Winter is around the corner and with energy prices firmly on the rise, many of us are now thinking about how we’re going to manage our heating costs across the winter months whilst at the same time ensuring that our home is kept warm.
In this review, we’re looking at the best electric radiators for your home and trying to make a decision on what you should be buying to keep your home warm when it’s cold.
Up until recently, considering electric heating for your home was a complete no-no as its far too expensive and no way near efficient enough to be a realistic option. This has firmly changed over the last few years to the point where it’s possible to heat your home using electric radiators and even create the electricity needed using renewable energy created in your home.
The Best Electric Radiators
If you don't want to read the whole review and simply want to know what we thought was the best electric radiator 2017, then take a look at the Warme Electric Radiator which comes with a 2KW heating element and therefore is a fantastic option for room sizes of up to 22 meters-squared.
The Warme comes with dimensions of 82 cm wide x 47 cm high and is 8cm deep off the wall whilst is controlled using the digital thermostat that allows you to easily control your electric heater to exactly how you want it. The digital screen allows you to set your daily on-off times and temperatures to within 0.5 of a degree at 15 minute sections, 24 hours a day. If it's really cold and you need instant heat, the Warme comes with an instant heat mode to give you heat when you need it.
Performance is fantastic and during our mid-winter tests the temperature dropped down to -4C during the night. The Warme easily kept my twenty meters-squared room at a comfortable 21 degrees at mid-output costing approximately 8pence per hour. Check out the best electric radiator here.
Key Benefits Of Electric Radiators
- Controllability – The problem with water-heated radiators is that you need to heat water in one section of your home and then pump it to where you need it. With an electric radiator, there is no water; no need to pump and therefore you can control where you want heat and where you don’t very easily.
- Wasted Heat – With electric radiators, there is very little heated waste as all heat that you create, is for the specific area that you want the heat. Pumping hot water around your home means that there is going to be some lost energy and whilst it’s possible to reduce this to minimum number, there is always going to be some wasted heat.
- Accuracy – Electric radiators are very temperature accurate meaning that you can set a minimum temperature and be sure that your electric radiator hits this exact temperature before it starts to heat the room. This temperature accuracy allows electric radiators to be more efficient.
- Programming Options – Electric heaters also give you more flexibility in designing when and where heat will be made. There is no need to consider giving time for your radiator to warm up and therefore you can reduce the cost needed to heat up the room.
Types of Electric Radiators To Be Aware Of?
Generally there are four key types of electric radiators that you need to be aware of, each with their advantages and disadvantages
- Portable Fan Heaters – This type of heater usually uses an electric heating element and a fan to create heat and blow it directly into your path. The key advantage of this type of heater is that it creates direct, quick heat, however the key problem is that the minute you switch off an electric heater, the heat stops and the room starts to get colder.
- Oil-filled Portable Electric Radiators – These are typically study units that both produce a fantastic amount of heat whilst at the same can are completely portable meaning that you can move them around the house as and where you want it. I say portable, but they are oil filled typically made of metal and therefore can be pretty heavy and not something that you can easily run the stairs if you choose. They work by using a heating element that heats oil within the radiator and thus gives off heat. The great thing about an oil-filled radiator is that they work in the same way as a water radiator only performs better, whilst allow both temperature control and portability.
- Storage Heaters – are wall-mounted radiators that use the principle of electricity tariffs being cheaper over night and therefore heat up over night, switch off during the day, and use the energy stored within the product heat during the day. They perform well, but whilst they were fashionable a few years ago, I would not recommend that you use storage heaters given the lack of control. What’s the point of having an electric radiator switched on, heating your home whilst you’re at work? Also, if it’s a really cold night as we get sometime in our British winter, you often find the heater will run out of power mid-way through the evening, however the lack of control is what we really don’t like.
- Electric Radiators – As the name suggests these are wall-mounted radiators that use a heating element to heat either water or oil and product heat. They are both easy to install, and provide instant heat as and when you choose. What’s really good is that you can program your heater to come on when you want it, product just enough heat to keep your home from freezing during the day, and can be turned up during the evening when you need it most.
