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The different ways to heat your home

Updated on February 1, 2016

For years, many people have had gas central heating within their homes. Whilst this is an excellent way to keep their homes heated, it’s not the only way. Further, with the ever increasing costs of gas bills there are thankfully cheaper alternatives. Even the way you pay your gas bill is convoluted. In the UK (and in other countries) when it comes to paying for gas, the utility company will take the units you have used, and then do a diverse set of calculations to come to the final number that you owe them. This is in contrast to an electric reading whereby they take the units you’ve used and charge you a price based on the cost per unit.

Due to this, many have decided to opt for other ways to heat their homes which is proving to be much more successful.

Coal fires

Before gas installation in homes was the norm like it is today, the way in which people heated their homes was to use coal fires. In the Victorian and Edwardian era especially, it wasn’t uncommon for every room to have fire places in them as a way to maintain the heat levels in every room. Of course, over time this was phased out as gas supplies became not only cheaper, but safer to use as well.

However, in recent years there has been a resurgence in the use of coal fireplaces as a way to combat the hefty gas bills that people are experiencing. Whilst it is an expensive outlay at first, this can actually be a better way of saving money in the long term since you are able to directly control how much energy you are burning. You’re now able to get large and small quantities of coal online from stores such as Amazon.

Plus, nothing quite beats the atmosphere of a roaring hot fire especially on a winter night.

Wood burning stoves

Much like coal fires, wood burning stoves have seen resurgence in popularity. The initial outlay can be a tad more expensive than people would like. However much like the case of buying coal, it is fairly cheap and also easy to buy online. The benefit of this is that you are able to have it delivered directly to your door without having to go to the store to buy wood (which can be a tricky task depending on how big your car is).

If you decide to opt to have a wood burning stove installed then it is essential that it is done so by a qualified professional. As a precaution you should always request to see their credentials and also the safety certificates that they should have to carry out this work.

Further, in some parts of the world if a tree falls down due to natural cause (such as strong and heavy winds), then you are allowed to take as much of the tree ass you like for your own use. However it should be noted that this is dependent on what your exact location is. A simple search online will be able to highlight if you are indeed able to take the wood in a situation like this.

Electric radiators

For a long time, electric radiators were viewed as a way to spend a vast sum of money in the shortest time possible. What is meant by this is that they were extremely inefficient and due to this you were literally throwing your money out of the window. For those on pre-payment electricity meters, it wasn’t uncommon for the credit to be gone within a day.

These days this has changed vastly and it can actually be a better alternative to have an electric radiator for various reasons. The first reason for this has already been touched upon above whereby your electricity cost can be quickly worked out since it involves a simple calculation.

The efficiency of nearly all new electrical devices is staggering as well. Gone are the days that an electrical device is classed as inefficient. Efficiency in the simplest of terms is a measure of how well a device can carry out its desired task whilst using as little energy as possible. In terms of assessing this, devices are now rated A-G, with A being the most efficient and G being the least efficient. If you're looking for electric radiators then should be your first port of call.

The great situation with electric radiators is that with the increasing number of people that are using solar panels, they are effectively getting their heating for free by the energy generated by said panels. Whilst there is an initial outlay for the solar array, the savings on your electric bills can be immense (especially if you opt out completely of using gas in your home).

Whilst it’s not exactly a cost cutting measure it is also easier to maintain electric radiators since they do not have to be bled unlike ones that are heated with gas. For anyone that has carried out this task before it can actually be pretty tricky depending on the age of the radiator along with being messy as well.


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