Welcome to our big electric heater test 2021. Here we present all the products we have tested in detail. We have compiled detailed background information and added a summary of customer reviews on the web. With this, we would like to make your purchase decision easier and help you find the best electric heater. You will also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide.
If available, we also offer interesting test videos. Furthermore, you will also find some important information on this page that you should definitely pay attention to if you want to buy a ribbed electric heater.
- 1 Weekly newsletter with the best personal finance tips
- 2 Summary
- 3 The Best Electric Heater: Our Choices
- 4 Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying an electric heater
- 5 Decision: What types of electric heaters are there and which one is right for you?
- 5.1 What distinguishes an infrared radiator and what are the advantages and disadvantages?
- 5.2 What distinguishes a fan heater and what are the advantages and disadvantages?
- 5.3 What distinguishes a convector and what are the advantages and disadvantages?
- 5.4 What distinguishes a radiator and what are the advantages and disadvantages?
- 5.5 What are the characteristics of a surface storage heater and what are the advantages and disadvantages?
- 6 Buying criteria: Use these factors to compare and evaluate electric heaters
- 7 Facts worth knowing about electric heaters
- Electric heaters are inexpensive, quick-to-use radiators that can be used wherever there is an electricity connection.
- Basically, a distinction is made between direct heaters and power storage heaters, in which there are various subcategories.
- While other radiant heaters require costly installation and piping, this is not the case with electric heaters.
The Best Electric Heater: Our Choices
Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying an electric heater
Why do I need an electric heater?
Due to their compactness, they are usually ideal to transport and can be moved from A to B in no time. Electric heaters usually cost much less than other heating systems and are therefore always a lucrative alternative to conventional radiators.
What does an electric heater cost?
|Infrared radiator||From 100 euros|
|Radiant heater||From 25 euros|
|Convector||From 25 euros|
|Radiator||From 75 euros|
|Surface storage heater||From 250 euros|
Where can I use an electric heater?
There is a suitable electric heater for every occasion. You should find out beforehand which electric heater is the right one for your project. Due to their weight and ease of use, most electric heaters can be used in several places and do not have to be bought several times.
This way you can decide individually when you want to have which room heated.
What are the disadvantages of electric heating?
In addition, an electronic heating system delivers significantly poorer efficiency than a conventional heating system.
Large electronic heaters also need their own electrical circuit, so the help of an electronics engineer must be enlisted.
What are the advantages of an electric heater?
With their simple installation, the standard devices can be put into operation immediately and you can save yourself the boiler room.
As a rule, electric heaters are the most profitable solution for rarely used rooms such as holiday homes, cellars, sheds or scattered gardens, as they offer the best price/performance ratio. There is no need for fuel storage as with oil or gas heating, nor does the fuel have to be ordered and financed in advance.
Electronic heating is also a sensible alternative for houses without a chimney or fireplace. Regular chimney sweep maintenance is no longer necessary. In addition, electronic heating is considered to be low-maintenance and very durable and does not cause any dust or dirt.
With a photovoltaic system, you can produce your own electricity cheaply and are independent of energy suppliers. If you use green electricity, your electronic heating works with a clean CO² balance. In well-insulated houses, new buildings and when using photovoltaic systems, it makes sense to invest more in electric heating.
Decision: What types of electric heaters are there and which one is right for you?
Basically, there are five types of electric heating you can choose between:
- Infrared radiators
- Radiant heater
- Surface heater
We present the most important model types from these two types and want to show you what advantages and disadvantages they offer. Please note that there are some hybrid types that are a combination of different systems.
What distinguishes an infrared radiator and what are the advantages and disadvantages?
Infrared radiators radiate solid and liquid surfaces and thus heat the room. The infrared rays can be compared to those of the sun and lie in a magnetic wave range between three and 50 nanometres. Thus, they are not visible to the human eye, but we perceive their warmth as pleasant, comparable to the warmth of a tiled stove.
The practical infrared radiators are available for different areas of application. In the living room, they can be mounted on the ceiling and used as a mirror, picture frame or towel holder. Outdoors, they can be used as a heater in the conservatory or on the terrace, for example.
What distinguishes a fan heater and what are the advantages and disadvantages?
The classic fan heater is a simple electronic heater in which a resistance heater is combined with a fan. The air is blown past the heating wire and thus emitted heated. With its low initial cost and very light weight, the fan heater can be found in many public places such as offices, common rooms or shops.
Some radiant heaters can be mounted on walls, but it should generally be noted that the fan heater is free-standing. In addition to the waste of energy that results from this, you can get a serious burn if the radiant heater heats up a lot.
What distinguishes a convector and what are the advantages and disadvantages?
The convector is a classic heating system that heats the air by direct radiation. The electric convector heating transfers heat to the room air by convection, i.e. warm air rises and cold air "falls" and is heated by the convector. This creates air circulation.
A fan is built into the convector to heat the room faster and more effectively and to blow the warm air upwards. In higher-quality models, this can be switched off. Convectors are among the cheapest electric heaters in terms of price.
What distinguishes a radiator and what are the advantages and disadvantages?
The radiator uses oil, water or gas inside its body that is heated. This heat is then released outside into the room air, whose surface area is increased by the fins. The heating medium takes a little longer to heat up because no fan is used, this should be taken into account.
