Last updated: August 9, 2021

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You want to keep your home cosy and warm? Then electric heaters are just the thing for you. During the cold season, after a bath or after sports, electric heaters are very often used. But the choice of electric heater should be well thought out, because there are many different types of electric heaters.

In our big electric heater test 2021 we show you exclusively the best electric heaters. We discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the heaters. In addition, we have listed the most important purchase criteria that you should know when heating with an electric heater.




Summary

  • Electric heaters are popular in the bathroom because they heat up the room particularly quickly.
  • Electric heaters are particularly recommended because they are low-maintenance, reliable and space-saving.
  • Electric heaters warm up quickly and are usually very easy to install.

The Best Electric Heating: Our Choices

Buying and evaluation criteria for electric heaters

In the next step we will show you which electric heater is particularly suitable for you. The electric heaters can be evaluated with the help of the criteria:

the electric heaters can be compared very well with each other using the criteria. In the following, we show you which criteria are particularly important and what the criteria are based on.

Heating capacity

Nowadays, electric heaters are very popular because a room can be heated up in a very short time. As you already know, the number of watts is decisive for specifying the energy.

In principle, the larger the room, the better the heat output should be.

When considering the heating power, the heating purpose, the heating demand and the size of the room must be taken into account. Electric heaters usually have between 800 and 2500 watts. If the heating demand is low, an infrared heater, for example, can be the ideal solution.

Suitability for energy saving

Energy-saving electric heaters promise to reduce operating costs. In most cases, electric heaters are sold cheaply by the manufacturers, but the electricity costs rise considerably in return.

A suitable heating system helps you to reduce your operating costs.

Before buying, it is important to consider whether it is a supplementary heater, a temporary heater or a primary heater.

The operating time is another consideration that everyone should make in order to save costs in the long term. To make the purchase decision easier, many products have an energy consumption label. This provides information about the energy efficiency of the product and is usually represented by the EU energy table for electrical appliances.

Weight

Depending on the type of electric heater, the weight can vary greatly. If the electric heater is often carried from one place to another, then a light and discreet electric heater is welcome. While a fan heater or an infrared heater weighs about 1 to 3 kilograms, a standing heater can already weigh about 7 kilograms. A wall heater weighs about 40 kilograms or even more.

Consider possible placement options in advance.

The weight of the electric heater is especially important to consider if the heater is not mounted on the wall. This is because the heater is often carried or rolled from one place to another.

The heater should therefore be as easy to transport as possible. Consequently, the size of the electric heater should also be taken into account and, depending on the area of application, it is important that the heater is not too large or small, as you can see in the next point.

Dimensions

The dimensions of an electric heater should definitely be considered before ordering. Depending on the area of application, we therefore recommend that you also consider the dimensions and thus the appearance in the room.

Depending on the room, certain heaters may be more or less suitable.

The dimensions can vary greatly. While fan heaters with dimensions of 12 x 12 x 20 cm tend to be square in shape, infrared heaters with dimensions of 100 x 60 x 2 cm are usually rectangular in shape. The same applies to wall heaters.

Decision: What type of electric heater is there and which heater is right for me?

If you want to buy an electric heater, there are the following product types to choose from:

Type Advantages Disadvantages
Electric radiator The electric radiator is very quiet because there is no fan There is no long-term heat storage.
Infrared heating People find radiant heat particularly pleasant The heat is distributed only slowly in the room.
Convector Convectors give off heat very quickly The draught from convector heat may not be perceived as pleasant.

If you want to know more about the different types of electric heating, you can find more information below.

Electric radiator

Electric radiator

An electric radiator is nothing other than a mobile electric heater. The terms are subsequently used synonymously. If you read the term “oil radiator” somewhere, it means nothing more than that this electric heater heats the oil in the heater. The oil then releases the heat into the air and the room heats up. However, the heating medium can also be gas or water. In all three designs, heating always takes place through a heating unit.

An electric radiator has no fan.

Because there is no fan, it is a disadvantage that the room temperature increases only slowly. The mobile electric heater does not distribute the warm air by means of a fan, but the device is almost without annoying noise.

Advantages
  • Noiseless
  • Even heating
Disadvantages
  • Slow heating
  • no long-term heat storage

Even heating of the room is particularly pleasant for people. With radiators, however, it is important that no long-term heat storage takes place. The electric radiator is therefore perfect for heating a room in a short time.

Infrared heating

Infrared heating

Infrared heating is a typical example of a radiator and offers the advantage that radiation only heats the object that the infrared radiation hits. As already mentioned, supplementary heating with infrared radiation requires less electricity than the alternative heaters.

In contrast to other electric heaters, another advantage of infrared heating is that the humidity remains unchanged. An additional radiation component is said to provide comfort and health benefits. Small infrared heaters are already available for a price of €60, while a price of €300 can be expected to heat a room of about 18 square metres.

Advantages
  • Easy installation
  • Noiseless
  • Radiant heat
Disadvantages
  • Slow heating
  • Initial cost

People find radiant heat particularly pleasant. With infrared heating, this is emitted by electromagnetic waves and stimulates blood circulation and metabolism. In addition, the heat and hormone regulation in the organism is stimulated. There are both infrared heaters as radiant heaters for standing on and infrared heating panels.

