Oil filled radiators: Everything you need to know

If you’re looking for a dependable heating solution that’s equal parts stylish, efficient, and highly controllable – look no further than oil filled radiators. Suitable for a wide range of spaces, they’re among the most widely purchased electric heaters on our site. So, what is it that sets them apart from the rest? If you’re weighing up your options and wondering if oil filled radiators are right for you, you’ve come to the right place – read on for everything you need to know.

Manufacturing & design

One of the first things you’ll notice is how similar they are to central heating radiators, both in terms of aesthetics and heating technology. Well, they’re similar for a reason. In fact, oil filled radiators can be considered a direct offshoot since many on the market have been converted from central heating and fitted with a new element.

If you're looking for peak performance and efficiency, it’s always best to choose an oil filled radiator that’s been specifically optimised for electric heating.

Optimised for electric

However, if you’re looking for peak performance and efficiency, it’s always best to choose an oil filled radiator that’s been specifically optimised for electric heating. Every model on our website has been built from the ground up, designed to encourage the convection process and manufactured using the highest-quality materials. For these reasons, they’re more expensive than other types of electric radiators – but the results are well worth it.

Versatile styles & finishes

One of the main benefits of oil filled radiators lies in their impressive variety. From classic column builds to sleek flat panels and elegantly curved bars, you’re guaranteed to find the perfect accompaniment to your home’s aesthetic:

Bar shape

Oil filled radiators benefit from a diverse range of styles, designed to encourage the heating process. Choose from square, oval, flat bars and more to give your living space a contemporary uplift.


Space-saving solutions that make use of restrictive wall space. For the design conscious, vertical radiators make a stunning wall feature in and of themselves.

Single panel

Slimline radiators that sit flush against walls. Single panel electric radiators are more likely to come in low to mid wattages, so are best suited in well insulated or smaller spaces. 

Double & triple panel

Extra panels to maximise heat distribution. Their higher output is suited to larger spaces that are prone to heat loss, like bedrooms and living rooms.

Unlike other oil filled radiators on the market, ours have been built from the ground up to match the power of electric heating. Although still resembling the appearance of gas central heating, their bespoke bodies offer superior performance and efficiency compared to those that have simply been converted to electric.

How do oil filled radiators work?

Filled with thermodynamic fluid and fitted with a heating element, oil filled radiators provide enduring warmth through an ideal combination of convection and radiation. Similar in design, they also share parallels with central heating in how they create heat. However, instead of being part of a centralised, high-pressure system, they act as fully sealed, standalone units that operate individually. For a full rundown of their inner workings, check out our dedicated blog.

Thermal fluid technology

Ever wondered about the “oil-filled” name? It’s all to do with their thermodynamic fluid. Different brands use different formulas, but our range of Ecostrad designer radiators contain propylene-glycol, a blend of alcohol groups, water and anti-freeze. You don’t need to worry about topping them up on delivery – all our radiators come pre-filled and ready to go, primed to deliver your home with efficient and comfortable warmth.

Key benefits:

Effective in hard-to-heat spaces

Heating through a combination of convection and radiation, it delivers responsive heat capable of warming draught-prone and open plan interiors.

Long-lasting warmth

Its superior heat-retentive properties make sure rooms stay warmer for longer without using extra energy.

Even spread of warmth

With improved heat dispersion, the thermal fluid reaches every part of the radiator, so the surface has a more even temperature. Not only does it equal a steady supply of warmth, it ensures there’s no risk of overheating.

Frost protection

Containing anti-freeze elements, this adds an extra safeguarding to the radiator during those extra cold spells.

Heating element

The star of the show – the heating element is a small but powerful coil of metal resistive wire that’s slotted into the radiator’s side. Turn it on, and it gets to work, heating up through a process of resistance. This makes the surrounding liquid warm and expand, rising to the top of the radiator. Meanwhile, the colder liquid sinks down towards the heating element, causing a convection cycle to begin. This up-and-down movement spreads warmth throughout the radiator, creating a fully contained, even spread of heat that emits out into the room.

Did you know?

The Ecostrad iQ element is the first of its kind to offer full WiFi programming.

Dual heat transfer

Heat is then circulated around the space by natural convection. As any air that passes against the radiator is warmed up, this eventually heats the entire room as colder air will sink to the floor and make contact. But that’s not all – oil filled radiators also emit a third of their warmth via radiation. That means on top of heating air volume, they deliver heat to objects, surfaces and people directly, for warmth on a deeper level.

How long do they take to heat up?

It can take up to half an hour before the radiator feels warm all over. This is because the radiator is not highly pressurised like a central heating system – it needs time for the liquid to heat up and reach all the nooks and crannies of the radiator body. To compensate this slower warm-up time, oil filled radiators have very slow cooling properties. So, even after they’ve stopped drawing power, comfort levels are maintained for longer.

