings and is also a great way to cut noise pollution.

Use a smart control heating system

With the easing of restrictions, society is opening up again and many of us are now returning to the workplace. Smart controls – or smart thermostats – are a great way to take back control of your heating system. With a smart thermostat, you can control your heating from wherever you are, at the touch of an App. They can be fitted to most home heating systems and will drive energy savings as you can ensure the heat is on just when and where you need it. This is especially useful if your daily schedule isn’t consistent, and if you travel, as the system can be controlled from anywhere in the world. Some even include a feature called geofencing. This nifty piece of tech creates a boundary around the property, sensing when you’re leaving and approaching the property, and turning the heating on or off as required.

Here are some of our favourite models:

  • Hive Active Heating 2
  • Google Nest Learning Thermostat (3rd Generation)
  • Tado Smart Thermostat V3
  • Drayton Wiser Multi-Zone Smart Thermostat
  • Honeywell Evohome

Zone your heating

This is where smart thermostats come into their own. You can control which rooms receive heat, and when. You don’t need the bedrooms to be heated during the day. Likewise, you won’t need the kitchen heated during the late evening. So choose which rooms you want to use and when, and zone you're heating. This will ensure the heat is in the precise rooms that it’s needed, depending on your routine and the time of day.

Shut the doors and use the power of the sun

Zoning heat will only work if you shut the doors. This will prevent heat loss, ensuring warm rooms remain warm, and unused rooms stay cool. Also, use the power of the sun. Open your blinds and curtains during the day to let the light in and use the sun’s rays to heat your home. There really isn’t a cheaper way to save on heating costs.

Add soft furnishings

This may feel completely low-tech compared with smart thermostats, but it really is an easy way to make your apartment warmer and cosier. Plush curtains and deep-pile rugs are great for creating a feeling of warmth, and insulating space.

Simple heating hacks

We’ve already published a great post on heating hacks that you can easily implement yourself. One of our favourites is in fact the most simple, using residual oven heat to warm the home. Yes, that’s right! Rather than close the oven door after cooking a meal, leave it open and let that warmth flow through your kitchen and into the rest of the apartment. The thermostat will detect the increase in heat and dial down your energy use, instantly saving you money.

If you’re interested in investing in electric heating options to lower your energy bills, then get in touch today. We sell premium electric radiators and electric heaters that utilise the best energy-saving features to ensure you’ll stay warm this winter and save money on your apartment heating costs. Contact us by calling 01252 560770 or you can e-mail us at enquiries@electricheatingexpert.co.uk to find out more about our product range and services.

Pros and Cons of Infrared Heaters

If you’re considering looking to supplement the heating in your home then there are several electric heating options available to you. These include electric radiators, fan heaters and infrared heaters. In this article, we’ll look at the pros and cons of infrared heaters. How they can be useful, and why they’re not always the best option.

What is infrared heat?

But first, what exactly is infrared heat? Well, imagine the heat you feel when you step out into the sun. That’s a combination of infrared and ultraviolet rays. The infrared warms us, while the UV is more damaging to health. We can feel it, but we can’t actually see infrared light. This is because it’s beyond the spectrum of what we can see, sitting at a wavelength of between 0.78 and 2.5 micrometres (or microns). Infrared heaters work by converting energy into radiant heat. Infrared radiation travels in a straight direction and isn’t absorbed by the air. This means it heats objects it meets, and infrared heaters are therefore excellent for providing direct heat.

The pros of infrared heaters

Instant heat

Infrared heaters warm the area in front of them practically instantly, with heat being delivered within as little as 30 seconds. The air in front is warmed rapidly, as the energy is immediately converted to heat particles. In contrast, convection heaters will take a short while longer to warm a room. This is because they use the cooler surrounding air, heating it over coils as it rises, and releasing it back into the room.

Quiet and efficient

Just like electric radiators, infrared heaters are silent and provide excellent energy efficiency. This makes them ideal, in particular, for bedrooms. Traditional gas-fired radiators can be particularly noisy, with the movement of water, clicking of the pipes and the sounds of the radiator itself heating up. Likewise, fan heaters can be noisy, so they’re also not ideal for bedrooms or areas where you need peace and quiet.

Health benefits

This is a contentious point because as you’ll see, there are safety issues with infrared heaters. However, because there’s no movement of air, infrared heaters can be beneficial to your health. There’s no change to humidity levels, compared with forced air systems and fan heaters. So no need to add humidifiers, to rebalance moisture in the air.

Good for zonal heating

If you’re looking to boost your heating in specific areas of your home, then both infrared heaters and electric radiators are excellent options. However, you need to bear in mind the safety issues with infrared heaters, and ensure the area to be heated is clear of obstacles in front of the infrared panels.

No pollutants

As there’s no combustion required, infrared and electric heaters and electric radiators are extremely environmentally friendly. Indeed, given the drive toward renewable energy, we predict that the use of all types of electric heating solutions will increase exponentially over the coming years.

The cons of infrared heaters

Safety

As we’ve already mentioned, infrared heat travels in straight directions. It’s excellent for providing direct, targeted heat. However, the heating elements can get extremely hot and the heat produced is very intensely. So it’s important to keep the area around an infrared heater free from objects. Also, this makes them a potential hazard if you have young children and pets. So while you might like the idea of infrared heaters, think about where you need to use them, and whether they’re the safest solution for your home and family.

