November 21, 2018 by
Whether you’re a business owner or simply someone trying to keep warm at home, rising heating bills can cause a lot of stress in winter. Heating costs seem to rise every year, so it’s natural to start thinking about ways to save money while still keeping cosy. We’ve worked in the heating industry for over 15 years now, so we think we’re well-placed to offer some advice on how much you should expect to pay for your heating and where you can make some savings. If you’re looking to reduce your heating bills this year, take a couple of minutes to read on – it could save you money!
Why Should I Get an Electric Heater?
A lot of this article depends on how efficient your heating system is. Old central heating systems won’t be up to modern heating standards, so you could be wasting a lot of money just by using an old, inefficient central heating system too much. You can always update your central heating with a new boiler and modern radiators, but this can be very expensive and can take a lot of lengthy, invasive building work in your house. A small electric heater requires almost no setup and can be set up anywhere as long as you’re able to plug it in, while a new heater will likely have a lot of energy-saving features that your central heating doesn’t have.
Also, when you turn your central heating on, it’ll distribute heat to every part of your home, meaning you can end up heating rooms that aren’t in use. Even if you remember to switch all your radiators off, this still isn’t the most efficient way of doing things compared to an electric heater, which will only warm up the room you’re in, giving you total control over your energy spend.
Electric Heaters with Thermostats
This is such an important benefit of electric heaters that it deserves its own section! Modern electric heaters have thermostats which allow them to sense the temperature of the room they’re in, and they can turn themselves on or off as required. This means that if you use your electric heater for an hour, it won’t actually be drawing power for all of that time! If you set a heater with a thermostat to keep your living room at 21 degrees, the heater will get the room to 21 degrees and then turn off. Once it detects the room temperature start to drop from 21 degrees, it’ll turn back on again, and so on until you switch the heater off. Modern central heating radiators may have this feature, but unless your central heating system was installed in the last 5 years or so, the chances are that it doesn’t.
How Much Should I Spend on an Electric Heater?
Electric heaters come in two main types – oil filled radiators and electric panel heaters (also known as convection heaters), and each one has their own advantages. It’s a bit of a balancing act when deciding how much you want to spend – cheaper panel heaters and oil filled radiators tend to cost a little more to run as they usually lack a lot of energy-saving features. On the other side of the coin, more efficient electric heaters are cheaper to run, but usually cost more to buy initially as they contain more modern heating technology.
How Powerful Should My Electric Heater Be?
Another factor that affects the cost of your electric heater is how powerful it is. As you might imagine, more powerful heaters tend to run more expensive than lower wattage models. Be careful not to choose a heater that’s far too powerful for what you need, but be even more careful not to choose a heater that’s not powerful enough. If your heater is too powerful, you can always run it on a lower heat setting to save on energy. However, if your heater isn’t powerful enough, it’ll simply try and fail to get the room to its target temperature, so you won’t see any savings from the thermostat feature.
Generally speaking, 100W of electric heating power can warm around 1m² of space. That means, for example, that a 1KW (1000W) panel heater should be able to warm a room of up to 10m² in size. This can vary, however – it depends how well-insulated the room is, whether it’s a south-facing room, if the room has thick carpets and curtains, whether it’s double-glazed, whether you remember to shut the door, and so on.
Which Electric Heater is Right for Me?
As we mentioned before, finding the right panel heater is something of a trade-off between the initial purchase price and running costs. We’ll outline three picks below for you to consider so you can pick which one works best for you. Even if you go for a different option, this will help give you a better idea of what to look for and it’ll help cut through some of the jargon and stats that always come up when you’re shopping around for an electric heater.
Despite costing well under £50, this panel heater still offers a remarkable energy-saving performance that makes it a clear winner if you’re looking for a no-nonsense heater that’s affordable to buy. It has an X-shaped heating element and a seamless aluminium front panel, meaning it makes the most out of its simple design. Despite being lower priced than many more basic panel heaters, this MYLEK model still includes a thermostat so you can set the temperature of your panel heater just the way you like it and be kept at your ideal temperature all night long.
This panel heater is also available in 1.5KW and 2KW models if you need to heat up a larger room.
If you can afford to pay a bit more money initially, this smart radiator can net you long-term savings as it has a host of energy-saving features. The smart functionality of this radiator means you can monitor and adjust its settings from anywhere in the world, meaning you can set its temperature down to the degree, turn them on or off, set them to a timer, and more. The radiator also comes with open-door detection, meaning it’ll shut itself off if you leave a door wide open and allow too much heat to escape your room.
All of these features are complemented by an incredibly energy-efficient performance thanks to the ceramic heating element inside the radiator. This ceramic heart efficiently stores and generates heat at the same time, meaning just 60 seconds of power will be enough to keep you warm for a whole hour. These unbeatable energy savings mean this heater can effectively pay for itself in just a couple of months! They’re available in 600W, 1KW, 1.5KW, and 2KW, so you can heat up virtually any size room you like.
If you’re after a good mid-point between affordability and performance, the Lumi is the best option for you. Small and lightweight, but still packed with energy-saving features such as open-door and window detection, a digital thermostat, and a fully-programmable 7-day timer, this panel heater is arguably the best value option on the market today. Available in 600W, 900W, 1.2KW, and 1.5KW, the Lumi is perfect for use around the home or office, and it can be left free-standing or wall-mounted. This flexibility puts you in total control over your heating costs, making it the best balance between the purchase price and running costs.