Best Room Heater for UK home

According to the Centre for Sustainable Energy, a room heater is ideal for small room households or people trying to improve their energy efficiency with their heat output.

If you’re looking to have your old inefficient room heater replaced by modern free storage heaters you may want to consider applying for a grant.

In this article, we dive into the subject of regular and electric room heaters to help you choose the best heater for large room and other living areas in your home to fit the best room heater there is. 

Do I Qualify for an electric room heater upgrade?

Homeowners and private tenants living in electrically heated properties are now eligible to receive government grants to upgrade their heaters for FREE. You’re likely to qualify if:

  • You Are a Homeowner or a Private Tenant
  • You receive Income-Related Benefits
  • You Have Electrically Heated Property

Regular and Electric Room Heater types:

So, what are the types of room heater?

It all depends on what you need! Whether this is an oil filled radiator, a convector heater, fan heaters or a halogen heater, our guide explains the pros and cons of all the typical forms of electric heater.

Portable Electric Heater

Portable electric heaters are ideal for people who want to heat a room but not their entire household.

These will have heat settings, including a thermostat which will allow you to control how heat is distributed, whether as a quick blast or as background heat over half an hour, as well as maintaining a particular temperature.

More high market machines will have extra features such as frost protection, Wi-fi connectivity and three heat settings.

They aren’t suitable for long periods or as a large room heater but can be used as the cheapest way to heat a room quickly. They work best for occasional use and don’t take up a large amount of floor space.

A little heater is typically simple to manage and easily manoeuvrable according to your needs, whether you intend on using them as a living room heater or bedroom heater.

Electric Radiators

These are often oil filled radiators or water filled radiators. Electric radiators work well for individuals who prefer a variety of product choice and more zoned full power heaters.

Best electric radiators are seen as a low cost and ideal for heating on demand, as they quickly warm up to the ideal temperature.

There is no risk of carbon monoxide due to the lack of gas and require next to no maintenance. No electricity is wasted in an oil filled radiator as all of it is used to heat the oil which will release into your room as heat and warm.

However, if there’s a power cut, you will find yourself without heating as an oil filled radiator depends on a consistent electricity supply.

If you have an electric radiator it is important to remember that they are more weighty (this is due to the amount of oil inside) and not easily manoeuvrable so they aren’t recommended for people who might lack in room space.

Gas Room Heaters

Gas room heaters UK are most recommended for individuals already connected to the gas supply, because otherwise they’re more expensive to warm a room.

Most suppliers recommend that gas heat settings not be used in bedrooms or anywhere without strong ventilation, due to the risk of possible carbon monoxide poisoning. They are mostly recommended as a large room heater.

They aren’t as environmentally friendly but they can be used for a period of at least 15 years with the right heater maintenance and servicing from professionals.

For a slightly higher price, a gas room heater can be used to quickly heat a whole room in a short amount of time.

Fan Heaters

A good fan heater will push warm air into your room using an electric fan without costing you a fortune. They use a fan to blow air that will gradually raise the temperature.

Many fan heaters will have a simple design but can be used on the highest setting to generate an affordable amount of heat as well as having a cold air setting. The best fan heaters are convenient and easy to move around, as well as being simple to manage with a remote control.

When purchasing a fan heater, it is best to consider buying a machine that has an automatic overheat protection failsafe, tip over switch and other safety features. If you buy a fan heater, be aware of where you’re placing it as there is a fire risk if left unattended.

However, a fan heater can use a large amount of electricity if you leave them on for long periods as well as the possibility of overheating. If you only intend on warming a small space, such as a few rooms, then fan heaters might be beneficial to you.

Convector Heaters

Convection heaters (or convector heater) are best for warming up rooms over a few hours at a time. They are often cost effective in particular circumstances and are ideal for fast acting temperature heating.

Convector electric room heaters aren’t suitable as a small room and are most appropriate for situations where gas heating isn’t an option. Some convection heaters have a thermostat but this will depend on the model.

Convector heaters are not recommended for someone wanting to heat their home frequently because they draw on electricity the entire time they switch on. A convection heater can balance out the cost-effectiveness. You should also be aware that a convector heater makes heat rise, which can lead to overheating in your rooms.

However, a convection heater takes up very little space and has no moving parts, meaning there is no chance of leakage from within the convector heater.

Convection heaters have a thermostat to help you manage the temperature of your house; many people will use them alongside ceiling fans to prevent the heat building up at the ceiling level.

Halogen Heaters

Halogen heaters make use of halogen lamps, rather than electric coils, and seek to warm up objects and things around them, instead of the entire room.

Halogen heaters are the cheapest form of radiant heat machine with a quick heat output.

They aren’t as effective in bringing hot air to a whole room but they are ideal for heating up people. They have the advantage of producing very little environmental pollution.

Modern halogen heater models will include safety features including a thermostat, tilt protection, tip over switch and a remote control.

Electric Storage Heaters

Elnur Ecombi Electric Storage Heater Replacement

Elnur Ecombi Electric Storage Heater

An electric storage heater works best for people who use it alongside an Economy 7 heating electric tariff or Economy 10 tariff. You can have an electric storage heater in more than one room while also maintaining the same level of heat at particular times of the day.

This is because it collects heat during an off peak time (typically between 12 am to 7 am) when electricity is cheapest; you can choose when to distribute heat according to your needs without raising your running costs.

100% of the energy that is retained inside an electric storage heater will be distributed, meaning they are entirely energy efficient and good for the environment. This means the money you spend on running costs is completely worth it, as there is no waste in heat output.

As the best electric heaters have no moving parts inside, they require no maintenance or upkeep like a traditional heating method. The majority of these heaters have a heating thermostat to manage your heat output and keep your home at a comfortable, warm level.

