Last updated: August 4, 2021

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Electric radiators are often associated with inefficiency, sometimes unfairly. As so often, it depends on the use of the product. Electric radiators are a very good choice, especially for short periods in small rooms. Their flexibility and versatility make them very helpful in many everyday situations.

With our electric radiator test 2021 we want to help you find the most suitable electric radiator for you. We explain what makes an electric heater, which forms of electric radiators there are and when and in which form it makes sense to use them. In this way, we try to make it easier for you to choose an electric radiator.




Summary

  • Electric radiators allow you to heat the rooms of your house spontaneously and flexibly. Due to their mobility and size, electric radiators can be placed and used in any room.
  • Basically, there are 3 types of electric radiators. Convectors, infrared radiators and radiators, all of which vary in shape, size and material.
  • Electric radiators are more suitable for small rooms and a short operating time. The efficiency of electric radiators is not yet sophisticated enough to heat the whole house with them.

The Best Electric Radiator: Our Picks

Electric radiators: Purchase and evaluation criteria

In the following, we will show you which aspects you should pay special attention to when buying an electric radiator. The list with which you can compare the products includes:

In the following paragraphs we will illustrate the individual criteria in detail.

Types of heaters

Electric radiators can be differentiated according to the principle of heat emission. There are 3 principles involved, namely:

One of the ways of heat emission is via convection. This is direct heating. This means that the heater gives off heat directly to the room.

The heat is generated by converting electrical energy into thermal energy. This thermal energy is then often transported by means of a fan, which heats the room.

Infrared radiators, on the other hand, are based on the principle of radiation. This radiator does not heat itself. It transfers the thermal energy to the surrounding objects. These then heat the surroundings over a longer period of time. The heat radiation can usually be felt within a radius of three to five metres.

Radiators are a mixture of convection and infrared radiation. They also emit their thermal energy directly into the environment, but they emit part of their generated heat via radiation.

A radiator is surrounded by a liquid heat transfer medium. For example, water or oil may be used. These fluids are heated by the radiation and then release the heat into the environment through the shape of the radiators.

Different materials for electric radiators

In addition to the principles of heat emission mentioned above, the material used could also be a distinguishing feature. Since electric radiators are very flexible, there is a very wide range of materials used. The following are used:

  • Aluminium
  • Sheet metal
  • Natural stone
  • Mirror
  • Glass

Of course, it is very important that the material is heat-resistant and can release the thermal energy efficiently, but:

Especially for radiators that are supposed to be inconspicuous, a wide range of materials is elementary.

There are no restrictions due to the choice of material. From one area of application to the next, it varies whether the room is to be warmed quickly and conspicuously or rather slowly and inconspicuously.

Power

An electric radiator with a higher wattage naturally heats the room faster than one with fewer watts. However, a higher output also means higher power consumption.

So it is always important to know where your priorities lie. If you like it warm and are happy to pay a few euros more for it, a radiator with a higher wattage is certainly not wrong.

However, if you are more interested in paying as little as possible, it is advisable to choose the wattage according to the size of the room. A guideline for this is to choose an electric radiator that has an output of 50 watts per square metre.

This means that for a room of 30 square metres, you are well served by a 1500 watt radiator. Your room will be heated without blowing up your electricity bill.

Heating levels / Incl. thermostat

In order to heat a room optimally, it is important to know what temperature my radiator and the room are at. It is highly recommended to have a thermostat on your radiator to check the temperature.

It is no use to keep heating a room even though it is already at a comfortable temperature. You won't get any noticeable added value, but your electricity bill will be higher than it should be.

Therefore, in combination with the thermostat, a step regulation is very useful. When the room is sufficiently heated, the regulation can be used to set the radiator to a lower level. This keeps the room warm but not excessively so. This saves you a high electricity bill.

Size / weight

When choosing an electric radiator, it is important to know which room you want to heat with it. Depending on what the radiator is used for, different sizes with different weights can be chosen.

For example, there are electric radiators with a weight of 1 - 80 kilograms. It would be advantageous to buy a very heavy radiator only if it has a fixed place and does not have to be moved constantly. On the other hand, a radiator weighing 2 kilograms would be highly recommended if it is to be used in many places.

The size of the radiator does not increase simultaneously with its weight. Of course, a somewhat heavier radiator is usually somewhat larger, but this is strongly dependent on the material and the shape.

Thus, a four-kilogram radiator can be smaller than a two-kilogram radiator. Here you can see very well that you have to pay attention to all purchase criteria at the same time and that it is not done by choosing one criterion.

