The best energy-efficient electric heaters for your home

Find out how to keep yourself warm this winter at the lowest potential cost

person in slippers on radiator

by Eleanor Weaver |

The cold months are fast approaching and as we’re spending more of our time indoors working from home, we’re turning our heating and heaters on during the day in an attempt to stay warm. But this means our utility bills can rack up quickly especially for our energy spending.

In order to try to save money, we’ll explore the best heaters that are energy efficient and affordable to run. Hopefully, this will be your saving grace if your central heating system isn’t cutting the mustard or you’d rather not sit in 12 layers under a blanket trying to fight the freeze.

Gas or electric heaters?

While it’s no secret that gas is three times cheaper to run than electric, it is nowhere near as efficient. Not all the energy emitted from a gas heater is converted to heat with energy lost to moisture, light and exhaust.

Also, a gas heater comes with its own precautions. The room your gas heater is in needs to stay well ventilated to account for the safety risks of carbon monoxide and potential condensation from the heater resulting in damp.

Electric heaters, on the other hand, are 100 per cent energy efficient with all electricity being converted into heat – all your money is going into what you actually want, which for me screams money well spent. However, this doesn’t guarantee it will be cheap to run as the higher the power rating of the heater and the more heat produced can result in higher costs.

The answer is to find an electric heater that has a low power rating and/or includes key features such as a thermostat or a timer to ensure you’re only using the heat when you need it.

This way, you’ll be choosing not only the best option for efficiency but one that is not a burden on your purse strings.

Which type of electric heater should I choose?

It couldn’t be as easy as gas vs electric I’m afraid! There are many different types of electric heaters to choose between…

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Our verdict for the best energy efficient heater

Our choice for the most energy-efficient would be a halogen heater. These heaters have a low power rating which makes them one of the cheaper options compared to other gas and electric models as their heat is focused on heating you, so money isn’t being wasted heating a full room. And with any added key features such as thermostats and timers, they’re a no-brainer.

Our second spot would go to infrared heaters. These are great at heating large spaces if you have an open-plan living space and don’t mind shelling out initially as they come with higher unit costs.

Both are great eco-friendly options for families with no harmful substances used and the electricity being a renewable source of energy. We’ve listed some great options to buy online if you’re looking to get warm at a low cost.

How will this affect my energy bill?

Despite choosing the most efficient option, you should use your heater secondary to your central heating system. According to the Centre for Sustainable Energy if used over a long period of time a heater is likely to be more costly in the long-term.

If you're looking for other ways to say money on your energy bill, consider some of these tips:

• Close your doors and curtains to help block any draughts and keep heat in your home.

• Turn your thermostat down by a single degree. According to USwitch, this could save you as much as £60 over the space of a year.

• Consider switching your supplier to make sure you're getting the most affordable deal for you.

If you're on a low income, it is worth checking if you are eligible for an energy efficiency grant to make improvements to your home

What to read next:

The best electric blankets to keep you warm

The best kitchen gadgets if you're on a budget

The best fire pits for every budget

Eleanor Weaver is a Commercial Content Writer for WhatsTheBest, and also writes for Yours, Mother&Baby, Grazia, heatworld and Closer across beauty, tech, and lifestyle.

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Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us