With the fight against climate change and the UK turning away from traditional gas boilers to heat homes; many are looking at electric radiators and storage heaters as alternatives.
However, as the colder months get closer, the cost of heating our homes rise too. With limited alternatives, this leaves many wondering who comes out on top for better value for money in the battle of electric radiators vs storage heaters.
Both use electricity which is more expensive than gas. But what can you do to be more energy efficient and still find value in your household running costs?
What is the difference between an electric radiator and a storage heater?
Electric radiators work through convection. Much like a radiator attached to a central heating system, they emit warmth as the liquid inside them heats up.
Storage heaters are electric heaters that store thermal energy. They work by heating internal ceramic bricks during the night and then releasing heat from them during the day.
Is an electric radiator or storage heater best for me?
This depends on how much space you have. Storage heaters are much more energy efficient and can cost less to run if you choose the right home energy tariff. However, they take up more space than electric radiators. You must be much more aware of the home energy tariffs you're selecting if you opt for a storage heater, as costs can easily run away.
You can reduce the costs of powering storage heaters by switching to an Economy 7 tariff. This tariff offers a cheaper unit rate for your electricity during off-peak hours at night. So night storage heaters can generate lots of heat to release steadily during peak daytime hours.
It is important to get your heating system set up correctly if you do opt for an Economy 7 tariff, as peak unit rates will be higher than a standard tariff. It may also not be the best choice if you use lots of energy during the day.
Storage heaters have a reputation for being reliable. They are much more energy efficient as convert electricity to heating with little waste. One of the main drawbacks of storage heaters is that you have little control over the temperature. As they slowly release heat during the day, you have no control to save power for when you need it.
Many people get electric radiators confused with electric heaters. So they have picked up a bad reputation for having high running costs.
Electric radiators are more economical than electric heaters. They convert all the electricity they use into heating. The main benefit is that you can control the temperature you want accurately.
New models of electric radiators are incredibly responsive. Just like with thermostats on central heating systems, turning them down by only one degree can save up to 10% on your electricity bill.
Some electric radiators are made from recycled materials. This makes them more environmentally friendly. They also tend to cause less condensation than storage heaters. So, correct installation is key as condensation can cause allergies and damage to paintwork and plaster.
Improving the energy efficiency of electric radiators and storage heaters
In most cases, an electric radiator is cheaper and more energy efficient than a storage heater.
There are several ways you can improve how energy efficient both are:
- Ensure you're on the right home energy deal that suits your usage. Both electric radiators and storage heaters use electricity. That means, the higher the unit price of electricity, the more you will pay.
- If you are going to use a storage heater, ensure you are on an Economy 7 tariff. But be warned, if you use energy during the day the unit rates are much higher.
- Improve the insulation in your home. The better your home is insulated, the less energy is required to heat it. Increasing ventilation and reducing draughts also helps. Block the gaps between windows and doors. Keep doors closed when heating a room. This will help energy efficiency for whichever heating system you choose.
- Make sure you turn on electric radiators only when needed. Use the thermostat to set between 18 and 21 °C. You have less control over storage heaters.
Can businesses benefit from electric radiators versus storage heaters?
No matter which heating system you choose, the same arguments apply for business energy users as they do for the domestic sector.
Small-scale business owners will always be vigilant about how much they are paying on their commercial electricity bill, so will be keen to use the most efficient method of heating to get through the cold months.
Bigger businesses can rely on gas, or oil even, for more economical heating of larger premises.
Find out how much you could save by switching with Love Energy Savings
No matter which heating system you choose, it’s important to ensure you’re on the best home energy tariff available.
With Love Energy Savings, you can compare the latest deals from a wide range of trusted energy suppliers. Our experts will take care of the entire process of your switch from letting your current supplier know you’re leaving to setting you up with your new supplier.
Whether you decide storage heaters or an electric radiator is better for you, you should always look for a home energy deal with a lower electricity price per kWh.
To start your switch today, find out how much you could save by comparing home energy with Love Energy Savings.