How to Find the Most Economical Heater
You are likely to find electric heaters in modern flats due to their ease of installation (no plumbing) and relative ease of repair/replacement. But while they are a safe and simple to use, electric radiators have never had the best reputation when it comes to economising; electricity being far more expensive than gas. This needn’t be the case though:
Diagram courtesy of Economy Radiators*.
What your electric heater is made from will contribute towards how cost effective it is. Aluminium is the ideal material for an electric radiator because it is light but also a superb conductor of heat. Electric radiators that conduct heat quickly are more economical because the faster they heat a room the less time they need to spend burning electricity.
Power is the trickiest part of the heater to figure out. The more powerful the heater the more effective it will be at heating a room quickly but on the flip side of the coin the more power a radiator uses the more expensive it will be to run. The best thing to do is to figure out how powerful your heater needs to be to get your room to a comfortable temperature (22° Celsius or 70° Fahrenheit). To get to this temperature your heater will need to burn 1kw of electricity for every 14 cubic metres of space; so get a note of your room measurements and do the maths. When you have the perfect combination of power to space then your heater should only need to burn the least amount of electricity possible to achieve the ideal temperature.
An accurate digital thermostat is essential if you are to get the most economical use from your electric heater. Heaters with ineffective thermostats are liable to underheat and overheat your room in a desperate attempt to get to the temperature you want; this results in inconsistent and uncomfortable heat along with higher electricity bills.
But it’s Summer?
Well, summer can be the best time to buy electric heaters precisely because they are out of season. Like most things that sell well in the winter, heavy coats and so on, heaters are likely to be on sale just now.
If you already have electric heating, you should still look after it in the summer months. Regular wiping with a damp cloth and a quick blast around the vent with the vacuum cleaner next time you are cleaning should stop your heater gathering dust. Dust in your heater is bad for two reasons; 1, the smell of burning dust is incredibly unpleasant and 2, dust often contains bacteria and germs and these will spread when your heater provides them with circulated hot air as a means of transit.