How Big Does My Heater Need To Be
This is a question that I get asked all the time and the honest answer is that it really depends on how big your room is and how you have insulated the room. Obviously, the size of your room will drastically affect the size of the heater, but make sure that you take into account the shape as well.
If you have a large rectangle room, then you should be buying more than one electric heater otherwise you will find that one side of the room is much hotter than the other. This also means that you don’t need some a big radiator given that you’re going to have two radiators.
It’s also often a much better idea to have two smaller radiators work independently of each other, rather than one massive electric radiator that will take time to heat up and be much less efficient. How well you have insulated your room will also affect how big a radiator you need. Remember, insulation is not just in the ceilings, but can also be to with what’s in your room, for example double-glazing, and using curtain.
How big does your electric radiator need to be? It's not an exact science, however the table below should provide you with a good indication of the wattage needed to keep you warm during the cold UK winters.
How We Tested
This is the easy bit given that it’s blooming freezing here in the north of the UK. In my house we use electric heaters as we find that they are much more efficient and therefore cheaper to run over the winter. The other advantage is that we can control which rooms have heat and which don’t.
For this test we use my study that is 10m2, has thick curtains, carpet and not much furniture. The idea was that we would test each radiator over a 24-hour period to see at what temperature they could heat the room. Even though we tested wall mounted electric radiators, we did not attach them to the wall and whilst this should not affect the outcome, there could be a slight difference in performance.
Electric Radiator Reviews
As i have mentioned above, typically there are four types of electric radiators that you need to be aware of, however we can only recommend that you use three types. Of the three types of electric radiators that we can recommend, below we have listed our three favourite models.
The Dyson is clearly the best electric radiator if you instant heat in a safe bladeless environment, however it's probably not something that you want to leave on overnight and for this reason we also reviewed and tested both the Warme Electric Radiator which is a wall-mounted heater and the delonghi oil filled radiator. If you want something to leave on over night, then pick yourself a Warme Electric Radiator and you will be warm all night long.
Dyson Electric Heater
- Portable Heater
- Electric Fan
- 2KW Heating Element
- Long Range Tech.
- Bladless Fan
- Full Controls
- Remote Control
Warme Electric Radiator
- Wall Mounted
- Electric Heater
- 2KW Heating Element
- Digital Thermostat
- Full Controls
- Very Safe
- Cheap To Run
Delonghi Oil Filled Radiator
- Portable Heater
- Oil-Filled Heater
- 2.5KW Heating Element
- Digital Thermostat
- Full Control
- Very Safe
- Cheap to Run
Electric Radiator Reviews
Warme Electric Radiator
Our Rating -
The Warme electric radiator is firmly the best electric radiator on the market today meaning that if you’re in the market for a new electric radiator, then you need to look at the Warme Designer Electric Radiator. We have tested it extensively over the last couple of years and it has looked after us whilst being safe and economical to buy and run.
Today there is no need to invest, build and have the hassle to use a conventional water heater and radiator system as the electric heaters allow you to simply attach to the wall, plug them in and start using with instant heat.
The warme electric radiator comes with dimensions of 47CM (Height), 8CM (Depth) and 82CM (width) whilst weighing in at around 9.2KG and has been designed to be powered by 2KW Convector Designer Electric Heater that will provide temperature adjustment from 15 to 35°C whilst allowing for around 23square meters of space to be heated.
Installing is easy, there is no need to do anything other than ensure that there is a spare plug next to the heater and around 20cm clearance, top and bottom. Performance is equally fantastic and during our test’s, one particular night was especially cold, down to -4°C in the north of the UK and the Warme took my house from almost 12 degree’s to 26 degrees in about 40 minutes from a flat start. In the end we had to turn down the radiator because it gave off too much heat. One of these in each room and there is no need for a central heating system.
How much does the Warme cost to run? Good question, however this will depend on how you run it and how much your electricity costs, however in the UK, i worked out that at about 75% heat, the Warme was costing me about 9 pence and hour to run, however if I reduce this down to about 50%, I could reduce the cost's down to about 6 pence per hour which works out to be £1,50 per heater, per day.
What we specially like about the Warme and electric radiators in general is the control ability. There is no need worry about your boiler heating water and then pumping it through the system until it starts heating your room. With the warme, the minute you switch it on, it starts producing heat (it comes with a built in Instant Heat Mode) and given the digital screen and a range of modes, you can set up as weekly programmable thermostat allowing the heat to come on and go off as and when you choose.
