If you’re new to the world of radiators, then this article is for you. Traditionally, many homes used water radiators to heat their homes. While these have been replaced by oil-filled radiators in many instances, they’re still used in a lot of homes today. There are also convector heaters, which are another slightly different heating option. But which is better? Which can generate more heat at a more affordable price? What are the drawbacks of some of the different types of heaters, and what are the benefits? In this article, we’re going to look at the answers to some of these questions.
Firstly, we’ll go into a bit more detail about what both oil filled and convection heaters are, along with some of their pros and cons. Then we’ll go into a bit more detail about which is best for you and your home. So let’s get started. Are oil filled radiators better than convector heaters?
What are oil filled radiators?
For newcomers to this subject, you might think that oil filled radiators are the older, more traditional type of radiator. That isn’t really the case. Some people refer to oil filled radiators as electric radiators, and they’re a reasonably new way to heat your home. But how do they work?
Oil filled radiators use electricity to power an element inside your radiator that heats a reservoir of oil. This electrical element is completely covered by oil so heats it directly. The heat is transferred to the surrounding oil which then heats the entire radiator. This heat is then transferred to the surface of the radiator in order to heat your home.
The main difference between this type of heater and more traditional heating systems is that while they both use liquid to transfer heat, they heat it in a different place. With water heating systems and central heating, the liquid is heated by the boiler in a central place, then transferred through pipes to different radiators. Oil filled radiators heat their liquid individually in each radiator unit and don’t need a piping system to supply the heat.
If you think about it this way, a standard water radiator doesn’t actually do any heating itself, whereas an oil filled radiator is a completely stand-alone unit and can do all the heating by itself.
Some people believe that oil filled radiators need refilling with oil on a regular basis. This simply isn’t true. These are sealed units and are designed to last a long time. The oil isn’t a consumable fuel, it is used again and again. You shouldn’t normally need to refill or replace the oil. And if you do, you need to leave this to an expert as it’s a complicated and risky job.
The main advantage of an oil-filled electric radiator like this is that they can be quickly and easily installed in a home without piping or a central heating system. You can easily move them without too much trouble as well.
What are convector heaters?
You can actually get lots of different sorts of convector heaters. The basic principle is that instead of just radiating heat in a standard way like older radiators, they use convection to do the job. The process of convection is used by putting a number of fins together in a sandwich-like radiator construction.
Mos traditional radiators use water that is heated centrally (normally by a boiler) and is the fed via pipes to the radiator. This water can be continuously taken out and replaced to allow warmer water back into the heater. They work in conjunction with a thermostat to control the temperature of your rooms or home.
While most convector heaters use this same principle, they don’t emit heat in the same way. Standard flat-panel heaters aren’t seen as efficient or as good at doing the job, so convection heaters use a slightly more advanced fin design to achieve much better results.
Most convector heaters have two flat panels separated by a number of jagged fins in between. This design adds a larger surface area which helps draw away additional heat thanks to air currents. It’s a much more efficient way to heat a home.
While all radiators use some form of convection, they are not all convector radiators. A standard flat-panel radiator might be fine for a smaller room or if you are right next to it, but convector heaters do a better job of getting heat into air flows and helping it go sideways. Many standard flat panel radiators are only good at making heat go upwards. For larger rooms, convector radiators are much better, and they’re generally more efficient for most rooms.
Which is better for you and your home?
It’s important to point out that oil filled radiators can also be convector radiators. However, the reality is that many of these oil filled units still only use flat panel heating.
The first question about which is better should be based on comparing oil filled radiators with traditional central heating ones. Oil filled ones are much more portable and easier to install, but each unit might be a bit more expensive. They can also use a lot of energy and therefore be expensive. While installing piping and a central heating unit might take longer and have a bigger up front cost to do the whole lot, it should be cheaper from then on. It’s also easier to regular the temperature of an entire home rather than having to adjust each radiator independently.
The other question is whether a convector heater is better than a standard flat panel. The answer to this is generally yes. Convector heaters are more efficient at heating and warm up quicker. However, there are a few drawbacks. Firstly, flat panel units are cheaper to buy and install. They also produce a slightly cleaner air that has less dust in it, and have a longer service life. That being said, they simply aren’t as good at heating, are much bigger, and should be more expensive to run.
The best option for your home depends on exactly what you need them for. Hopefully this article has given you a bit more info on what might work for you and your home.