Types of Electric Heater
Electric Fan Heater
These blow air created by a fan over a heated element, essentially providing the space around the heater with hot air.
Pros: Cheap, fast to heat, often have cooling settings too
Cons: Often struggle to heat the room over a long period, can be noisy
Convection/ Convector Electric Heater
Like a more powerful fan, these circulate air around the body of the heater and then release it into the room. It is passed over a heating element to make it warm first.
Pros: Provide an even heat to the room, usually quite quiet
Cons: Can take a while to heat a space, recirculating air can be bad for allergies
Use heating bars and filaments to provide warmth, mainly focusing on the immediate area and close proximity surrounding the heater rather than the entire room.
Pros: Heat they give off is quite powerful, have a warm glow, direct heat provided
Cons: Not the most suitable for large rooms, the light they give off may be too bright
An electric element heats up the oil or water inside the heater, which provides warmth. Often made from steel, aluminium or cast iron for better heating.
Pros: Hold heat for longer, good for constant background warmth
Cons: Can be noisy as they heat, can take a while to heat
Electric heaters can start at as little as around £10 and go upwards of £400. Those at the higher end of the scale probably have more technology, such as timers or the ability to be controlled remotely through an app.
A £200 2kW fan won’t necessarily provide more heat than one at £20. What matters is the efficiency and how good it is at getting the heat around the room, as well as the size of your room and whether it has an internal thermometer to monitor the temperature.
There are a few features which a heater must have in place to keep you and your household safe, and you shouldn’t buy any that don’t.
Tilt protection will turn the heater off should it fall over or be knocked. This is usually in the form of a switch on the base of the heater, which is activated when it tips. For this reason, most heaters can’t be placed on high-pile carpets or rugs. If a heater were to fall over and not turn off, it could start a fire.
Safety cut out will prevent the heater from overheating. It is a problem which all electricals can face, but due to the nature of heaters, they could be more prone to overheating.
These features are particularly important if the heater will be left alone for any period of time, such as if you will be making use of the timer feature before you get home from work or if you will be using it overnight when asleep. Although no electricals should be left unsupervised, these features could give you peace of mind if they are.
All heaters have a power specification, measured in W or kW, and the amount of energy that goes into the radiator is usually relative to the amount it releases.
A small room which only needs a heater on top of the central heating may only need about 1000W, whereas for a larger room or one where there is no main heating at the moment, one upwards of 2000W may be best.
There are other factors to look at as well, such as size, type or the temperature range, to see if it would be suitable for your room.