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Pros and Cons of Electrical Heating

Pros and Cons of Electrical Heating

The threat of ever-increasing energy bills is inspiring many people to look into alternative heating systems.  If you’re worried about facing a huge gas bill this winter, or if you’re having problems with your gas heating, or can’t face waiting around for a gas safety inspection, then you may be tempted to try electrical heating for a while.  There’s a lot of confusion surrounding the relative efficiencies of different forms of heating.  Let’s take a look at how electrical heating compares to gas:

The Benefits of Electrical Heating

It’s fair to say that most homes have electrical supplies going to every room, which means that you can get electrical heating fitted pretty easily. Installing new gas fires is far more expensive by comparison.

A part of the reason for the extra expense is safety – gas and oil based heating can be dangerous.  If you have gas heating, you need to get a gas safety inspection carried out every year to ensure that you aren’t at risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.  There is also a minor risk, with gas heating, that a leak could occur, and gas leaks are no laughing matter.  By comparison, electric heating is far safer.

Electric heating is instant on, and heats up very quickly, meaning it is great for rooms that are used only occasionally.  You can turn the heater on and feel instant results, then turn it off when you’re finished.

The Downsides of Electrical Heating

Some people consider electric heating because they don’t want to burn fossil fuels.  While this is a nice idea, in principle, it’s easy to forget that electricity comes from the national grid – and there’s a good chance that you’re receiving power from a coal burning power plant.

If you’re on an eco-friendly tariff, or you get your electrical supplies from solar panels or wind generators, then you can sleep easy knowing that your electrical heating is not damaging the environment, however, for most of us, using an electric heater is creating environmental damage somewhere in the country.

Another concern with electric heating is the cost of running it. Depending on the tariff you’re on, and the time of day that you need to use your heater, there’s a good chance that you’ll end up paying more to run an electric heater than you would to use gas powered heating.

Most electric heaters don’t hold their heat very well, so you can’t just turn them on, take the edge off the coldness in the room, then turn them off again.  While radiators keep their heat for a while after the heating is turned off, electric heaters stop giving off heat incredibly quickly.  This means that if you are trying to heat a room that is occupied for most of the day, you will be burning energy all day.  Even small space heaters can use 2KW/Hour or more, so running them for more than a few hours each day would leave you with some huge energy bills.

Guest post from Amy Fowler for Juice Electrical Supplies: electrical wholesalers.

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