For allergy sufferers, it is important to pay attention to the humidity in a room. The air in the room should not fall below 30 percent humidity, otherwise the mucous membranes in the respiratory tract can dry out.

Convector

Convector

With this type of electric heater – a fan heater, for example – the environment is heated by convection, i.e. a flow of heat. The cool air flows into the radiator below and then flows away again above after being heated by the convector. The rising warm air and the falling cold air cause circulation in the room.

Advantages
  • Rapid heat emission
  • Inexpensive
  • Easy installation
Disadvantages
  • Dry heating air
  • Not noise-free
  • Air turbulence
  • Expensive operating current

A convector is particularly suitable for short-term use, because convectors can be used quickly and flexibly. Both the installation is simple and the rapid heat emission is given with convectors. While spring is a difficult time for people allergic to pollen, winter is a difficult time for people allergic to house dust.

One disadvantage with radiators is that there is constant air turbulence. This turbulence can cause sneezing attacks or itchy eyes, especially for allergy sufferers. The resulting draught is not perceived as pleasant by many people. People who are sensitive to turbulence should avoid the rooms during heating.

Guide: Frequently asked questions about electric heating answered in detail

The following guide shows the most important questions about electric heating. We have selected the most important questions and answered them briefly. If you have read our guide, then you know all the important information about electric heating.

How does an electric heater work?

Electricity is used to generate heat in an electric heater. With a high resistance, the electrical energy flows through a conductor and this creates the heat. Depending on the heater, the heat is then distributed in the room by a fan, for example.

Elektroheizung-1

Each type of heating has its own advantages. A cosy fire by the stove provides the perfect flair to feel at home.
(Image source: Stéphane Juban / unsplash)

In contrast to conventional hot water heating systems, the heat generator and the heating surfaces of electric heating systems are built into the same unit. There are the following distinctions between electric heaters:

  • Direct heating
  • Storage heating
  • Panel heating

Direct heaters: give off the heat to the environment without intermediate storage. This includes, for example, the convector. The convector blows out the warm air at the top and draws in the cold air at the bottom. In contrast, there are electric heaters with intermediate storage.

These electric heaters store the heat through materials, such as ceramic, natural stone or oil, and the heat is released slowly. An example of this is the radiator, which heats oil or water with an electric heating unit. Panel heaters, on the other hand, increase thermal comfort because a particularly large surface area is used to heat the room.

For whom is electric heating suitable?

First of all, everyone should think about the purpose for which the heater is to be used. Electric heaters are best suited for special situations. Possible situations could be, for example, when the bathroom needs to be heated quickly or when the heating has broken down.

Elektroheizung-2

Old electric heaters can eat up a lot of electricity, so it usually pays to order a new heater.
(Image source: Mahdi Kalhor / unsplash)

Electric heaters are usually cheap to buy but rather expensive to use. If certain rooms are rarely used, an electric heater can quickly help out. Electric heaters are very flexible in their use. On the one hand, this form of heating is practical to use, but on the other hand, it is also very visually appealing.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of electric heaters?

Compared to other types of heating, electric heaters have very low purchase costs and require only a short or even sometimes no installation time at all. In addition, no heat distribution network and no chimney are necessary. In contrast to gas or oil heating, electric heating is also:

  • Low maintenance
  • Reliable
  • Space-saving

There is also no need for a supply of fuel and there is no central control in the house.

What does electric heating cost?

There are different price ranges depending on the application and type:
Type Price range
Electric radiator approx. 50-130 €
Infrared heater approx. 80-200 €
Convector approx. 20-200 €

In general, it can be said that electric heaters are very inexpensive to buy compared to other types of heating.

What are the alternatives to electric heating?

Each type of heating offers certain advantages and certain disadvantages. In the table below, we present the alternatives to electric heaters in a very clear way.

Type Description
Oil heating As the name already suggests, an oil heating system burns heating oil and thus generates heat. This type of heating is particularly suitable for new buildings. Oil heating means that there are no basic charges when it is not in use.
Gas heating Gas heating is operated by burning combustible gases. Gases such as natural gas or biogas are used for this purpose. A gas heating system has the advantage that it has a good efficiency and is space-saving in contrast to oil heating.
Pellet heating A pellet heating system is much more expensive to buy than an oil or gas heating system. Compared to oil and gas heating, however, pellet heating is cheaper in terms of consumption. In addition, the ecological balance of pellet heating is better, because as long as they are made from renewable resources, the CO2 balance is neutral.

As already mentioned, each type of heating has advantages and disadvantages. However, it remains to be said that electric heating is superior in many criteria.

Can an electric heating system be converted to a gas heating system?

Electric heating is heated by electricity, which is comparatively expensive. Many people therefore think about changing their heating system. The reasonableness of a change from electricity to gas depends on the purpose of the heating technology. Gas can be used by a wide variety of heating types. For example:

  • Condensing boiler heating
  • Gas heat pump
  • Fuel cell heating

Our tip is to contact an expert in the specific case. An expert can quickly determine the most sensible type of heating. Whether a conversion from electric heating to gas heating makes sense must always be answered individually.

Image source: Gudella/ 123rf.com

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