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Electric radiators

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Electric radiators

Old 9th Nov 2018, 16:49
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Electric radiators

We're having an extension built at the moment, which involves opening up quite a large space, part of which is heated by the existing gas central heating system. In the new part the builder has proposed an electric radiator as a better solution than extending the gas ch to accommodate it. Unfortunately all the existing heating is on microbore pipe which means any new stuff would also have to be microbore, and I wonder if this is the driver behind the recommendation. The installation of an electric solution would be cheaper and he tells me they are really efficient these days. I'm sceptical,although I I'm not convinced that the existing boiler is good enough to support a bigger system (the adidtional space is about 4m square).

The spec proposed is this:
7 elements
Nominal power 770W
Effective power 293W
680x550x95 dimensions

Any views?
Thanks GB.
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Old 9th Nov 2018, 17:01
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I don't own this space under my name. I should have leased it while I still could
 
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I needed to install heating in our conservatory. Extending the house system was impossible and adding a small wet system expensive. I fitted two 600 w all mounted convection heaters. They were about 15 each. They had two output levels, 24 hr time switches and variable thermostats.

Obviously the running costs were more than a wet gas system but overall the costs were minimal.

I would have liked a power neon to show they were On and a graduated temperature control but at the price well no contest.
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Old 9th Nov 2018, 17:14
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The electric radiators that were fitted in the house that I bought in 1976 were silica radiant tubes in a sheet-metal housing, rather than fluid filled.
In addition to simple controls on the units, there were time switches that controlled 'zones' - such that upstairs and downstairs operated independently, so the control was 'fine'.
The weakness was that the building was hopelessly insulated (with draughts that circulated between the drywall and the structural wall) so the efficiency was compromised, but it did allow rooms to be supplied with heat as required.
Another problem was that the surface of the metal housings got extremely hot and would singe anything that came into contact - including skin, so they weren't child-friendly.
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Old 9th Nov 2018, 17:29
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There is something to be said for a mixture of heat sources, in a former home I had a log burner, gas central heating and also a couple of wall mounted electric heaters, I could be pretty sure that I could still have reduced heating in power cuts or gas supply problems.
I have just had my oil central heating off line for a couple of weeks, u/s motor and fuel pump, I managed to keep the house quite warm with an open coal fire and a couple of oil filled mobile electric heaters, also good sense to have an electric immersion heater fitted for emergencies.
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Old 9th Nov 2018, 17:36
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I don't own this space under my name. I should have leased it while I still could
 
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AB, for true redundancy with gas or oil central heating you need a generator to power the system as well. Agree about a log burner though.
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Old 9th Nov 2018, 17:46
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Groundbased,

My entire house is heated electrically (not connected to gas), it's very cheap, efficient and clean. I use Eko Rad heaters and bathroom shower rail. They come up on an internet search. All sorts of optional bells and whistles too. They plug into normal 13A domestic sockets and look very sleek.

Hope this helps.

NEO
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Old 9th Nov 2018, 17:59
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Originally Posted by Groundbased View Post
he tells me they are really efficient these days
That is utter bullshit. Every single electric radiator that has ever, or could ever, be built is 100% efficient - where else would the energy go?
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Old 9th Nov 2018, 18:17
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HAve you had any thoughts about getting a heat pump and blower?

Quite a bit more initially but you can have aircon in the summer then as well.

In the region of 4.5 kw of heat output for every 1kw of electricity sued. Nothing stopping you having a second blower in another room as well.
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Old 9th Nov 2018, 20:10
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On this continent we use baseboard electric heaters (among others.)
I have installed and lived with water based radiators and both back boilers and "on demand" combis in the UK and wen we got over here we had hot air with gas furnace. In our last house we did not have mains gas so had the option of a huge propane tank and gas or staying with the electric baseboards that were already installed. AS electricity in BC is relatively cheap (compared to other provinces) we stayed with the baseboards.

They are basically a simple element in a horizontal strip and work by convection. They can come with included or remote thermostats and are extremely cheap to buy and install and take up little room. The only caveat is not to push your soft furniture against them or let blankets etc fall on them.

Our bills were less than with our previous gas hot air even though it was an older house with worse insulation because we did not have to heat rooms we were not using. (Put the thermostat on 5 deg. so nothing froze.)

Personally I really liked the baseboards. Our living room had huge picture windows that went down to 12in. from the floor and the baseboards below. The room was always comfortable and the heat gradient and circulation worked perfectly. I would prefer baseboards over radiators any day.

Being a cheapskate I would want to calculate the cost of running the electric against the gas and the installation costs. Also, as mentioned above electric is always 100% efficient (don't be fooled by adverts for "Ceramic' or other things. No improvement over 100%) Also include the cost of running the pump of water based. (not much, but it adds up when it runs 20 hrs a day.)
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Old 9th Nov 2018, 21:43
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Go for programmable underfloor electric heating, I went this way about 10 years ago in a new conservatory.
It is brilliant, I set it to come on at about 4am at 20C and when we get up it's up to temp, this is ambient not floor temp.
Wouldn't be without it.
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Old 9th Nov 2018, 22:50
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Given the remarkable efficiency characteristics of electric heaters why don't they use spare leccy to produce steam to drive generators? We could be on to something here.
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Old 9th Nov 2018, 23:11
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Originally Posted by denachtenmai View Post
Go for programmable underfloor electric heating, I went this way about 10 years ago in a new conservatory.
It is brilliant, I set it to come on at about 4am at 20C and when we get up it's up to temp, this is ambient not floor temp.
Wouldn't be without it.
This is like the old immersion heater argument -- is it cheaper to leave it switched on via the thermostat or is it cheaper to set the timer for an hour in the morning and an hour in the evening?

