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Mythbusters: Electric Heating

Quantum storage heater

Our Mythbusters series looks at some of the common misconceptions associated with heating and air treatment technology – and how modern appliances are helping to dispel the myths.

Myth #1: Electric heating is outdated

If you were to go back less than a decade, it would be fair to say you would be justified in arguing that electric heating systems were outdated. However, product innovation in the last few years has meant there is now a new generation of electric appliances that offer convenience, efficiency and performance like never before.

Today’s appliances are innovative and intelligent. You can buy electric heaters that monitor and adapt to the user’s lifestyle and changing climate conditions, can tap into renewable energy sources, or that have the potential to link wirelessly to a central hub. In fact, the Dimplex Quantum Off-peak heating system can do all three.

Myth #2: There is a lack of control

Panel heaters would, in previous years, have had a simple on/off control, with optional timers. However, like many electric heating appliances, today’s market-leading models are unrecognisable. Dimplex’s Q-Rad electric radiator, for example, includes a self-learning algorithm with delayed start feature so the heater can calculate the shortest run time needed to reach the user-defined target temperature. With the opportunity to link into forward-thinking initiatives and technology such as smart meters and the Internet of Things, electric heating is undoubtedly well placed for the future.

Myth #3: There is no demand for it

Dimplex estimates up to two million homes across the UK have outdated electric storage heaters in need of replacement, but this trend is not just restricted to legacy heating systems.

Electric heating is on the rise, in part due to the large numbers of flats and apartments built over the last decade. The combination of smaller living spaces and low heat loss in well-insulated flats or small homes inevitably makes the cost of a boiler with conventional radiators unjustified. For many of these properties, of course, electric is the only heating choice irrespective of cost because gas supply is not available, usually because of the height of the building or its location.

Myth #4: It is disproportionately expensive for homeowners

According to a recent Housing Factfile from DECC, the total cost of running household appliances such as the washing machine, tumble dryer, fridge freezer, TV and lighting costs the average household up to £534 per year – or £44.50 per month.

Electric heating meanwhile, using an Economy Seven tariff and a representative combination of Dimplex Quantum heaters and electric panel convector heaters, would cost just £455 per year for a two-bedroom flat (65m2) refurbished to typical 1990s Building Regulations standard – this is according to independent assessment using SAP 2012. That works out at less than £38 per month. Many people, of course, will pay the same again each month for a monthly mobile phone bill, home entertainment package or gym membership – or even all three.

The technological advances made by electric heating mean that we now have greater control over how we use our heaters, and how much we spend on home heating. It is a new generation of innovation which can no longer be defined by the technology in the past.