In this article we take a detailed look at why you should choose an electric heating system, the main benefits, what to look out for, and what you can do to be more energy efficient and save money on your bills.
Most homes in the UK are powered by gas central heating. You probably have a boiler somewhere in your house, either with a cylinder or a modern version tucked neatly away in a kitchen cupboard. Additionally, you’re likely to have metal white radiators throughout your home, which may have been there for many years and over the years the performance levels of your radiators deteriorate.
It’s so gradual you may not notice but due to this and the boiler performance, the cost of heating your home with gas and oil, increases each year. If you’re not connected to the mains gas supply, your home is probably heated by oil. Whereby you’ll need a regular supply of oil delivered to your home to top up the tank in order to fuel your boiler.
Whilst these types of fuels are popular and traditional, it is possible to install a modern alternative.
Electric heating systems dispose of the need to provide fuel to your boiler. What’s more, it can deliver 100% efficiency as opposed to the percentages in the 80s and 90s of gas or oil fuelled boilers.
Alongside this, we know that the impact of burning gas and oil on the environment is a growing concern.
Notably, an electric heating system doesn’t release any pollutants into the atmosphere. Therefore, by choosing an electric heating system, you are helping to reduce the carbon footprint of your home.
There is a finite resource of gas and oil for our homes. Electric heating systems are a modern and efficient way of heating your home. You don’t have to burn any fuel, hence you are not producing any pollutants.
With gas boilers, there is a risk of a carbon monoxide leak if they are not well maintained and looked after. Particularly with old boilers. Most gas boilers have safety mechanisms built in as a warning to alert the homeowner should there be a problem.
It’s a similar case with oil. If there is an oil leak from your tank, it’s up to you, the homeowner to alert the right people and to get it cleaned up before it damages the environment. Otherwise you could be facing a hefty fine. With electric heating systems, there is a much reduced risk of environmental damage or a risk to your family.
While most of us are linked to the mains gas supply, 16% of households in Britain are not. That’s around 4 million households. Therefore, these homes need an alternative to gas fuel. Many people will heat their homes using oil. But even with oil, you need a continual replacement to heat your home. Usually, oil is kept in a tank in an outside space. The oil needs to be regularly topped up and the tank maintained to ensure there are no leaks.
Electric heating is a clean, effective alternative to oil. It can replace the oil tank and boiler, as well as the need for fuel. If you’re not on the mains gas supply, an electric heating system is a great alternative.
Thanks to smart electric heating systems, you can get a quick response from your heating when you need it the most. There’s no need to heat up the water in the tank and wait for it to be ready. Or to check your oil supply and notice it has run out, leaving you in the cold until the next delivery.
You can program your electric heating system to ‘learn’ exactly when you need the central heating to go on and at what temperature.
As the UK pushes towards being carbon neutral, fossil fuels are being phased out in favour of more sustainable energy sources, such as electricity. Therefore, as a homeowner, you need to start thinking about better ways to heat your home in the future.
But how does electric central heating work?
To start with you can choose to replace your old gas powered boiler with an electric boiler, or you can replace your old radiators with smart electric radiators.
An electric boiler simply uses electricity instead of gas to heat your hot water. Like a gas boiler, it heats the water in a storage unit before sending it out to your sinks, showers and baths as warm water. Electric boilers come in a variety of shapes, each one with water running through a system to be heated by a heating element. Similar to a kettle.
There are plenty of advantages to an electric boiler. Firstly, they don’t need to be placed on an external wall because there is no flue or gas pipe pumping out emissions. Secondly, they are usually small, compact units that can run almost silently. It’s like a large kettle in your home. However, the running costs of electric boilers are high.
They were never designed to run central heating systems using multiple radiators. As a rule of thumb, it’s a minimum of 1Kw per radiator, so running a 10-radiator system plus heating water, would probably require a minimum of 12 to 15 Kilowatts, maybe more? Also, when heating water, the electric boiler may not be able to supply water to the radiators at the same time.
If you have 80 amps coming into the property, which is 19.2 Kilowatts, you only have around 4 kilowatts spare capacity, and that is not sufficient to run the electrical requirements such as ovens and hobs, lights and other electrical appliances in the home. So whilst there is a place for electric boilers in small apartments, they generally are not suitable for the average home.
