Radiators are funny old things, aren’t they? I mean, when you think about them and how little has changed in over a century, it’s quite astonishing. You could buy a home today built in the 1930s and almost need to do no work on the internal pipe system to hook up a new radiator. Imagine saying the same about windows, phone lines or even flooring!
That doesn’t mean that those in the radiator world are slacking. Not by a long shot. Truth be told, there is a silent revolution going on amongst those in the know about tackling one of the biggest issues radiators have had for a while now; working in a home that doesn’t use fuel.
The Reliance On Gas & Oil
Consumers are chomping at the bit to lower their reliance on gas & oil. If you’ve spent the last year and a bit working from home, you’ll know all too well the trials & tribulations of when to have the heating on and keeping tabs on usage.
For those of us who now have the heating set to specific times of day and know exactly what number the radiator valves in each room is set at, you might want to follow me on this short trip through the wonderful world of electric radiators.
I’m not talking about the cheap plug-in heaters you can move from room to room or little blow heaters that want to see you pay the biggest electric bill of your life. I’m talking about this new wave of traditionally styled radiators that look just like what we have at home right now, but are made solely as electric radiators. It is something I’m surprised more people, and DIY blogs, aren’t talking about.
The Electric Radiator
Firstly, it helps to know what exactly I mean by electric radiators. These are regular sized radiators that act independently. They are closed units with thermal fluid inside. An element is attached to the entry, and when turned on, it heats up, causing the fluid inside to react to the heat by expanding. This then heats the radiator, and it circulates hot air as normal.
Some people think that electric radiators are limited in design, but that isn’t the case. Just look at Trade Radiator’s electric options to get an idea of how varied and dynamic designs can be. If you had one right beside a radiator of the same design for a traditional system and didn’t see valves, you wouldn’t know which is which.
The technology is incredibly smart, so why aren’t all our homes switching to electric-only options? In most cases, it is a situation where if something isn’t broken, isn’t doesn’t need fixing. Unless you had your heart set on completely removing your radiator, pipes, boiler, and such, you wouldn’t want to go completely electric. These radiators are independent by nature too. That means they aren’t part of your home heating system by default.
Gas Vs Electric Radiators
You pipe up a normal radiator and turn the heating on, the radiator will work alongside everything else. When you have an electric radiator, you will either have to manually turn it on yourself or have a timer on the go to turn it on when everything else does. That doesn’t mean you can’t adopt smart solutions. I’ve seen examples of homes where all-electric radiators have smart valves that are connected to the Wi-Fi to come on as part of a routine.
So does that mean you have to be all or nothing with an electric radiator? Of course not. I recommend getting one or two for your home if you fall under the following criteria:
- You need improved heat output in a single room
- More seasonal control of your heating
- You want to have the central heating on less
- Avoid using more gas in the home
- You want greater control overheating
There is no better place to get used to electric radiators than new spaces in the home. If you have had an extension, knocked through a wall to make a bigger room, or have a conservatory, avoid costly pipework and try out an electric radiator.
They blend in perfectly, and once you’re used to how they work, you might see yourself thinking about adopting a few more as the years go by, and your radiators need to be replaced (remember, the average radiator had a lifespan of 10 years).
Thanks for reading. I hope I’ve given you some food for thought regarding electric radiator use in the home. As always, if you’re in the midst of some DIY work at work, the home improvements section has dozens of articles to help with everything from painting to heating to wood care and so much more.