Cheapest electric heaters to run and how to buy - as UK hit with arctic blast amid energy bills crisis

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Discover the cheapest electric heaters to run and how to buy them as the UK is hit with an arctic blast amid an energy bills crisis in the lead-up to Christmas 2022.

The cost-of-living crisis rumbles on as energy bills continue to skyrocket.. The latest reports suggest some families are even being forced to choose between eating and heating, so finding the most energy-efficient ways to heat homes is currently high on the agenda.

Electrical heaters are a popular port of call for individuals looking to  warm up their homes as the cold snap bites. Rather than relying on central heating 100% of the time which could be warming rooms not currently in use, electrical heaters can be used just in the spaces people are using and can be moved room-to-room when necessary.

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Despite government help, such as the Energy Bills Support Scheme,  the cost of heating homes continues to stretch family finances. Chancellor Jeremy Hunt confirmed in his mini-budget that bills will soar by a further £3,000 in April 2023.

With this in mind, consumers will be looking for more cost-effective methods of keeping warm in the days and months to come. Advice ranges from ‘heating the person’ by layering clothes and using hot water bottles to finding the cheapest ways to heat a home.

And that’s where electrical heaters come in as they are 100% efficient in turning all the electricity it uses into producing heat. But not all heaters were created equal which is why we’ve gathered together a selection of the cheapest electrical heaters to run and how to buy them.

The cheapest electrical heaters to run and how to buy them

1kw electric radiators

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  • Cost to run: 34p per hour

Can be free-standing or wall-mounted. Gives off heat through convection and radiant heat. Estimated cost of £2.04 to keep on for six hours. Can be purchased for various prices and sold online and in-store at outlets such as Best Heating and Argos.

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1.2kw halogen heaters

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  • Cost to run: 41p per hour

Gives off radiant heat and a strong choice for more outdoor settings. Providing heat quickly once turned on. The 1.2kw models have a cost of around £2.45 for a six hour period. Can be a cheap option with prices ranging from as little as £30 through Wilko and £32.95 on B&Q.

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1.5kw oil-filled electric heaters

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  • Cost to run: 51p per hour

By bringing up the oil temperature within them, oil-filled electric heaters take a while to cool down so will keep heating up the home long after it has been switched off. A 1.5kw unit typically costs users around £3.06 every six hours and can be bought for as little as £33.69 at Tool Station and £29.98 on Screwfix.

1.5kw infrared electrical heaters

  • Cost to run: 51p per hour

Even though they are a less common choice as they emit electromagnetic waves, it heats whatever it can reach. Ideal for more draughty locations and 1.5kw models will cost users £3.06 for a six hour session. This often wall-mounted device can be bought for as cheap as £28.20 from CPC Farnell or for a higher quality alternative at Primrose for a set of two for £150.

2.5kw electrical fan heater

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  • Cost to run: 85p per hour

It works by heating a metal coil that directs the heat via a fan to the surrounding area. Very portable they clock in at around £5.10 for six hours. Relatively cheap to purchase, you can pick them up from a range of retailers - Planet Tools offer them at £31.22 per unit, while Screwfix charge £39.99.

*Please note that all figures presented are correct as of the October 2022 Energy Price Guarantee. Retail prices can change and items could sell out.

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