Electric Heating

Electric heating is where electrical energy is converted to heat with an electrical device.  The most common heating for households are space heaters as they are designed for heating small and enclosed spaces

Types of Heat


-Radiant heaters radiate the heat they generate to surrounding objects.  Line of sight heating, so if you are in front of the heater, you will be heated even if the room hasn't heated up. This means radiant heaters are better suited for larger rooms and rooms with high ceilings, not affected by drafts. Radiant heaters are – oil columns, bar heaters, most micathermics.


-Convective heaters rely on air movement running over the element. They will heat a room faster than radiant but not you. However they give a far better of an even heat distribution. Convective heaters are – convectors, ceramic heaters, fan heaters, panel heaters. The associated image shows cool air as blue arrows drawing over the element and being heated and released as the green arrows out the top of the heater.


The best type of heat is a mixture of radiant and convective heat as this is the most efficient form of electric heating.  Heaters that offer both radiant and convective heat are; some panel heaters and Dimplex Oil Free Eco columns.

How to size a room efficently

What sized heater you buy is a major consideration when purchasing electrical heating

Correct room sizing  is 1kW per every 10 square metres

e.g. 20 square meter room requires a 2kW heater

if the room has a ceiling over 2.4 metres add 10%, if the room has a lot of windows or glass sliding doors add 10%.

It always pays to go slightly above what is required. You can always use the thermostat to lower the heat output but a 2kW heater will only put out a maximum of 2kWs of heat.

Remember a heater loses its efficiency if the room is too large. It's better to have two 1.5kW heaters working at half heat than one 2.4kw struggling at full heat.

The national average for cents per kW is 28 cents. Therefore a 2.4kW heater will have a maximum running cost of 67 cents per hour (if there is no thermostat to turn it off when it gets to the right temperature).

How do you operate a thermostat?

Thermostat with temperature setting-Set thermostat at 19-22 degrees, this saves power and avoids winter sickness from moving from extremely hot spaces to cold spaces.

Thermostat without temperature setting-Turn heater up full. Once the room temperature is to your liking turn the thermostat down until you hear a click.

Electronic thermostats create better comfort and efficency

Mechanical thermostats can have temperature fluctuations of several degrees which causes room temperature fluctuations and higher power usage.

Electronic thermostats have temperature fluctuations of between 0.05 – 1.5 degrees providing greater room comfort and efficiency.