Potential health issues

While it’s true that UV rays are the most damaging to your health, long-term exposure to infrared radiation can also be damaging to your eyes and skin. Although this is typically seen with high levels of exposure not associated with home heating, it’s still something to consider. Indeed, if you sit too close to an infrared heater, you can experience blotchy skin, so there is damage occurring at a cellular level. Also, if you overheat, you sweat. While this isn’t an issue with convector heaters that gently heat and circulate the air, it is a problem with infrared heat. If you overheat and sweat, this can lead to water loss and dehydration.

Isolated heating

Yes, infrared heaters are excellent for providing zonal heat. However, this is also one of the cons of using infrared heaters. They’re not good for heating large spaces. They provide direct heat, heating surrounding objects rather than the air in-between, and you need to be close by to feel the benefits. In contrast, convection heaters such as electric radiators actually heat and circulate the air. This warms living spaces and makes it easier to maintain desired ambient temperatures.

No thermostat control

Even the best-infrared heaters lack the functionality of other electric heating options. They can’t be controlled by a thermostat or smart controls, as these work by monitoring air temperature. So it’s impossible to programme them into a central heating system and control your home heating. They’re very much a ‘switch on when you need them’ option.

Instant loss of heat

Once an infrared heater is switched off, it will stop radiating heat. As the air around the unit won’t have been heated up, you’ll lose heat practically instantly. In contrast, convection heaters and oil-filled heaters will continue to radiate heat even after they’re switched off.

Not cost effective

There are two issues to look at here: cost price and running costs. While infrared heaters can be picked up for a decent price, if you’re looking to heat a larger space then you’ll need a number of heaters. This means a higher cost of purchasing. Also, in terms of running costs, infrared heaters do run on low wattage. But given the lack of functionality and the possibility that multiple units will be required, any savings on electricity are negligible compared with other electric heating solutions.

Limited warranty

If you’re lucky, you could find a model with a 5-year warranty. However, the typical warranty for infrared heaters is 1-2 years. So while the price might look great, you’ve got to consider the fact that you may need to regularly replace an infrared heater. In comparison, high-quality electric radiators such as the Economiser come with warranties of up to 30 years, giving you greater peace of mind.

We hope these points have helped you consider whether infrared heaters are the best option for your home or office. We think you’ll agree that while they can provide a great solution if you need short-term targeted heat in an uncluttered area, there are disadvantages to this type of heating. Think carefully about where and how you need the additional heat, and whether convection heaters would actually be a better option for you.

If you’re looking to switch to electric heating, then here at Electric Heating Expert we have some excellent options for you, including German-built premium electric radiators, electric panel heaters and electric towel rails. Our electric heating solutions can be used to supplement the heating within your home or as your primary heating system. Future proof your home heating today by calling us on 01252 560770, or email us at enquiries@electricheatingexpert.co.uk.

Easy Ways to Make a House Feel More Homely

You’re finally in your new place! The moving van has left and the boxes have been unpacked. Everything is in its place. But it doesn’t feel quite like home yet, and you’re wondering ‘why?’ Well, it can take a while to feel ‘at home’ in a new space. However, there are several easy steps you can take to make your house feel like a home. Here are our top ten:

Check your heating

Nothing makes a house feel more homely than being warm and cosy. So as soon as you move in, it’s time to organise your home heating. Get your boiler serviced (if necessary) and start looking at potential problem areas. Improve insulation, and think about investing in electric radiators or heaters if you need to boost the heating in cooler zones. This might sound costly, but it’s really not. Given that all you’ll need is a power socket and the ability to wall mount a unit, it’s actually an inexpensive way to ensure you’ll have the heat you need over the winter months. Ultimately, you might choose to upgrade to an all-electric heating system. But if you’re looking for an easy way to make your house feel like a home, then this is it.

Use soft furnishings

Soft furnishings bring a wonderful sense of warmth and security to a space. If you have wood floors, choose a sumptuous area rug. Think of throws on sofas and beds, as well as layering textures with cushions. Soften hard window dressings such as blinds or shutters with a curtain, to dress the space and bring your look together. Choose from neutral palettes and think Scandinavian ‘hygge’ to ensure your house feels safe and ‘homely’.

Add natural finishes

Carpets and painted walls are rapidly being replaced with more natural finishes, such as wood floors with jute, sisal or seagrass rugs. Panelled walls are also incredibly popular, as well as exposed brickwork. Think ‘organic’ and more natural, for a sense of calm in the space.

Fill your home with foliage

Indoor plants bring soothing elements of nature into your home. Plants and fresh flowers really brighten up a home, making it immediately feel more homely. However, plants are more than just decorative features. They’ll also improve the air quality and help to absorb unwanted sounds and echoes in a large space. It’s hardly surprising therefore that indoor plants have been proven to lower stress levels. After the big move, restoring a sense of calm will be just what you need. So make a trip to the garden centre as soon as you can! For inspiration, here are some of the most popular indoor plants:

• Peace Lily
• Weeping Fig
• Money Tree
• Ferns
• Tall cactus
• Rubber Plant
• Fiddle Leaf Fig

You can even enhance your windows with carefully placed window boxes, brightening up your view. Also, think about growing herbs either in an indoor herb garden or in your window boxes. This way you’ll always have a supply of fresh, organically-grown herbs.

