As the colder months approach, many start considering alternative ways to heat our homes. With the energy price cap expected to increase by 78% in October and again in January, UK households are looking for better value and energy efficiency.
In the guide, we’ll explore the running costs of electric heaters and storage heaters to find out which offers better value; and if you’re better off sticking with your traditional heating system.
How Do Storage Heaters Work?
Storage heaters store heat generated from cheaper nighttime rates acquired on Economy 7 or 10 tariffs. This heat is then released during the day when energy is usually at its highest demand. For those who can secure a great Economy 7 deal, storage heaters can be incredibly cost-efficient.
They operate on electricity by heating ceramic or clay bricks. This process is completed during the night when electricity is cheaper (if you’re on the right tariff) and releases the heat gradually to keep your home warm all day.
How Much Are Storage Heaters?
Depending on brand, energy efficiency and build spec, prices vary. Basic models cost as little as £150 but you can spend much more on them depending on what you’re looking for.
Spending a little more initially will likely cost you less in operating costs in the long run as more expensive models are usually more energy efficient.
Are Storage Heaters Expensive To Run?
Electricity is much more expensive than gas. Even with reduced off-peak rates, storage heaters are only cost-efficient if you do not have access to gas mains. If you don’t have access to gas mains, storage heaters are cheaper to operate than your standard electric heater.
How Do Electric Heaters Work?
Modern electric heaters that are used instead of a traditional heating system are wall-hung units that operate on your main electricity supply. These units convert electricity into heat using internal tubes or fluid. They are designed to be switched on when needed to heat a room.
How Much Are Electric Heaters?
Electric heaters vary in price depending on spec and energy efficiency. Basic models can cost upwards of £150, and more advanced models can cost £500. You may need to purchase several electric heaters for multiple rooms, so you need to consider that.
Are Electric Heaters Expensive To Run?
Electric heaters are a more expensive heating option. In comparison to a traditional heating system, costs can quickly add up, and electric heaters tend to be more expensive to operate in comparison to storage heaters too.
Electric Heaters vs Storage Heaters
- Electric heaters offer fast and consistent heat. As they are designed to be switched on and provide heat when it is needed, they can quickly bring a room to a comfortable temperature. Storage heaters can often leave your home very warm in the morning and struggle to stay warm in the evening.
- Storage heaters are cheaper to run if you’re on the right tariff. This is due to them generating heat during the cheaper off-peak hours. Electric heaters do not store heat and will use electricity when they are on.
- Storage heaters are large and chunky and take up a considerable amount of room. As they have to store heat and slowly release, this means that stick out from the wall quite a lot and can be obtrusive.Electric heaters are usually more stylish and sleek against the wall.
How To Become More Energy Efficient With Electric Heaters
With the rising energy costs, you may be starting to worry about the increasing costs in winter. If electric heaters are your only option, here are some ways you can become more energy efficient without going cold this winter.
Setting Up A Heating Schedule
Many modern electric heaters have programming functions available. You must understand where and when you spend the most time in your home. You can arrange for each heater to come on before you wake up, get home from work and before you’re going to be relaxing in your space.
Be mindful of your typical routine for a week, make some notes, and this will help you set up the most efficient heating schedule with as little waste as possible.
Change The Time On Your Electric Heater
Forgetting to change the time on all your electric heaters can throw all your scheduling off. Remember the clock goes back an hour on the 30th of October. It is important that you do this on all your electric radiators and manage heat by room to reduce running costs.
Lower The Thermostat
According to the Energy Saving Trust, turning your thermostat down by one degree could save you up to £80 per year. This may take some trial and error as you take a few days to find the lowest comfortable temperature for each room.
Some modern electric heaters have smart functionality. Taking full advantage of wifi control and voice control can help you easily manage your heating, even when you’re not at home. This is particularly useful if you’re not sticking to your normal schedule on a particular day - you can access your smart app to turn your heating off so you’re not heating an empty home.