There are many types of electrical heating, used in various settings and for different reasons. As electric heating installation specialists, and with the cold weather coming in, we thought it would be a good time to talk about keeping warm this winter. This guide will run through some of the most common ways to heat your home or office with electric heating systems.
Why Use Electric Heating?
There are various reasons why you may choose electrical heating as a way to heat your home or business. Not all homes are connected to the gas mains, especially in rural areas. Although wood burners are typical, electrical heating can add additional warmth in the colder months. You may just simply prefer the benefits of electrical heating. You might choose to use electrical heating as a secondary source of heat that works in addition to your main heating system. This can provide localised warmth, quickly.
There are benefits to using electrical heating, which can outweigh the higher price of electricity. Electrical heating:
- is typically a lot cheaper to install than a gas solution
- is 100% efficient at the point of use – no fuel is wasted
- has a longer lifetime that most other heating solutions
- requires no maintenance or annual checks
- is considered ‘safer’ than wet heating systems
- is usually more reliable than gas heating
- is good at providing instant and localised heat
Types of Electrical Heating
Here is a run down of some of the most common types of electrical heating and the scenarios in which they might be used:
A storage heater stores thermal energy during the night, when electricity is available at lower cost, the heat is then released during the day, when needed. The heater fits to your wall and looks similar to a radiator, but thicker to accommodate the parts which store heat inside (usually clay bricks). Storage heaters are used by those with off grid homes and they are also used by people who produce their own electricity. If your property contains old heaters, it’s a good idea to upgrade to new storage heaters – they are much more efficient and slimmer looking.
Panel heaters use convection heating to warm up a room. They are preferred to radiators because of their slim and in many cases, more stylish appearance. However, panel heaters are more suitable for occasional use and not as your constant heat source. They are popular in rooms like conservatories or garages, as they provide instant warmth, only when you need it. There would be little benefit to heating a room which you don’t use all the time after all. Panel heaters are also favoured because of their relatively low cost, easy installation and ease of use.
What is more comforting than getting out of the bath and wrapping up in a warm, cosy towel? Heated towel rails or radiators provide an instant source of heat in bathrooms in addition to heating up towels. You might choose an electric towel rail rather than hooking one up to your central heating, as a towel rail which is plumbed in will only work when the rest of your heating is on. An electric towel heater can e switched on and off when you need it. Once seen as a luxury, they are becoming increasingly common in the home and hotel bathrooms.
Electric Plinth Heaters
Plinth heaters are great for kitchens where there may not be room for a radiator. They easily fit underneath kickboards, meaning you don’t have to give up any valuable space. They work by blowing warm air out at floor level and can be used when needed for a blast of warmth. They are commonly seen in kitchen extensions. Electric plinth heaters may also be used in commercial settings, workshops or factories for instance.
Underfloor heating is found in a wide variety of buildings, including ones used commercially. In the home, underfloor heating is prized because you cant see it! no radiators on the walls means more room for furniture, or you may just not like the look of heating appliances on walls. They are particularly used bathrooms and kitchens, as these are rooms that are less likely to have carpet – making underfloor heating a needed comfort. As heat from underfloor heating tends to stay at a lower level rather than rising up, many commercial or industrial buildings can benefit from having it installed. The heat isn’t wasted in large empty roof spaces, it stays around the ground area – where people are sat at desks or working, for instance.
Overdoor Heaters and Air Curtains
These particular type of heaters are commonly used in offices and shops. They are fitted directly above external doors and blow hot air downwards, this creates an ‘air curtain’ which keeps the hot air inside the building, and the cold air outside. Particularly useful for areas which have people entering and exiting a lot, such as reception areas. Most systems can be switched to cool air in the summer, which has the reverse effect – it keeps the room cool and the heat outside. If overdoor heaters are fitted in particularly small areas, such as a shop, they will provide sufficient heat to help keep the room warm too.
You might have come across infrared heating whilst in the beer garden of a pub or a smoking area. Infrared heat works by only heating what it contacts, so rather than heating the air around you, an infrared heater will heat your body. That’s why they make you feel warm in an instant! The other type of infrared heating comes in the shape of panels, still a relatively new product, infrared panel heaters are very efficient and are usually used at the high-end of the scale in the domestic market. In commercial use, they have many applications – they are particularly used in factories or workshops, and are great for the food industry due them being easy to keep clean and hygienic.
Electric Outdoor and Patio Heating
There are a range of outdoor heater types, they are often used in catering and hospitality, gardens and some workplaces. Electric heaters are just as popular as gas powered ones and are more suitable in some circumstances. Electric patio heaters are particularly easy to use in a domestic setting, as they just need plugging in and switching on. Quartz heaters can be used in hospitality and designed to best heat the space in question – from short wave heating or long wave.
Choosing Electrical Heating
Choosing the best electrical heating solution is important, there are a few key things to take into consideration:
- value – not only installation costs, but running costs too. Plan your budget with care
- effectiveness, is your chosen heater the best solution for your home or building
- frequency of use. Some solutions are not suitable for constant use
- will the electric heating be your primary or secondary source of heat
fortunately, this is where we can help. IDES UK offer a complete electrical heating design, installation and maintenance service. We will only propose the most cost effective and efficient solution, to have you feeling toasty in no time.
We have experience installing electrical heating in a range of settings including: office buildings, retail, hotels and catering, public buildings, and industrial applications. We are also happy to undertake domestic projects, including refurbishments and new builds.
We would be delighted to help you with your heating needs. To find out more about electrical heating installation, domestic or commercial – give us a call on 08432 894645 or send us an email firstname.lastname@example.org