An electric radiator conducts the heat through electricity. In comparison with a traditional radiator which works by conducting the heat from hot water running through its internal pipes into the air. Because of the way electric radiators heat up, they use every single watt of electricity and convert it into heat. Thus, there is no wastage and no waiting around to warm up. However, not all electric radiators are the same. In a low-quality electric radiator, a microchip within the radiator controls all functions.
Low quality electric radiators may put heat into the room, but the thermostat is generally built into the body of the radiator and therefore measuring the temperature in the room is very difficult. In a high quality electric radiator, such as Harmony, the electrical input is controlled by TRIAC, which when combined with an external high quality thermostat which is positioned away from the radiator, will control the amount of energy the radiator consumes, therefore reducing the electrical usage and therefore lowering costs, whilst allowing the user to have total control of the heat in the room.
This system will ensuring optimum performance for minimum electricity usage.
Hence with electric central heating, you have full control over each radiator independently. So, you can choose the temperature and the time of day on a room by room basis. As each radiator monitors room temperature, they will only come on when they need to. Thus saving you money.
Additionally, if you have rooms that don’t need heating very often, you can choose an ‘anti-frost’ mode to stop them falling below 5 degrees.
Furthermore, you can choose your style of radiator. Perhaps you have a small hallway but you don’t want it to be cold. Then, you can opt for a slimline or smaller radiator.
Generally speaking, once you have programmed your radiators, you don’t need to do anything else, unless you want to update your room preferences. An added benefit is that they are easy to install.
So perhaps you are thinking about changing your heating system to electric. But what are the main differences between gas and electric and is it the right thing to do for you? Here are some key factors to consider.
Modern gas central heating systems are more efficient nowadays. A boiler’s energy efficiency is the percentage of the total energy used by the boiler to provide useful heating. For example, a modern gas boiler may have 94% efficiency. This means that 94% is used to heat the home, but 6% is lost or used to run itself.
In comparison, an electric heating system is 100% efficient, because all the electricity you use and pay for converts into heat. There is no loss of heating.
Replacing an old gas boiler with a modern one isn’t always straightforward. If you are replacing it with the same type, then it’s easier. But if you are replacing an old conventional type for a combi boiler for example, then it will take longer to remove the infrastructure in place.
Alternatively, you can get more variety in electrical heating systems. Instead of a central boiler, electric systems tend to rely on separate heating appliances in each room. These can come in different shapes, sizes and finishes allowing you to chose what you want in each room.
To maintain a gas boiler and keep it running smoothly, you need to book regular check ups. In fact, your warranty could be invalid unless you get an annual maintenance check. For landlords, this is a legal requirement. Furthermore, it’s essential to guarantee the safety of a gas installation in your home.
Whereas, an electric heating system does not need an annual check up or routine maintenance to check parts. Climastar radiators are designed to last a lifetime.
There’s a difference as well when it comes to heating water. Homes that use a combi gas boiler can heat water on demand. So when you turn on a hot tap, hot water comes out immediately.
In other homes, gas or electric boilers circulate hot water into a storage tank, making sure there’s a ready supply when you need it. This tank usually has an electric element, like a big kettle. It’s this ‘immersion heater’ that is often used to provide back up heat for a gas system. But it can also provide all the hot water without a boiler.
To work out the difference in costs between gas and electric heating systems, you need to look at installation and running costs.
To start with, there is a wide variety and price range when it comes to types and models of gas boiler. From a small combi boiler for £1,300 ranging to a top of the range gas system boiler and cylinder version for £5000 or £6,000. Aside from this, the installation costs can vary too. It depends on where you live, if you are connected to the mains supply and which company you use.
If you are installing a new gas system, and have the work completed by a recognised company such as British Gas, who are the benchmark for quality and service, a new central heating system, including boiler, radiators, pipes, wireless thermostats, pumps and controls, in a typical 3 bedroom property you are looking at anything from £6500 to £10,000.