I leave my central heating on permanently and adjust the thermostat accordingly. Not saying that`s right or wrong, but it must take underfloor heating an awful long time from cold to reap the effect.
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Old 10th Nov 2018, 04:47
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First place I owned had electric baseboard heating - the separate thermostats for each major room was nice compared to the single central thermostat I have in my current house, but the forced air gas heat does cost less (makes more noise though).
However the baseboard heater did scorch the back of my sofa when it was inadvertently pushed up against it - scared me a bit. Maybe the new ones are safer (this was almost 40 years ago).
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Old 10th Nov 2018, 05:46
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Tone,sit down and think about what you just said.
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Old 10th Nov 2018, 07:17
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Originally Posted by gemma10 View Post
I leave my central heating on permanently and adjust the thermostat accordingly. Not saying that`s right or wrong, but it must take underfloor heating an awful long time from cold to reap the effect.
Me too but for a different reason. We don't have cavity walls, just double brick, so in spite of having loft insulation and double glazing, when you shut down the CH the place gets cold very quickly and seems to take a long time to warm up when we re-start the CH. We just leave the CH set to run H24 and turn it down a couple of degrees when we go to bed etc. thus stopping the 'cold sink' which used to occur.
I know some houses have warm air systems with floor vents, but it seems to me the Romans had it right with their hypocaust system which heated the walls as well as the floor.

Last edited by chevvron; 10th Nov 2018 at 12:24.
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Old 10th Nov 2018, 07:46
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Originally Posted by denachtenmai View Post
Go for programmable underfloor electric heating, I went this way about 10 years ago in a new conservatory.
It is brilliant, I set it to come on at about 4am at 20C and when we get up it's up to temp, this is ambient not floor temp.
Wouldn't be without it.
Do you get an embossed in gold leaf Christmas card from your energy supplier saying "Thank you for another year of enhancing our profits ! " because electric underfloor heating is notoriously expensive even with contemporary technology and why you have it set for 4 am in a conservatory of all places, is bewildering to be honest.

Obviously, whilst personal heating and temps preferences are entirely individual choices, and I fully understand, , that, for some with medical and age related requirements ambient temps are essential, unless people live in the more remote areas of the UK then 20degs is quite high really.
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Old 10th Nov 2018, 08:54
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I don't own this space under my name. I should have leased it while I still could
 
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Remember the OP wanted an opinion on heating an enlarged space that was previously heated with a wet microbore system.

There are two factors to consider, operation and cost. The first is the ability of the boiler to hear more radiators. Best advice here would be to ask a plumber not a builder. The other is economic - the expense of increasing the wet or operation of the electric.

If the boiler is old and might need changing in a year or so then it might be sensible to upgrade now and adopt a wet solution.

Last edited by Pontius Navigator; 10th Nov 2018 at 09:06.
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Old 10th Nov 2018, 09:23
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Originally Posted by oldpax View Post
Tone,sit down and think about what you just said.
oldpax, sit down and think about what YOU just said!!!

Clearly Tone's irony went straight over your head. The point Tone was making was picking up from the heating 'engineer' nonsense about how electric heaters "are really efficient these days". So if electric heaters have always been 100% efficient, as GtW correctly says, how the hell can they have miraculously become really efficient these days without becoming over 100% efficient, ie, perpetual motion has now been invented, which was exactly Tone's point. But their humour is rather wasted once it has to be spelled out in such microscopic detail to you.

As for Groundbased's original debate about costs, aside from the installation costs, the running costs are very simple to compare:

The electric option being 100% efficient will cost the actual electricity unit cost per kWH to heat, ie aprox 15p per unit, assuming the heat is on a day rate tariff (no mention of storage heating was made). The radiator on the gas system can be assumed to be around 75% overall efficiency, hence the equivalent cost will be around 1.33x the gas unit price, ie aprox 3p x 1.33, therefore close to 4p per unit of heat. Therefore the actual cost of the electric heat will be (as it generally has always been) aprox. 4x the cos of the gas fired via radiator option. Assuming say 1,000 units use per year for heating this space, the cost difference is likely to be around 150 for electric radiator against 40 for radiator. Scale according to actual usage.

It is sad that heating 'engineers' continue to bu11$hlt customers with all this high efficiency nonsense to sell whatever they want to sell.
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Old 10th Nov 2018, 10:07
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100% efficiency is pretty rubbish these days to be honest with heat pumps. Try 450% efficiency.

It all depends how long they intend to keep the place. If its over 5 years then the Heat pump beats other forms of heating. Which gets us into gas heating realms of cost. Plus you can have cooling as well.
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Old 10th Nov 2018, 12:07
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Knc going off topic, again, playing the man and not the ball, again and again and again.............................Me, wandering off into the sunset...................................chaps.
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