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Is it Bad to Sleep With the Heater On?

Let’s face it, even in summer months the nights can get chilly. If your house isn’t well insulated, then you may be inclined to leave the heating on at night. But is it safe to do so, and which form of heating is best for keeping your house warm overnight?

Obviously, the type of heating you use will depend upon the central heating system in your home – whether you use gas, solid fuel or electric heating. Here we look at the pros and cons, and the types of heating you should never rely on and leave unattended while you sleep:

Electric Heater

Portable electric heaters are extremely popular for providing heat when central heating fails, or to boost heat in cooler rooms. They’re almost 100% energy efficient, are lightweight and have a superior safety profile than their gas counterparts. The most popular types are:

  • Convector heater
  • Oil filled radiator
  • Fan heater
  • Infra-red bar heater

Portable electric heaters tend to be used to provide short-term blasts of heat, either supplementing heat in a cold room or as an emergency heat source when a central heating system fails. Some models can be expensive to run. However, newer models come with a host of features that mean they can now be used for longer periods, where once they’d have been prohibitive to use. One such feature is climate control, this means that the heater ticks over at a constant temperature and will only switch on when the ambient temperature falls below a set level, keeping running costs to a minimum and meaning they can be suitable for overnight use.

The only drawback with portable electric heaters is the size of room they can heat, so make sure you check the BTU of the model to understand it’s heating capacity. Also, given that the majority of us need peace and quiet for a good night’s sleep, you’re better off avoiding fan heaters as these tend to be noisier than convector heaters, so check reviews to make sure you’re purchasing a quiet model. Infra-red heaters are good for providing direct heat, but they’re not good for larger rooms and don’t tend to have thermostatic controls. Oil-filled radiators are particularly good for providing long-term heat, and they’re also among the cheapest to run at night.

Electric Radiator

Wall-mounted electric radiators are becoming increasingly popular, compared with traditional gas central heating systems. Not only are they the green alternative, but they’re also far safer and have supreme functionality. They provide a combination of radiated and convected heat, are slimline and their energy efficiency means that they provide instant heat. What’s more, each unit runs independently, so you can switch the radiator on in one room only, without having to heat the whole house. Electric radiators are also silent, so you won’t have annoying noise from clicking pipes. As is the case for portable electric heaters, electric radiators come with a whole host of features that make them excellent for overnight heating, including climate control, 24/7 pre-programming and even remote and smart functionality. We think you’ll agree, for all of these reasons, electric radiators are perfect for providing overnight ambient heat.

Electric Blanket

Electric blankets are an excellent choice for making sure your bed is nice and warm, which is a real luxury if your room is freezing cold! They’re relatively cheap to run, costing under 10 pence a night, and can be kept on all night. However, they’re not for everyone – and should definitely be avoided if you have a pacemaker fitted. They do also come with safety issues. Just as with any appliance they need to be regularly inspected for safety. If the fabric is worn, there are scorch marks or wires poking through the blanket, then it’s time to replace your blanket. Don’t use a blanket for longer than 10 years as it may not be safe to use, and you can get scorched or the blanket can even start a fire. Make sure your electric blanket has the UK Safety Standard mark and always follow the manufacturer’s safety instructions.

Gas Central Heating System

You can of course switch on your central heating system at night, or leave it ticking over at a set thermostatic temperature. However, while this is a safe option, it’s also incredibly expensive as you’ll be heating the entire house. Also, thermostats tend to be placed in hallways, which will always be a different temperature to your bedroom and meaning you’re optimising the temperature in an empty space in the house, in the hope that your bedroom will remain comfortably warm. Of course, you can control your radiators, but in terms of climate control this is rudimentary at best.

Portable Gas Heater
Indoor portable gas heaters run off bottled gas. Just like their electric counterparts, there are several types available, including:

  • Living flame
  • Catalytic
  • Infra-red radiant

However, for a number of reasons, portable gas heaters aren’t recommended for overnight use. Not only are you leaving a combustible heat source unattended, raising the risk of a fire taking place, but there’s also a silent danger: carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon monoxide is created when a gas doesn’t burn properly; it’s silent, odourless and very dangerous to your health. At best, you’ll become light headed and nauseous, at worse it can be fatal. Needless to say, this makes it incredibly dangerous overnight. Regular servicing of your gas appliance and installing a carbon monoxide monitor can help negate the risk, but in general gas heaters aren’t recommended for overnight use.

Fireplace

Fossil fuels may be on the decline, but we do love a living flame. While nowadays not many bedrooms have open fires, if you’re lucky enough to live in a Victorian property then you might have a fireplace in your bedroom. It might sound romantic and cosy curling up in front of an open fire, but once again there are risks when it comes to overnight use. Not only do you risk carbon monoxide poisoning if the fireplace isn’t vented properly, but there’s a very real fire risk, as sparks can be released even from glowing embers. If you do like lighting a fire for ambience or warmth, make sure you have a fireguard handy and let the fire die out well before you turn the lights out.