Think books

Books in a beautiful bookcase or even just coffee table editions bring an element of sophistication to a home. It’s also an excellent opportunity to tell your guests something about yourself. The literature you like to read, the places you like to travel and your interests and pastimes.

Let there be light

There’s nothing worse than a dark, dingy space. Start by cleaning the windows and giving the walls a fresh coat of paint. This could be all the home needs. If you really want to brighten it up, go for white walls. For tight spaces, if you want to add colour there are also specialist paints that reflect light, making the room instantly feel brighter and more spacious. There are also design tricks, such as light wood flooring, gloss on ceilings and placing large mirrors near light sources. Fairy lights and LED strips will also cheer up a dark space, creating a lovely atmosphere.

Install artwork and photographs

‘Every picture tells a story or so the saying goes. Well, you can tell your story by displaying the beautiful artwork you’ve collected over the years. Seeing a familiar painting or print can really help you feel relaxed in your new surroundings. There’s something about that familiarity that can really help you settle in. Also, make sure you’ve got plenty of family pictures on display. Picture walls are particularly striking, and a great design feature. You can make one quite cheaply by collecting frames of the same colour – black or white work best. Choose them from different shops, so they’re not all identical, this adds to the charm. Then it’s off to get the photos developed and you’re ready to get designing. In fact, this is such a simple idea that the longest part of the process is usually which photos to choose from in the first place!

Buy some candles

When we think of the five senses, we often underestimate the power of our sense of smell. Well, it can transport us back through time better than just about any of the other senses. So make the most of this by buying some exquisite candles in your favourite room fragrances. From tropical scents to a sense of being by the sea (think driftwood and sea salt) there really is a scent for everyone, and for every room.
Floral and fruity candles are probably best reserved for the bathroom. For living areas, select scents such as sandalwood, patchouli, white tea or vanilla. Candles not only smell divine, but they also look so atmospheric. There are even aromatherapy candles. Choose lemon candles to energise, lavender to relax and eucalyptus to focus your mind. Make your house a home by selecting the loveliest candles to warm and nourish your living space.

Invest in smart storage

Because no one likes clutter. Organise your space and declutter using clever storage systems. There really is something for every sized room. You can use storage systems to organise every type of item, from children’s toys to living room knick-knacks and from kitchen spices to bathroom towels. Storage systems can even be used to divide up rooms, offering a cheap means to create separate living areas. Check out Ikea for some of the best storage systems available.

Get a pet

OK, so some might not think that this is an easy option. But it’s an excellent way to make a house feel like home. A dog or a cat is definitely part of the family, and once they’re settled, you’re settled. Stroking a cat or a dog has been proven to reduce stress levels (there’s a reason ‘therapy dogs’ are used to diffuse stressful situations). They’re also great social support, and there’s nothing nicer than coming home and being greeted like a long lost friend (even if you’ve only been out of the house for 10 minutes!)

So there you have it, our top ten tips for making a house feel more homely. We hope this article helps you to settle into your new house. If you need any design ideas, it’s probably best to contact a local interior designer. For help with electric heating, we’re the company to get in touch with. Here at Electric Heating Expert, we have some excellent choices of electric radiators and electric heaters. Get in touch on 01252 560770 or by emailing enquiries@electricheatingexpert.co.uk. Alternatively, you can access a free, no-obligation expert quote by filling in our simple 2-minute self-survey form.

Rob Corey

I bought 4 heater for my daughters Scandinavian Pine lodge and found them to be very efficient and effective in the recent 2 month cooler weather. So much so that we turned them right down to 11 or 12 degrees, and in the last week have left only one on. Super easy to control and very good quality. Easy to fit and fine finish.

14 May 2021

What’s the most energy-efficient electric radiator?

When it comes to choosing the right electric radiator for your home, there’s no one size fits all. The radiator you choose will depend on a number of factors – including the size and layout of the room, and your budget. However, the most important attribute to consider is how energy efficient the radiator is. After all, selecting a low-cost radiator won’t convey long-term savings if it has high running costs. In this article, we’ll guide you to the key features you need to look for when selecting the most energy-efficient electric radiator.


What wattage do you need?
OK, so first of all, you’ll need to consider the wattage of the radiator you need to buy. Whether this is a 600W, 1200W or 2000W unit will be governed by a number of factors. These include:

• The size of the room
• The number and type of windows
• The number of doors
• The type of flooring
• Whether there’s a heated room above or below
• The number of outside walls

Using a BTU (British Thermal Unit) calculator, you can ensure you have the right amount of wattage you’ll need, in order to heat your room. It’s important to note that if you fall between two wattages, you should always go for the higher wattage. A good energy efficient radiator will have a built-in sensor, ensuring only the right amount of heat is generated in order to maintain ambient room temperature. So even if the wattage is higher than necessary, you won’t be wasting energy.

