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Electric Space Heating

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What’s the difference?

There are numerous types of electric space heating including:

  • Panel heaters
  • Storage heaters
  • Under floor heating
  • Air sourced heat pumps
  • Ground sourced heat pumps
Whilst electric heating is rightly frowned upon as expensive to run it does have benefits but the best benefits are gained only if it is correctly selected. With any form of space heating reducing heat loss and use is essential and is achieved by:
  • Insulation (to reduce need to heat and heat loss)
  • Airtightness (to reduce heat lost through unintentional air leakage)
  • Heating Controls (to restrict heating time and temperature)
If these measures are reduced, or omitted, the running costs will rise - electricity costs per unit are higher than Gas so it is essential to design correctly. If mains Gas is available that is without doubt the choice to make as it is the cheapest. However electric heating doesn’t need annual servicing and any maintenance isn’t complicated by legal issues like there are with Gas. Modern house building is increasingly is becoming all electric.

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Panel heaters

These heaters use electricity to produce heat immediately and are 100% efficient at their point of use – that means if it consumes 1000 Watts of electricity it produces 1000 Watts of heat.

Control can be through a system so that it is comparable to the systems used to control Gas Fired Central heating.

There are some versions that great claims are made about by their manufacturers but at the end of the day they are panel heaters and apart from arguably looking better than standard versions there is not much more to them to justify the increased price.

Typical panel heater Expensive panel heater
Typical panel heater Expensive panel heater
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Storage heaters

These heaters use electricity via a tariff known as “Off Peak”. Economy 7 heating takes in electricity Midnight to 0700hrs and stores the heat to be released during the day. The cost of the electricity is reduced but the Peak rate is slightly increased.

Whilst having cheap heat may sound good you need to consider the heating season is not all year round and paying more for day time units in the summer makes them less attractive.

There are basic versions and more intelligent systems, the basic system costs less to buy but isn’t as controllable. The more intelligent systems cost more to buy and install but are more controllable so cost less to run and are likely to produce the lowest whole life costing.

Typical basic storage heater
Typical basic storage heater
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Electric Under floor heating

This uses a heater mat under the tiles / laminate and is 100% efficient at the point of use. Heat rises so it will come as no surprise to you that with under floor heating you can lower the temperature of the room thermostat, as your feet are warmed you feel warmer sooner.

Typical under floor heating mat
Typical under floor heating mat
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Air Sourced Heat Pumps (ASHP)

These units extract heat from the air and the heat is transferred to radiators inside the property. These units are classed as renewable energy.

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Ground Sourced Heat Pumps (GSHP)

These units extract heat from the ground through either bore holes or pipes laid in the ground , like ASHP they transfer the heat to radiators inside the property. These units are again classed as renewable energy and more efficient than ASHP but cost more to install.

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What others had to say

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Take the next step

For advice or to discuss a solution to fit your needs and budget, contact Brian Moughtin at JEM Mechanical and Electrical. Use the contact form on this page, call 01484 664301 or 07979 397834 or , and we will be in touch as soon as possible.

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If you're a tradesperson willing to work in partnership with me, please use the contact form above or call/text me on 07979 397834.


JEM Mechanical and Electrical Building Services Ltd
Registered in England Company No. 07592614
Office 4, Quarry Close, Holmfirth HD9 7AY

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