During the cold autumn and winter months, extra heat in the form of a gas heater or electric heater for the home is a must for many. But how do you actually choose the right one? in this guide we go through the differences between both types to help you in your purchasing decision. You will find a summary of all the advantages and disadvantages here.
A gas heater traditionally generates convection heat, which means that it is the air in the space itself that is heated. This creates a pleasant and even distribution of heat that lasts long after the gas heater has been switched off. This is especially advantageous if it is a larger space or several people are to warm up. A disadvantage of this is that it makes gas heaters more sensitive to weather factors such as wind and wind.
Most electric heaters today use the technology of infrared radiation to generate infrared heat. In the case of infrared radiation, it is the objects hit by the radiation that heat up, rather than the space itself. This is perfect if you only need to heat a limited area or want to be able to direct the heat as needed. In the case of wind, the heat is not affected in the same way. A disadvantage of this is that the space quickly becomes cold as soon as you switch off the electric heater.
Both types of heat are obviously valuable and the decision should therefore be made according to what suits one’s living situation and heating needs best.
It is also important to remember that infrared heat is not something that is exclusive to electric heaters (although over the years electric heaters have become synonymous with the term “infrared heater”). There are, for example, several gas-oil terrace heaters that also use the technology of infrared radiation, just as there are electric heaters that generate only classic convection heat. Therefore, read carefully to ensure that you buy the type that suits you best.
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Price Gas heaters vs electric heaters?
Prices for different types of heaters vary depending on model, material and quality. In general, gas heaters tend to be slightly more expensive in purchase price than electric heaters, at least if you compare gas stoves with electric stoves and standing gas heaters with standing electric heaters. Having said that, the consumption cost of gas is relatively low, which means that it can be worth the extra kroner for a gas heater.
An electric heater is usually energy efficient, but this is related to the prevailing electricity price where you live. During 2021 and 2022, the electricity price has often been high in several parts of Europe, which has led to it actually becoming cheaper to heat the house with LPG than with electricity.
Use & maintenance
A gas heater is relatively easy to install and takes a maximum of 5 minutes. All that is needed is a filled gas tube and a gas regulator set. Check out our guide showing how to install a gas regulator on a gas heater. To start the heater, open the valve on the gas tube to start the gas supply and then start the gas heater via either piezo ignition or electronic ignition.
Ordinary standing electric heaters that are to be placed on the ground or on a table are usually easy to install. However, it can be a more extensive installation if the electric heater is to be placed on the wall or on the ceiling, as a qualified installer is then required. The electric heater is easily started with the push of a button.
Gas heaters require slightly more maintenance than an electric heater as you should regularly perform a gas leak test to ensure that no gas leaks have occurred and should disconnect the gas tube when it is not in use.
Gas heaters vs electric heater Other factors
Both gas heaters and electric heaters are available in several different types of models such as stoves, standing heaters, table heaters, ceiling heaters or fireplaces. In general, gas heaters tend to be slightly larger in size than electric heaters, but it is certainly possible to find small gas heaters on the market if that is what you are looking for.
Both gas heaters and high-quality electric heaters come equipped with several important safety features. Gas heaters usually have, for example, a carbon dioxide guard that turns off the gas automatically if the level of carbon dioxide (CO2) or carbon monoxide (CO) becomes too high, as well as an ignition fuse, which means that the gas is turned off if the pilot flame goes out for any reason. Tipping protection is usually also available to ensure that the gas heater is switched off if it were to tip over. Electric heaters usually include overheating protection that lowers the temperature if it gets too high.
For those who live in an apartment, an electric heater is often the only option for extra heat because many landlords and property owners do not allow gas heaters in the apartment or on the balcony. Other advantages of electric heaters are that they usually have quieter heating than gas heaters. Some even include a remote control and timer.