With fuel bills persistently on the rise, energy companies facing criticism for their prices and some households struggling to pay the bills, now is time to review the options for heating your home. Traditionally, gas central heating has been viewed as preferable to electric storage heating, principally for reasons of economy. But it’s worth considering that electric heaters might make more sense, especially for anyone who is concerned about their carbon footprint. Read on for some thoughts on how electricity might just be the future of heating the family home.
It’s true: electric heating is more expensive than gas, but while gas boilers are around 60 – 70% efficient, electric radiators are 100% efficient at the point of use, as no energy is lost in the flue. This means electric systems take less time to heat up, can be used and turned off only when needed, and there’s less chance of them being left on by mistake, in areas of the home they aren’t used. From a homeowner’s or landlord’s point of view, it’s also much simpler and cheaper to install an electric heating system; at its easiest a case of plugging in and switching on a portable heater, at its most complex a quick wiring job and wall mount.
Generally with a gas central heating system, the boiler will need to be serviced, especially in winter months. Having to fire up the heating, adjust the pressure or call the boiler repair man sporadically becomes a thing of the past with the humble and low-maintenance electric radiator, which, other than an occasional replacement fuse, will cause few grumbles.
Burning fuel in a pressurized central heating system does run a negligible risk of carbon monoxide leakage and explosion. Electric heating is far safer, and far less prone to gradual wear and tear. There’s also less risk to the property in winter months, and no need to drain heating systems when the property is uninhabited.
Increasingly, electricity is being sourced from sustainable resources like wind power, hydro power and solar energy, which means the carbon footprint of a house heated by electric radiators is far lighter than that of a house heated by natural gas.
One of the best steps to take when deciding what power to use in your home is to compile a simple energy audit. Avail yourself the ample practical advice available online and take a few simple steps towards helping keep your house warm, dry and draught free in colder months.