What is an Electric Heating System?
One of the most common heating systems is a furnace that works by blowing hot air through a duct system. Conventional heating systems use oil, gas or electricity to generate heat for hot water and central heating, however, electricity is currently the most popular option available.
Why Change to an Electric Heating System?
As gas and oil resources are expected to run out within about 40 years from now, choosing an electric heating system is currently the best option for home heating. Electric Heating Expert can help you understand more about these changes.
What are the Benefits of an Electric Heating System?
There are many benefits to installing an electric heating system. Here are some of the more common ones:
- Zero emissions produced
- No risk of carbon monoxide leaks
- An efficient and effective solution for off-gas network properties
- Quick response to central heating activation
Different Types of Electric Heating Systems
There is a wide range of electric heating systems available that all operate in different ways. Some options may suit your requirements better than others. Here are the most common options available:
- Electric boilers
- Electric storage heaters
- Infrared Panels
- Ground source heat pumps
- Air source heat pumps
- Electric Boilers
These heating systems work much the same as conventional boilers but don’t need a fuel-burning process such as oil or gas to generate heat for central heating. They are ideal for properties that are off the gas network or flats, bungalows, and smaller homes with a lower energy requirement for heating and hot water purposes.
Electric Storage Heaters
Also known as ‘night storage heaters’, this system uses electric mains to store heat during the night that is then slowly released during the following day. This type of heating has the advantage of allowing you to utilize cheaper night tariffs such as Economy 7. The disadvantage of this system is that all the heat could have been used up before evening time when it is most needed.
Infrared panels use direct heat to warm people and objects. This heating method responds rapidly when the heating is turned on and does not circulate dust through the air as conventional radiators do. Infrared is a form of light that generates the same type of heat that the sun emits but without the harmful UV rays. There are some concerns about the safety of infrared heating; however, it can actually be beneficial to health.
Ground Source Heat Pump
Similar to ASHPs, this system is an efficient and renewable source of heating. Instead of getting its heat from outside air, like GSHPs it uses a series of pipes to extract underground heat. About two metres underground temperatures remain at a year-round constant of between 10 to 15 °C which is extracted by GSHPs for central heating purposes.
It works by circulating refrigerant fluid around underground pipes, capturing the heat as it goes. When the fluid arrives back at the heat pump it passes over a heat exchanger that increases the temperature further to heat a home.
Air Source Heat Pump
This is a highly efficient renewable source of heating and possibly the best all-round option for the requirements of larger properties. However, outdoor space is required for installation of this type of heating system.
An air-source heat pump uses a rotating fan to suck air in which is then passed over an exchanger coil that contains refrigerant fluid. When the refrigerant fluid boils it evaporates and forms vapour that is compressed at high temperatures to provide heat. An air-source heat pump is a renewable source of heat and is capable of operating all year round. Certain models are even able to produce heat from outside air in temperatures as low as -25 °C.
What is the Renewable Heat Incentive?
By installing an air or ground-source heat pump, consumers are eligible for government payments through the RHI (Renewable Heat Incentive) Scheme. Since 2014 the RHI has been rewarding homeowners with quarterly payments over a 7-year period through a renewable heating system in an attempt to encourage consumers to adopt renewable technology.
How Much Do Electric Heating Systems Cost?
Infrared Panels and electric storage heaters are the most affordable options starting at about £100-£150. However, if they are to be used to heat an entire property, there will have to be one in each room.
The most expensive options are Air and Ground Source Heat Pumps. The installation costs for these systems are also higher.
While the running costs for electric heating systems are higher than other fuels used for home heating, there are some significant advantages such as:
- Electric power heating systems with solar panels produce free renewable solar energy
- No need for storage like oil or LPG
- Provides options for properties that are not connected to the gas network
- Reduced risk of faults developing, potentially saving on repair costs
- Annual service is not essential which saves money yearly
- Tends to respond much quicker than oil or gas when the central heating is switched on
- Whereas some energy is wasted with oil or gas boilers, all energy produced by electricity is converted into heat