How to Improve your Home’s Insulation

Of course, as well as investing in the best heating option for your home, it’s always a good idea to think about improving the insulation within your home. There are several areas you can easily look to improve, which can really reduce the amount of heat lost from your home, making sure you stay nice and warm and reducing your heating bills. These include:

Check your loft insulation – did you know that 25% of our heat can be lost through an uninsulated loft? This means that the heat you’re paying for is simply disappearing into thin air! With insulation costing less than £400 to install in the average detached house, and savings of up to £225 possible annually, it really makes sense to check the state of your loft insulation.
Look at cavity wall insulation – while this isn’t suitable for all homes, if you have cavity walls then this is the simplest way to improve energy efficiency within your property. Heat-insulating materials such as mineral fibre wool or polystyrene beads are injected into the walls, meaning your home will retain more stable heat.
Upgrade your glazing – if you have single pane, draughty windows then heaters will struggle to maintain a constant temperature within your bedroom. With double glazing, multiple panels of glass are used, maximising heat insulation and minimising noise disturbance from external sources. The sealed gap between the two panes of glass minimises heat loss, and prevents the lower outside temperature from affecting internal temperatures, meaning you can maintain a more constant overnight temperature in your bedroom.

In Summary

Although there are ways in which you can improve the insulation within your home, some houses just need a boost of warmth. As you can see, electric radiators and electric heaters, with their supreme functionality and superior safety profile are among the best heaters you can safely rely on for overnight heating. Here at Electric Heating Expert, we have the expertise to guide you to the best heating solution for your home and budget. Contact us on 01252 560770 or email enquiries@electricheatingexpert.co.uk. Get in touch today and make sure you’re well prepared for the autumn and winter months.

How do Electric Garage Heaters Compare to Gas?

Garages were once simply an area to store your car. However, now they’re so much more. This can be down to the size – garages built in British properties during the post-World War 2 boom were built for far smaller cars than exist today. As a result, very few home owners can use these garages for car storage, and now utilise the space for storage or as a workspace. Also, modern houses with double garages will often view their garages as dual function areas – as car storage and as a workshop/DIY space.

Given that garages are seldom heated – and if they are, it’s typically only on account of the fact they’re attached to a heated home – heating these workspace areas can be an issue. In addition, garages tend to be poorly insulated, draughty spaces that are only of single brick wall construction, with minimal foundations, compounding the problem.

If you’re looking for a garage heater, you’ll see that there are a wide variety of options on offer, both gas and electric. However, before deciding which type of heater you need, here are a few things to consider first:

1. The size of your garage

Single and double – and even triple – garages will all vary in size. Before choosing your heater, look at the power of heater you’ll need. Measure your garage and use an online BTU calculator to determine the amount of heat your garage needs. You may require multiple heaters, but keep an eye on the costs – not just of purchasing the units, but also running costs. According to the Centre for Sustainable Energy, a 2 kW fan heater will cost 37 pence per hour to run, while a 1.2 kw radiant halogen heater will cost 18 pence per hour to run, so if your space needs 2 or 3 heaters then the running costs can quickly ramp up over time, depending on the unit you choose.

2. When you’ll use it

Let’s face it, even our British summers can be pretty inclement, even in the middle of August. So if you’re planning on using your garage year round then it’s worth paying more to have the right heating installed. You’ll save money over time, as you’ll have lower running costs. However, if you’ll only be using the space occasionally for DIY, then you can look at lower-end portable gas and electric fan models.

3. Insulate the space

Before attempting to heat a space that’s damp and draughty, take a look and see if you can improve the insulation around doors and windows. You don’t want to pay for heat that simply dissipates from the space.

4. Power supply

This may sound obvious, but does your garage have an electrical point for plugging in a heater? If not, you can look to have one installed or – in the worst-case scenario – run an extension lead from the nearest power outlet (this isn’t advisable for infrared halogen heaters, however). If there’s no possibility of using an electrical outlet, then you’ll need to have one fitted, or to use a gas heater, either natural gas or propane.

5. Heating control

Given the very different climates that will exist within your home and your garage, you should always have a separate thermostat within your garage, if you’re running heating off of your main central heating system. If you have an electric heating system this is very straightforward, as each unit runs independently of each other. However, it’s more problematic for a gas central heating system. Also, think about whether you need frost protection – electric heaters and radiators have many built-in features such as timer settings, frost protection and climate control, meaning you have the right level of ambient heat at all times.

6. Safety

This is an important aspect of any heating solution. While portable electric heaters can pose an issue if they’re not stable and fall over, overall, they’re the safest option. Gas heaters present these same safety issues, but also present an additional hazard – carbon monoxide poisoning. Faulty gas heaters don’t burn gas completely, creating a dangerous build-up of carbon monoxide gas which can lead to dizziness and even death. For this reason, you’ll need to install a carbon monoxide monitor, which will also require regular testing to ensure it’s working properly. Some gas heaters will also require additional venting.

In addition, given that many garages are also used for storage, make sure that any combustible items are at least 1m away from your heater – be that gas or electric. No portable heaters should be left unattended, so if you need the flexibility to leave the heating on for long periods, then your heating will need to be wall mounted.

So now that you’ve considered the above points, which garage heater is right for you? Here are the options available:

Fan heaters

Fan heaters use convection to heat a space – the fan passes air over heated coils, and the warm air is then blown out to heat the room. When it comes to choosing a fan heater for your garage, check the wattage and BTU output to determine the heater will adequately warm the workspace. Fan heaters can be powered by gas or electricity, and electric units can be floor- as well as ceiling-mounted. However, given that hot air rises, we’d always recommend that fan heaters be placed at a lower level – if your garage has a vaulted ceiling, that’s the area you’ll be heating with a ceiling-mounted fan.

Fan heaters are excellent for providing quick boosts of heat, but they can be expensive to run for long periods of time. If you only need occasional heat, then they’re a great option. Our advice is to look for floor models that are tiltable, that way you can direct the heat to exactly where you need it; dual heat and cooling functions are also a bonus as you can cool the space in warmer weather. Also, given that garage roofs can be the least well looked after on the property, choose heaters that are waterproof, to protect them from water invasion.