The radiator can be easily connected to a power socket. By not using fans for heating, the radiator is quieter and safer. With its increased surface area, the radiator also heats larger rooms quickly.
What are the characteristics of a surface storage heater and what are the advantages and disadvantages?
Electric radiators with a surface accumulator secure the heat in special stones, made of fireclay, natural or soapstone. These storage cores are connected to heating conductors that heat up and transfer the heat to the outside.
There are often direct radiators such as infrared heating convectors and radiators that are additionally equipped with a surface storage tank in order to benefit from the advantages of both systems. This electric heating works with a self-regulation system. As soon as a selected room temperature is reached, the power supply switches off.
The storage cores continue to warm up the room. The surface storage unit does not need electric ventilation to stir up dust. Night storage heaters were at their peak in the 1950s and 1960s, when attempts were made to improve the utilisation of power plants at night.
The night storage heaters were charged with the cheaper night-time electricity in order to avoid the more expensive daytime electricity during the day. Nowadays, night storage heaters are little used, partly because electricity prices have been adjusted. Renewable energy could be used more effectively with night storage heaters, so it is not impossible that night storage heaters could make a comeback.
Buying criteria: Use these factors to compare and evaluate electric heaters
You can use these buying criteria to evaluate and compare which electric heater is right for you:
- Heating levels
- Heat output
- Timer and thermostat
- Heat & frost monitor
- Test seal
- Seal of approval
Electric heaters differ in terms of handling, efficiency and safety, and we've put together a list of what matters.
The size your electric heater needs depends on the size of the room and the power the device provides. Larger units generally deliver more power. Here is a small list so that you know what power is needed.
|Square metres||For new buildings||For old buildings|
|20 m²||Approx.1000 Watt||Approx.1500 Watt|
|40 m²||Approx.2000 Watt||Approx.3000 Watt|
|60 m²||Approx.3000 Watt||Approx.4500 Watt|
Different heating levels offer you the possibility to adjust your electric heater individually. Standard models usually offer two to three heating levels. Higher-quality models can regulate the temperature to the exact degree and thus offer you full control over how warm you want it to be.
You should always calculate a heating capacity of around 60 - 100 watts per square metre. Most electric heaters work with a heat output of 500 - 2000 watts. However, there are also models with less or more power, depending on the intended use. The weight of the electronic heater increases with the amount of heat output.
Powerful electric heaters with a total output of more than 2 kilowatts per hour must be registered with the energy supplier.
Timer and thermostat
The timer is a useful feature of an electronic heater. You can set a time limit for your radiator so that it really only heats for as long as you want. In this way, you can effectively heat greenhouses, stables or simply your bedroom, for example, and save time and money.
With a thermostat you have the possibility to set the electric heating and regulate it as you like. Without a thermostat, there is always a chance that your electric heater will continue to heat up until the overheating protection kicks in. The thermostat allows you to optimally readjust until you have reached your desired heat output.
Heat & frost monitors
Heat and frost monitors are important functions of an electric heater, which do their job especially when you are careless. The heat monitor makes sure that your new electric heater does not overheat. This is because electric radiators can generate a lot of heat if they are not regulated.
The frost monitor is a function in the thermostat that switches on the radiator as soon as the room temperature falls below a certain value. This is particularly advantageous in winter when you forget to turn on the radiator. For electric heating in the bathroom, splash water protection is recommended. Before you buy, you can find out which radiators have splash water protection. This is indicated by a protection symbol
In general, you should look for the following test seals when buying an electronic heater.
- The TÜV seal stands for tested safety with the electric heater.
- The GS seal confirms that the electric heater meets the requirements of the German Production Safety Act.
- The IGEF seal stands for reduced emissions of electrosmog from the electric heater.
- The VDE seal from the independent Association of Electrical Engineers.
- EU declaration of conformity is the European directive control mark.
- RoHS certification certifies that the heater is free of harmful substances.
You can use the protection symbols to see for which area your electric heater is suitable.
|Protection class||Place of use|
|P20||For living areas|
|IP24||Splash water protection|
|IP55||Suitable for outdoor use|
|IP65||Splash water protection and dust protection|
Facts worth knowing about electric heaters
What special forms of electric heating are there?
Electric underfloor heating
Modern electric underfloor heating systems are becoming more and more popular, especially in modern sanitary facilities. Depending on the thickness and material of the floor, they are offered as direct current or current storage heating.
The price of these underfloor heating systems is lower than that of their water-bearing competitors.
The costs can vary depending on the quality and manufacturer, but are well below 100 euros and start from 25 euros. Electric wall heating works on the same principle, but is categorised as direct heating because walls are usually constructed thinner than floors.
Natural stone heaters
Natural stone heaters work in principle with the same principle as storage heaters, combined with that of direct heating.
In most cases, a natural stone is heated with heating conductors and directly emitted as heat radiation with infrared mirror walls.
The dual function of direct and storage heating, coupled with the timeless but sophisticated design, means that natural stone heaters are moving into more and more households. They are ideal because of their glazing in hallways, bathrooms or as an optical element in the living room. Prices for natural stone heaters start at 500 euros.
Picture source: 123rf.com / 107350164