Craig Bonnyman grew up surrounded by gas central heating, with a family business in that industry dating back 40 years. Eventually settling into a sales and marketing role, identifying opportunities for the company to expand. In doing so, he learned the advantages and disadvantages of gas central heating inside and out.
After years of selling gas systems, Bonnyman is now advocating that electric radiators can be a viable choice for some, stating, “I strongly believe that homeowners are doing themselves a disservice by considering only gas as a fuel to heat their home.”
This new perspective comes with the advent of a new type of electric radiator, less bulky than antiquated nighttime storage radiators and more efficient than simple radiators. These Combi-Radiators combine aspects of both technologies to rival gas central heating. The radiator’s electric heating elements are embedded in clay-based heat banks that provide more even heat without the obscene bulk of older storage heaters.
The first myth Craig Bonnyman set out to dispel is that gas heating is much cheaper than electric radiators. There’s no question that the per kWh rate for gas heating is lower than electric, but that’s only part of the picture. Gas central heating systems require extensive maintenance and a costly installation. Electric radiators require little to no maintenance and can be much cheaper to have installed. They can even be plugged into a standard socket if a permanent installation is not required.
New homeowners might not have the option of gas central heating in any case. Although not yet ratified by law, the Chancellor of the Exchequer Phillip Hammond announced in 2019 that new homes built after 2025 must employ low-carbon heating systems.
A second myth claims that electric radiators aren’t powerful enough to heat a room properly. This myth arises from the simple fact that people have purchased radiators that are too small in the past. The right size is required to meet a room’s heating requirements. This problem usually doesn’t come up with gas boilers because the radiators are often sized up by a gas engineer each time. Adequately sized electric radiators provide the same power as gas.
Many people believe that electric radiators are unsightly, and if they mean old-fashioned nighttime storage heaters, they’re right. Craig Bonnyman, however, clarifies that “Modern electric radiators are slim profile, and actually quite stylish. They’re much lighter, slimmer, and smaller than the old nighttime storage heaters.”
Historically, all heating methods have been a nightmare to finetune and control. The fourth myth is that this is still true and exclusive to electric radiators. Modern Combi-Radiators are easy to manage, with the versatility to heat instantly as well as incorporated heat banks for lasting heat. Craig Bonnyman elaborated on the many modern control systems, including Wi-Fi thermostats for more complex schedules.
With over 85 percent of UK homes using gas central heating, many that could benefit from electric heating haven’t given it a second thought. Hopefully, Craig Bonnyman’s attempt to spread more accurate and up-to-date information on electric radiators will help some of them find their way.