Panel heaters

These electric heaters run independently from the main property, and are great for providing more constant low-level heating. Given that they’re electric and tend to be wall-mounted, these convection heaters are also incredibly safe as there’s no risk of them falling over, and the heat itself is gentle. These units have excellent wall thermostats to ensure the garage remains at a constant temperature.

Radiant panels

These wall-mounted heaters use infrared technology to provide radiant heat. Although this type of heating doesn’t heat the air around a room, like a fan heater, the infrared heat does generate a direct beam of heat. However, you need to be careful as these types of heaters can present a safety hazard due to the intense heat they provide. Also, these heaters shouldn’t be left unattended for long periods of time so aren’t good for providing more constant low-levels of heat. Although gas-fired radiant panels are used across North America and Canada, in the UK our indoor wall-mounted radiant panels will tend to all be electric. Gas powered radiant heaters can be used to heat your garage, but these will be as portable units, rather than wall mounted.

Underfloor heating

Underfloor heating uses electrical coils or mats to provide heat via conduction, convection and radiation. If you’re installing underfloor heating under a concrete floor, be sure to install insulation below the elements. Underfloor heating comes with a thermostat, so you can easily keep your garage at a constant temperature. While this has got to be the most expensive option to install, the long-term benefits can outweigh the initial expense if you’re planning on using the garage as an extension to your home.

Tubular heaters

These low voltage electric heaters are incredibly popular both for garages and greenhouses. They have lower running costs than fan heaters and a good safety profile; also, given their cost-effectiveness, they can be left on for long periods to provide constant low-level heating, so are excellent for damp spaces.

So as you can see, heating your garage isn’t just a case of whether you need gas or electric, there are many other options to consider. We think you’ll agree however that for functionality, safety and ease of use, electric garage heaters win hands down. For more information on the best garage heaters for your home or place of work, don’t hesitate to contact us on enquiries@electricheatingexpert.co.uk or by calling a member of the team on 01252 560770.

Quarantine Bathroom Makeover: Why You Should Choose an Electric Towel Rail

With so many of us spending so much quarantine time at home, DIY enthusiasts throughout the country are using the time to tackle repairs and revamp their homes and gardens. Many are attempting bathroom makeovers – after all, you may not be able to get a plumber in to change that bathroom suite, but you can easily tile, paint and carry out small improvements that can have a major impact. One of these is replacing or installing a new electric heated towel rail. A simple change like this can have a dramatic impact on a small space, lending not only an air of luxury but also improving practicality and – perhaps most importantly – reducing those energy bills. This last point might not be the driving factor in your home renovation project but with so much uncertainty in the air, if you can become more energy efficient and ultimately save money, then now’s definitely the time to do it.

1. Space saving

Let’s face it, not many of us will have a celebrity-sized bathrooms, so one of the major constraints on bathroom design is the size of the bathroom. Coupled with awkward layouts and the location of windows, this can make it tricky fitting in a separate towel rail and radiator. So what better way to take care of this, than by saving space by combining them in one? Electric towel rails tend to be ladder style, and come in a range of sizes and wattages, so can be fitted in just about any size or space layout. An electric towel rail is an easy way to add a few precious inches to your floor space, and what’s more, they look fabulous.

2. Energy saving

There are several ways that you can easily look to make savings on your energy bills – these include simple measures such as installing a smart meter or switching suppliers, as well as larger projects such as replacing your boiler for a newer, more energy efficient model. If you’re looking to trim your monthly outgoings – and right now, who isn’t – then as part of your bathroom makeover, installing an electric towel rail will help you do just that. Electric towel rails and electric radiators all run independently from each other, meaning you can decide where and when you want to heat individual rooms. Electric heat is also just about 100% efficient, meaning that all the energy is converted into heat. Individual elements will also heat up incredibly quickly, so no more waiting for a gas boiler to kick in and heat a whole house, in order to warm up that tiny cold bathroom. Also, in the summer months this means that you can still dry and warm your towels, as the towel rail runs independently from the central heating system.

Another important issue here is that the world is changing. We’re now far more aware of the impact fossil fuels are having on our environment. This can be seen in chilling detail right now. As industry comes to an almost complete stop, the planet is healing itself. This will inevitably only accelerate people moving away from fossil fuels and moving toward greener, cleaner energy. By going electric you’ll be feeding into the move to one of the key sources of energy – renewable energy – future proofing the heating choices within your home.

3. Lush styling

Electric heated towel rails not only come in many shapes and sizes, but they’re also available in a variety of designs. The most popular is the ladder style. The surface area of this style will not only provide excellent heat, but it also allows you to store multiple towels, which is great for families. Ladder designs can be curved or flat, depending on the aesthetic you prefer, and the majority come in brushed steel or a mineral white, to match the faucets and overall design of your bathroom. We think you’ll agree, this contemporary styling suits just about any bathroom, whether you’re going for ultra-modern or to combine a more traditional look with a chic, urban feel. One final note that may not be about styling, but it’s an important consideration when choosing your towel rail, is to check the BTU for the unit. This will give you an idea of the heat output, and help you choose the right one – be that for a small cloakroom or a larger main bathroom.

