Guide to Electric Installed Heating
Not only is electric heating very versatile, it offers levels of safety, reliability, cleanliness and comfort unmatched by other heating fuels. There is a huge range of products to choose from and all are designed to offer different features and benefits, so its important you choose the products that fit in with your lifestyle.
This page will give you a quick overview of a few of the different product categories.
Electric Panel Heaters
Panel heaters use direct acting energy, which means they provide fairly instant heat once switched on. They are usually compact in size and wall mounted. Panel heaters are often used for areas which only require heating for short periods of the day, like bedrooms, however they can be used as a whole house heating system.
Panel heaters offer a wide choice of designs with different models offering different features such as 24 hour timers for improved efficiency.
Selected models can also be linked to a central programmer for maximum control.
Electric Storage Heaters
Storage heaters use energy supplied by low cost, off-peak electricity* and are cheaper to run than heaters that use day rate electricity. Generally the electricity supply is drawn at night (although some tariffs also have a mid-afternoon boost) and the energy is stored in special heat retaining bricks for use the following day. Storage heaters are usually used for 'living' areas and cannot be linked to a central programmer.
For more information read our - Guide to Storage heaters
*You can only get cheap night-time electricity if you are on an off-peak tariff such as Economy 7 or 10. Please consult with your energy supplier for more information
Designed to provide warm, dry towels all year round. Dependent on the output of the towel rail and the size of your room, selected models will also provide background or full heat. Ideal with undertile heating.
Designed to heat the room and dry the towels. Subject to model, the heat can either be radiant, which means it is the kind of warmth we feel from the sun and you need to be near the heater to feel the warmth, or convected which means it heats the room. These heaters will not heat the room as quickly as a fan heater, although selected models do have a fan boost function.
There are many different types of portable heating, so ensuring you buy the correct product for your requirements is important.
For more information read our - Guide to Portable heaters
Electric Under Tile Heating
The Dimplex under-tile system is not designed as a primary heating source, but to take the chill off cold tiled floors. An element is connected to a simple mat system which covers the area to be heated, and heat is convected through to the tiles above.
The system uses direct acting energy, rather than stored energy.
Installed Heating Controls
There have been significant developments in electric heating in the last few years and modern electric heating systems, such as electronic panel heaters or DuoHeat® radiators, incorporating highly sensitive, integral thermostatic controls. The accuracy of electronic controls allows rapid response to sudden changes in room temperature, ensuring that heater outputs are quickly reduced or increased to maintain a consistent room temperature.
Controls are simple to use and understand and include many ‘set and forget’ features for convenience. Accurate, easy to use controls are important as they also reduce energy wastage, reducing running costs.
What are the benefits of electric heating?
Low capital & installation costs
Electric heating is very easy to install, ensuring installation costs are kept to a minimum. It doesn’t require any pipe-work, simply a connection to the electrical circuit[s], so it can frequently be installed in a matter of minutes. For new build properties this means it can go in at the second fix wiring stage. And for refurbishments and replacements, it means minimal disruption for the household. What’s more, because the heaters can work as stand-alone units or as a system, it is easy and cheap to add heaters to a system at anytime as budgets permit.
Low Life Ownership Costs
There is often confusion about the running costs of electric heating compared to other fuels; however the cost of energy for different heating systems is only part of the true running cost equation. The true cost to consider is the lifetime costs of the system, which not only take into account the fuel used, but the hidden maintenance costs – both monetary and time - over its lifetime.
Electric heaters are 100% efficient at the point of use, meaning all the electricity used is converted directly into heat, unlike boiler-based systems where energy is wasted through the flue. In addition, over the last few years there have been many fluctuations in the price of both electricity and gas, with Energywatch – the independent gas and electricity consumer watchdog – reporting in July 2006 that some energy suppliers had increased the cost of gas to their customers by as much as 92% since 2003, while the price of electricity had increased by only 54%.
Because electric heating has virtually no moving parts, most systems can be expected to last for at least 15 years, whereas the gas boiler industry itself quotes a lifetime of only 10 years for a boiler. Because electric heating is cheaper to install, maintain and lasts an average of 50% longer than a gas system, the true ownership costs means that an electric heating system can be a more cost effective solution in many developments. For more information on this subject, please click on the Resource link.
Flexible & Versatile
Electric heating doesn’t require a flue or pipe-work, so there are no restrictions on building layout or design and no regulatory or planning issues associated with positioning of flues to restrict you. Electric heaters can also be installed virtually anywhere in the room, again aiding freedom of design.
The versatility of electric heating can also be a major advantage for home extensions where the existing system may have insufficient capacity to heat extra radiators.
As a fuel source electricity is available right across the country and is also ideal in sensitive areas or in listed buildings where structural alterations are difficult. Only electric heating gives such freedom of design.
Safe, Reliable Systems
Whatever type of heating you specify; safety is always an important consideration. Because electric heaters do not burn fuel internally to generate heat, there are none of the associated safety risks, such as carbon monoxide poisoning or explosions. And as there are no radiators to leak or burst, there is less risk of damage to completed properties, which can be a major concern if properties are empty for a period of time, especially over the winter months. Also with virtually no moving parts to break down or wear out, electric heating is extremely reliable and will normally run satisfactorily for much longer than a conventional gas boiler.
Environmental Health Benefits
Storage based electric heating systems provide continuous heat throughout the day, maintaining a consistent temperature in the
building fabric. This helps eliminate any long term building maintenance problems associated with condensation, benefiting occupants
with a healthier, more comfortable living environment.
No maintenance and no annual inspection
Maintaining a heating system can, depending on the choice of fuel, add significantly to the overall cost of running the system, so it is very important to consider the likely impact of maintenance costs and any safety checks requirements. With virtually no moving parts to break down or wear out, electric heating is extremely reliable and there is practically nothing to go wrong. Gas boiler based system on the other hand should be regular serviced and, although not a legal requirement in private properties, should be given an annual safety check. However both private and social housing landlords are legally required to have annual safety checks on gas appliances.
Comfort and Control
There have been significant developments in electric heating in the last few years and modern electric heaters incorporate highly sensitive, integral thermostatic controls. The accuracy of electronic controls allows rapid response to sudden changes in room temperature, ensuring that heater outputs are quickly reduced or increased to maintain a consistent room temperature. And Dimplex also offers a variety of control options for our installed heating products.
Benefits of Electric Water Heating
Electric water heating is an efficient method of heating water directly with electric immersion that are in direct contact with the water, reducing energy losses than can be experienced from pipework, and circulating pumps. If you have an off-peak electricity supply it allows the water to be heated during the evening or early morning providing a full tank of hot water ready for each day. The use of a booster immersion allows additional water to be heated during periods where water demands exceed the normal daily usage so that extra baths or showers can be catered for.
Information supplied by www.dimplex.co.uk