Best use for oil filled radiators:

Medium to large rooms

All-day heating

Rooms with high ceilings

With slow cooldowns and an even spread of warmth, oil filled radiators are best suited in medium to large rooms that are used regularly, like bedrooms and living rooms. Their superior thermal properties make them ideal for maintaining a consistent temperature over long periods, rather than used on an ad-hoc basis when instant heat is required.

Top Tip:

Allow enough time for the radiator to heat the walls and air before the warmth is needed, especially when heating a colder room. 

Oil filled radiators are fitted with a heating element and filled with thermodynamic fluid. As the element warms up, the liquid expands and rises to the top of the radiator, creating a convection cycle. Their excellent thermal retention means they emit a third of their heat as radiation, which results in long-lasting warmth. They’re particularly suited for all-day heating in medium to large rooms, and are primed for maintaining comfort levels in hard-to-heat spaces.

Installation & maintenance

Since oil filled radiators operate independently, installation is remarkably straightforward, and they can be mounted pretty much anywhere with only the most minimal upkeep required! Let’s take a closer look at what to expect.

How are they installed?

Oil filled radiators must be hardwired into a fused spur by a professional. This is a simple job that won’t be too costly, and you’ve got the bonus of less wiring on show. As the heating element arrives separately, the electrician will need to fit it to the bottom side of the radiator and then connect it to power once the radiator is securely mounted to the wall. Oil filled models can be heavy, so be sure to check the wall is strong enough to support its weight. There are no hidden extras when it comes to installation – your radiator’s manual will have full instructions, and all fixtures and fittings are included with every purchase.

Can oil filled radiators be installed in bathrooms?

If the radiator has an IPX4 rating or higher, it can be installed in a bathroom by an electrician. This robust IP rating gives it the protection it needs against water splashes, and since most oil filled radiators have an external heating element, there’s a little more wiggle room when it comes to bathroom heating. For instance, you can even use them to store and dry your towels – just be sure not to cover the heating element.

All you need to do to keep your radiator spick and span is to give it the odd clean with a soft, damp cloth.

How much maintenance do they need?

Thanks to the safety of electric and zero moving parts, there’s very little maintenance involved. Forget costly callouts – all you need to do to keep your radiator spick and span is to give it the odd clean with a soft, damp cloth. In the unlikely event you need to refill your radiator, always leave that job to a professional – it’s a very particular process that doesn’t leave room for error, so be sure to contact the manufacturer or supplier for guidance.

Do oil filled radiators need bleeding?

If you have an Ecostrad oil filled radiator, it’s recommended you bleed it after first use. After 30 minutes, unscrew the bleed valve until liquid begins to come out, then screw it closed again. Make sure to catch the liquid with a cloth or bowl and dispose of it safely. It’s pretty much identical to how you would bleed a central heating radiator. The difference is that with electric, it’s a one and done process. If you have any questions, please get in touch with our expert heating consultants who will be more than happy to assist you.

Installation is a quick and easy job for a qualified electrician, who will fit the heating element and hardwire the radiator into a fused spur. It’s recommended you bleed your Ecostrad radiator after its first 30 minutes of heating. After that, the odd clean with a damp cloth is all the maintenance it needs – no costly callouts required!

Efficiency & running costs

Thanks to their exceptional design and heat-retaining properties, it’s safe to say that oil filled radiators stand out as both economical and efficient heating solutions. But to what extent, and what are some of the ways to maximise their cost-effectiveness?

100% efficient at point of use

Oil filled radiators are extremely efficient. Unlike gas central heating, they convert every watt of energy drawn from the mains into useable heat. Plus, the warmth they emit is far-reaching, making them particularly efficient in open plan and draughty spaces. If you’re looking to take efficiency to the next level, you can even pair your radiators with a renewable energy source or supplier for 100% carbon neutral heating from start to finish.  

Precision thermostats

Modern oil filled radiators are fitted with precise digital thermostats to ensure energy usage is at the minimum necessary to maintain comfortable warmth. By constantly monitoring room temperature, the thermostat can provide accurate readings with little space for fluctuation. Not only does this keep the set temperature from drifting, but the radiator benefits from a higher switch-off rate since it only needs to run for a few minutes an hour. By having a precision thermostat on each radiator, as opposed to one thermostat for your whole heating system, you’ve got a greater say on how much energy you use to heat your home.

Top Tip:

Zoning your heating is one of the best ways to reduce your overall running costs.

Energy-saving features

On top of heating efficiency and precise temperature management, oil filled radiators come in-built with a range of features designed to save you money. For example, our Ecostrad designer range come with:

Three heating modes

Steady, low-energy temperatures, ideal for when the house is empty over long periods.

