Electric Heating System Guide

What is an electric heating system?

Oil or gas is used by conventional heating systems to generate hot water and central heating. Electricity is also becoming a popular option since it can provide hot water and heating as well.

Why should an electric heating system be used?

With oil and gas resources expected to be depleted within 40 years, the best home heating solution could be electricity. There are many benefits that come with having an electric heating system installed, including the following:

Responds quickly after turning on the central heating system
An effective and efficient system for properties that are not on the gas network
No carbon monoxide leak risks
Zero emissions are produced

Electric heating system types

There are plenty of different electric heating options that are available to choose from. However, each one works in a different way which means that some might be better suited for your house compared to others:

Ground source heat pumps
Air source heat pumps
Electric storage heaters
Infrared panels
Electric boilers

Ground source heat pumps

A ground source heat pump (GSHP) is a very efficient type of renewable heating system. Instead of taking heat from the outside air as an air source heat pump does, underground heat is extracted by a GSHP by a series of pipes being used. About2 metres below the ground, the temperature is constantly at 10 to 15 degrees Celsius all year long. This heat can be extracted for central heating by a ground source heat pump.

Around the pipes, there is a refrigerant fluid that circulates, and as it goes it absorbs underground heat Then the fluid returns to the heat pump, and as it goes it passes over a heat exchanger to increase the heat that is used to heat up the property.

Air source heat pumps

This is a very efficient type of renewable heating system. For larger properties, it might be the best overall option. However, some outdoor space is needed to install the pump.

There is a fan on an air source heat pump that rotates to draw in air. This air passes over the exchanger coil which contains a refrigerant fluid, which then boils, evaporates and is transformed into vapour. Then the vapour is compressed at a very high temperature to generate central heating heat.

The renewable heating system can operate all year long, with some models being able to draw in heat from the outside air in temperatures down to -25 degrees Celsius.

Electric storage heaters

Also referred to as night storage heaters, electric storage heaters use mains electricity in order to store heat throughout the night. On the following day, it is slowly released. That enables you to take full advantage of less expensive night tariffs such as Economy 7. You can then release the stored heat before night time when you are most likely to need it.

Infrared panels

Instead of heating air inside a room the way that a conventional radiator does, infrared panels heat people and objects directly. The process provides a faster response once you turn on the heating, and dust is not circulated around the room the way that conventional radiators have a tendency to do.

Infrared heat is a form of light. It is the same heat that is provided by the sun but without the harmful UV light. Although there are often concerns about the safety of infrared heat, these panes can actually be beneficial for your health.

Electric Boilers

Central heating electric boils work similar to other kinds of boilers. However, they do not have to burn fuel like oil or gas.

They are the perfect solution for properties that are not on the gas network as well as for smaller bungalows, flats, and homes that have lower hot water and heating demands.

What is the Renewable Heat Incentive?

If you install a ground source or air source heat pump you might be eligible to obtain government payments via the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI).

The RHI has rewarded households since 2014 with a renewable heating system that has quarterly payments that are made over 7 years to encourage more individuals to adopt renewable technology for their energy needs.

What is the cost of an electric heating system?

Storage heaters and infrared panels are the most affordable types of electric heating systems, which start at a cost of £100-£150 each. However, if you want to use them on your entire property, one will be needed in each room.

The most expensive are ground source and air source heat pumps and they have higher installation expenses as well.

Although the operating costs are higher compared to other fuels that are available to heat homes, there are significant advantages as well:

– When solar panels are used, a power electric heating system provides free renewable solar energy

– It is not necessary to store electricity like LPG and oil

– Provides an option for houses that are not part of the gas network

– Greatly reduce the chance of any faults developing which can save on repair expenses

– It s not necessary to service an electric heating system every year, which saves money

– An electric heating system has a tendency to respond faster to central heating requests compared to oil and gas

– All of the energy gets converted into heat, in contrast to oil and gas boilers which waste some energy

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