Landlords and Tenants turn to more cost effective ways for warmth

12 December 2012 Categories: News

Landlords and Tenants turn to more cost effective ways for warmth

Tenants are increasing becoming aware of their bills with rising costs of electricity and gas. As a letting and estate agents many of the questions we [Urban Sales and Lettingss] are often asked by tenants are based around the costs of the bills in a property and many landlords often ask us about the best options for heating when renovating a property.

Electric storage heaters are a commonly used heating system across the UK. They store thermal energy during the evening or at night when the electrical rate is cheaper and then release heat during the day as needed. Electric storage heaters are typically used in properties that operate on a two tariff electrical meter, this records the electricity used at the lower rate separately to that used during the day, so that the appropriate rate can be charged.

As with all heating systems, electric storage heaters have both their advantages and disadvantages. Electric storage heaters are often more expensive than gas or oil fired heating systems. They can however help to reduce costs considerably compared to running a property with an electrical heating system with electricity charged at the standard rate. The cost of initially installing an electric storage heater is considerably lower than the cost of installing a gas fired boiler, pipes and radiators in a property. Therefore electric storage heaters are a good option when renovating a property which does not currently have a central heating system.

The majority of heating systems are likely to be switched off during the night for economic reasons, an electric storage heater holds an advantage in this respect  as it will continue to give out heat throughout the day and night. Compared to gas fired heating systems, they require little to no maintenance which avoids the up keep costs of other central heating systems.

There are some disadvantages to electric storage heaters and the manner in which they work. The main disadvantage to such a system is the way in which heat is released from it, even whilst the storage heater is charging overnight it will be losing heat. Heat will also be used during the day even if it is not needed. For example, if people are absent from the property whilst at work.  It must also be noted that the storage heater will also only be able to supply as much heat as has been stored the previous night. If this has not been turned up and the weather turns unexpectedly cold there may not be enough stored heat available to warm the property sufficiently the following day. Electric storage heaters are not necessarily suitable for smaller properties as they tend to take up more space than an average radiator.

Storage heaters are not typically regarded as being environmentally friendly mainly due to the fact that most electricity is generated via the burning of fossil fuels. For this reason, in the UK, an electric storage heater will be given a “poor” rating on an energy performance certificate. When it comes to EPC’s storage heaters are often recommended due to the fact that they are cheaper to run as they make use of low-rate night time electricity prices. The total amount of electricity used by a storage heater system will be higher than that used by regular panel heaters and the EPC rating will improved as the running costs will be lessened. However, the environmental impact rating the property receives will be slightly worse because the total amount of energy used has increased.

Whilst an electric storage heater has both its advantages and disadvantages, it is always worth considering all heating systems when looking to upgrade a property or renovate an older property. Storage heaters can often have benefits to particular properties or location which outweigh any of the negative points that such a system may raise.

Article kindly written and provided by Urban Sales and Lettings nationwide Online estate agents.