An electric heating system increases with the number of heaters you require. Prices will vary depending on the quality of system you install and it depends on how many rooms you want to heat. You may be think electric radiators are similar to the old style night storage heaters, with little control, but nowadays the design can be sleek and modern.
Then, you need to look at running costs.
On the face of it, gas is cheaper. A single kilowatt hour (kWh) of gas costs around 4p. You can now buy electricity from a variety of reliable suppliers for as little as sources from 13 or 14p. However, this doesn’t mean that electric heating systems carry the burden of running costs that are double the price.
For example, electric heaters are essentially 100% efficient. Which means all the electricity you use is turned into heat. Whereas even with an A rated gas boiler, you still waste around 7-10% of energy. Further heat is lost as the water travels through the pipes, so they are more wasteful.
Also, with smart controls, you can schedule or switch off the electric heating when you don’t need it. For example, you can control the heating in each room individually, so if you are not using that room, then you can turn the heating off or down in areas you are not using.
In summary for the differences in costs between gas and electricity, it’s true that the cost of electricity is more expensive than gas in 2021. With gas being phased out, this will change. However, the benefits of installing an electric heating system can pay off in the long term. Plus there are many environmental benefits that we are all realising.
If you’re still not sure if switching is for you, there are some good reasons to choose an electric heating system now.
Cost isn’t the only factor to think about. There’s also the environmental impact of your heating. Burning fossil fuels releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Hence heating your home is one of the biggest sources of C02. In fact, home heating is responsible for around 15% of the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions.
Therefore, the UK government has said that from 2023, new properties won’t be allowed to have gas boilers. They have set a goal for the UK to reach a net zero carbon emissions target by 2050. Thus, homeowners with older properties will need to start thinking about alternative ways of heating too.
However, it’s worth noting here that electricity also contributes to CO2 emissions. This is because we still use gas to generate electricity. But there’s good news too. Renewables like solar and wind power generated almost as much electricity as gas last year. Ultimately, if you combine electric home heating with a 100% renewable electricity tariff, you know that your heating will be carbon free.
Climastar is a company pioneering the creation of modern and efficient heating. Their goal is to develop and produce the most efficient and controllable electrical heating systems.
For over 25 years, Climastar has helped to heat homes across the world. Now, their new Harmony range is exclusive to the UK.
The idea behind the Harmony range is to create a heating system that is functional and beautiful at the same time. That may sound odd when talking about a heating system. But, think about the steel or metal radiators hanging on your wall at home. Do they fit in with the decor and personality of your home or are they just there to function?
The Harmony range from Climastar uses Magma Stone in its products. Magma is a natural stone from the earth’s crust. It’s manufactured under 400kg/cm2 of pressure and then baked at 1500c. During the manufacturing process, Silicon and Aluminium is added to assist with heat storage and heat transfer into a room. Magma guarantees the best heat transfer for longer. Therefore, keeping the room temperature stable to within 1c and reducing energy consumption.
Due to the way the front panel is manufactured, the heat is transferred in a uniformed way. Essentially, this means provides the most efficient way to heat a room. In comparison, German designed heaters pass heat from an internal clay core, which then has to pass through a steel casing. Thus, a barrier is created which reduces the efficiency of the transference of heat into the room. Not so with the Magma Stone. Every Kilowatt of heat produced is passed into the room.
The Harmony heating system is an intelligent system that adapts and learns from your lifestyle as you use it. Every day it records the time it takes to achieve the selected temperature and will then learn at what time to draw energy. So that your room is the right temperature at the exact time you require it.
Thanks to Smart technology, it’s now completely up to you how you control your heating. The Harmony range is Wi-fi enabled which allows you to have full control from anywhere in your home.
Climastar also offers exceptional guarantees.
For example, with Magma Core built into all products, you are guaranteed a lifetime Manufacturer Warranty. As touched on earlier in this article, your warranty is not dependent on an annual check up like a gas boiler. Furthermore, if the electric heating system fails to warm you and your home, Climastar will remove it and refund you the entire purchase.
Climastar design heating systems that not only heat your home, but look beautiful too. Each one is built to link up with the latest technology and home integration.
