Tubular heaters are compact, easy to install, and very flexible as an alternative heating solution. However, are tubular heater running costs lower compared to a fan heater or a boiler heater? We are about to find out!
Space heaters like tubular heaters are an excellent addition to your home. They are small enough to fit in tight spaces and can be used to focus heat in a specific area. A tubular heater takes seconds to install and has safety features to ensure the heater does not overheat or risk fire accidents.
Tubular heaters have many uses. You can install them in your;
● Garden office
No matter where you use them, they are easy to set up and will maintain ambient temperature. All at a fraction of what it would cost.
Are Tubular Heaters Cheap To Run?
As the cost of heating your home can rise drastically in winter, you need a reliable heating solution that will also help you save on energy bills. Most UK homes are heated using other conventional heating solutions, which can be quite expensive compared to going the tubular way.
Most UK homes are heated by one of the following options;
● Gas heating
● Stove heating
● Open fire heating
● Portable (Electrical) heaters
● Tubular heaters
Gas is one of the main fuels used for central heating in homes. Sadly, only homes connected to the UK national gas grid can benefit from this option. For homes not on the gas grid, it can be expensive to install a gas heating system. The cost of running a gas-heated home can be expensive too, with annual heating costs as high as £542.
Not forgetting that gas is not a clean source of energy, as it produces carbon dioxide as it burns. If you have a gas heater in your home, you also need to install a carbon monoxide detector for safety.
Stove heaters or wood-burning stoves are becoming the crave, especially in middle-class UK homes. They provide ample heating while making your home look stylish. However, there are a number of caveats to using wood-burning stoves to heat your home.
Stove heaters work efficiently in homes with chimneys installed. If your home does not have a chimney, you have to install a flue to direct smoke from the burning wood away from your house. In homes with old chimney systems, one has to fit a metal chimney liner to direct smoke away from other rooms in the home.
Add to this the cost of hiring an experienced engineer to fit the stove correctly to prevent chances of carbon monoxide poisoning. In addition, the chimney will need annual maintenance to prevent the build-up of soot.
Open fire heating
Although not as common, open fireplaces are used to provide heating in UK homes as well. This type of heating is available in a select number of homes, and one can only use it with smokeless coal. Sadly, an open fireplace is not effective enough to heat up a home. There is also the risk of sparks spitting out from the embers, which can be dangerous for homes and those occupying them.
Portable heaters are popular because of their convenience. Unlike all other forms of heating discussed, a portable heater can be used to provide heating to specific rooms. The two types of portable heaters available are electric fan heaters and oil heaters.
The fan heaters are effective, but quite expensive to operate. Oil heaters cost less to run compared to fan heaters, but there is still a problem. Oil is subject to fluctuating prices and global availability. Moreover, oil heaters take time to heat up and, given they are fossil fuels as well, do emit noxious gasses as they burn.
Tubular heaters have come a long way in becoming one of the popular heating solutions in UK homes. Compared to all other heating methods mentioned, tubular heater running costs are way lower and would be ideal, especially for people looking for flexible heating solutions.
Why tubular heaters are cheaper to run?
Uses less energy
Tubular heaters are economical compared to conventional electric heaters. They come in various sizes from 1 foot to 4 feet, each carrying a different wattage to suit various applications. For instance, the cost of running a 160-watt tube heater is £0.04p per hour or a 3-foot 180-watt heater £0.05p per hour using the energy price cap rates (27 pence per kWh) (1 October to 31 December 2023).
Here is how it works,
160 watt = 0.16 kWh
Current UK Electricity tariff- 27.0p/kWh
27.0p x 0.16 kWh= 4.32p = £0.043p per hour
A fan heater using between 1000 watts and 2400 watts of electricity would cost £0.27p to £0.65p to run in an hour. That is way more costly compared to a tubular heater. A tubular heater also surpasses other forms of heating like oil and gas that rely on non-renewable energy.
Flexible heating solution
Tubular heaters are compact in design which makes it easy to install them anywhere. Compared to other forms of heating, you can use tubular heaters to direct heating to specific areas in a home. You do not have to heat the entire house, like it is with central heating systems, making it possible to save on electricity and energy bills.
Easy to install
Tubular heaters are easy to install and use in minutes. All you need are mounting brackets that allow you to attach the heater to walls or ceiling for heating. This beats other heating solutions like gas heating and stove heating, which are expensive to install and maintain.