4. Superior control

Traditional bathroom wall heaters are either on or off, with many only offering the most rudimentary of heat controls. However, electric heated towel rails come with a variety of extras that offer amazing flexibility and control, ensuring you have the heat exactly where and when you want it, even if you’re not yet home! These include:

• 24/7 programming – Whether you’re a night owl or a lark, working shifts or usually on the 9-5, good electric towel rails will come with 24/7 programming, meaning you can select exactly when you need the heat to come on, every single day of the week. Not only will this save money on your energy bills, but it’s also all about comfort. There’s nothing nicer than walking into a lovely warm bathroom, it really is the ultimate little luxury to lift your spirits on a cold, damp day. While this may not be upmost in your mind as we experience this early summer, it’s also important for drying your towels. You can set the heat to come on for an hour or so every day, so you can lovely warm towels on demand.

• Remote control – Be that a remote control console or WiFi connectivity, it’s great to be able to change your settings at the flick of a switch or the press of a key.

• Anti-frost mode – this is a neat sensor that automatically switches the towel rail on and keeps it ticking over when external temperatures fall below freezing.

• Open window sensor – heating a room with an open window is a really inefficient use of energy. A towel rail with an ‘open window sensor’ pauses heating if there’s a sudden rapid drop in room temperature, and resumes heating once the temperature stabilizes.

• Boost function – if you’re out of routine, and need those towels warmed or just a quick boost of heat, then this function is really useful.

5. Easy installation

Unlike traditional radiators and towel rails that are connected to a gas central heating system, electric towel rails are simple to install and can be installed by DIY enthusiasts. If you’re unsure about the electrical circuitry, then we recommend you contact an NICEIC registered electrician to help you safely install the unit.

If you’re looking to install an electric bathroom heater, then get in touch with us today. We recommend the Modus electric heated towel rail. With its sleek chrome styling, the Modus fulfils all the functionality criteria indicated in point 3 and more, including compliance with EcoDesign Lot 20 regulations, so you know you’re buying something that meets excellent safety standards. If you’re interested in purchasing an electric heated towel rail, then get in touch with us on 01252 560770 or email us on enquiries@electricheatingexpert.co.uk. Our electric radiators and towel rails are all delivered via a specialist logistics partner and carefully packaged to ensure no damage in transit. What’s more, we have some great offers on right now, so get in touch today!

How to Be Energy Efficient

In previous posts, we’ve discussed the best standalone heaters for your home and outlined the many benefits conveyed by using electric heaters and radiators. In this article, we’d like to help you maximise energy efficiency in your home or place of work.

Why be Energy Efficient?

For the Environment

In today’s eco conscious world, where the focus is on minimising the use of fossil fuels and moving to green energy sources such as wind and solar farms, it may be tempting to think that one day energy efficiency maybe won’t be such an issue. However, the seasonal nature of these very energy sources and the fact they’re so contingent upon weather conditions will always place pressure on manufacturers to produce the most energy efficient appliances and heating products. This very fact also means that consumers should look to adopt energy efficient practices, ensuring they use the minimum energy for maximum output.

To Reduce Household Spending

Being energy efficient translates to using less energy, which can only mean one thing. Whether you use electricity, gas, oil or even a wood burner to heat your home, using less energy to live in your desired environment will mean lower bills. Which means cost savings, and more money in your pocket.

How can you be Energy Efficient?

Here are some ways in which you can do your bit to be more energy efficient – not just for the environment, but also to reduce your household spending:

  1. Replace your Boiler

According to official figures, nearly 70% of energy use in our households goes towards heating. As newer and more energy efficient models hit the market, upgrading your old boiler for an energy efficient condensing boiler will definitely save on energy use and reduce your monthly bills. Indeed, upgrading from a G- to an A-rated boiler can significantly improve efficiency, saving you upwards of £200 per year.

  1. Go Electric

If you’re considering upgrading your boiler, then why not look to move away from a traditional gas boiler and install a new electric heating system? Not only is electric heat 100% efficient, but each unit runs independently so you have optimal control over the temperature within each room of your house.

  1. Use Secondary Heating

If replacing your whole heating system isn’t an option, then consider running it on the lowest setting possible, but supplementing the heat in individual rooms using electric heaters. These are a great means to boost the heat in rooms and zones of your house or place of work. Some models also come with smart technology, allowing you to warm areas before you’re home.

  1. Install New Glazing

If you’re struggling with the noise pollution and cold draughts from single pane windows, then it’s time to upgrade to double glazing. Not only will double glazing keep the heat in, but it will also reduce condensation and insulate your home from external noise. When it comes to glazing, it’s also worth considering making maximum use of external light, by going more open plan and relying less on artificial light, or using light wells in dark hallways and corridors. Another point concerning lighting, given that 15% of annual electricity usage goes on lighting, think about only having the lights on in the rooms you use. Also, replace your bulbs with energy efficient LED bulbs.

  1. Insulate your Loft

Within our homes, 25% of heat can be lost through an uninsulated loft. By installing loft installation, you can minimise this heat loss and save yourself £120-£225 per year. It typically costs less than £400 to insulate the loft in a detached property, and given that loft insulation lasts for up to 40 years, this energy efficiency tip will pay for itself many times over.

  1. Install Cavity Wall Insulation

Walls are another great source of heat loss, accounting for a staggering 35% of heat loss from your home. Filling your walls with cavity wall insulation will shield your home, saving you £70-£255 a year.

  1. Install Solar Panels

Solar panels offer an excellent means by which to not only generate your own power, but also to sell it back to suppliers, via the SEG (Smart Export Guarantee) which came into effect this year. Although the initial outlay can be high – up to £8,000 – solar panels can supply 40% of a household’s power. They also work even when it’s cloudy so are perfect for the UK market, and over time will not only save you money but you’ll also be doing your bit for environment.