At the core of the technology is the Magma Silicon Battery which stores heat. Hence it improves efficiency whilst reducing consumption. Twin Magma silicon batteries are key to keeping the room warm and comfortable whilst reducing energy consumption.
The front heat battery is designed to store heat and release that heat into the room for longer periods whilst drawing very little power. The front panel is manufactured with a ‘double core’ heat conduction chamber that optimises the convection process. The second Magma heat battery at the back of the heater absorbs heat that would have escaped into the back wall and transmits it back into the room, using all of the energy produced. No energy is wasted.
Furthermore, due to the way the front panel is manufactured, the heat is transferred in a uniformed way. Essentially, this provides the most efficient way to heat a room. Every Kilowatt of heat produced is passed into the room.
Additionally, Climastar uses Open Window Technology in their products. For example, when a window or door is open, the heater will automatically go into standby mode. When the door or window is closed again, the heating system will come back to life and start to reheat the room. Thus you are not wasting heat.
This technology is coupled with the Heating Cruise Control System. Which is basically the equivalent to cruise control in a car. The HCC can work out the correct amount of power required by the heater to maintain the set temperature in the room.
And intelligent heating doesn’t stop there.
The Harmony heating range also uses a Geolocator. So it knows when you are home and when you are out. Even if you leave home unexpectedly, it will turn your heating down, so you don’t waste energy. When it ‘sees’ you coming home, it switches your heating to a higher setting so you come back to a nice warm house.
Furthermore, you can even control your heating with voice activation by pairing it with apps such as Google and Alexa, the range can be fully integrated with smart home technology.
Turn the heating down by 1 degree please Alexa.
So how is electric heating more beneficial than a night storage heater?
Around 1.6 million homes in the UK still use some form of night storage heater. In comparison with today’s modern electric heating systems, it’s an outdated way of heating your home which wastes energy.
Night storage heating first came to the market in 1948 when all things electric were seen as being modern and efficient. Electricity companies were generating lots of power to meet the demands of industry and domestic use during the day, but demand slumped at night.
The majority of power stations in the UK after WW2 were coal or oil powered. There was no way to switch off the production of electricity at night. The national grid was not in operation to allow electricity to be moved from one zone to another. Therefore overnight, there was a massive surplus in electricity that could not be used. So, the idea of storage heaters was invented.
The aim was to create a heater that used cheap electricity through the night to generate heat, but to store it within bricks so that it would disperse throughout the day.
Heaters are charging during the night and the temperature in the room is increasing. When the correct temperature is achieved and surpassed, after that, the room temperature is constantly decreasing.
For example, at 6am, the room temperature is at 24 degrees. At 1pm, the temperature is at 21 degrees, which is the recommended comfort room temperature. At 6pm, the room temperature is already below 17 degrees, exactly at the time when people start to require more heat or when they are arriving home.
Economy 7 provides cheap rate per Kw between 11pm and 6am. However, the customer pays a higher rate from 6am until 11pm each evening. With many electricity companies now supplying 24 hour tariffs as little as 13p per kilowatt, running a home on an Economy 7 tariff may be of little benefit. Furthermore, electricity companies are phasing out Economy 7 tariffs. Many now refer to this type of tariff as Differential Plan or Multi Rate Plan.
In order to make economy 7 work for you, you would need to shift at least 40% of your energy consumption to the 7 hour cheap rate just to break even.
Furthermore, as night storage heaters lose their heat in the late afternoon and early evening, you may often need to use a secondary form of heating. Perhaps you use a convector heater. This will be plugged into a socket which is running at a more expensive day rate. Hence you are running two heat sources, one at a more expensive rate.
There are some disadvantages to having a night storage heater. For example, your rooms may overheat in the morning and lack heat in the evenings. Additionally, you need to be organised enough to switch the heater on the day before you wish to use it.
Storing heat and releasing it when you need to is almost impossible to do. So, if you draw electricity into a night storage heater and then don’t need it because the day is naturally warm, heat will still come out and that heat is wasted.
If your room is too cold, you might keep the night storage heater as high as possible in order to try to store more heat. But, you can’t effectively control the output. Night storage heaters work on time control, not temperature. It will come on at the same time every night, produce and store the same amount of heat. Regardless of a warm or cold day outside. Then, if it’s too warm, you might open a window. Thus, losing more heat.