Energy-efficient features to look out for

Construction

The best electric radiators will be of all-metal body construction, and the most popular metal to look out for is aluminium. This is because aluminium is lightweight, strong and is a superconductor, so it will heat up quickly. Alternatively, a steel body that’s galvanised and powder coated will also perform well. Even if a unit is advertised as all-metal, always check that the end panels and fascia aren’t made of plastic. Manufacturers use plastic parts to lower manufacturing costs, but these models won’t be durable and the plastic parts can discolour over time. Once you’ve determined that the construction is all metal, check whether there’s a scratch-resistant coating. This will ensure the radiator looks pristine throughout its lifetime. Another feature to look out for is interchangeable electronics. This means that control panels can easily be replaced, without having to buy a whole new radiator, even when the unit is out of warranty. Also, as pleasing as a smooth surface can look, there’s a reason traditional boiler-fed radiators have a ridged design. This increases surface area for heat exchange. So select an electric radiator with a ridged surface, for optimal efficiency.

Heat output

The best electric radiators combine radiant and convected heat. Ideally, select a unit that utilises multiple ceramic plates and has a sealed thermodynamic core. This will generate heat at a more constant, uniform level, for supreme comfort. This may sound technical, but a good retailer will be able to guide you to the right model.

Programmability

The most efficient electric radiators will offer full 24/7 digital programming. Using this feature, you can set a precise heating schedule to meet your needs, ensuring you have heat exactly when and where you’ll need it. This energy-saving feature allows you to control your heating like never before and ensures no money is wasted heating unoccupied rooms, or when you’re not at home.

Adaptive Start

This is another important feature to look out for. It’s an intelligent pre-heating system that actually anticipates the heat-up time of your room, based on the ambient temperature. Heat output commences in advance of the start time, to ensure the room is up to temperature precisely when you need it to be. After all, in the winter months, it will take slightly longer for the room to reach temperature than in the spring or autumn. Ideally, if you’re up at 7 am for work and you want the room to be at 21 degrees, you don’t want that to be the time the radiator starts producing heat, you want that to be the time the room is the correct temperature. Likewise, if you’ve set the programmer for when you come home from work, you want it to have already reached that temperature when you walk in the door. Well, with this feature you can achieve just that. The radiator will apply the precise energy needed, giving you unparalleled heating control and ensuring maximum comfort.

Energy Monitor

Smart controls, or smart meters, are an excellent way to track your energy usage and control your monthly bills. However, before you invest in a smart meter, maybe look for a radiator that has this inbuilt feature. With this feature, energy usage is tracked and you can see how much energy your radiator is using day by day, week by week and annually. You can use this function to address any areas of your home that are performing poorly in terms of heat retention and address any concerns, such as poor insulation, draughty windows, etc.

Open Window Sensor

An ‘open window sensor’ is a fantastic feature to have on your radiator. This energy-saving technology senses sudden drops in ambient temperature (for example, when a window or door is opened) and reactively pauses heat output until the room temperature stabilises.

Other important features to consider

OK, so you’ve determined the required wattage, identified the energy-efficiency functions you need and down-selected some radiators. What else can set them apart? Here are some other issues to consider:


WiFi Enabled

We’ve already mentioned the importance of smart controls in monitoring and controlling your energy usage. However, to integrate with smart controls, your radiator will need to be WiFi-enabled. Look for this feature to ensure you can control your environment in real-time, from wherever you are, at the swipe of an App.

Surface Temperature Control

Electric radiators are created to produce heat, but in doing so some models can become extremely hot. This presents a health and safety risk, especially around young children and the elderly. So make sure your electric radiator comes with surface temperature control. This will limit the surface temperature of the unit, keeping it at a level that’s safe to the touch.

Warranty

When it comes to the warranty, always check the fine print. Just because the sales description states a certain warranty, it doesn’t mean that all elements of the radiator are covered for the same time period. Don’t just look at the length of the warranty, also make sure there’s comprehensive cover for all the working parts, for a decent time period.

We hope this article has helped you understand the criteria to consider when selecting an energy-efficient radiator for your home. Here at Electric Heating Expert, we have a fantastic range of electric radiators available that more than meet the above efficiency criteria. With a range of products to suit every budget and warranty periods of up to 30 years, you can be sure you’re buying the best electric radiators on the market today. Check out our Economiser and Vantage electric radiators, as well as our Ecopanel XT electric panel heaters, and find your electric heating solution today!

What Are the Steps of Converting My Heating System from Gas to Electric?

This is a question we’re increasingly being asked. Fuelled by a drive for clean energy, many homeowners are moving away from gas boilers and coming to us for an alternative heating solution. This isn’t just down to members of the public being more mindful of the harmful impact of greenhouse gas emissions, it’s also backed by the Government. Indeed, in support of the nation’s net-zero climate target, the Government has banned the installation of gas boilers in new builds from 2025. Although the current ban is just for new builds, it doesn’t bode well for the use of natural gas in any home appliance. So homeowners that need to upgrade an ageing boiler are increasingly looking to make the move to more environmentally-friendly electric heating systems.

 

Making the transition may sound daunting, but this article will guide you through the steps you need to follow:

 

1.     Investigate the heating system you’d like to move to

There are several options open to you if you’re replacing a gas central heating system. These include:

 

  • Electric radiators
  • Ground-source heat pumps
  • Air-source heat pumps
  • Underfloor heating

 

Reviewing these options, the most straightforward and cost-effective way forward is an electric heating system, using electric radiators. These are not only easy to install, but they’re also 100% energy efficient. In terms of aesthetics, they can be combined with electric fireplaces. But just be aware that electric fireplaces won’t be sufficient to heat your home. They are nice to look at though and can really make a house feel like a home, delivering a realistic-looking living flame at the press of a button. In contrast, ground- and air-source heat pumps that draw heat from the surroundings may sound attractive options, but they’re complex systems that are prohibitively expensive to install. Finally, underfloor heating is a great option if you’re at the build stage, but it is more expensive and complex to retro-install into existing homes than alternatives such as electric radiators.

