Understanding Central Heating
Around 90% of homes now have gas central heating. Within our living memory central heating has gone from being seen as a luxury to being relatively commonplace. The move away from the traditional solid fuel heating of key rooms has led to increased expectations for a warmer home. The Housing Energy Fact File published by the Department for Energy and Climate Change, states that central heating has led to people heating more of their house and for longer. This increased energy usage offsets any improvements in efficiency.
Central heating systems are powered by a boiler, which delivers hot water to a network of radiators in the home. The temperature is controlled by a central thermostat. Despite being able to set a programme centrally and modify the temperature of the radiators locally, research suggests that controls such as thermostats, valves and time clocks may not reduce energy consumption of central heating systems.
One of the reasons being that all rooms will operate on the same heating schedule. The BREDEM industry assumed, demand temperatures and durations are; living room heated to 21 degrees from 7am-9am and 4pm-11pm on weekdays and between 7am and 11pm at the weekend. With a central heating system this means that every room in your house would operate on this schedule. Why would I want the heating on in the bedroom for 16 hours during the weekend?
Not only can modern electric radiators can be individually programmed to suit the pattern of occupation in a particular room, but each unit has a thermostat. So instead of one central thermostat controlling the temperature, every unit can be responsive to changes in room temperature.
Save money with Electric Radiators
One of the big up front savings you can make is when you compare the installation costs of modern electric radiators to that of a conventional wet central heating system. With electric radiators you only need a drill and a screwdriver to complete the installation, assuming you’re going to plug them into an existing electric socket.
Compare this with a central heating system. You will need a qualified plumber, pipe work throughout your property, radiators, valves, a boiler, maybe an expansion pipe and a lot of time and upheaval. The initial cost when compared against electric radiators is huge. It continues throughout the maintenance of the systems too.
Electric radiators do not require maintenance or servicing. Boilers and central heating systems do. These annual servicing costs normally require a shutdown of the system as well as the cost to complete the work.
What about failures?
Electric radiators have no moving parts. As such they have a very low failure rate. However, if the worst happens and one radiator should fail we can have a replacement dispatched to you and delivered the next working day. At worst you have one cold room in your home. If a central heating system component fails the whole system is at risk. That would mean a cold home until a repair can be arranged. If the boiler needs replacing then you may have a nasty bill and more upheaval.
It all adds to the whole life running costs you need to compare between the two systems.