Nowadays, there is no such thing as cheap electricity. The introduction of Smart Meters are a step forward in allowing the electricity companies to get rid of Economy 7 tariffs. These can be replaced with viable tariffs that can change at different rates at different times of the day. So perhaps the removal of economy 7 tariffs will bring an end to the use of night storage heaters.
Modern Electric Heating Benefits
There is however, a better way to heat your home. With the Climastar Harmony range, you can stay warm and be in control of your heating and energy usage. There are many benefits to the Harmony range including the fact that you can heat the room when you want to, at exactly the temperature you select. Additionally, an intelligent heating system responds to external temperature changes, either up or down and adjusts accordingly. Also, the heater does not waste energy and therefore is more economical to run.
Climastar’s Harmony heating range is the company’s most advanced one yet. Harmony heaters can connect to wifi and wireless, so you can control your heating from your phone or device. The technology includes heating cruise control, open window technology and controllers instead of relay switches.
Thanks to Harmony’s intelligent system, it knows just how much power it needs to draw to keep the heater at the selected temperature. You can set it to 16 or 17C during the night and increase the temperature to 21C during the day, and this will happen completely automatically. Thus every kilowatt of heat is made use of, none of it is wasted. So you stay warm at the lowest possible cost.
Have a look at the Harmony range and you’ll see how a modern heating system can be functional and beautiful.
Try to forget your idea of what a radiator looks like, and replace it with a stylish and exquisite electric equivalent, controlled by the latest modern technology.
The Teide range is available in two finishes, Dark Teide and Grey Teide. It can be manufactured for you in a flat panel finish or in a totally unique 180 degree curve. The benefit of the curved shape is that the curve allows heat to be transferred into the room in a more uniformed pattern which transfers the heat to every corner of the room faster than a traditional shaped heater. The curved range is only available in the Teide model.
It’s a totally unique produce and only available from Climastar. The curved range goes through a unique manufacturing process that shapes the stone in a very uniformed way. It’s the only radiator in the world which can be manufactured in a curve. The angle of the Teide Curved Range is 180 degrees and because of the shape it only occupies 60cm v 60 cm of wall space. However, it’s so efficient that it can heat a large room of around 200 cubic meters.
How about a radiator that you can superimpose your favourite photograph on? Or colour match with your favourite decor? It sound futuristic, but it’s available now from the Climastar Harmony range.
The Fuji comes in a soft Cashmere finish. However, it can be customised to your choice. It’s truly a blank canvas, so you can blend it in with any wall colour or wall covering, or contrast it with your decor.
Thanks to the versatility of Fuji, you can choose a heating system that not only heats your home, it can also project your personality. How about projecting a calming mountain scene or your favourite dog or cat? Who said radiators had to be boring?
Your home is your castle, and you should be allowed to express yourself rather than be restricted to a choice between plain white radiators or off-white radiators. We all make our home our own, so show your style using the Fuji range.
The Etna range is stunningly beautiful to look at and to touch. It can be manufactured in a range of sizes and power outputs to work perfectly in almost any room. There are two different colourways, White Etna and Black Etna. Both are finished in a satin finish and will never discolour, mark or deteriorate.
Etna stone carries a lifetime warranty. If ever you have a complaint or concern regarding the Etna stone finish, don’t worry, any problems will be rectified by our technicians. If there is a problem with any Harmony stone, we never repair, we would always replace. Fortunately problems with our stone heaters are very, very rare, but it’s good to know that we will be here to put things right if you have a problem.
Etna is not just created to look and feel like natural stone, it is natural stone. Etna is a luxury product, which is aesthetically pleasing and designed to blend in with your decor.
Thanks to the versatility of the Harmony heating system, we also provide a bathroom range. So if you’re looking for the ideal slimline radiator, which heats your bathroom and looks beautiful in it too, then Harmony is a great choice.
