Central vs. Electric Heaters: Which Is Cheaper?

While heaters are very useful tools to keep us warm when the temperature drops, people often get confused on which heater to buy. A common question that comes to the mind is ‘will it be cheaper to just use an electric heater in the room or is it better to keep central heating on?’ If you are also confused and asked yourself this question, then read on to know whether you should go for an electric heater or opt for central heating. 

Central heating vs. Electric heating

Electric heaters are a kind of space heater and offer localised heating. For instance, it warms up the room in which the heater is installed and not other spaces in the home. They are single, self-contained units when connected to a wall plug that emits heat to warm a particular room or area. Electrical heaters could be convection fan heaters, radiant bar heaters or oil-filled column heaters. Electric heaters usually begin to produce heat very quickly and hence are especially suited for heating confined areas for short periods of time. 

On the other hand, central heating has a multi-room or multi-zone approach to heating. The heater is usually installed in a centralised location such as a garage or a cupboard and distributes heat throughout your home/office through a series of ducts as warm air. As central heating goes for a whole-house approach, it requires a great amount of work and higher costs of installation. However, it is possible to control which area of the house/office is heated up. It means you can turn off the heating in certain areas if not required. Most smart central heating systems offer automated heating systems. 

Which one is the right choice for me?

Well, the choice really depends on how much space you are looking to heat, how cold it gets in your place and for how long. Another important question is how much you want to spend on heating. 

If your space is small, electric space heaters are the better choices for you. However, make sure the confined areas are well insulated. Space electric heaters don’t do well if they have to heat a vast area or if the room is not well insulated. Convention fan heaters and radiant bar heaters are better choices in such a condition as they heat up faster. But they can be a fire hazard if covered, obstructed, or left unattended. Nevertheless, they cost less than central heating. 

Central heating, as mentioned earlier, usually costs a lot more to buy, install and to operate. However, they are far better than space heaters in keeping your house warm. Although the initial costs are pretty high, central heating can be economical in the long run if the house is well designed and well insulated. It can be cheaper than an electric heater in a poorly designed house. 

The Choice

Your choice will essentially depend on how much money you can invest in the heating system and how much heating you need throughout the year. If the space is small or you don’t need much heating for most of the year, it might be better to go for an electric heater. However, if you need to warm a vast area and that too for a longer duration every year, it is logical to opt for central heating. The design of the house also plays a major role in determining the average cost of heating. 

So, if you can choose your option based on these factors. If you need reliable heating solutions at affordable prices, check out the various options here.

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