When we moved into this house in 2014 we knew that there was quite a lot about it that we wanted to change. Actually, thinking about it, we probably wanted to change most of the house in some way or another. It definitely wasn’t ‘our’ house when we bought it.
One of the worst things about the house though was the water and heating system. The boiler is one of those old massive tanks that need to heat up before you can use the hot water and the heating was all night storage heaters, something we had experience of in the flat we lived in before. I’ll be honest, we probably should have thought more about this when we decided to buy the house but it’s easy to look back and think of things now.
The boiler and the storage heaters have always cost us quite a lot in electricity. Our house doesn’t use gas at all so everything is run on electricity. Storage heaters generally have to be on all of the time when you want to use them but we do have Economy 7 so they were cheaper to run over night. We found the storage heaters to be a real pain as we couldn’t control the heat as well as we wanted to.
Earlier this year we switched our energy supplier from Scottish Power to Bulb after having loads of problems. Our monthly payment is quite a bit lower during winter as it’s now spread out more equally over the whole year and this works out better for us. However, it wasn’t until we went to use the storage heaters that we realised something was wrong… none of them would work. It took us a while to figure out, and with the help of an electrician, but it seems that our Economy 7 meter no longer works.
With a 4 year old in the house being without heat wasn’t an option so we had to figure something out. Both Bulb and UK Power Network haven’t been much help yet so we decided to change the heaters. This was a pretty big decision as no matter what we chose it was going to be expensive. Going to a gas boiler and gas central heating wasn’t really an option because the cost and work is huge and not something we were in a position to do.
Our only real option was to change the storage heaters for electric radiators. We knew that they would not be the most efficient or cost effective way to heat the house but it was the easiest option and something we knew we could get sorted quickly. Probably a realistic-looking rising flames fireplace could have been an option, but not much to save there too, and moreover, my interiors would need a remake adding onto costs further. We also decided only to get the heaters sorted in the living room for now as it’s the room we use the most. There are so many options for electric radiators and it took a bit of research before I decided what I wanted.
Some electric radiators are only £50 or £60 but being used so often I wanted to spend more money on them. I wanted to buy something with a good warranty and with good reviews. I finally decided on two Harmoni Lugo+ electric radiators. Due to the size of our living room/ dining room and the location in which the radiators had to be we got one large and one smaller radiator costing about £740. It was a bit scary spending so much money on something we hadn’t seen in person though and we really just had to hope for the best.
Our electrician was great though and really made sure we had the radiators where we wanted them and added new sockets to make this happen. He also took away our old storage heaters in this room as well. Along with what we had to pay him we spent nearly £1000 on getting just 2 of the storage heaters replaced and it was a lot more than I was expecting.
We are so happy with the electric radiators though. They are easy to control, we can change the temperature easily and they really kick out some heat. Our 25ft room gets very warm and we only end up having the heaters on for a couple of hours. They might be expensive to run but we have them switched off most of the time so I don’t mind too much.
Now that we know we like the electric radiators we will slowly have the other 3 storage heaters removed (our bedroom, Erin’s bedroom and my office) and have them replaced. Now that we have the big room done we can do a room for about £400 and this will include the radiator itself and the electrician’s fee. We hardly ever need heating in these rooms though so they won’t be very high up on the list of things that need doing.
Update – find out how much the electric radiators have cost us to run over the past few months here.
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