Keeping your bathroom warm and dry is important. Generally speaking, a poorly heated bathroom can be a breeding ground for mould and dampness. Which is not only harmful to your health, but also to the fabric of your home. Hence the Harmony bathroom range is the perfect way to keep you warm and comfortable while enjoying your bath or shower time.
The Harmony bathroom range comes in a variety of styles and colours. Each radiator is waterproof and fully complies with building regulations. They are slimline radiators, so won’t take up too much space on your bathroom wall.
Furthermore, because Harmony radiators are made from natural stone, they won’t chip or rust like German steel made radiators. Magma stone carries a lifetime warranty. Therefore your radiator will retain its natural colour without fading, even if positioned in direct sunlight. So it will look just as beautiful in 20 years time as it does today.
And if you want to keep your towels warm and fluffy for when you need them, you can add a variety of towel rails or drying hooks to your radiator.
Did you know that heating your home has as big a carbon footprint as driving your car on the road? Therefore, if you want to reduce your carbon footprint, you should be aware of how to do this within your home.
Gas boilers are used in the majority of households in the UK. It’s an easy way to heat your home as gas is supplied straight from the connected mains source. Heat or hot water can be instant, and currently, it’s the cheaper option per kilowatt.
However, gas boilers can last up to 12-15 years. Generally speaking, new gas boilers come with a 10-12 year warranty. It’s a disposable item which you will need to replace soon enough. Also, due to the amount of working parts inside, they need regular maintenance. An annual check up costs from £60 per year and there are further costs depending on what work needs to be done. The parts in a gas boiler age with time. Therefore, they will need replacing if something goes wrong.
Additionally, due to the nature of burning a fossil fuel, your boiler produces pollutants that enter the atmosphere. Finally, there is always the risk of a carbon monoxide leak with a gas boiler. It is a gas installation within your home, thus it carries an ongoing risk.
Usually, if a home is not connected to the mains gas supply, it runs on oil fuel. With oil boilers, you need to store the fuel which makes your boiler run. Hence, you need an oil storage tank, which is usually kept outside. You then pay for the oil to be delivered to your home. It’s up to you to make sure that your tank is filled with oil so you have fuel to keep warm.
Also, you need to maintain your storage tank. If it leaks, then oil could seep out into the environment. Then, you will need to pay for the clean up operation if this happens.
Plus, oil fired central heating is generally a little more expensive than gas. But it’s often the cheapest option in rural areas where there is no gas supply.
The benefits of moving to an electric heating system are plentiful. Even if you feel that you are not ready to change completely, you can start with a hybrid system. For example, you could buy a single Harmony heater and put it in a cold spot in your house. Thus, you can warm that room efficiently and enjoy being able to control the heating there, rather than running the whole system for longer.
We’ve mentioned efficiency before. With electric heating systems, you are not wasting any energy. There are no emissions. You simply plug it in and relax in a warm home. You don’t need a flue to remove wasteful gases from your home, and there’s nothing emitting into the atmosphere. There’s no risk of leakage or monoxide.
It’s true that the cost of electricity per kilowatt is more expensive. However, consider how much energy you are saving. Electric heating systems are 100% efficient. With a gas boiler, the heating can escape from pipes, water filled radiators or even the boiler itself if it’s old.
In summary, home heating and decor has changed over the years. From post wartime night storage heaters to wall mounted steel radiators, to slimline bathroom towel rails. With the Harmony range of electric heating systems, the modern system is not only intelligent, it also looks great in your home.
By choosing Climastar, you are actively helping to reduce your carbon footprint. Climastar ranges do not produce gases or fumes or directly emit any pollutants to the environment when operating.
Additionally, Climastar ranges can be used with renewable energy sources coming from natural resources such as sun and wind. So, even though electric companies still draw on gas to produce electricity, this will change more in the future too.
Climastar puts a 10 year warranty on the Harmony range. Over 10 years, it’s possible that you could pay out hundreds, if not thousands of pounds alone just in serving and maintaining a gas boiler. During that time, you are also burning carbon.
From both an economic and environmental standpoint, it’s better for everyone to rely on a clean power that can be produced for free and doesn’t run out. Therefore, if you look at your heating system in terms of its lifespan and impact, an electric heating system is by far the best option.