You may hear it said that all electric heating systems are the same because they are all 100% efficient, but try warming a room with a 1 kilowatt heater and then a 1 kilowatt steam iron; both have the same efficiency and both will cost exactly the same to run, however the heater has a much larger surface area.
The larger the surface area of a radiator, the better the heating capacity will be and some of our German storage radiators at just 3 feet long have 15 square feet of surface area, but this is only part of the story.
ELKAtherm® radiators spread warmth evenly – the key to a comfortable, cosy room. To check,we asked the Building Services Research and Information Association (BSRIA) for a fair and independent test. Ever wondered why your toes can feel chilly while the heating’s on full? With many kinds of heater, it’s because the warm air is stuck above your head. In a method approved by British Standard BS EN 60675:1995, the BSRIA used seven sensors to measure the temperature at heights from 30 cm to 2.2 metres. They showed just a 0.5°C variation from floor to ceiling, so you’ll have the warmth you want, everywhere.
Draughts and Cold Air
If you have a draught and you can’t find the source, it may well be caused by a radiator that is the wrong size and in the wrong place. Cold air is attracted to warm air and this may cause the draught so as a rule of thumb, no part of a room should ever be more than 13 feet from the heat source. Is central heating the best option? Central heating has drawbacks; unless you are constantly running around the house turning radiators in different rooms on and off during the day, the wall thermostat that is usually located in your hall is controlling the heat centrally, so the radiators in the bedroom are using up expensive energy when you are in the living room. There is also the annual servicing and ongoing maintenance costs of central heating, even today’s modern combi boilers are not expected to perform for a great number of years and can cost thousands of pounds to replace. Have a look at the BSRIA report on our website (click here) and you will see that the cooling load used to simulate heat loss has a remarkable bearing on energy usage. We believe our German electric radiators have achieved the best results ever obtained.
You can arrange for an energy assessment to calculate your U-value (Heat loss calculation) by telephoning a local estate agent as they will have contact details for assessors who can also further advise you on how to improve insulation, often at little or no cost.
What factors affect how much your electric central heating system cost run?
- The cubic metreage (volume) of your property
- The temperature you want your house to be maintained at
- The ambient (outside) temperature
- The direction the property faces
- The property U-value
So what is U-value? It is a measurement of the thermal loss through your walls, floor, ceiling and windows. The UK has overall the worst U-values in Western Europe and this alone determines running costs with probably more practical relevance than any other factor. For example, a property with a U-value of 0 theoretically requires no heating whatsoever whereas a property with a typical UK U-value of 3 will require a radiator in every room.
So, is our electric central heating system cheaper to run than mains gas? The cost of gas is certainly lower than electricity and it appears on the face of it to be cheaper to run even though it’s unlikely to stay that way. If you consider regular servicing and maintenance costs along with the cost of boiler replacement every 10 years, then things start to look very different. When you consider how much heat escapes via the flue and the inefficiency of gas boilers compared to electric then we can certainly make the case. In addition, if you rent out a gas heated property there’s annual inspection charges and the new EU regulation on flues for rented properties means it might be far too impractical to consider mains gas. If you are thinking about retro fitting a mains gas system then be careful because the mess involved in fitting pipe-work and boilers takes weeks, if not months, to clear up.
So, the poorer your insulation levels are the greater the importance of fitting our radiators! We regularly receive feedback from our customers and they tell us how we’re doing and how our radiators are performing. Interestingly much of the feedback is not about how much is being saved but more about how much warmer they are now. This is probably because many people don’t actually compare before and after bills, however those that do appear to calculate it to the penny and we are delighted to hear how much they’re saving.
Energy bills are a subject all of us are interested in but most people have great difficulty understanding them. When you arrange a survey, your local West Country Heating surveyor will explain exactly how to read your energy bill and he will also show you a way to reduce your tariff by up to 20% and keep it low.
You might be surprised to learn that there are electricity tariffs available to virtually everybody at similar rates that were around up to 3 years ago!