Once the weather starts to get really chilly and there’s a real winter bite in the air, it becomes even more important to stay warm within your home. It can be very tempting to use an electric heater to warm up a room, but it is also a concern as to how much it will cost with the constant rises in energy prices. It is also a fact there is no such thing as an electric heater that is energy efficient.
All portable heaters that are electric, be they halogen, fan or oil filled radiators, use the same amount of power. They also all produce the same amount of thermal heat too, when taken in comparison to power input. For example. 3Kw heater is use 3000watts, or 3kw, per hour and cost approximately 43p an hour to run, have it on for 8 hours and you are looking at roughly £3.43.
It is the power rating of the heater, kw’s or watts, that dictate the costs of running it, and the higher the wattage, the more expensive it will be. To make a quick comparison, check out sust-it’s Electric Heating Cost Calculator. The main difference between electric heaters is how quickly they deliver the heat, for example, a fan heater is a good choice if you want a specific area of a room warmed up as the heat can be directed.
Ross from sust-it said, “The best thing to keep your bills down is to keep heat in and drafts out by insulating – low cost solutions such as lined curtains, draft excluders, thermal blinds will help. You must also make sure the heater has a thermostat, and set it to the correct setting to avoiding overheating rooms.”
Which are the best types of heaters?
Well, it depends what you want to heat.
Convection heaters – are best suited for heating enclosed spaces. They operate silently and have a lower fire risk hazard.
Fan heaters – are a good choice for quick heating of enclosed spaces. There is a risk of ignition if they are near furnishings and curtains.
Electric fires (radiative heaters) – these directly warm people and objects in the room, so may be good for warming cold feet, but can be a fire hazard.
Halogen heaters – the advantage of these is that they radiate, (safe infrared spectrum), the heat generated, which is absorbed directly by us, without heating the air first. This makes them suitable for warming people in poorly insulated rooms. Halogen heaters convert up to 86% of their input power to radiant energy.
Oil-filled heaters – these can take longer to heat up, but retain the heat better, similar to storage heaters, and provide heat from all sides.
And what about the new “Dyson Hot” fan heater? Well, it still uses the same amount of energy as other 2kW heaters but it does heat a room up efficiently by directing the heat around better. The sleek design, with no exposed parts to get hot and cause burns, could be a big bonus to parents of small children, or those with elderly relatives. The huge £270 price tag may make it less attractive though.
Other stay warm tips include:
Wear layers – several thin layers of clothing will generally be better than one thick one!
Stay active if you can – get up and move around. Whether you are sat at a desk, or in the chair watching television – a quick walk around will improve your circulation and help you feel warmer.
* Based on the UK Average Tariff of 14.29p per unit.