What heating system should you use in your rental property? Is there a heating system that could solve landlords’ condensation claims problems?
It’s one of the most important questions to ask when letting a property for the first time. Whatever system you choose carries implications for the efficiency of the house, its desirability for tenants and the potential profitability of your venture.
Traditionally the decision has always boiled down to a choice between high maintenance gas central heating and old-fashioned electric storage heaters. However, electric heating today has evolved – offering a third option in the shape of stylish and intelligent electric radiators.
Gas or Electric?
Gas or electric heating? That’s been the eternal question for landlords for decades now, with electric heating usually characterised as the old fashioned night storage heaters still found in homes all over Britain.
Gas central heating is typically most popular with tenants because the running costs are relatively low and the operating systems are familiar.
However, gas central heating requires quite a lot of maintenance, which can be expensive for the landlord who must organise and fund annual services, inspections, boiler installation, plumbing work and gas safety certificates.
Gas central heating also has the unfortunate tendency to break down over Xmas, or when you’re on holiday – as many landlords will testify! – creating additional hassle and expense as you scramble to find an emergency plumber.
Electric storage heaters, meanwhile, are comparably safe and reliable, requiring very little maintenance and much less work for the landlord.
However, storage heaters are usually seen as less desirable by potential tenants because they can be expensive to run. Storage heaters are only economical when run on an Economy tariff which charges less for electricity used overnight but more for any electricity used during the day. If your tenants use other electrical appliances during the day they may find themselves with hefty electricity bills. Storage heaters are also difficult to control, bulky and uniquely unattractive – not a stylish addition to a modern home.
Luckily for both landlords and tenants, electric heating has evolved – bringing us an energy efficient heating alternative with all the advantages of storage heaters and none of the disadvantages.
Modern Electric Radiators
Electric radiators offer an alternative to storage heaters and gas central heating that means you no longer have to choose between lower running costs for tenants and lower maintenance costs for you as a landlord.
Electric radiators deliver heat in exactly the same way as central heating radiators – through a mixture of radiated and convected heat projected from hot elements inside the radiator. However, unlike gas central heating, electric radiators do not burn fuel, making them a safe alternative that requires absolutely no maintenance. They’re much cheaper to install too – all you have to do is screw them to the wall and plug them into the nearest socket. Heat is delivered instantly, and the radiators don’t need charging up in advance – they are fully controllable, bringing your tenants heat whenever they need it, whatever the weather.
The greatest challenge still offered by gas central heating against electric radiators is the relative cheapness of gas compared to electricity. There are two ways the electric heating market can combat this: either by making electricity cheaper or by making their radiators use less of it.
Of course, the price of electricity is outside the manufacturers’ control – although major shifts in the energy market caused by rising gas prices and the expansion of the renewable energy sector promise a bright future for electricity.
Meanwhile, the amount of electricity used by the radiators depends entirely on their efficiency, controllability and intelligence – and it’s here that electric heating manufacturers are really taking advantage of precision electronic technology to create electric radiators that rival the running costs of gas central heating.
Energy Efficient Smart Technology
Electric radiators have an inherent advantage over gas central heating: each unit is fully independent, so you do not need to activate the entire system to heat a single room. If you just want heat in your bedroom, for example, your gas central heating system will have to fire up the boiler and send hot water all over your house before it can start warming the room – an inefficient process in which energy is lost as heat radiates from the pipes. When you use an electric radiator, the energy only has to travel the short distance between the power socket and the radiator, so almost 100% of the electricity used is turned into heat.
Heating manufacturers are now developing increasingly sophisticated heating control systems to exploit this natural advantage even further.
High-precision thermostats on every radiator accurately regulate temperatures in individual rooms, without relying on an unrepresentative central thermometer. 24/7 digital programmers on each radiator allow you to set personalised heating programmes which reflect your lifestyle. These heating programmes allow you to select different temperatures for every hour, every day and every room in your house – giving the homeowner endless scope to reduce their energy usage down to the minimum required.
But perhaps the most exciting development in electric heating technology, especially for landlords and prospective tenants, is the advent of super smart self-learning electric radiators.
Self-Learning Electric Radiators
Self-learning electric radiators do not need to be programmed by hand. These highly intelligent electric radiators use an infrared motion sensor to learn your tenants’ weekly routine and adapt a heating programme to suit. Now you don’t need to rely on your tenants reading the instruction manual to make the most out of their heating – self-learning electric radiators will do it for them.
Self-learning electric radiators will automatically switch on half an hour before your tenants usually wake up in the morning, or return from work in the evening. This ensures the house is always warm when they need it, without wasting any energy.
The motion sensor operates constantly, allowing the radiator to adapt to changes in your tenants’ routine. If your tenants are unexpectedly out of the house, the radiators will switch off after 30 minutes to conserve energy. If your tenants arrive home earlier than expected, the radiators will sense their arrival and will switch on immediately, providing comfort temperatures in minutes.
If your tenants want more control over their heating, most self-learning electric radiators will be Wifi compatible, allowing your tenants to make changes to their heating programme using a laptop, tablet or phone. Intuitive heating apps will allow them to check the temperature at home, change heating programmes and switch any radiator off or on – even when they’re away from the house.
Wifi controllability can also be directly useful to you as a landlord, allowing you to monitor temperatures in your property and make any necessary adjustments when your tenants are away.
Self-learning electric radiators control the energy usage of modern homes with such unprecedented precision that in many households, even despite the higher cost of electricity, they will cost less to run than gas central heating.
Could self-learning electric radiators be the heating solution that the rental property market has been waiting for? These cutting-edge radiators offer a low maintenance, risk-free heating system that will work whatever the weather without threatening unaffordable running costs. Your tenants will enjoy effective and adaptable comfort heating that keeps them warm and saves energy with no effort required. You the landlord will appreciate the small installation costs, the minimal maintenance and, of course, the added property value that comes from using one of the world’s most advanced heating systems.
This article is supplied by: electricradiatorsdirect.co.uk
Electric Radiators Direct specialise in heating products that fill this gap in the market. The company champion electric radiators as a safe and efficient heating solution that gives you unprecedented control over your energy usage. From their base in beautiful Knaresborough, North Yorkshire, the company have sought out deals with leading European manufacturers to bring the most advanced electric radiators to the UK at market leading prices.©LandlordZONE® – legal content applies primarily to England and is not a definitive statement of the law; always seek professional advice. Legislation changes, so check dates on these articles. If you have questions go to the LandlordZONE® Forums