Electric radiators versus storage heaters

Electric radiators versus storage heaters

Advantages and disadvantages, strengths and weaknesses, positives and negatives, for and against, pluses and minuses, highs and lows, assets and liabilities, virtues and shortcomings, gains and failings… the phrases for being in favour of and against different technologies seem virtually endless.

No matter how you couch your terms, however, when most lists of pros and cons are compiled, they tend to be fairly evenly split with a similar number of benefits and drawbacks. Not so when it comes to comparing electric radiators with storage heaters. In this case, the list of advantages is far longer for electric radiators than for storage heaters.

For example, while storage heaters can use cheaper night-time electricity tariffs and require little maintenance, they still tend to be bulky, lack the ability to be controlled tightly and offer you no influence over the distribution of heat (since heating has to be set a day in advance).

They also offer poor energy efficiency because the heater begins to lose heat as soon as it’s stored, warming the house uneconomically overnight when people are in bed asleep. Besides, storage heaters in bedrooms are a waste of time because they tend to lose all their heat during the day when the bedroom is probably unoccupied.

On top of this, storage heaters will typically provide insufficient heat on particularly cold days, and they can agitate allergies and stain walls where dust is deposited above the appliance as the hot air rises around it.

Electric radiators, on the other hand, boast a long list of advantages and few disadvantages.

While they do use standard tariffs, built-in energy management systems mean they still offer lower running costs than conventional electric heaters. They are elegant and unobtrusive, environmentally friendly (our own Haverland RCTT & RCA radiators, for example, are made from high grade recycled aluminium and are themselves 100% recyclable), and totally enclosed heating elements prevent blackening and staining of walls.

But the benefits of electric radiators don’t end there. They also feature precision temperature control to within .02 of degree (helping to maintain a comfortable environment with minimal wasted power), offer easy DIY installation, require little or no maintenance, allow you to fit your heating schedule to your lifestyle (via 24/7 programming), and are mild on allergies.

Furthermore, a built-in energy monitor on our radiators enables the end user to monitor energy and obtain a better control of energy consumption. For each degree reduction – say, from 22 to 21 deg C, you will save around 7 to 8% of the energy used.

The best radiators on the market – including our own – have on-board accurate thermostats to maintain a set temperatures in the rooms. This technology makes electric radiators among the most energy efficient and low cost heating solutions available.

Switching from storage heaters is quick and easy. Simply select the electric radiators you prefer and then change to a normal 24-hour tariff (Economy 7 can be a false economy because electricity outside the E7 times is charged at a higher rate). Once you have done this, it will pay you to research a more competitive electricity supplier. Finally, ask an electric company or electrician to convert your distribution board & storage heater sockets to a standard plug-and-socket arrangement.

So the choice between storage heaters and electric radiators is a no-brainer. The latter wins hands-down every time on every level.

One trait that electric radiators and storage heaters do share, however, is that they both convert electrical energy to heat making them almost 100% efficient because almost all the purchased energy is turned into useable heat energy.