Adaptive start

Pre-heats your space so it’s the right temperature at the right time, using minimal energy in the process.

Open window detection

Pauses your heating whenever it senses a rapid drop in temperature.

Temperature offset

Allows you to adjust the thermostat to account for hot or cold spots around the room temperature sensor.

24/7 programming

Adjustable hourly, daily, and weekly, set your preferred temperature and heating modes to align with your routine.

Countdown timer

For set-and-forget heating, select your preferred temperature and leave the radiator running for up to 8 hours.

Since they retain heat so well, they should only have to run for a fraction of the time to maintain a comfortable temperature.

Are oil filled radiators expensive to run?

Oil filled radiators are no more expensive to run than other types, and overall costs depend on wattage, the room’s heating needs, and the cost of electricity in your area. In general, many people find oil filled radiators incredibly economical, especially when running them for a longer period. Since they retain heat so well, they should only have to run for a fraction of the time to maintain a comfortable temperature. Plus, if your home is well insulated, this creates even more potential for significant cost-savings over time.

Oil filled radiators are 100% efficient at point of use. Combine this with their superior thermal properties, precision thermostats and energy-saving features, and you can enjoy long-lasting warmth that doesn’t cost the earth.


Oil filled radiators are known for their advanced controllability. Their sophisticated heating elements include a range of options, from effortless digital programming to cutting-edge WiFi control.

Manual control

Some radiators like the Haverland Designer TT feature innovative manual control via a digital interface, recessed into the radiator body. With intuitive icons and a wealth of features, it’s designed to be as simple as possible. In other cases, Ecostrad oil filled radiators can be manually programmed via the heating element itself. But for those looking for ultimate convenience, there is another way. 

WiFi app control

For heat management any time, any place, WiFi app control gives you full programming potential from the ease of your smartphone. As long as you have the compatible app downloaded and access to the internet, you can manage your heating no matter where you are in the world. It’s a simple way to save money and allows you to really finetune your radiator’s programming to account for busy lifestyles. For a closer look at how app control can transform home heating, check out our previous blog.

Connecting your Ecostrad WiFi element to an app is easy!

Check out our how-to guide.

Oil filled radiators can be programmed manually but many are also compatible with WiFi control. Simply download an app onto your smart device and manage your heating around your lifestyle.

What are the best oil filled radiators?

Now you have everything you need to know about oil filled radiators, it’s time to find the ideal solution for your home. Ecostrad oil filled radiators excel in all areas – driven by electric heating innovation, significant efforts have been put into refining their design to achieve peak heating performance.

Ecostrad Adesso iQ 

  • Slimline rectangular bars 
  • White & black finishes 
  • Horizontal & vertical orientations 

Ecostrad Allora iQ 

  • Sophisticated oval-bar design 
  • White & anthracite finishes 
  • Single & double panels available 

Ecostrad Allerton iQ

  • Double & triple column build 
  • White & anthracite finishes 
  • Horizontal & low styles available 

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

"Amazing radiator, super easy to set up once connected onto your WiFi and can control the temperature from your phone with ease. Love the black finish too!"

Customer bought: Ecostrad Adesso iQ WiFi Vertical Designer Electric Radiator - Black 1000w

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

"We ordered one to start with, then ordered three more when we realised how good it was."

Customer bought: Ecostrad Allerton iQ WiFi Low Triple Column Electric Radiator - White 1200w

Elevate interiors with an oil filled radiator

Ready to start browsing? We’re confident we won’t be beaten on quality, so browse our full range today. If you’re unsure of the right wattage to choose, our handy radiator calculator is on hand to help! Simply enter the dimensions of the room and answer a few questions about your property. Our calculator will then tell you the right size you need to keep your space comfortable. We also offer a complementary quoting service, so if you’d like the help of our heating consultants, be sure to get in touch!

Key learnings

Diverse aesthetics – With a wide range of styles, oil filled radiators are perfect for those who prioritise designer aesthetics. 

✓ Electric core – Many on the market have been converted from central heating, but our range has been built from the ground up to ensure top-tier performance and efficiency. 

✓ Superior thermal properties – With excellent heat retention, they’re ideal for all-day heating in medium to large rooms and are effective in maintaining comfort in hard-to-heat spaces. 

✓ Easy installation – An electrician can fit the heating element and hardwire the radiator into a fused spur. Their robust IP ratings also make them suitable for bathroom fitting. 

✓ Efficiency & savings – Operating at 100% efficiency, combined with their long-lasting warmth, precise thermostats and energy-saving features, oil filled radiators are designed to keep running costs down. 


Related Articles

The Best Oil Filled Radiators

Three Benefits of an Oil Filled Radiator

How Do Oil Filled Radiators Work?

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.