 

2.     Choose your engineer/contractor

Once you’ve selected the heating system you’d like to use, it’s time to start down-selecting a provider. This is the beauty of an electric heating system such as a radiator – you can actually install them yourself. All you need is a plug point and a bit of DIY experience. It really can be that easy! If you do want to use an electrician then a simple online search will identify the best in your area.

 

If you’re replacing your hot water system with an electric boiler or going for a heat pump, you’ll need a heating engineer and an electrician. Choose your contractor carefully. Google can be great for finding local engineers, but the best way is via reviews and testimonials. Ask if you can speak to former clients and ensure the contractor has all the correct accreditations. You’ll also need to hire a gas engineer to remove the existing gas heating system. Make sure the gas engineer is gas safe registered. To check, consult the Gas Safe Register here. A good builder can take care of removing the radiators and pipework, although if you’re good at DIY this is again something you can take care of yourself.

 

3.     Get quotes from your shortlist

Once you’ve drawn up a shortlist, it’s a good idea to obtain three quotes from professional contractors. Remember that the cheapest isn’t always the best. This is where social proof is so vital – check the reviews and if you can speak to someone who’s recently used their services. Remember that these people will be with you in your home, so make sure you’re comfortable with them. Things can go wrong, so it’s essential you can communicate easily with them, especially if you’re not happy or confused about the process. One important tip here – make sure to check whether or not your circuit board can cope with the increased draw on electricity. If so, make sure this is included in the quote.

 

4.     Select your appliances

If you’ve selected electric radiators, it’s time to choose your specific units. If you’re using an electric heating expert, then the radiators will have been included in a quote. If you’re doing the installation yourself, then contact a good supplier. Choose one that can guide you according to your needs, in terms of radiator size and heat output. We have a handy buying guide here that offers expert tips. Also, make sure you have the extra features you need. These can include: WiFi connectivity, 24/7 programming and climate control, to name just a few. If you’re complementing your electric heating system with electric towel rails, these can be sourced from local DIY stores online. Likewise for an electric fireplace.

 

5.     Remove your gas heating system

This is it! You’re making the change! Obviously, it’s better to change your heating system in the summer months, so the planning will need to start a few weeks or even months beforehand, to secure the best tradesmen (they tend to get booked out early, especially just before winter when people realise there’s an issue with their existing heating system). First, the gas engineer will need to remove the existing gas heating system. They’ll need to cap your gas supply and decommission your boiler. The next part of the process can require remedial plaster work and decorating, as the ugly pipework and old water-fed radiators are removed. This is where your builder and/or a decorator will come in handy. You can do this yourself, but again use a professional if you want the transition process to be as easy and straightforward as possible.

 

6.     Install your new heating system

If you’re installing electric radiators, this is the easiest part of the process. All the units require is a power socket. They’re also compact and lightweight, so are easy to install. If you’re going all-electric, you may choose to boost your heating with underfloor heating or electric towel rails. These will require the services of an electrician. An electric boiler will definitely require installation by a qualified engineer.

 

7.     Maintaining an electric heating system

This is the beauty of an all-electric heating system. As there’s no combustion involved, your electric heating system won’t require an annual service. You can just sit back and bask in the luxuriant ambient heat. There’ll be no noise, just silent energy efficiency. If you want even more control of your heat, you can install a ‘smart thermostat’ or ‘smart control heating system’, as they’re also known. You’ll be able to track your energy usage and plan your home heating all at the flick of a finger.

 

If you’re thinking of converting your home heating system from gas to electric, we hope this article has helped you understand the process and steps involved. Here at Electric Heating Expert, we have a fantastic range of electric radiators, to suit your budget and needs. Contact us on 01252 560770, or email us at enquiries@electricheatingexpert.co.uk. If you’d like a fast, obligation-free expert quote then you can use our handy 2-minute self-survey form.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do Electric Heaters Last Longer than Gas Heaters?

Summer may be on the way, but as we saw earlier in April, the temperatures can still go down to freezing. So if you need to boost the heat in your home, but are ready to switch off the central heating, then you should invest in a stand-alone heater. These can be wall-mounted or portable, depending on your needs. As they run independently from the central heating system, they’re a great way to boost the heat in specific rooms without having to heat the whole home. But what heaters should you invest in – electric or gas? Which will stand the test of time? You’ll base your decision on several factors, but if you’re looking for something that will last, we recommend electric heaters over their gas counterparts. Here’s why:

Reliability in the moving parts

Electric heaters work in very simple ways, with options including convector, fan and radiant heating. As there’s no combustion involved, they’re more straightforward to work on than gas heaters. This means that they’re easier to maintain; indeed, many electric heaters come with fantastic warranties, giving you additional peace of mind.

