Electric heating guide

Is Electric Heating Energy Efficient? With different Central Heating Systems available in Uk, understand the different types of home heating systems will allow you to make the right decisions about how to heat your home, or decide which system best suits you when searching for a home. Choosing the correct heating system will help you save energy and money.

Global prices for gas, electricity, oil and other fuels started to increase from summer 2021 when economies began opening up after the pandemic related lockdowns. This underlying increase was magnified by reduced supply of fuels from some producers increasing tensions between Russia and Ukraine. Prices escalated further in late 2021/early 2022 and spiked after Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine on 24 February 2022. Energy prices in Europe remained very high for much of 2022 with continued concerns around disruption to supply, particularly from Russia. The British government have already announced the banning of gas boilers in any new builds from 2025 and with new building regulations (SAP10) which came into force in 2021 it will be far more favourable to the use of direct acting electric central heating.

The main heating systems installed in UK are:

  • Gas central heating.
  • LPG central heating.
  • Electric central heating.
  • Oil central heating.
  • Renewable heating.
  • Infrared heating.
  • Underfloor heating
  • Heat Pumps
  • Old-fashioned storage heaters

The most common system installed in the UK is mains gas central heating although not all homes are connected to the national gas grid. Gas has been, up until recently, considered the viable option if your house is connected as it is generally considered a lot cheaper to heat water using gas than electricity.

Creative Radiators are up to 25 per cent more efficient than traditional storage heaters

How gas central heating works

Gas central heating boiler has a pump and a room thermostat, this heating system has pipework and radiators which are connected to a boiler (20 to 35KW*) the boiler provides the heat and the electric pump moves the heated water from the boiler through the pipework to the radiators in your house, and back again to the boiler for reheating cycle. You can control the heating and hot water separately by using a basic programmer, and the valves that are fitted to individual radiators and control the temperature of the room they are in, It also heats hot water and stores it in a cylinder, usually found in your airing cupboard.

*This means that if you have a 24 kW boiler, you can expect to pay around £1.98 per hour to run it on mains gas, wastes energy through the pipework, and as releases greenhouses gases when burnt which contributes to global warming.

The Heat and Buildings Strategy also states that it’s aiming to phase out the installation of natural gas boilers, this ban means that gas boilers won’t be installed in new homes, which will be designed to be heated differently from day one. It’s no wonder the government are encouraging people to invest in heat pumps.

Gas central heating boiler

Are heat pumps worth it in the UK?

Heat pumps can extract heat from the coldest air, ground, or body of water; they operate so quietly you’ll barely hear them; and they fit neatly on the outside of your home, instead of taking up room inside. They work by absorbing heat from the outside environment: air, ground or water, and transferring it to a refrigerant fluid, which flows through a compressor, condenser, expansion valve and evaporator in a closed heating cycle.

Heat pumps don’t actually create heat, they simply move it from the outside air, ground or water, transferring it inside your home, where it can be used in radiators, underfloor heating or warm air heating, and to supply hot water for taps and showers .A heat pump is a low-carbon way to heat your home. It’s a sustainable replacement for fossil-fuel heating such as gas, oil or LPG, and can significantly reduce your household’s carbon footprint. However, heat pumps have a high upfront cost, and due to the low temperatures generated (40-45 degrees) the design of the system must be thoroughly completed with a detailed heat loss calculation carried out to ensure the property is well insulated, along with a correct assessment of the heat pump output required and the right sizing of the chosen heat emitters.

Finally some leaking refrigerant is one of the most common causes of heat pump problems, as your radiators ages, it undergoes wear and tear, another most common cause is a radiator leaks or a damaged, loose, or faulty valve, or for all the smaller components of your sealed heat pump system, like the valves. Low-carbon Heating alternative to heat pumps

heat pumps installed in the UK

How Underfloor heating works

Underfloor heating is another energy-efficient way to heat your home. It eliminates traditional clunky radiators and replaces your central heating with a hidden underfloor system that will warm your rooms to the perfect temperature.

In UK we have two types of Underfloor Heating Systems:
Electric underfloor heating is suitable for larger regular-shaped rooms with stone or tiled floors, we can also install a Foil Mat, which is specifically designed for laminate flooring, alternatevely the Loose Wire system is a good choice for oddly shaped rooms and suitable for small tiled floors. Electric underfloor it is inexpensive to install, however, it is more expensive to run than water underfloor heating.

Water underfloor heating, A water underfloor heating system or ‘wet’ system links directly to your central heating system. A subfloor will hold a network of pipes running heated water across your floor. The warm water systems are designed to work best with your flooring type and the subflooring options.