  1. Power Down

We’ve already alluded to this in point 3, but use the minimum power possible to meet your needs. This means turning your thermostat to the lowest comfortable setting – the WHO recommends a slightly chilly 18°C but the Energy Saving Trust advises a more realistic setting of 18-21°C. Additionally, don’t leave appliances on standby; on average, this can cost households £50-£86 per year.

  1. Replace Appliances

Old appliances, just like old boilers, will have lower energy ratings and as a consequence have far lower energy ratings. This means higher energy usage and higher bills.

  1. Maintain and Service

Regularly service boilers, heaters and appliances to ensure they’re working optimally and at their most efficient. This includes annual services for boilers and regularly descaling kettles and irons.

  1. Install a Smart Meter

Smart meters not only feed your meter readings directly to your energy supplier, which means no more tedious readings, but they also provide real-time data on your energy usage. This means you can accurately monitor your daily usage, and specifically pinpoint where savings can be made.

  1. Switch Suppliers

There are over 60 energy suppliers in the UK, and a vast array of tariffs on offer, so it pays to shop around and switch if a better deal is on offer. For the most up- to date deals, go to Uswitch.

We hope that’s given you some good ideas to improve the energy efficiency of your homes – or place of work. For help finding the best energy efficient electric radiators and electric heaters, then contact us on 01252 560770. Alternatively, you can email us on enquiries@electricheatingexpert.co.uk and one of our expert team will get back to you.

Efficiency and Safety of Standalone Heaters for your Home

Even the best-insulated homes occasionally need a boost of heat; either in extremely cold temperatures or rooms that are close to an external door or a draughty window. Rather than overhaul a perfectly functioning central system, if you’re just looking for temporary heat in specific rooms, then it’s time to invest in a standalone heater. These individual units work separately from your main heating supply and can also be an excellent backup if there’s a power failure or your central heating system fails. In this post, we’ll review portable and fixed standalone heaters for indoor use, investigating the efficiency and functionality of electric, gas and solid fuel options.

Types of Portable Heaters

The main advantage of portable heaters has got to be their flexibility – you can move them to any room in the house that requires additional heat. So from this perspective, portable heaters are a great option. Indoor solid fuel stoves will be fixed, so you have two energy options here – electric or gas. Your choice of heater includes:

Electric

oil filled radiator
convector heater
fan heater
infra-red bar heater

Bottled Gas

infra-red radiant
catalytic
living flame

Types of Fixed Heaters

Fixed heaters will be wall-mounted. One of the main advantages of a fixed wall heater is the safety aspect. There’s no danger of the unit falling over; also, the fixed power supply means that you’re not constantly unplugging and plugging in an electric cable, or trying to carry a heavy gas bottle around the house. They are, however, as the name suggests, fixed. So you can only heat the room they’re installed in – be that to provide low-level, occasional heat in an area of low footfall, such as a basement or garage, or to provide toasty heat in a front room during the chilly winter months.

Again, your choice of unit will also depend on the energy source, and options include the following:

Electric

wall mounted convection heater
wall mounted fan heater
electric stove or fireplace

Gas

living flame fireplace
wall mounted heater

Solid Fuel

wood burning stove
biomass stove
coal fireplace/stove

Portable Heaters – Gas versus Electric

When it comes to portable heaters, there are many options available depending on the type of fuel you want to use, the amount of heat required and your budget. To help guide your decision on whether to go with a gas or electric heater, you need to be aware of the following:

· Efficiency – electric heaters work fast, and the amount of energy used is equal to the amount of heat produced, making them 100% efficient.

· Weight – As opposed to lightweight fan and convector heaters, portable gas heaters are heavy and unwieldy, so are harder to move from room to room.

· Safety – When it comes to safety issues, the main drawbacks with portable heaters are stability and the fact that they can become incredibly hot. Therefore, they present a fire hazard and, if you have small children or pets, you need to be mindful of where you’re placing these heaters. This is especially true of gas appliances, which don’t tend to come with the same controllability as their electric counterparts. Also, with gas, you need to ensure you have a carbon monoxide monitor; a faulty gas heater won’t burn the gas completely, creating carbon monoxide which is very dangerous to your health. It can lead to dizziness and fainting, and prolonged exposure can be fatal. This is why you should never use an outdoor gas heater indoors, as it requires a lot of ventilation to ensure the gas burns completely.

Fixed Standalone Heaters – Gas versus Electric versus Solid Fuel

There are three energy sources on offer when it comes to standalone fixed heaters – gas, electric and solid fuel. Which you choose may well depend on your budget and the required aesthetics, but you also need to consider these issues when it comes to making that purchase:

· Safety – although fixed appliances are far safer than portable units, certain energy sources come with additional safety risks. For gas heaters, as mentioned above, this is the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. The gas is odourless and its effects insidious, so it’s essential to purchase a carbon monoxide monitor. In addition, solid fuel wood burning stoves release tiny particulates into the air. Known as PM2.5, these tiny particles are linked to a number of ailments, including cancer, strokes, heart attacks and dementia. In contrast, as electric heaters don’t burn fuel to produce heat, they have a far superior safety profile.

· Installation – fixed standalone electric heaters will only require wall fixings and a power source. However, fixed gas appliances and solid fuel stoves require expert installation. Gas fires will need to be attached to an external gas tank and can need a flue, while solid fuel stoves will require a flue or chimney. Not only can this be costly, but there may be restrictions on where you can place these units, and the building work will be disruptive.

