Electric Heating Systems for Flats

How to efficiently warm our homes is a problem many of us face. Whilst on the face of it gas central heating may seem like the best choice, the reality is it’s not always a viable option, particularly for those of us who live in a flat. Gas is not the only option that is ruled out though, as living in a flat means you cannot take advantage of many of the latest advancements in renewable energy heating such as heat pumps, biomass boilers or heat exchangers. So really you’re left with choosing from one of a number of electric heating systems for flats.

What Are Your Options?

With so many forms of heating potentially ruled out, what exactly are your options you may ask? Well…

Electric Radiators

couple enjoying electric heating in their flatIt probably won’t come as a surprise to you that electric radiators are our preferred electric heating systems for flats. Not only are they cheap to install and in most cases almost 100% efficient, but in our opinion they are also by far the most user friendly form of electric heating. Offering heat on demand when and, with a free standing unit, wherever you need it in the flat you can’t go wrong in our opinion.

With our selection of the top 15 electric radiators available in the UK we’re confident that you’ll find the best radiator for your flat, whether it be wall mounted or free standing.

Pros – Quick and controllable heat wherever you need it, available in a range of styles to suit your home.

Cons – If your house is poorly insulated they can prove expensive to use.

Storage Heaters + Economy 7 Tariff

Whilst a bit of a left over from the days of coal fired energy stations, the Economy 7 tariff and their associated storage heaters are still going strong. For those unaware, the Economy 7 tariff works on the principal that electricity is cheaper during the night than during the day. Generally this is true for 7-10 hours at night, thus the Economy 7 tariff that many flats and older homes in the UK use.

Storage heaters take advantage of this Economy 7 tariff by building up and storing heat during the night time, and then releasing this heat during the daytime when it’s needed most. This is fine in theory, however if all of the heat is used up during the day, then you’re then stuck with heating using the more expensive day time rate. It is a bit of a balancing act and can take some pre-planing to use effectively, certainly not ideal for the modern home.

Pros – Cheap heating and reasonably cheap to install

Cons – Takes some thought to use effectively and users can often be left with higher bills than they expect during the cold winter months when heating is in use more during the day.

Infrared Heating Systems

This is a more recent means of heating and quite an interesting one from a technical point of view. With normal heating you are heating a full space such as a room in your flat, where as with infrared heating you are heating a certain spot in that room.

For example, say you are sitting watching TV, normal heating systems will warm the entire room or flat so when you get up to make a cuppa nowhere is particularly cold. Now imagine an infrared heater focusing on you as you sit, you will be perfectly warm as you sit but when you get up to make a cuppa then you’re going to feel the cold from the moment you stand until the moment you sit back down in the stream of the infrared heating system.

Pros – Offers cheap heating focussed on a small area.

Cons – Can leave the rest of the flat cold and without a suitable heating system.

A Word About Insulation

Of course, without a properly insulated home you could have a portable sun as a heating system for your flat and still feel cold. In the long run, improving the insulation of your home will not only save you money on heating but you can also help save the earth for your children, and their children to come. What’s better is, that you may even qualify for free help with insulation!


So as you can see there is a range of suitable electric heating systems for flats and various benefits to each of them, but in our opinion you can’t go wrong with a good electric radiator. So if you’re looking for a new radiator why not take a look at our comparison chart here and find the one that is best for you.