Landlords – Are Electric Radiators A Good Choice For Heating Your Rental Property?

Regulations, laws and obligations as a landlord providing heating can sometimes be confusing but it is true to say that the government are keen to see landlords making changes to rental properties which will improve energy efficiency especially in the properties which have the lowest EPC ratings of F or below. This is not only fuelled by their attempts to implement green initiatives and cut carbon emissions in the country but also to ensure tenants are given a fair deal and not forced to live in fuel poverty. So, if you are looking to update the heating in your rental property and are thinking maybe electric heating could be the way to go then our blog helps you understand the issues that some types of electric heating have but also the advances in technology that have been made over the years. We also look at electric heating as a choice vs Gas and Oil Heating and look at some potential benefits that electric can offer Landlords over traditional wet systems.

As tenants become more savvy and knowledgeable on the subject of energy efficiency, landlords face ever increasing pressures to provide a modern and efficient heating system in their properties. Heating is increasingly becoming a must have check on the list of things a tenant is looking at when viewing a property; the thought of storage heaters or cheap oil filled radiators can be enough to turn a potential tenant away and lead to existing tenants only staying for the minimum contracted time, due to high bills and frustrations over controls.

RUNNING COSTS – Not all electric heating is the same and here’s why

Old style electric heating

Your tenant is looking for a heating system which doesn’t leave them eating beans on toast when the bill comes in. Many apartments and properties in non-gas areas have Economy 7 Storage Heaters. These night storage heaters use very high amounts of k.W’s to heat up a mass of thick bricks over a 7 hour overnight period. The volume of energy for the heaters and a premium rate for day time electric in the property leave tenants with high bills.

Another common type of electric heating is panel heaters these look much better but again require a high amount of k.W’s to operate coupled with a poor design which doesn’t distribute the heat well which leaves the tenant having to run the heating for long periods of time to heat the room resulting in high costs.

These high running costs can result in complaints to you the landlord and put potential tenants off.

How can Modern Electric Clay Core Heaters help me give my tenants lower heating bills?

Modern Clay Core heaters have much lower inputs than traditional storage heaters and use the power much more effectively, elements are embedded in a much slimmer core so don’t require a long charge period to be able to warm the room. They also distribute their heat more effectively through both natural convection and radiated heat from their fluted design. Natural convection also doesn’t dry the air as much which means you don’t need to set the temperature as high. Once the heater is up to the required temperature it doesn’t continue to consume electricity constantly it just tops up the heat in its core to maintain the room temperature. As a landlord, this will give you a real added value to your tenants.

CONTROLABILITY – Why did electric heaters have a bad reputation and how can this have changed?

How controls on older electric heater work? Tenants get frustrated when they are unable to control their heating. Electric heating in the past has been a big offender on controllability. Economy 7 Night storage heaters take 7 hours of electricity over-night so first thing in the morning the storage radiators are pumping out heat at their maximum. In many properties, tenants find this heat too much, but opening and closing the vent controls have little impact on reducing this temperature. On the flip side of this in the evening often when your tenant returns home the property is now cold or getting cooler on some models of storage heater there is a boost facility but often this is charged at the premium day rate of the economy 7 tariff add to this the slow response rate and its pretty naff. With old storage heating, your tenants will need to think about when they need their heating. They take up to 3 days to get up to their optimum running temperatures if we have a sudden cold snap this could leave your tenants feeling the cold. On the panel heaters, they often have a thermostatic control and can switch off once the requested temperature is met. The issue here is the poor heat distribution of the design means when the area around the heater is warm the rest of the room may not be.

Advances in controls and design of the new electric clay core heating allow landlords to provide a controllable efficient electric heating system for their tenants.

Modern Clay core heaters on the market come with a variety of controls from very simple dial controls on the side of the radiator to advanced apps which allow you to control your heating from your smartphone or PC. Each individual heater or zone has a thermostat so you don’t have to heat the entire property to the same temperature. Each ELKAtherm radiator has its own thermostat so once it reaches the required temperature it simply stops drawing electric but the stored heat will help maintain the temperature of the room.The programme system allows you to override pre-set programmes so you can turn up the heat if you are feeling the cold but don’t need to worry if you forget to turn the temperature back down the system will revert to programme as soon as the next time zone kicks in.

The advanced controls especially the app system really can add value to your rental property and gives you tenants total control of their energy consumption making for a very warm happy tenant.

STYLE – Time for a change?

Like anything cars or fashion home décor tastes change over the years and advances in production technology allows design boundaries to be pushed. In today’s society, we are ever more image conscious not just about our appearance but the look of our home. As a landlord in a competitive market, your property nee

ds to stand out and dated large storage heaters can be an unsightly feature for a tenant in their home which may lead to them attempting to cover them up risking damage to the property and the heater. Modern clay core heaters are much slimmer with the ELKAtherm models around the slimmest in the market at just 8cm deep. The fluted design looks more like a central heating radiator and with a choice of over 200 colours and a range of shapes the radiators can complement the décor rather than detract from it.

I currently have GAS or Oil central heating system in my rental property, is electric heating really a viable alternative?

The answer is YES! Just think how much your annual servicing and repair costs that you have with a wet system. Also, the potential damage that can be caused to your property if the pipes leak or burst. Over the course of time this all adds up. Add to this that the expected life of a modern boiler is around 8-10 years before you would need to pay to replace it. Electric truly is the fuel of the future and like the car industry with advancements in battery technology, it will become more common. Once your electric heating system is installed that’s pretty much it no servicing required.