Safety impacts longevity

All gas heating systems, be that a central heating system, fireplace, heater or even the kitchen hob, pose a risk to health and safety. This isn’t just that they’re a fire hazard; they also come with the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon monoxide is produced when gas doesn’t combust completely. Exposure to carbon monoxide can lead to a range of physical symptoms, such as headache, dizziness, shortness of breath, blurred vision and loss of consciousness. Prolonged exposure can be fatal. For this reason, you must install a carbon monoxide monitor if you use a gas appliance. Gas appliances, unlike those powered by electricity, must also be serviced annually by a Gas Safe registered engineer. This is to check that they’re safe for use and working efficiently. All of this comes with a cost, and the fact that you can’t attempt a repair yourself means you’re far more likely to have to get rid of a gas heater than an electric heater.

Flexible placement ensures continued use

You may invest in a heater for one room only, but you’ll more than likely want to use a heater in different rooms, at different times of the year. As opposed to electric heaters, which will only require a plug to work, gas heaters come with a whole host of issues that can impact where and when you use them. Not only are they heavy and unwieldy, meaning they’re harder to transfer between rooms, but their safety profile will also limit their location. The placement of a carbon monoxide monitor, as well as proximity to pets or children as a safety hazard, must all factor into the location of a gas heater. Also, gas heaters should only be used in well-ventilated rooms. This is not only because of the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning but also because they produce condensation. This can lead to damp and mould problems down the line. The fact gas heaters require ventilation is actually a really important issue, given that you’ll tend to use them when it’s cold, and won’t want to have to open a window.

Functionality equates to durability

The fact that electric heaters come with amazing programming features means that they’ll definitely be the most flexible option for your home, and will stand the test of time. Here are just some of the features you can look out for on electric heaters, that you won’t see on the majority of gas appliances:

 

  1. Smart heaters - We all live busy lives, so being able to control where and when you have heat is hugely important, not to mention cost-effective. Smart thermostats have revolutionised the way we run the central heating in our homes, but having WiFi connectivity on heaters is also hugely beneficial. With this tech, you can schedule and control your heaters from your smartphone or computer.
  2. LCD Displays - These are fantastic for letting you know when the room is getting too hot. Some models will automatically switch off if the heater temperature gets too high
  3. Frost protection – This feature will automatically switch on the heater if the room drops below 5 degrees centigrade.
  4. Remote control – You may not want WiFi connectivity, but many electric heaters come with remote controls. So you can still control the temperature from the comfort of your armchair!
  5. Climate control – This feature ensures the heater maintains a comfortable ambient room temperature, without you having to touch the thermostat.
  6. Cold air setting – We all know how hot our homes can get in the summer. Let’s face it, they’re built to keep the heat in! Some fan heaters have a cold air setting, so they double up as air conditioners in warmer weather.

Efficiency means lower running costs

While this might not impact how long heaters actually last, it’s definitely a consideration in how long you might keep a gas heater. Electric heat is 100% efficient; energy is immediately converted to heat, meaning none is lost in the process of creating heat energy. Gas systems are inherently inefficient, as not all of the energy is converted to heat. Some will be lost in the creation of light, exhaust fumes and moisture. Indeed, although we’ve always thought of electricity being more expensive than gas, the costs are quite surprising when it comes to heaters. According to the Centre for Sustainable Energy, electric convector heaters have a running cost of 29p/hour; gas convector heaters running on LPG meanwhile will have running costs of 50p/hour.

Environmental impact

We all want to be a part of a better future. For future generations, we need to care for our environment. The one way we can make a difference? Moving away from using fossil fuels. From the houses we live into the cars we drive, we can all make a difference. Given that in the UK, gas is the biggest contributor to fossil fuel emissions, this means switching to electricity. To support this shift, the Government has in fact decided to impose a ban on gas boilers from as early as 2025. All of this means that investing in any kind of gas appliance isn’t the wisest of investments, as gas will one day become obsolete.

 

 

So as you can see, how long a heater lasts isn’t just a case of how long it’s actually throwing out heat. It’s all about future-proofing your purchases and making sure you have something easy to maintain, uses clean energy and is safe, reliable and efficient to run. If you’re interested in making the switch to electric heating then get in touch today. We can assess your needs and guide you to the best solution for your home or business. Contact us on 01252 560770 or email the team at enquiries@electricheatingexpert.co.uk; alternatively, for a fast expert quote, simply complete our handy 2-minute self-survey form.

 

Top 10 Heating Hacks for 2021

Last month, we published the post 5 Ways to Save Money on Your Heating Bill Going Into 2021. In the article, we gave tips on how to save money on your heating bills, such as upgrading your boiler, investing in smart thermostats and switching energy suppliers. But what else can you do? Are there simple hacks that you can use to ensure your home stays as warm as possible, using the least possible energy? At a time when we’re at home more than ever before, heating our properties when they’re usually empty, it’s easy to rack up energy costs. Indeed, heating accounts for half of our monthly energy bills, so any savings that can be made in this area can have a significant impact on monthly outgoings.