· Functionality – In terms of functionality, electric heaters again win hands down. Gas fires and solid fuel stoves don’t come with many additional features to help you control heat output – they’ll either be lit or off, and have very little additional controllability. Electric heaters, on the other hand, come with many additional features, all of which will not only make your life easier but also ensure that you only have energy when and where you need it. These include: digital controls, for precise temperature control; a built-in timer switch, so you can set the heat to come on just when you need it and climate control, ensuring consistent heat is supplied. Some electric heaters are also now WiFi-enabled, allowing them to be controlled via a smartphone App or a voice assistant, making them not only practical but also uber-cool.

Environmental impact – One aspect we’ve not touched on yet, that’s extremely relevant for certain solid fuel stoves and propane gas heaters, is their detrimental effect on the environment. Consumers are now far more aware of the need to use clean, efficient energy and how detrimental burning fossil fuels is on the environment. For this reason, renewable energy – from wind and solar power – is becoming an increasingly important energy source. Indeed, during 2019, in the UK more energy came from renewable energy sources than burning fossil fuels across the whole 12 months of the year. So by going electric, you’ll also reduce your carbon footprint, which has got to be a good thing.

Energy Efficiency and Cost Savings

Research shows that nearly 70% of energy used in UK households goes towards heating. This represents a considerable portion of household budgets, so along with an eye to the ecological benefits, many are now also looking at the efficiency of their heating systems. Looking specifically at fixed units, gas and solid fuel stoves are inherently inefficient as heat is lost out of the chimney or flue. Also, fossil fuels are not a finite source, and as Governments move away from subsidising these industries, we will see supplies dwindle and costs rise. Electric heat, on the other hand, is 100% efficient, and with renewable low-cost sources now dominating the arena, running costs are only set to go down. Given these facts, an electric unit has got to be the most energy-efficient, cost-effective, sustainable, safe and environmentally friendly option.

If you’re interested in purchasing a standalone electric heater then get in touch today. We have a fantastic range of products and our experts can help guide you to the best electric heating option for your home or office. To find out more, call us on 01252 560770 or you can email us at enquiries@electricheatingexpert.co.uk.

Expert Advice on How to Buy the Best Electric Heater

If your heating system just isn’t up to scratch and you’re sat reading this wrapped in blankets, then it’s definitely time to think about investing in an electric heater. At one time seen as an expensive option, today’s electric heaters are incredibly energy efficient, and many come with a range of features such as WiFi connectivity, allowing you to control your heating from wherever you are. Not only are electric heaters now incredibly cost-effective, but given what we know about fossil fuels, it’s definitely time to throw away the firelighters, move away from propane gas heaters and look for a cleaner way to power our lives. Given this move to green, renewable energy, electricity is becoming the way forward, particularly when it comes to heating our homes.

If you’re thinking of investing in an electric heater, then a Google search will uncover a vast array of choices, so it can be difficult to know what to choose. We receive so many queries from customers, so we’ve compiled answers to the top queries, to help guide you to the right decision.

How Efficient is an Electric Heater?

When it comes to replacing your heating system, then there’s no doubt that electric radiators are the most energy-efficient and cost-effective type of electrical heating. However, if you need to boost the heat provided by a central heating system, then electric heaters are also an incredibly energy-efficient option. Indeed, given that many electric heaters convert power immediately into heat, electric heaters are considered to be nearly 100% efficient, meaning you are getting heat at the rate you’re using energy.

What are the Benefits of Electric Heaters?

Here are some of the benefits of electric heaters:

1. They’re cheap to run
Running costs for portable electric heaters can be incredibly low.  If you’re worried that you’ll be using the heater for the same amount of hours as a traditional boiler then don’t. They work really quickly, so your energy use will be limited.
2. Given how fast heaters work, this efficiency means you won’t have to wait long to feel the benefits of the boosted heat.
3. They come in a wide range of shapes and sizes
In contrast to traditional radiators, electric heaters come in a wide variety of styles, shapes and sizes. This means you can select the heater according to not only to your budget but also how powerful you need the heater to be, as well as the type and frequency of heat required.
4. They provide flexible heating
Electric heaters can be switched on in the room where you need heat the most, meaning energy isn’t wasted heating empty spaces. In fact, in many cases, it’s cheaper to purchase an electric heater to top up heat rather than simply turn up the boiler thermostat.

What Kind of Electric Heater do I Need?

These are the main types of electric heater, which one you choose will depend on how much you have to spend, the size of the room to be heated and how often you need the heat. You’ll also need to consider whether you want the heater to be wall-mounted or free-standing.

1. Convection heaters
These can be wall-mounted or portable and are incredibly useful in areas that only require occasional heat. They produce heat via convection alone, warming the air around them.
2. Fan heater
Fan heaters use an electric coil to produce heat; a fan then passes air over the heated coils, and the warm air is blown out across a room.
3. Oil-filled heaters
These tend to be cheaper to run.
4. Night storage heaters
Popular in the 70s, these wall-mounted heaters use a ceramic core to store heat at night, when energy is off-peak and cheaper. The stored heat is then slowly released during the day. This type of heater is no longer popular as it’s inflexible, unprogrammable and it’s cumbersome appearance means it definitely lacks aesthetic appeal.
5. Towel rails
OK, these might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of electric heaters, but electric towel rails are incredibly useful for warming small bathrooms and kitchens.

What are the Important Features to Look Out for?

