Bathroom heaters and heat lamps are a luxury to some and a necessity to others. Careful use of radiant heat lamps may help reduce your energy bills.
In winter it can be hard to convince yourself that you will be warm enough once you turn the tap off. So it is quite common for people to take much longer under the shower in winter than they do in summer. This is important because the amount of energy required to heat water is significantly greater than the energy used to heat the airspace of a bathroom.
Therefore if a radiant heat lamp is installed in the ceiling, using it should encourage you to exit the shower a minute or two earlier than you otherwise would have. Multiply this effect by all the people in your household on a daily basis and you can see that your hot water service will be doing a lot less work.
These heaters are best installed directly over the area where people will be drying themselves. They can deliver the required heat quickly and where you need it. (Remember how long it used to take the wall mounted bathroom bar heater to warm up?)
The catch with this line of thinking though, is if you have teenagers in the house. What then tends to happen, is the brighter heat lamps are used in preference to normal lights enabling them to more clearly analyse their skin for traces of the dreaded zits!
A good idea to manage the use of bathroom heaters (and teenager’s propensity to forget to turn lights off) is to have a timer installed so the appliance will turn itself off if no one else thinks to do it.
A new style of bathroom heat lamp and exhuast fan unit
If you find that heated towel rails are necessary to keep the peace at your place, consider having them on a timer as well. They really only need to be on for an hour or two before your normal shower time. Leaving them on 24 hours a day means they are wasting precious resources ( and money ) for no tangible benefit. Most of these units will have a continuous current draw of between 50 & 150 watts depending on the size of the towel rail. Thats the equivalent of leaving between 5 to 10 lightbulbs on all the time.