You are here

The types of electric heating for the home

There are three main categories of primary electrical heating usually found in the home. These provide warmth for a room or the house and do not compliment other heating systems such as wet central heating.

Electric fires and stoves and most portable electric heating devices will be used to provide heating as and when needed within a room with an extra burst of warmth, this is called secondary heating as it compliments other heating systems.

Primary Electrical Heating

Direct Acting

These heaters are often referred to as panel heaters. They are simply a resistive element within a protective casing that you turn on or off as required. These systems use standard rate electricity and are the most expensive form of heating, but that being said they are fast acting and have no losses. Each kwh of electricity used delivers 1 kwh of heat.

Storage Heater

This type of heater, as the name suggests, contains a form of energy storage. This type of heater normally uses cheap rate electricity (off peak) to store the heat needed by the property over the day.  The system is less effective than direct acting as the product will lose some heat over the day. Older models are also not very sophisticated so often overcharge the product with more energy than is actually needed.

High Heat Retention Storage Heater

This type of heater operates in the same way as a normal storage heater, except that it has been considerably improved to reduce the heat losses from the product and has more significantly advanced controls. This type of heater is up to 27% more efficient than standard storage units, receiving special consideration in Standard Assessment Procedure or SAP.

All these products come with variations. Some have fans to improve the heat up time in the room (convective) and all vary in the amount of control they offer. This could be thermostats, timers, or the ability to zone for example.

Other types of Electric Heating

Other types of electric heating that could be used as a primary heat source in more unusual or specific locations in the home include:

  • Infra-red panels
  • Electrical hot water systems