Finding the best radiator for your needs is no simple task. With so many options in size, shape, price and heating method, where do you begin? In terms of method there are two clear winners when it comes to function and energy efficiency: ceramic core electric radiators and electric oil-filled radiators. Here we answer some common questions to help you decide which is right for you…
What is a ceramic core radiator?
Ceramic core radiators are extremely energy efficient and retain heat well, even after being turned off. The heat retention features of ceramic radiators play into their energy efficiency as they don’t need to be running all the time.
Additionally, because there is no liquid involved with these devices, there is no risk of leaks if something were to go wrong within the radiator.
How do ceramic radiators work?
Electric ceramic core radiators work by passing an electrical current through a ceramic plate within the device to produce heat. Just like oil-filled radiators, the heat from the ceramic core is conducted by the radiators body (often made of aluminium or steel) and then transferred to the air surrounding it, heating the room.
This process allows ceramic radiators to heat very quickly allowing higher energy efficiency as the time that the power is on, is much lower than other radiators using less efficient heating methods.
Are ceramic heaters energy efficient?
On average, the efficiency of a ceramic heater varies between 85%-90%. Ceramic heaters are energy efficient and require much less energy to produce heat. When switched on, a ceramic core heater will heat up quickly and will maintain and radiate this heat, meaning you won’t need to leave the radiator on for as long.
The construction of a ceramic heater includes ceramic plates that produce heat and allow for greater levels of energy efficiency when compared to an electric heater, helping to cut down on your energy bills.
Are ceramic heaters cheap to run?
Ceramic heaters are cheaper to run than traditional gas based, or oil filled systems. Ceramic heaters contain heating elements that offer far greater resistance than traditional metal units, this allows for the radiator to generate more heat per watt. With more heat being generated per watt, the ceramic heater will be cheaper to run as operation time required will be less.
Furthermore, ceramic heaters are designed with an eco-mode that will adjust the heat output to lower-cost energy, the heater will still begin heating straight away regardless of the eco mode being engaged or not. Ceramic heaters and radiators also do no require much maintenance or plumbing work, so this also helps maintain low costs. The only maintenance required is a regular dust down and vacuum to prevent dust from accumulating and impacting performance.
What is an oil-filled radiator?
Electric oil-filled radiators are often used as portable, standalone radiators and are employed to heat a variety of spaces. We understand that that the term ‘oil-filled’ can seem a little worrisome but there is, in fact, no need to refill these types of radiators as the oil within them is not burned and is simply heated resulting in the thermal liquid in the reservoir lasting the entire lifespan of the product.
How do oil-filled radiators work?
Electric oil-filled radiators work by using an electrical heating element that is submerged within a reservoir of thermal liquid, often a form of oil, inside the radiator. As the heating element’s temperature increases the heat is transferred directly to the oil in the radiator. As the oil is heated, that heat is conducted by the metal radiator body and then transferred to the surrounding air, thus heating the space around the device.
Are ceramic radiators safe?
In short – Yes! Ceramic heaters are one of the safest heating options on the market due to their reliable build quality and advanced safety features.
Most ceramic heaters on the market include safety features such as tilt detection that turns off the radiator when it’s knocked over and overheat protection, both of which prevent fires. Commonly integrated smart features can also prevent house fires as you can access and turn off your heater from anywhere.
As ceramic radiators have no boiler or fuel that needs igniting, there’s no risk of hazardous toxins leaking out into your home, creating health problems for you and your family.
Ceramic heater advantages
Like anything else, both ceramic and oil-filled radiators have advantages and disadvantages. Some advantages of ceramic radiators are:
- They heat quickly and retain heat well after turning off.
- They turn off automatically when the ceramic plate reaches a certain temperature to reduce risk of overheating and other hazards.
- Very effective for heating smaller spaces.
- Instant turn off increases safety as they can cool down quicker making them ideal for families that have small children or pets.
Ceramic heater disadvantages
Ceramic radiators can be a little noisier than oil-filled heaters as they sometimes include a fan that is used to improve the directionality of the heat. Additionally, due to the speed at which they heat up, they are more effective at heating spaces quickly and can sometimes find it difficult to heat a room evenly for extended periods of time.
Oil-filled radiator advantages
Oil-filled radiators are good at consistently heating larger spaces as they provide radiant heat compared to the convection heat that is supplied by many ceramic radiators.
Oil-filled radiator disadvantages
- They’re often more expensive than ceramic core radiators.
- They can be bulky and heavy making them difficult to manoeuvre, reducing their portability.
- They’re slow to heat up and can sometimes take 20-30 minutes to reach the desired temperature.
- They also have high surface temperatures once heated making them more dangerous for families with pets and/or small children.
So, which is better?
It’s clear that ceramic core radiators have more advantages, especially when it comes to energy efficiency, safety and heat retention. If you have a larger room that you would like to keep at a consistent temperature then there could be an argument that electric oil-filled radiators are more suitable, but in most circumstances, ceramic core radiators are the better choice.
We’re a little bias but…
If you’re in the market for a ceramic core radiator and want something that’s modern and sleek with built in smart features, our Rio Eco is just that! We’re proud of our energy efficient electric heater and although it might be small, it’s mighty!
If you have any questions regarding our Rio Eco electric radiator, please visit our FAQ page where we have answered a handful of questions, we may have already answered yours! If we haven’t already answered yours, please do not hesitate to contact our friendly team today who will be more than happy to help!