How should you choose your electric heating?

Nowadays, electric heating is a popular option for home renovations, but you won’t often find electric heating systems installed in a new-build home. Why? Electric heating has significant advantages as a home heating option, but there are also major disadvantages to this type of home heating system. Electric heaters are highly efficient in terms of energy use, but they’re high cost. With electric heating, the crux of the matter is profitability: the electric heaters themselves are relatively inexpensive, but the electricity required to power them is more costly. Luckily, there are electric heaters out there to suit the needs of every home!

What are electric heaters?

There are two different types of electric heaters - direct and indirect - which operate using two different varieties of heating system. On the one hand, direct electric heaters use electricity to heat a room directly. These direct electric heaters are auxiliary heaters, helping to heat the room alongside the home’s central heating system.

On the other hand, indirect electric heaters are electric boilers or heat pumps that use electricity to generate hot water that is then circulated through the home’s central heating system to warm each room in the property.

Direct electric heaters are an increasingly popular option for providing home heating. They offer rapid heat distribution, perfectly dissipating the heat throughout each room in the home to provide a truly comfortable ambient temperature. Direct electric heaters are available in multiple designs, to suit any room in the home. You can choose from horizontal, vertical, low-level or plinth-style electric heaters, distributing them throughout your home to optimise its heating system.

You can also choose between electric heater towel rails, electric inertia heaters, electric convector heating and electric underfloor heating, depending on your home’s heating needs. Of course, each system will vary in price for the system itself, as well as its installation in the home.

Netatmo Info

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The different types of electric heating

There are various varieties of electric heating to choose from, based on the specific layout and heating requirements of your home. Below, we’ll go into the types of electric heating in more detail:

Classic electric heating: electric convector heating

Electric convector heating systems use electrical resistance to generate heat and effectively increase the temperature throughout a given room. Hot air rises in the room, while cooler air sinks below it. This cooler air is then heated, rising in turn. This movement gradually dissipates heat throughout the room via a process of convection.

These types of auxiliary electric heaters rapidly increase the ambient temperature of a room, but do have low levels of inertia. As such, we recommend only using these types of electric heaters while you’re actually spending time in the room, to avoid wasting energy.

Here are three key tips for using electric convector heating:

  • For the most efficient results, use these types of electric heaters in well-insulated passage spaces

  • Complement electric heaters with a fan to increase the rapid dissipation of hot air throughout the room (except if the electric convector heater already has a fan built in)

  • If you need to, use an air humidifier that monitors humidity levels in the room to compensate for any dryness causing by the circulation of warm air throughout the space

Electric inertia heaters

Electric inertia heaters are the most efficient electric heating systems. These heaters are also auxiliary heaters designed to complement a central heating system in the home.

As the name suggests, these electric heaters have high inertia levels, increasing how energy efficient they are. These heaters heat the room even when they’re not turned on, a rare feature in electric heaters in general.

In order to maximise the energy efficient aspects of electric inertia heaters, you’ll need good levels of insulation in the room it’s heating. Aside from being highly energy efficient, electric inertia heaters have several other significant advantages:

  • Low initial investment in the electric heater

  • Savings on energy when compared to other types of electric heater

  • Excellent levels of heating diffusion throughout the room

  • Rapid increase in room temperature

  • High levels of heating comfort

Electric inertia heaters can be installed easily in any room in the home, with multiple designs and models to choose from to suit every need.

Electric towel rails

These are perhaps the best known type of electric heater in the home, used to dry and heat towels in home’s bathrooms. The heating level generated is then dissipated throughout the room in general, increasing its ambient temperature to a pleasantly warm level.

Electric underfloor heating

Electric underfloor heating is a highly popular option for ultimate heating comfort in the home. The heating system is contained within the floor of the home, making it a subtly yet highly efficient and effective electric heating system.

There is a slight delay between turning on the electric heating system and feeling the temperature of the room rise, yet underfloor heating systems make efficient use of inertia to increase thermal comfort in the home.

How to choose your electric heating system

As we’ve seen above, there are many options when it comes to electrical heating systems. If you’re looking to install electric heaters in your home, there are several key factors to take into account:

  • How large is each room where you want to use electrical heating? It’s far easier to heat a smaller room in an efficient manner using electrical heaters, compared to larger-volume spaces

  • How efficient is your home insulation? The better your home insulation, the more efficient your electrical heating will be

  • How quickly do you need to heat up each room in the home? Use auxiliary heaters to heat spaces only when you’re actually in them

  • How large is your budget for electric heaters? You’ll be able to find electric heating models to suit every room