 

Here are our top ten heating hacks for 2021. All are simple and straightforward. Also, most importantly for those looking to save money, they’re all either low-cost solutions or won’t cost a thing:

 

  1. Embrace zone heating

If you’re trying to save money on your heating bills then there are two things you can do to prevent energy wastage. Firstly, turn your thermostat down to the lowest possible temperature. The government recommends a setting of 18 degrees for the whole house, but if this is too chilly then we recommend 19-20 degrees. However, the second step you can take will drive even more savings. This is zone heating your home. Essentially, zone heating is thinking about where and when you need the heat. If you have a traditional thermostat that governs the whole house, this will involve setting the valves on individual radiators in each room, warming used rooms more than empty ones. If you have smart thermostats you can take it one step further, directing the heat as and where you need it most. Why heat the bedrooms during the day? Why heat the living room at night? By thinking about zone heating, you can easily minimise energy wastage.

 

  1. Have a shower not a bath

Yes, we know that having a bath is a great way to warm up. But by switching to a shower you’ll not only save on water usage, but you’ll also use far less hot water, driving energy savings. If you want to invest further in this solution, you can fit an energy-efficient shower head. This works by limiting the flow rate to 7-8 litres per minute. Also, during the summer, think about taking a cooler shower, this will help ensure energy bills are kept to a minimum in warmer months.

 

  1. Insulate your windows and doors

There’s nothing worse than pumping heat out of radiators but knowing that cold air is seeping in around doors and windows. This is both costly and futile. So inspect your windows and doors, and invest in some low-cost quick fixes. For your windows, unwanted gaps can be blocked using draught-proofing strips. These can be purchased from major DIY stores and are really easy to stick around window frames. There are two types: low-cost self-adhesive foam strips and plastic or metal brush strips, which cost a little more but are longer lasting. For windows that don’t open, use a silicone sealant. When it comes to doors, gapping around the frame can be remedied using draught-proof strips. For draughts coming under the door, install a brush or hinged draught excluder, or even a simple cushion draught excluder. Also, consider a letterbox flap and a purpose-made metal key cover to completely seal your entrance from draughts.

 

  1. Add curtains and rugs

There’s nothing like soft furnishings to warm a space, give it character and make it feel like home. The current trend for stripped wood floors, open-plan spaces and blinds, however, can make a space feel cool and create echoes. As contemporary as space looks, these aesthetics might be on trend but they can be unwelcoming, particularly if you’re struggling to keep the space warm. A simple heating hack here is to install curtains and a deep-pile rug. Also, think about opening your curtains or blinds during the day to make the most of the warming sunlight, and closing them as soon as the sun goes down, to preserve heat in the room.

 

  1. Block the chimney

Many of us own homes with a lovely open fireplace but never use it for heating. This means that there’s a space in your home that’s allowing warm air to escape from the home. So to prevent this heat loss, consider blocking up any unused chimney flues. You can do this using a chimney cap, or a more temporary option such as a chimney balloon.

 

  1. Leave the oven door open after cooking

We use our ovens pretty much daily, especially during these unprecedented times,  with pandemic restrictions making dining out seem like a thing of the past. But how many of us shut the oven door after cooking a meal? Think about it, you’ve warmed the internal temperature to as high as 250 degrees centigrade! That will take a while to cool down, so rather than leave all that lovely heat inside the oven, leave the door slightly open and let it warm your kitchen. (Although please note, obviously you have to use your judgement here if you have young children running around).

 

  1. Use a hot water bottle

For some, climbing into cool bed sheets is bliss, for others, it’s very unwelcoming. If you like to get into warm bedding, then keep heating costs to a minimum by using a good old-fashioned hot water bottle. Simply place the hot water bottle under your duvet or blankets, and towards the foot of the bed. This is a simple solution and means you won’t need to switch on that electric blanket or keep the radiators on overnight.

 

  1. Close off unused rooms

This may sound obvious, but heat not only rises but a lot is lost moving to cooler rooms. Even if you’ve turned the heating down in unused rooms, if the door is open then you’ll lose heat from the rooms where you need it most. So make sure your bedroom doors are shut during the day, as well as the doors to unused rooms downstairs. At night, close off all downstairs doors.

 

  1. Move soft furnishings away from radiators and windows

Warm air from radiators needs to move unimpeded across a room. If you have sofas or chairs pushed up against a radiator then try moving them forward by a few inches. This will prevent the furniture from absorbing the heat. The gap created will also allow the warm air to freely circulate in the room. Maybe consider a summer and winter configuration, if space is at a premium.

 

  1. Put tin foil behind radiators

This may not be the most aesthetically pleasing solution, but it’s actually one of the most productive and straightforward heating hacks out there. However, rather than the tin foil we use for baking, you’ll need to purchase specialist silver foil from a DIY store. It’s very cheap – on average costing £7 a roll – and can be installed using wallpaper paste. The foil then reflects heat into the house, preventing it from being absorbed by the walls.

 

We hope these heating hacks will help you save money on your heating bills. If you’re still struggling to heat your home and want to know more about the best electric heating options, then get in touch today. We can help direct you to the most energy-efficient electric radiators and heaters on the market. Contact us at enquiries@electricheatingexpert.co.uk or you can call one of our team on 01252 560770.

joan turnbull

I had my boiler replaced.
They were very efficient,clean.polite and friendly.
Would recommend this company .they explained everything thoroughly.

