Do DIY-installed Electric Wall Heaters Indicate the Future of Home Heating?Opinion
Posted by: electime 17th March 2021
The construction industry is under unprecedented pressure to drive environmental sustainability. Emissions targets are being pushed further with every passing year, and innovative practices and technologies are gradually trickling into the market.
Keeping the home warm while also limiting society’s carbon footprint is an important challenge to tackle. Among the objectives set out in the government’s ‘Powering our Net-Zero Future’ white paper, released in December 2020, is a proposed ban on gas or oil boilers. This applies to both new builds, and to replacements of existing boilers.
There’s no shortage of potential alternatives available, but the question is whether electric heating will come to the forefront of home heating, perhaps following the trends of the transport and automotive industries.
Why Electric Heaters?
Electric heating offers a sustainable solution that coincides with increasing demands for the use of renewable energy and lower reliance on fossil fuels. Electric wall heaters tick a lot of boxes, particularly when it comes to modern homes. They don’t produce any emissions at the point of use, which puts them at an advantage compared with gas boilers. Provided that the electricity itself has been generated using renewable means, electricity is the ultimate clean energy source. When it comes to heating, in fact, it’s 100 per cent efficient, since any ‘wasted’ energy is wasted in the form of heat.
With the ever-increasing focus on energy efficiency, particularly in new builds, less heating will be required throughout the year due to better home insulation. With better energy efficiency in private residences, central heating is less likely to be relied upon as opposed to flexible and more convenient methods, such as electric heating.
Ease of Installation
A point in favour of an electric heater is that they can be easily installed by a competent DIYer. All that’s required is a suitable wall outlet and few wall plugs. It might start to become common to see outlet plugs positioned in central spaces, so that they can be concealed directly behind the radiator without any need for a direct connection to the mains.
Dispensing with the central boiler and having heat generated directly in the room would mean that homeowners wouldn’t be limited by the capability of the boiler. They’d be able to extend the home without worrying about heating capacity, and they wouldn’t need to overinvest in a boiler for fear of not having enough power to heat all of the radiators.
Lack of Moving Parts
An electric radiator isn’t vulnerable to wear and tear in the same way as a water-based system. This would mean fewer callouts for plumbers. Moreover, the thermostatic controls could be controlled and monitored remotely, potentially using WiFi and Bluetooth. This is already happening in high-end Thermostatic Radiator Valves – but electricity would allow for instantaneous heat at a given level, which would ultimately reduce the amount of energy wasted when it is not required.
With a view to the ongoing implementation of sustainable energy solutions and infrastructures, electric heating ticks a lot of boxes with regards to home heating. Furthermore, the ease of installation for electric heaters points to a potential trend in the energy industry, moving away from complicated heating systems to a much more consumer-friendly, off-the-shelf approach.