Safe in the environment
When determining tubular heater running costs, we also must look at what toll it takes on the environment. Fortunately, electric tube heaters are safe for use at home without harming the environment. You never have to worry about toxic fumes from the heater that can harm your health or the environment.
They are durable
The more durable an appliance is, the less money you have to spend on its maintenance. High-quality tubular heaters have what you call an Ingress Protection (IP) score of 55 or IP55. What this means is that the heater is designed with quality materials to make it both dust and water-resistant.
Are tubular heaters expensive to run? 4 Tips to Reduce Heating Costs
Tubular heaters are inexpensive to run compared to other forms of heating. If you have been wondering how you can further reduce tubular heater running costs, here are some tips to get you started.
1. Get the right size heater
Tubular heaters come in various sizes from 1ft, 2ft, 3ft, and 4ft respectively. A 1 or 2-foot tubular heater would be suitable for smaller spaces like garden sheds, wardrobes, or small boats. Such a heater effectively warms up the space and only uses 60 watts of electricity.
Bigger rooms like bathrooms, garages, or living rooms will benefit from something bigger like a 4ft tube heater. The large surface area allows the heat from the tube to cover a wide area faster. Despite its size, the 4-foot heater only consumes 240 watts of power, which is way lower compared to a boiler or gas heater.
2. Give the heater enough room
A clever way to reduce tube heater running costs is installing the heater in an open space (without other objects close by). This allows the heat to radiate from the unit covering a wide area. Installing the heater close to objects will block heat from spreading. This will not only cause the unit to overheat and use more energy, but it can also cause a fire.
3. Close all windows and doors
Closing all doors and windows to the room you are warming will help heat circulate faster. Doors and windows let in drafts that will cause your heater to work twice as hard to provide heating. While at it, check for any cracks or gaps in doors and windows that may be letting air in or heat escape. Also, ensure you close doors to other rooms that may let cold drafts into the room you are heating.
4. Insulate your home
Another way to reduce tube heater running costs is by insulating your home. There are plenty of ways to insulate your home, the easiest one being installing insulated curtains or blinds. They trap heat from escaping, allowing your heater to warm any room in a few seconds. Another option is insulating the walls of your home with products like spray foam, which can be sprayed on walls, floors, ceilings or cavities that would let cold air in.
Tubular heaters are becoming popular due to their flexibility and low power consumption. They take minutes to install and do not have high maintenance costs either. It is possible to reduce tubular heater running costs by reducing heat loss in the areas you install them.
Also, for reduced tube heater running costs, ensure you get the right heater size and install it in an open space. When shopping for tube heaters, choose the ones with a smart thermostat that prevents the unit from overheating, hence reducing energy loss and electricity bills.
How much does a 1 foot tubular heater cost to run?
A 1-foot tube heater uses 60 watts of electricity to heat a room in an hour. Using the UK electricity tariff of 34p/kWh, it will cost 2p to run the heat per hour in your home. It will cost £0.48p to leave the heater running all day and £14.40 per month (30 days). That is £172.80 a year, which is more cost-effective than a boiler heater that uses gas and will cost £1000 a year to run.
Are tube heaters cheap to run?
Tubular heaters can be cheaper to run compared to other forms of heating. In addition, you can reduce tubular heater running costs by ensuring your home is well-insulated against heat loss. Also, keep doors and windows closed while you heat your room to prevent heat from escaping. When you install your tube heater, do so in an open space where heat can travel faster, reducing running costs.
How much does it cost to run a tubular heater?
It depends on the size of the tubular heater you want to install. A 1-foot tube heater consuming 60 watts of power will cost £0.02p to run in an hour. A 2-foot tubular heater with a 120-watt rating costs £0.04p to run for an hour. 3-foot and 4-foot heaters, each rated 180 watts and 240 watts, will cost £0.06p and £0.08p to leave them running for an hour. Electric tube heater running cost may also vary with weather changes and running time.
Are tubular heaters safe?
Tubular heaters can be left running for hours without the risk of overheating or fire. They come with a thermal cut to curb overheating, and it also costs as low as 6 pence an hour to run a tube heater. Also, durable tubular heaters have an IP55 rating, which means they are water-resistant and tough to use in any environment.