What Are the Running Costs of Electric Radiators?

It is probably one of the most frequently asked questions about electric radiators and never really seems to go away: “How much does it cost to run an electric radiator?” While it would be great if it were possible to give an exact figure for the running cost of such a heating system, you would require nothing less than clairvoyance to do that.

Asking “How much does it cost to run an electric radiator?” is almost the same as asking what your utility bill will be in the current month. The answer to that question varies significantly from one household to the next, which is why it would be virtually impossible to give an exact figure that applies to all UK residences.

You can easily be tempted to lump electric radiators with other electrical appliances, but it is advisable to approach heating with a somewhat different mindset. Your television set and electric radiator might not use electricity, but how the energy is used is fundamentally different.

For instance, your television will probably use electricity continuously while it’s on and will only cease using energy after it is switched off. However, that’s not the case when it comes to electric radiators since they have internal thermostats that switch either on or off depending on the ideal temperature set for a room and only use energy when they need to top up heat levels.

What Else Is Likely to Affect the Running Cost of an Electric Radiator?

It can also be difficult to come up with an exact figure for the electric radiator running costs because of the fact that they are used for heating such a broad spectrum of room spaces and house types. Instead of asking “What is the running cost of an electric radiator?”, it can perhaps be better to say “what is the approximate cost of running an electric radiator in this room of my house?”

Each space in your home will be different, with its own set of variables and requirements likely to affect the efficiency of your heating system. Here are some of the larger factors likely to affect the running costs of an electric radiator.

Room and Home Insulation

If you have an older property, it is likely to be costlier to run your heating compared to a similar sized newer building due to the differences in the construction of each home. Newer houses are designed to be more air-tight and have higher insulation levels due to the current building regulations aimed at improving the energy efficiency of houses.

The stricter insulation standards mean that an electric radiator is likely to cost less to run in a newer house because of the lower levels of heat loss. Period properties that have poor insulation and single glazing are likely to lose heat at a much faster rate and are more likely to have their radiators running more frequently and at higher temperatures to compensate.

Room Size

No two houses are exactly alike and the same is true when it comes to each individual room that makes up a property. Rooms with open plan areas or high ceilings will always require more energy to keep warm because of how the radiators heat up the space around them.

Heated air rises as the air around the radiator gets warm, and any heat that’s generated travels upwards first before it reaches other areas in the room. Larger areas generally take longer to start feeling the effects of the convected heat that’s circling around the room, which means that you will need to choose a higher wattage radiator for ensuring that the space is heated comfortably.

Exposure Levels and Property Location

A terraced house that’s attached to other properties on either side will always benefit from residual heat coming from the houses that surround it and only two of its exterior-facing sides will be exposed to the elements. On the other hand, in a house that’s fully detached, all sides are exposed and there’s also a higher number of exterior walls to contend with, which can make keeping warm a bit harder.

You can learn more from Electric Heating Expert.

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