Do oil filled radiators use a lot of electricity?

When it comes to choosing a home heating solution, oil filled radiators not only offer stylish designs and cutting-edge WiFi programming, but also the promise of efficiency. If you’re wondering just how much electricity they use, you’re in the right place. Read on as we explore all their energy-saving features, plus our top tips on how to keep your electricity bills in check when using an oil filled radiator. Let’s dive in!

How much electricity do oil filled radiators use?

Like all electric radiators, it depends on a few things. First off, your radiator’s wattage. The bigger the room or the chillier the draught, the higher the wattage needs to be. But here’s the good news: oil filled radiators are pretty clever – they’re designed with heat-retentive thermal fluid and built-in energy-saving features. So, most of the time, they won’t even need to run at their full output! Plus, if your home’s well insulated, you can look forward to even more savings down the line.

Do oil filled radiators use more electricity than other types?

Oil filled radiators don’t inherently use more electricity compared to ceramic or dry thermal radiators – but there’s a catch you should be aware of. If you treat an oil filled radiator like a panel heater or dry thermal radiator – that is, turning it on only when you need a quick burst of heat – it can end up consuming more electricity than necessary. Since the oil needs to heat up and travel across the entire radiator, it’s a slower process compared to the rapid heat conductivity of oil-free heaters.

So, it’s not just about the wattage – it’s also about how you use it, and that’s where the real savings begin.

Check out our handy DIY calculation to get an estimate on the running costs of your oil filled radiator.

How do oil filled radiators save energy?

100% efficiency

Every watt of energy drawn from the mains is converted into usable heat, meaning you only pay for the heat you actually use. Plus, if you’re looking to take efficiency to the next level, you can even pair your oil filled radiator with a renewable energy source or supplier.

Even spread of warmth

The thermal fluid reaches every nook and cranny of the radiator, ensuring the surface maintains an even temperature. This not only guarantees a consistent supply of warmth but also eliminates the risk of overheating.

Residual heating

Thanks to their outstanding heat-retentive properties, oil filled radiators keep rooms warmer for longer without the need for continuous operation. Their slow cooling rate means that even after they’ve stopped drawing power, they continue to maintain comfort levels.

Dual heat transfer

Emitting an ideal combination of convection and radiation, convected heat creates a toasty current of warm air, while infrared radiation delivers waves of warmth to you directly. Our bodies absorb radiant heat more naturally than convection, so it’s an even more pleasant way to keep cosy!

Best practise for using oil filled radiators

So, to make sure you're getting the most out of your oil filled radiator without going overboard on electricity usage, here are some handy tips:

Give your radiator enough time to do its job, especially when heating up a chilly room.

1. Plan ahead

Give your radiator enough time to do its job, especially when heating up a chilly room. Oil filled radiators work their magic through both convection and radiated heat. While convection heats the air quickly, infrared radiation seeps into the walls, floors, and furniture. It's a bit slower, but the warmth lingers longer. So, if you expect instant results and crank up the thermostat, your radiator will have to work harder.

2. Give it time

Since it takes about thirty minutes for an oil filled radiator to heat up, allow it to heat the room thoroughly before the warmth is needed. That way, your space is nice and toasty in time for when you use it, and the effects will still be felt when you eventually turn the radiator off.

If it gets too chilly, your radiator will have to work extra hard to get things warm again.

3. Keep it steady

Avoid letting the room temperature drop significantly between heating periods. If it gets too chilly, your radiator will have to work extra hard to get things warm again, potentially causing uneven heat distribution.

By following these tips, you can make the most of your oil filled radiator's efficient heating capabilities while keeping your electricity usage in check!

Energy-saving features to look out for

If you’re looking to take advantage of the many in-built features that come with oil filled radiators, be sure to keep the following in mind to save energy:

Precision thermostats

Modern oil filled radiators come equipped with digital thermostats. Not only do they allow you to control your radiator on an individual basis, but it means you can maintain your preferred temperatures with exceptional precision, leaving little room for fluctuation. So, instead of having to run continuously, oil filled radiators only need to turn on for a few minutes every hour to maintain your desired heat level. The heat-retentive fluid ensures you’ll feel the warmth when the radiator’s stopped running, so you don’t have to worry about fiddling with the thermostat to make up for any cold spots.

24/7 programming

With weekly scheduling, you can customise your radiator’s temperature settings for every hour and day of the week. Once your program is in place, your radiator will operate automatically, so you don’t have to worry about it running when you’re away. 24/7 programming gives you peace of mind to go about your daily routine without having to micromanage your heating, and with smart control, managing your schedule becomes even easier.

Open window detection

The ideal solution for busy households and shared living spaces, open window detection senses sudden temperature drops from open doors or windows. If a draught is detected, it will switch your oil filled radiator to a low-energy mode, so heat loss is kept to a minimum. Once temperatures stabilise, your scheduled programming will resume, making this feature a must-have for set-and-forget heating!

Adaptive start

Working alongside your weekly heat schedule, adaptive start intelligently anticipates when to initiate heating, ensuring your room reaches the desired temperature precisely when required. Instead of expending full power for rapid heating, this feature conserves energy by gradually elevating the temperature, saving energy without sacrificing comfort.

WiFi control

WiFi-compatible oil filled radiators open up a world of convenience by connecting to the internet, empowering you to remotely manage your radiators from anywhere in the world through a smartphone app. Beyond streamlining heat management, you can keep a better eye on your energy usage overall. Apps like Ecostrad Ecosystem put you in charge of your heating like never before, ensuring your radiators never have to use more electricity than needed.

Enjoy cost-effective warmth with oil filled radiators

If you’re interested in purchasing an oil filled radiator but don’t know where to start, be sure to check out our handy radiator calculator. Simply answer a few quick questions about your property and it will tell you the wattage you need to effectively heat your space. That way, there’s no risk of your radiator having to use more electricity than necessary to maintain comfort levels. In the meantime, browse our full range of oil filled radiators – with free next day delivery, you could enjoy cost-effective and efficient warmth as quickly as tomorrow!

Key learnings

✓ Oil-filled radiators are incredibly efficient thanks to their heat-retentive thermal fluid, even heat distribution and retention, and in-built energy-saving features. 

✓ The amount of electricity they use depends on many factors, but like all electric radiators, the bigger or draughtier the room, the more energy they will use. 

✓ To avoid using more electricity than necessary it’s important to give them time to heat the room thoroughly and not let the temperature drop too much between heating periods. 

✓ Energy-saving features for oil filled radiators include precision thermostats, 24/7 programming, open window detection, adaptive start, and WiFi control. Take advantage of these and never use more electricity than you need! 

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Catriona Elliott

As Senior Content Writer at Electric Radiators Direct, Catriona’s articles are a treasure trove of information – meticulously researched and brimming with style to keep you in the loop on all things electric heating.