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How to choose an electric radiator

Are you building the home of your dreams? Or perhaps renovating your current house? When it comes to DIY, renovations or moving house, electric heating may be something you need to consider. There are several types of radiator available and it is not always easy to know which one will be most adapted to your situation. Your choice may rest on several criteria: the room that needs heating, the size of the room and your budget. Here is our guide to help you on your way.

radiator

Finding a balance between cost and comfort

One of the first things to consider before buying a radiator is your main priority. What is more important in your eyes: that your bills cost you less or that your house is as warm as possible? Ideally it is better to have a warm house that does not cost you too much money either! This is why your decision should be a nice balance between the two.

Important to know: In terms of heating, savings are not calculated per month, but rather over several years. Some heating systems are expensive to install but will save you a lot of money over time. For example storage heaters are expensive to buy but will save 20% to 30% more energy than a convector heater.

Storage heaters

storage heater

Storage heaters store heat that they can then release equally afterwards. This radiator contains a liquid which is heated using electrical resistance. The liquid changes temperature much more slowly than air, so this is why heat is released slowly. Dimplex, Creda and Elnur are popular brands for storage heaters and are available from £200 to £1000.

Advantages

 

1. Low consumption: heat requires little energy to be stored.

2. Regular and equal distribution of heat: no big temperature differences throughout the day because the change in the heater’s temperature is slow.

3. Suitable for large rooms

 

Disadvantages

 

1. Initially a more expensive option: the price can go from £200 to £1000 depending on the model.

2. Takes time: you will need to wait for your room to heat up, so don’t expect it to be hot immediately.

Good to know: when you buy a storage heater, make sure that it has an integrated thermometer (preferably digital) so that you can control the temperature and your energy consumption.

Radiant panel heaters

radiant panel heater

Radiant panel heaters work by radiating heat. This means that the radiator does not heat air, but people, objects and walls, which will then heat the air in the room. Popular brands for radiant panel heaters include Sunrise, Sunburst and Creda, available from £50 to £250 though some go as high as £1000. Even if some of these radiators are more powerful than others, it is not advised to use this type of heating for rooms that are bigger than 20m² because from this distance, the people, objects and walls are less able to warm up.

Advantages

 

1. Creates a heat that feels natural and comfortable: radiant panel heaters create heat that is similar to that of the sun.

2. The initial cost is relatively low: it is possible to buy a radiant panel heater from just £50.

3. Modern design: some models have a marble plate, while others come in different colours making them ideal to add a modern touch to a room.

 

Disadvantages

1. High energy consumption: they are generally turned on for the majority of the time, resulting in expensive energy bills!

2. Heating time: radiant panel heaters use a technique that requires time, so it may take a while to heat a room.

Convector heaters

convecter heater

 

Convector heaters are quite an old type of heating, however different models have evolved over the years. Electrical resistance heats the air in the radiator, then returns it to the room at a higher temperature. In this range of radiators, the DeLonghi HCM2030 (£30) and the Dimplex 3088T (£55) are popular models.

Advantages

 

1. Low initial cost: convector heaters are very affordable.

2. Heats up quickly

 

Disadvantages

 

1. Uses lots of energy: a convector heater is often always turned on, so the resulting bills are quite expensive.
2. Bad distribution of air: there is no doubt that heat is released very quickly, however it is not very even or regular. You may also find that the heat does not feel that natural either.

Can I choose several types of heating for my house?

Of course you can. In fact, combining different types of heating is actually recommended because not all rooms are the same size and are not insulated in the same way. However, as you may spend more time in some rooms that others, it is important to favour extra comfort in rooms such as a bedroom rather than an office.

The most ideal situation would be to make the most of the advantages of each type of heating. For example, you could have storage heaters as your main heating and convector heaters as a portable addition. This way your house will be evenly heated with the option to quickly top up when you feel it necessary.

How many radiators should I put in each room?

You will need around 1000watts for a 10m² room. This of course means that you will need two 1000watt radiators for room that is 20m².

Prepare yourself for this winter!

These tips should help you to find the right balance between comfort and cost. Above all, think about the long term so that your family and friends continue referring to your house as ‘home sweet home’.

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