Electric heating is quickly becoming an extremely popular alternative to gas and oil heating. With the UK government pushing towards a zero carbon future, now is the time to switch to cleaner heating alternatives.
We take a look at everything you need to know about electric radiators.
How do electric radiators work?
Electric radiators differ from central heating radiators, in that central heating radiators rely on a boiler and hot water to provide heating to your home. Instead, electric radiators are independent, often filled with clay or another storage substance. Gas boilers are usually somewhere in the high ninety percent in terms of efficiency, whereas all electric heaters are 100% efficient.
Electric radiators are usually individually controlled and supplied with a thermostat per radiator. This allows you to control the temperature of each room separately, rather than relying on a central control. Central controls, which you would find with a gas or electric boiler, allow you to set one heating program for the whole home. However, by setting a temperature on a central control, only the room in which the central control is located will reach your desired temperature.
With individual room control, each room can be set at a different temperature. Most of us don’t like our bedroom to be at the same temperature as our lounge, for example.
There are many different forms of electric heating, such as:
Convector heaters – using an element, but no storage material, to provide an instant heat to your home. Sometimes fan assisted, they use the air in the room around them to deliver warmth.
Storage heaters – full of storage bricks, and connected to an economy tariff (Eco7/Eco10). Very simple controls, usually with no programming or temperature settings.
Infrared heaters – do not heat the room; instead heat people, objects and surfaces. Often with no controls as standard.
German clay core radiators – contain a clay core for heat storage. Usually thermostatically controlled, with a custom heating program and temperature settings available. See
Fischer clay core radiators.
Integrated Controls vs Wireless Controls
When choosing an electric radiator, it is important to consider the type of control it comes with. Many electric radiators offer an integrated control, built into the heater itself. But this means a temperature reading is taken right next to the heater; usually the warmest part of the room.
By opting for a wireless thermostat, you can take a temperature reading from anywhere within the room, such as the coldest part, or next to where you are sitting. This ensures that the room is evenly warm, rather than having cold spots or an uneven distribution of heat.
It also means you can control your heater without the need to walk to heater, making it much more convenient for you.
With integrated controls, there is also a higher risk of thermostat failure. The PCB (control board) is located within the heater, which means it is regularly exposed to high levels of heat. Any electrical component that is situated in a warm environment is prone to failure, unless it is specially designed to cope with such temperatures. From our experience, some are not.
Making the Switch
Switching to electric heating from other alternatives such as gas or oil is a relatively simple process.
The first step is to remove your existing system. If you currently have a gas boiler installed, you will need a Gas Safe engineer to remove it. At Fischer, we have a team of fully qualified, Gas Safe engineers, who will do the job for you.
The second step is to choose your new form of heating. There are plenty of options to choose from, so it’s important that you make an informed decision. First, consider what it is you need from your heating system.
Is it an increased level of control? Improved heat distribution? A more aesthetically pleasing radiator? Fischer can help.
Fischer dynamic clay core radiators are designed to be aesthetically pleasing, only 11cm in depth and available in a number of selected RAL colours. Manufactured to include a purpose built convection chamber in the back to aid in the distribution of heat and reduction of wasted heat, their sleek, modern design does not affect their efficiency.
Fischer dynamic clay core radiators are not only slimline – they also come with many other benefits.
They are also designed to be efficient and controllable for complete comfort and peace of mind, and have even had their efficiency tested and verified by BSRIA, BRE and EST.
Our dynamic clay core radiators also contain a patented 40mm chamotte clay core. Our 40mm clay core is double the thickness of the core found within many other electric radiators, which is usually around 20mm or less. Double the thickness, resulting in double the amount of heat storage, further improving your comfort.
Wi-Fi control options are also available, allowing you to control your heating from anywhere in the world. Utilising a smart thermostat and receiver, along with a smartphone app, you can set custom programs, temperatures and other heating scenarios at the touch of a button.
Running costs do not refer to just the fuel cost. You must also factor in the cost of the installation, the maintenance and the environmental cost associated with fossil fuel energy.
When you look at the price of gas compared to the price of electricity, there is a significant difference; however, greenhouse gases are emitted when we burn fossil fuels, such as natural gas. By powering your heating system with a renewable energy source, such as renewable electricity, you reduce your carbon footprint instantly.
Most electric radiators, such as Fischer dynamic clay core radiators, require no servicing or maintenance.
At Fischer, we also handle the installation for you, with no hidden costs.
Call us today on 0800 103 2700 to request your free catalogue, or request your free survey now.