Overall, we love the Warme Electric Radiator. We love the fact that it’s completely maintenance free meaning that there are no servicing or maintenance costs, now or in the future and most importantly, we love the fact that its CE, GS & RoHS Approved meaning that it’s safe to use. If you want to check out the reviews across Amazon.co.uk, it shows that we’re not the only ones who like it given there are over 70 positive reviews
Delonghi Dragon 4 Oil-Filled Heater
Our Rating -
If you're looking for a portable heater that you can leave switched on over-night without causing any problem then check out the Delonghi Dragon 4 Oil-filled radiator. The dragon 4 is part of the latest range of heaters from the brand Delonghi, and provides users with a fantastic option for heat through its oil-based technology.
Firstly, you're buying a Delonghi which means that you're buying a quality product that has been tried and tested and designed to perform. It be one of the more expensive models on the market, but when you buy a Delonghi you know it will perform well and most importantly cause you any problems along the way.
The Dragon four has been design to be portable meaning that it comes with both wheels and a carry handle, so it’s really easy to move from room to room, and it’s very simple to use. It comes with a thermostat to regulate the temperature – so you can switch it on and forget about it while it continues to heat your home – and it’s suitable for rooms up to 75m3, which makes it ideal for use in the home. The sleek white design is very smart, so if you like something aesthetic, this’ll appeal to you.
The chimney effect means that air comes out of the machine more quickly than other heaters, so it heats your room more quickly and effectively, while the intelligent design means that it both radiates and blows heat, which also leads to faster heat distribution. You can really notice how quickly this heats your room, and it makes a big difference in cold weather when you’re looking to get cosy. It has a mechanical timer so you can set it to start working at any given time, and it also comes with an anti-frost device for super chilly temperatures. There are three heat settings on the heater.
This heater does seem to leak oil in a very small amount of cases, and the temperature setting can sometimes be a little faulty and inaccurate. It is also a little expensive to heat since it runs at 2.5kw, but that is offset by how quickly it works. Overall this is a great product and most users are very happy with how well it heats their home. If you’re looking for an oil-based home heater, this is definitely a great option.
Dyson AM09 Electric Bladeless Heater
Our Rating -
The above two models are fantastic if you're looking for electric radiators that you can leave on over night, however part of have the best electric radiators on the market is also to have a portable electric heater that can provide you with instant heat. This is where the Dyson comes into it's own as it provides both hot and cold air, directly to where you need it.
If you’re looking for stylish, instant heat then you need to look at the Dyson AM09 that is the latest hot and cold fan from Dyson. Remember, if you’re thinking about buy a Dyson, it’s because you want instant heat and not something that you can leave on at home over night.
If you’re buying the Dyson, you should be looking at having the Warme Electric Radiator as your main source of heat and the Dyson at something that you could add on when you want to sit in front of the TV and feel snug. The Dyson is a portable heating fan, however does stand 24 Inches tall and weight around 4KG, however it’s been over engineered to ensure that it’s the best electric heater on the market.
Firstly it’s up to 75% quieter than passed models given Dyson have streamlined the air channels which has the affect of reducing the airflow turbulence to make it quieter, however secondly like it’s predecessor, it comes bladeless meaning that it’s both safe for children and your pets.
Performance is fantastic given the Dyson use air multiplier technology that creates a powerful stream of uninterrupted airflow that is perfect for wide projection when you’re trying to cover the width of a room or in long-range mode when you’re sitting further away from your Dyson. We also like the fact the Dyson comes with oscillation and tilt modes, a digital screen to ensure that the correct temperature and mode is easily set up and a remote control to make sure that you don’t have to move if you want to change the temperature.
Downsides of the Dyson, it’s not cheap to buy and to run on an hourly basis. When being run flat out at max temperature, I worked out that it was costing me 22pence per hour and whilst you would never run it flat out for more than an hour at home unless you wanted to live in a sauna, it does give you something to think about.
Overall the Dyson AM09 is a really easy-to-use fan heater that is both safe around your children and provides all the heating needs you would want.