Is it cheaper to use an electric heater or central heating?

This is one of the most common questions people ask.To answer this properly, it’s important to have a proper understanding of how these two heating systems work.

Central heating involves every room in the house being heated via a central heat source, usually powered by an energy source other than electricity. Central heating can be powered by wood, water heat pump or diesel. However, the most common source of power for central heating is gas. There are several reasons why people choose central heating; one is that it comes with the advantage of convenience. A central heating system can be used anywhere, as long as a viable source of energy is close by. Because it is usually installed in a central location, it’s said to be a very safe way to heat the home, as any potential accident is usually restricted to where the central boiler is located. Central heating is also said to be more environmentally friendly, as it can be powered by eco-friendly energy sources such as solar or even bio-gas, reducing the risk of damage to the environment.

Despite the merits covered above, central heating does have its drawbacks that discourage people from using it. For one thing, central heating is extremely expensive to install and maintain. Before you can install central heating in your home, you’ll need to carry out extensive modifications on your existing structure. Apart from one designated room where the central boiler will be located, virtually every part of your home will be gutted, so that the pipes which will serve as conduit for the heat can be installed. Depending on your location, you may need to apply for (and be granted) permits before this kind of extensive work can be undertaken. You can see now that even before accounting for monthly or periodical gas fees, you will have spent a sizable amount of money on purchase and installation.

On the other hand, an electric heater uses electricity to provide heat to the home. There are different types of electrical heaters, but they all work the same way. In terms of purchase and installation, an electrical heater – regardless of model or size – is much cheaper than a central boiler. Additionally, depending on the type of electrical heater you choose, you won’t need to carry out extensive work on your house. In fact, almost all the electrical heaters available can simply be place in the room you want to heat up.

Admittedly, when you leave an electrical heater on for a long time, it tends to lead to very high electric bills. In fact, depending on how you use your heater, you could end up paying twice the amount someone using a central heater will pay for gas in the same period. However, certain types of electrical heaters can be used to save on electrical bills. For instance, ‘storage heaters’ store heat at night when electrical consumption is cheaper, so that it can be released during the day and subsequently used to heat up the room. This type of electrical tariff is known as Economy 7 and is available across the UK.

Ultimately, your choice for a home heating system should be influenced more by access to the sources of energy. If you live in an area where gas is unavailable, an electric heater will provemuch cheaper, whereas if you live in an area where electricity is a problem, you would be better using a central source of heating.