A series of electric heating sheets or wires are pre-spaced on foil or in a mat and are installed under your floor. It is controlled by the thermostat, which a qualified electrician must install, underfloor heating can be fitted easily as long as you have an electrician provide the thermostat. Depending on the size of the rooms, zone, home, underfloor heating can be installed in 3 to 5 days, installing the ‘wet’ underfloor heating can be more problematic than the ‘electric’ system can be installed in 6 to 8 days. You may need to dig up the floor or raise the bottom to accommodate the pipes beneath. Professionals can do this quickly but at a cost, it is worth considering when deciding which system to go for.

Are storage heaters energy efficient?

Storage Heaters were invented over 50 years ago to use the old fashioned restricted Economy 7 tariff, where electricity is cheaper from midnight to 7am (low use off-peak periods) by storing heat all night and then dissipating it during part of the day. Their construction is very simple – a stack of ordinary house bricks, with a 2 to 3.5 KW Class 1 electric coil between each layer of bricks that heats up all night, encased in a steel box. Steel has a very low conductivity for heat, but it’s strong enough to hold the bricks. That’s it! No method of controlling the exact temperature, programming or the times YOU decide you want to be warm. 

To give you an idea, according to EDF Energy, a medium-sized storage heater consumes 2kW and charges at full power for seven off-peak hours (ECONOMY 7) and will use 14 kilowatt-hours of electricity. At the average off-peak electricity rate of October 2023, 30p per kWh, that’s £4.20 a day to run a 2kW storage heater. Also must of the basic models will release excess stored heat, leading to overheated rooms.

Old-fashioned 3 KW dimplex storage heater

How Smart Electic heating works

Modern, connected electric heating are one of the most efficient sources of heat that can be used in our homes or offices. Connected electric heating complies with Eco-design requirements for local space heaters “LOT 20″, ​Effectively the integration of these “Lot 20” technological features provides our customers with an average up to 30% saving on energy consumption as compared to old storage heater, panel heater or none intelligent control heating.

App control for connected electric heating

Each connected electric radiator has its own EcoDesign – Lot 20 Compliant digital thermostat, and accurate temperature control, so as soon as the room reaches the exact temperature YOU decide on, it will then automatically switch off its power usage, and then just dissipate heat until the room cools down to more than 0.5-degree from your chosen temperature. It will then cut back in and just heat the room those 0.5-degrees, back to your comfort temperature.

Zone Heating allow you to control the temperate in each room without needing to fire up the whole heating system, this enables homeowners to keep the thermostat with low background eco-mode in the majority of the home, while enjoying a comfortable temperature in the rooms occupied most. The best zonal heating controls prevent your home from getting warmer than necessary,

Every wi-fi electric radiator has its own 24 hours or Wi-Fi programmer control, this consists of our patented  Ecodesign intelligent heating controls, with accurate on/off timer to set and control room-by-room temperatures to save energy. Alternetavely can utilise your Wi-Fi connection using our free mobile APP to control them remotely from anywhere, from any mobile device. Read more: Revolutionary Advanced Heating Controls 

Wood Effect Electric Radiators Rovere foresta-nera
Creative Radiators designer electric heating

Eco-friendly Electric Heating for Solar Panels

The biggest challenge is how to make homes suitable for low-carbon, energy efficient heating and how to provide an effective and affordable alternative to meet the Ecodesign regulations, Net Zero, heating decarbonisation and renewable energy targets. 

A solar PV solar panel (400 to 600w) consists of many cells made from layers of semi-conducting material, when sunlight shines on this silicon photovoltaic cells is converted into electricity and the flow of electricity is created, solar energy then can be stored for future use inside of an electric battery bank (12 to 1=20 kwh of battery storage) and Hybrid (10 to 14 kw AC/DC inverter), on sunny days, a 12kW PV System can generate up to 55kWh. The solar PV solar system comes with a clear and informative mobile phone app to show you when your battery is charging and discharging, and showing how little grid electricity you are consuming.

Can you run electric heating from solar panels?
YES, the energy generated from your solar panels (around 40 to 50 kWh ) can be used by our smart electric heating system, the energy generated from photovoltaics (solar PV) can be paired with Intelli Heat electric radiators ( normally 5 smart radiators around 9 kW output). providing your home with self-sustaining, carbon neutral heating system.

Video testimonial, replacing a costly Oil boiler with a new Wi-Fi Electric Heating System

We hope this post helps on understanding the benefits of modern electric heating, If you are looking to improve the efficiency of your home Central Heating Systems, or simply willing to reduce your energy bills, it may be time to consider a modern heating system. If you would like to find out how our Modern Electric Heating could work for you give us a call on 0203 916 0000

Share this post

The designer radiators archive