There is no gas or oil inside electric storage heaters, meaning they can be safely maintained for long periods and used only when you need them.

Best electric heating system

The best electric heating system is an Electric Storage Heater using Economy Tariff 7 in our opinion.

This is because the Economy 7 storage heaters are the most effective at saving you money with your heating bills in the long term, while also allowing you to heat rooms quickly. You can maintain a consistent temperature using the modern thermostat on electric heaters, as well as the extra features found on more advanced heaters.

Alternatively, you could consider a portable heater if you want to heat up a room for a short period without a central heating system.

A portable heater is ideal for homes with a small room size as it lets you prioritise which rooms are heated at any given time using a thermostat. We recommend using these as bedroom heaters if you don’t have a central heating system in your house for at least half an hour.

Fan heaters are ideal to quickly warm a room as long as they aren’t used long term. A fan heater can be effective for individuals with smaller spaces to heat.

If you’re not happy with your electric room heater, get in touch. You may be eligible for a free electric heating upgrade fully funded from ECO4 scheme. Find out below if you qualify.

economy7 map

Choose the right electric room heater for your needs:

It is important to choose the right heater for your needs and household, depending upon cost and room size.

The best electric heaters will be the ones that provide you with the most heat for your house. Energy saving heater will also help to keep your energy bills affordable.

If you are invested in playing your part in helping the environment, it has been proven that an electric based heating system is more friendly than that of gas central heating.

Things to take into account when buying electric heaters should include:

Room heater replacement
  • Room size
  • Running costs of the heater itself
  • Consider whether the best heater for large room is what you need instead of a little one depending on floor space.
  • 2 heat settings or more, depending on whether you want to circulate cold air as well.
  • Decent heat distribution
  • If you decide to invest in an electric radiator, you will have to make sure you have the space for its size
  • If using electricity will be more beneficial than gas in your situation
  • How do you heat your house? (eg. air source heat pump, gas boiler, back boiler)
  • Economical room heaters can be just as good as the higher branded ones; it all depends on what you need from electric room heaters in your home.
  • Learn about the extra features on offer as these might be worth the price of a higher model

Check if you’re eligible for a free upgrade of electric room heaters in your home.

Room heater FAQ:

Do you need to know more about room heaters? Let us answer the most frequently asked questions!

Q: What are room heaters running costs?

A: If you use the Economy 7 electricity tariff alongside an electric storage heater, you can save on running costs when you are using it at full blast.

This is because you’ll be collecting electricity during the night when prices are at their lowest and storing it until you need it. Most people will use it to put warm air into a cold room during the day, saving on costs as electricity prices are higher in daytime.

Using an electric storage heater is a cheap way to heat a room. For the cost of around £150 for the best heaters, you’ll end up saving in periods when you aren’t using it as much compared to traditional gas heating. Most electric heaters have a thermostat so you can monitor and control how warm your room is, meaning that no heat is wasted in the long run.

Q: What kind of heater should I get?

A: In the long term, it depends upon what you need in regards to your heating system and your budget. You should consider whether or not you want radiators, a fan heater or a portable heater, as well as the amount of money you’ll be saving in regards to running costs.

Q: Do I need gas central heating in order to have a room electric heater?

A: No, using electric heaters requires no access to the gas network. Using electric heaters instead of gas is 100% more efficient as all of the energy generated is used up, which will also improve your carbon footprint as well as your room temperature! The heat that electric heaters generate has nothing to do with the gas networks.

Q: Is it true that electric room heaters are more effective than central heating?

A: Yes! The reasons for this include:

  • Heating individual rooms rather than an entire house saves on costs in the long term
  • There is no need for a large scale installation with electric heaters as they are easily moved (as long as they aren’t electric oil filled radiators)
  • Temperature thermostat controls within storage heaters allow you to decide when and how your heat output is distributed, giving you more say in how you spend money on energy bills.
  • Everyone has access to the electricity grid, so getting electric heaters may be easier for you than installing and maintaining a gas heating system.
  • The best electric heaters will last you years, making them an investment worth paying for, especially as energy prices rise around 50%.
  • If the temperature drops, it is a simple process of warming up a room using an electric heater without the wait time of a gas radiator.

Q: Could I get help to get new electric room heating?

A: Absolutely! The UK government is attempting to bring energy efficient measures to homes in order to reach the 2050 net zero carbon target.

This means that vulnerable and low income households, or ones that have a low Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating are eligible to receive heating support for free.

This is called the Energy Company Obligation (or ECO scheme).

portable electric room heaters

What is ECO 4 and how does it benefit me

The Energy Company Obligation (ECO) is in it’s fourth stage beginning with April of last year.

This aims to bring energy efficiency measures to vulnerable households across the UK by requiring large energy companies to fulfill the costs and deliver free grants for low income families.

If you qualify for ECO4, you will get the cost of installation covered for free!

Through ECO, UKES team can provide you with an efficient electric storage heater as well as free cavity wall insulation, all without a cost to you.

Do I qualify for ECO4?

If you receive particular benefits, or live in a household without a good EPC rating, you will qualify for the ECO 4 scheme. You can check your eligibility below. There is no commitment required at this stage.

If you are a recipient of the following benefits, you are likely to be eligible for the grant:

  • Child Benefits
  • CTC - Child Tax Credits
  • Housing Benefit
  • JSA - Income based Jobseekers allowance
  • ESA - Income related Employment & Support Allowance
  • IS - Income Support
  • Pension Credit Guarantee Credit
  • Pension Credit Savings Credit
  • UC - Universal Credit
  • WTC - Working Tax Credit
  • Warm Homes Discount

This is a government backed scheme

Don't wait! Apply Today

The ECO4 grant has launched in April last year. The applications are now open so hurry if you don’t want to miss out on a FREE upgrade of your room heater.