Electric heaters are really easy to set up, and only require a normal plug socket to work. You literally take them out of the box, plug them in and they are ready to go. Make sure you read the instruction manual, as many electric heaters come with added extras. Here are a few features to look out for:

1. Timer switch
Being able to control when the heater comes on can be hugely useful. You can set the heater to come on just before you wake up, or just before you get home from work, meaning you have the heat exactly when you want it.
2. Frost protection
If you’re using an electric heater to combat frost and dampness in an area such as a garage, conservatory or basement, then look for models that come with frost protection.
3. Climate control
This feature is useful as it ensures the electric heater maintains a constant climate. Just set the temperature and the heater will come on and off as required; you’ll use less electricity this way as the heater will use less power maintaining a warm temperature than coming on regularly at a high setting. One important point to note here is that while electric heaters will consume less energy at low settings, this isn’t necessarily the best way to control your energy bills, as you need to think about the right heat setting to maintain the warmth you need.
4. WiFi enabled
Smart heaters use WiFi connectivity. This has got to be the ultimate in sophistication and these heaters also come with some great power-saving features.
5. Cold air setting

How much is an Electric Heater?

This will very much depend on the type of heater you choose, and where you buy it from. Lower-end fan heaters typically cost under £10, while smart heaters can be over £300. Once you’ve selected the model for you, it’s a good idea to do a price comparison. However, make sure you go with a retailer that has a good reputation and provides the best warranty terms.

We hope that’s helped you understand the many choices out there. As you can see, given the superior functionality of electric heaters, in particular smart heaters, electric heat can definitely be more efficient than heat from gas. If you’re thinking of investing in an electric heater, or making the switch from gas to a complete electric heating system, then our experts at Electric Heating Expert are on hand to provide helpful, friendly advice. Contact us on 01252 560770 or email enquiries@electricheatingexpert.co.uk and let us guide you to the best electric heating solutions for your home or commercial property

Electric Radiators or Electric Heaters – Which is Right for you?

If you’re considering upgrading to an electrical heating system, or boosting the heat provided by your existing heating system, then you’ll be faced with a number of critical choices. One such decision is whether to invest in electric radiators or electric heaters, and if you go down the electric heater route, should you choose panel, fan or halogen heaters? In this post, we’ll help you understand the choices on offer, and help you decide what’s right for you.

Electric Radiators

Electric radiators are wall-mounted fixtures that are an excellent choice for heating rooms for long periods of time. All you need is a plus socket and wall fixings, and you’re good to go. Electric radiators use a heating medium such as thermodynamic fluid or a ceramic core to provide rooms with a combination of radiated and convected heat. They come with a number of benefits:
1. They come in a variety of shapes, sizes and colours, so can be selected for the size of each individual space, as well as the design and aesthetics.
2. Electric radiators come with digital controls and thermostats, allowing for incredibly accurate heat control.
3. These radiators can be pre-programmed, with many offering remote WiFi connectivity, allowing you to only have heat where and when you need it.
4. Each radiator works independently of each other, so you only heat the rooms you need to use.
5. The precise control of energy usage means more efficiency, allowing you to control your monthly bills.

Electric Heaters

Panel Heaters

Electric panel heaters produce heat through convection, heating the air around them and using this forced air to heat the room. Less efficient than electric radiators, these heaters are fantastic for providing additional warmth as a top up to your main heating system. This type of heater is great for a garage, basement or spare room – i.e. areas that only occasionally need to be heated. Panel heaters can be wall mounted or portable, depending on the location where heating is required.

Fan Heaters

These heaters are portable, so excellent for use in an emergency. They work by heating an electric coil, and then blowing the heat out. However, they’re quite noisy, as well as expensive to run, so you wouldn’t use a fan heater on a daily basis.

Halogen Heaters

You’ll have seen portable halogen heaters in pub gardens. They radiate infrared heat by passing an electric current through halogen lamps. Excellent at directing heat at close-by objects, they’re not good in larger spaces, that’s why you’ll see so many dotted around outside seating areas.

In Summary

So in terms of the different uses for each type of heating, electric radiators are definitely the first choice for homes and offices that need a proper central heating system, one that provides more constant warmth. Not only are they efficient and economical, the fact that they provide a combination of radiated and convected heat means that they provide a more comfortable climate than is provided by convection alone.

In contrast, electric heaters are great for boosting heat on a short-term basis, or for targeted heat. So it’s worth having at least one, either for when you want to warm a single room rather than the whole house (as a top-up for a traditional gas heating system) or as a back-up in case of heating failure. However, you wouldn’t want to use electric heaters as your everyday heat source, as they use more electricity than radiators and can be noisy to run.

If you want more information on the right electric heating system for you, then please don’t hesitate to contact us on 01252 560770. We have an excellent range of electric radiators and electric panel heaters for you to choose from. Alternatively, you can email the team at enquiries@electricheatingexpert.co.uk for a free no-obligation quote.

How to Select the Best Electric Heating System for your Home

For today’s eco-conscious consumer, protecting the planet from greenhouse gas emissions and pollution are definitely top of the agenda. In terms of how we as individuals can make a difference, a good place to start is by moving away from burning fossil fuels and making the switch to clean energy. Given the contribution of renewable energy sources to the national grid, if you’re looking to update your gas central heating, then the environmentally friendly choice would definitely be to install an electric heating system. But when it comes to the best electric heating system for your home, what options are available to you, and how can you ensure your monthly bills are kept to a minimum?

There’s No ‘One Size Fits All’

As opposed to a traditional gas central heating system, there’s no ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to electric heating systems. Electric heating has come a long way from the inefficient and cumbersome night storage heaters of the 70’s. There’s now a wide range of heating options available. These include:

Electric Boilers

If you want to go electric but don’t want to get rid of your old radiators and pipework, then an electric boiler might be the right choice for you. However, while electric boilers are far quieter than their gas counterparts, they can prove expensive to run and don’t have the capacity to heat larger properties.

