What is an immersion heater — and why would I need one?

Immersion heaters can heat water quickly
Immersion heaters can heat water quickly (Image credit: Getty Images)

They are a common appliance in homes across the UK, but what exactly does an immersion heater do and when is it a good idea to have one? 

Immersion heaters are used to heat water for heating and washing, but they present both advantages and disadvantages in terms of cost, time, and energy efficiency.

Sam Webb

Sam is based in Coventry and has been a news reporter for nearly 20 years. His work has featured in the Mirror, The Sun, MailOnline, the Independent, and news outlets throughout the world.  As a copywriter, he has written for clients as diverse as Saint-Gobain, Michelin, Halfords Autocentre, Great British Heating, and Irwin Industrial Tools. During the pandemic, he converted a van into a mini-camper and is currently planning to convert his shed into an office and Star Wars shrine.