Electric radiators: Frequently asked questions and answers

Next, we would like to answer the relevant questions on the topic of electric radiators. We have selected and answered the most important questions for you. Thus, you should know all the essential background information on the topic as soon as you have read through this guide.

What are electric radiators and what distinguishes them?

Electric radiators can be differentiated from normal heaters by one very essential point. They convert electricity into heat. They themselves provide the heat distribution. This is done neither via central heating nor via a stove.

As described, radiators use electricity as an energy source, which is a so-called secondary energy source. This means that the energy does not come directly from nature.

A large part of the energy obtained is still generated in power plants and not by renewable energies. (Image source: Andreas Felske / Unsplash)

It is produced artificially, which can be done by means of combustion processes in power plants.

Another special feature is its immense flexibility. It comes in every shape with different material and also in different sizes. This gives you a very wide choice. You can choose what you want and for what you want, without having to compromise.

How does an electric radiator work?

As described above, the electric radiator converts electricity into thermal energy. Two values play an essential role: the resistance and the current flow.

Radiators give every living room a homely feeling (Image source: Free-Photos / Pixabay)

When current flows through a conductor, a high resistance is formed. The higher the resistance, the warmer the conductor, which then releases the thermal energy. A distinction is made between the following heating elements.

Direct heat ers give off heat directly to the room and thus heat the surroundings. These are convectors, which have already been described above.

Storage heat ers transfer the heat to the surroundings. To particularly storable objects or materials such as ceramics, natural or fireclay bricks. However, it could also transfer the thermal energy to water or oil that surrounds the conductors / radiator. These are infrared radiators and radiators.

Thus, when choosing your radiator, you always have to distinguish between what kind of heating you want to have.

What are the possible uses for electric radiators?

Electric radiators can be used almost everywhere. As described above, they are incredibly flexible and versatile. You can use them in the living room, in the conservatory, in the bathroom, in the office, the garage, in the cellar or on the terrace. Because there are so many different shapes and sizes, the radiator can be used everywhere.

In addition to mobile radiators, there are also permanently installed radiators. Due to the great possibilities of electric radiators in terms of shape and material, they catch the eye of the beholder because of their design potential.

Especially in the bathroom, you spend a lot of time without clothes. That is why a radiator is particularly important (Image source: midascode / pixabay)

Especially models like a mirror, a picture or other flat objects are becoming increasingly popular in the bathroom. Especially because you spend a lot of time in the bathroom with little clothing, you want to heat the room as well as possible.

Especially for holiday homes or similar, a complete heating system is usually not worthwhile, which is why electric radiators are often used. It can be heated when it is necessary and on particularly cold days it is comfortable and quick with electric radiators.

What does an electric radiator cost?

Within electric radiators there is a very wide range of different prices. The price depends on the quality, performance, efficiency class and many other factors. The price range can extend from approx. 30 - 910 euros.

In case you are going to use the electric heater for your normal everyday life, the more expensive products seem to us to be the better choice. They have better performance and keep a house at the temperature you want it to be. However, if you only use the electric heater sporadically, we would recommend the cheaper version, with the wattage explained above.

Type costs
Convector approx. 30 - 910 euros
Infrared heater approx. 100 - 700 euros
Radiator approx. 40 - 100 euros

In the case of convectors, the amounts range up to 910 euros, and vary greatly depending on the output and manufacturer. It is the same with infrared heating; depending on the manufacturer and output, one of these heaters can cost up to 700 euros. The cheapest variant is therefore the radiator, with a price of up to 100 euros.

Depending on the intended use, you can invest a lot in an electric radiator or very little with prices starting at 30 euros.

What alternatives are there to an electric radiator?

Radiators can appear in many different forms in the household. Each of these variations has its advantages and disadvantages. In the following section, we will show you a brief overview of the alternatives for electric radiators.

Direct heating storage heating water heating
Fan heater night storage heating instantaneous water heater
Wall heating surface storage heating boiler
Floor heating natural stone heating

Each of the possible forms of heating has certain advantages that are not to be sneezed at. It is important to know in which form you need the radiators. If you want to heat the whole house, it would not make sense to heat only electrically. The costs would be many times higher than with oil or gas.

Conclusion

Electric radiators are a very good addition to your existing heating system. They can warm up rooms where your heating system fails. Especially in the bathroom or in the basement, an electric radiator is very helpful to warm it up a little.

When choosing an electric radiator, it is very important to consider which radiator is the most suitable for your needs. If you choose an electric radiator, it is very important not to overheat unnecessarily. You have to be careful not to turn up the temperature too high and thus not increase the electricity costs unnecessarily.

Picture source: ronstik / 123rf

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