February 28 2021

5 Ways to Save Money on Your Heating Bill Going Into 2021

Remember the days when we all left home for school or the workplace? A time when we  could turn the thermostat down for the majority of the day, programming it to boost the heat when we get home? Well, lockdown restrictions and a brutal winter have put paid to that. With the majority of people working from home, heating costs are set to spiral for the first quarter of 2021. Given that large proportions of household budgets are spent on energy, and that heating and hot water account for almost half of your energy bills, it’s an obvious place to look to make savings. 

So how can you save money on your heating bills and trim back on your monthly outgoings? Here are our top five tips:

1. Turn down your thermostat

Did you know that by turning your thermostat down by just 1 degree Centigrade, you could save up to £80 per year? If this makes your main living room a bit too chilly, then you can invest in portable electric heaters. That way, you can boost the heat in the rooms you live in, without having to turn up the temperature in the whole of your home, wasting it in empty rooms. 

2. Invest in a new boiler or switch to all-electric

Upgrading to a new A-rated condensing boiler from a G-rated unit could offer savings of up to £300 a year. However, a new boiler is expensive – costs range from £1,250 to nearly £4,000. Moreover, given the government’s stance on climate change and the burning of fossil fuels, this may not be the best investment for your property. Electric radiators, underfloor heating and ground- and air-source heat pumps are gaining in popularity. Using energy from renewable and sustainable sources is the way of the future. Indeed, climate change experts are pushing for a total ban on the sale of gas boilers from 2033, so these alternative heating solutions are a better long-term solution for homeowners.

3. Install a smart thermostat 

Whether you have a gas boiler or electric heating system, there are many smart thermostats on the market. This smart tech allows you to check the temperature of your home on your smartphone or tablet, allowing not only monitoring but also programming from wherever you are, even from halfway around the world! By adapting to changes in your schedule, you’ll only be heating your home – and individual rooms within your homes – exactly when you need the heat. This will help lower your energy bills, so it’s definitely the smart move for homeowners. Smart thermostats can be fitted to most central heating systems, and there are several excellent models available. Here are some of the best thermostats on the market today:

  • Google Nest Learning Thermostat (3rd Generation)
  • Hive Active Heating 2
  • Tado Smart Thermostat V3
  • Google Nest Thermostat E
  • Honeywell Evohome
  • Drayton Wiser Multi-Zone Smart Thermostat

Each model comes with different features and price points. Some useful additional features to look out for include: smart radiator valves, energy saving calculators, open window detection and geofencing. (Geofencing is where the smart thermostat can detect your location, automatically turning down the heating when you leave the home, and dialling it up as you approach your home.)

1. Switch energy suppliers

At one time, changing energy suppliers was quite complicated. However, it’s now very straightforward. With tariffs constantly fluctuating, you should always be on the lookout for a better rate, if your fixed tariff is due to expire. 

This is especially true if you’re already out of contract. This is the term used for when your energy tariff has expired and you’ve moved onto a standard variable tariff. Although standard – or default – tariffs are capped, they’re always more expensive than the energy deals on the market. Indeed, you could save up to £219 per year on your energy bills simply by moving from a standard tariff to a cheaper supplier and deal. The energy regulator Ofgem estimates that 11 million households are on these standard tariffs, as people forget or don’t want the hassle of changing suppliers. But clearly there are big savings to be made here.

2. Draught-proof the property

Big annual savings can be accrued by sealing and draught-proofing your property. Measures include:

  • Seal up any gaps – areas to consider here include windows, doors, fireplaces, and loft hatches. Windows can be sealed using draught-proofing strips. For doors, draught-proofing strips and brush strips are popular fixes; other easy solutions include lined curtains and draught excluder cushions. To prevent heat escaping up an unused or rarely used chimney, deploy inflatable draught excluders. Chimney pots – caps that fit over the chimney – are also a popular option, but these are most costly at £150 and must be fitted by a professional. Given that heat rises, another avenue where heat is lost and cold air can enter the home is through the loft hatch. Use a compression seal or foam strips around the perimeter of the hatch. Installing loft insulation (see below) will also help address this issue.  
  • Invest in double glazing – many older properties still have single pane windows. Not only do these allow a lot of heat loss, but they also allow a lot of noise to enter the property. Installing double glazing will not only insulate your home, reducing your heating bills, but it will also sound-proof your home. It may be costly to install, but double glazing can save £110 a year in a semi-detached property. 
  • Insulate your cavity walls – insulating your home using cavity wall insulation can deliver big annual savings on your heating bills. Cavity wall insulation utilises mineral fibre, polystyrene beads or polyurethane foam to fill the empty gap between the cavity walls of the property. Typical installation costs range from £610 for a detached property to £390 for a mid-terrace; however with energy savings of up to £275 per year achievable for a detached home, the costs will soon be recuperated. 
  • Install loft insulation – So that’s the walls of the home insulated, but given that a quarter of the heat can be lost through the roof of the property, it’s also important to ensure you have adequate loft insulation. Loft insulation is really easy to install and uses rolls of mineral wool that are installed between the joists. It costs approximately £300 to install, is good for 40 years and can trim £150 a year from your energy bills.

 

So as you can see, going into 2021 there are several key ways you can save money on your heating bills. If part of your solution is investing in electric heating, then get in touch with us today. Our team of experts can guide you to the best electric heating options for your home or office. Contact us on 01252 560770 or email enquiries@electricheatingexpert.co.uk