Electric Radiators

This tends to be the most popular choice for homeowners and commercial landlords. It’s easy to see why, as they’re easy to install, super-efficient and provide flexible heating that works around you and your schedule. They provide convected and radiated heat, come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes and can easily be pre-programmed to supply the heat when and where you exactly need it. They also run as individual units, so a power failure to one won’t affect the whole heating system. Last, but by no means least, electric radiators are far safer to run than a traditional gas central heating system, as there’s no need for carbon monoxide monitors.

Portable Heaters

There are a wide range of portable heaters available, including panel heaters, fan heaters and halogen heaters. While these heaters are great for short-term boosts of heat, they’re expensive to run and can be noisy, so complement rather than replace a central heating system.

Towel Rails

Heated towel rails aren’t just for keeping your towels dry! No, they’re also a great source of heat in small spaces, especially bathrooms and galley kitchens. Like radiators, they’re available in a huge variety of colours, shapes and sizes, so can really add to the aesthetics of a room, as well as provide an important function. Some even come with programmers, allowing you to schedule the heat to come on just when you need it.

Infrared Heating Panels

This type of heat is the closest you’ll get to feeling like you’re in the sun, and you’ll no doubt have experienced it under a portable halogen patio heater. However, as infrared panel heaters emit a direct beam of warmth, they’re not great for larger rooms and you’ll need to purchase a separate controller if you want to get anyway near the thermostatic and programmable controls of an electric radiator.

Heat Pumps

When it comes to electric heating systems, heat pumps are the new kid on the block. In terms of renewable energy, this type of heating is a great choice as it utilises heat from the air or ground around it, transferring it into – and out of – the property. Although the green choice, this system does have several drawbacks. As it’s less efficient, you’ll need to install larger radiators, some 15% larger than standard radiators. In addition, a ducted air-source system can take 3 days to install, and ground source pumps can take considerably longer. They also work in a similar way to air conditioning, and the forced air system can be noisy. Finally, they’re expensive to install, although some of the costs can be offset by the Government’s Renewable Heat Incentive.

Keeping Costs to a Minimum

If you are considering going all-electric, it’s important to keep an eye on your energy tariff and – if necessary – switch between suppliers. Given that there are more than 60 energy suppliers in the UK, and a wide variety of tariffs on offer, it definitely pays to shop around. A good guide to the best fixed and standard rate tariffs can be found on the Which website and for the most up to the minute deals, you should consult Uswitch.

If you’re looking to invest in all electric system then get in touch today on 01252 560770 and let us guide you to a greener, electric future.

James Meaders

We are extremely happy with our new heater. After receiving a competitor's quote for 5 times the cost, we were afraid that we were excluded from this market, but this comparable Economiser unit is absolutely brilliant. It is stylish, easily programmable, and provides instant heat to our 160 sq ft music room. Completely satisfied customer and thrilled to save all that money.
04 December 2019

Andrew Green

I must start by saying that Ian was extremely helpful in answering all my questions and queries. I was also very impressed when he told me I needed smaller radiators than I thought for my bedrooms and hallway. He could have easily let me go with the larger sizes I assumed I needed. Refreshing to deal with a company and individual who puts customers first.
I ordered one Economiser and four of the Vantage radiators. They have far exceeded my expectations. Easy to control and program. They heat a room incredibly quickly. My electric bill for November is around 25% lower than November last year, despite only having these new radiators for three weeks of November. I’m already confident that I will see significant savings on my heating bill going forward. But savings aside, these radiators heat a room almost instantaneously when turned on. They’re easy to install. I got mine hard wired in by a local election who charged me £20 a radiator, he just switched them for my existing hard wired heaters. He told me he has come across these radiators before and considers them the best electric radiators you can buy. I should also point out you can just plug them into the plug socket, so don’t need to get an electrician in to hardwire them if you don’t want. They are also incredibly easy to fit to the wall. Anyone can do it without getting someone in. But if you do decide to get someone in, it will be cheap as it takes so little time. Template provided and instructions make installation straight forward and quality fixings are supplied. But you can even have the Vantage radiators on castors should you wish. Making them portable for those who wish to move them from one room to another I live in a gated community with no gas and the electric heaters that the developers installed were not that efficient or effective. I thought my bills were higher than they should be and the heating ineffectual at times. The first day I got these I was amazed at how quickly my home was heated. As I said my first monthly bill is lower than the corresponding month last year, despite the fact that unit charges have increased and only had these new radiators for three weeks of the month. Also a lower bill in November than October despite having the heating on far more.
It’s also important to stress the quality of these radiators. I shopped around for two years before settling on these. There are numerous companies out there offering far more expensive radiators of inferior quality. One company quoted me three times the price I paid They also insist on a home survey, further pushing up their prices.
I would recommend Electric Heating Expert to anyone. Several of my neighbours have expressed an interest having seen mine. They just wanted to see how I found my future bills.
I did almost two years of research, read countless reviews of products and companies and suppliers. I’m totally convinced I got the best product available at the lowest price. If you don’t believe me, just do your own research.
Customer service is second to none. Ian Glover is extremely helpful and answers all queries you have. He’ll help you choose the best radiators in the right sizes, even advising you, as in my case to go for smaller radiators, if a smaller radiator is suitable. A company who puts customers first. Delivery is also super fast. I have no hesitation in recommending these radiators and this company to anyone looking for the best quality and best value electric heating solutions available.
04 December 2019