What Are The Running Costs Of An Electric Radiator?


It’s an age-old question, and one that causes a lot of confusion. How much does an electric radiator really cost to run? It would be nice to have a clear idea of what the running costs for a heating system are, but it depends on so many different factors that it’s not as simple as saying “electric radiators are cheap” or “electric radiators are expensive”. Every household in the UK is likely to be faced with different running costs.

It’s easy to treat electric radiators as being similar to other basic electrical appliances, but heating is different. TVs use electricity in a rather different way to radiators. When a TV is in use, it has a steady drain and uses a given amount of electricity that is easy to predict. Electric radiators work differently. They drain power when they are switched on, but they use a thermostat to detect the temperature of the room and when they reach a certain temperature they will switch off. Then, when they need to switch on again to restore power they will. Energy levels are unpredictable because of this switching on and off.

What Alters the Running Cost of an Electric Radiator?

The running cost of an electric radiator will depend on the size of the room that the radiator is heading and a number of other factors. Every home is different, and even different rooms can have different heat requirements, so when you are trying to understand what the approximate running cost of an electric radiator is, you should consider those differences. They will help you to understand what the power drain of an electric radiator will be and whether it is a good idea to use an electric radiator to heat your house.

How Well Is Your Home Insulated?

If you live in an old property then you will likely find that it costs a lot of money to run your heating compared to newer properties. Old properties are not air-tight and they tend to be not particularly energy-efficient. Meanwhile, newer properties have been designed so that they meet strict building regulations in terms of insulation, double glazing, and quality of materials. This means that you have less to worry about with regard to heating. You can run your heating less often, and for shorter periods, in a modern home than you would need to if you lived in a period property that did not have cavity wall insulation, double glazing, or loft insulation.

How Big Is the Room?

Another consideration is the size of the room, both in terms of the floor plan and the height of the ceiling. Hot air will rise to the ceiling, and push cold air down, so it will take longer to properly heat the space. Large rooms will take much longer for any convected hot air to fill up the room. This means that if you want to bring the room up to a comfortable temperature quickly you will need a bigger radiator that puts out a higher wattage. For a smaller space, you can get away with using an electric radiator of a lower wattage without having to wait too long for the room to reach a comfortable temperature.

Where Is Your Property?

If you have a terraced house then you will have properties on both sides, and you will benefit from the insulation and any residual heat coming off those homes. A detached house is exposed on all four sides so will lose more heat quickly. If you’re on top of a hill, and it’s generally quite windy, that’s another issue to deal with. It is easier to stay warm if your property benefits from some shelter, whether in the form of other properties, trees, or a hill.

Find out more from Electric Heating Expert.