Electric heating comes in many forms, whether it’s programmable electric radiators, economical storage heaters, or modern infrared panels. It’s indisputably one of the best means of home heating, offering something for just about everyone, but it’s also managed to corner a specific market with a degree of success no other system has managed to replicate: portability. Electric heaters are the kings of convenience, offering unparalleled ease of use whenever we need quick top-up warmth, and though they’re not designed for primary heating, you’ll still find plenty of variation in these simple little appliances. We’re taking a look at two of the most popular portable heaters on the market, electric radiators and convector heaters, to weigh up which is the best fit for your space.
When to Choose an Electric Radiator…
Oil-filled electric radiators are a familiar sight in most homes. Sometimes they’re only wheeled out when main heating systems break down, but for other households, they’re a regular feature that gets used through winter for effective supplementary heat. Electric radiators continue to enjoy popularity with users up and down the UK because they offer effective, lasting and more efficient warmth compared to convector heaters – here’s how:
Portable electric radiators typically use oil as a heating element to provide an even distribution of warmth across the whole of the appliance. This oil is excellent at retaining heat, so though they tend to take longer to warm up, they stay warm even after they’ve stopped drawing power from the wall. The heat from oil-filled radiators lasts for longer, which in turn means they need less power to top up your room temperature. Combined with their multi-finned housings for an increased surface area, electric radiators operate more efficiently compared to convector heaters and are more cost-effective as a portable heating solution. An additional bonus of electric radiators is that they offer a more pleasant mix of convected and radiated heat so there’s none of the ‘dry air’ sensation that can sometimes accompany convection-only products.
Back to basics or cutting-edge technology?
Most people will opt for a portable electric radiator if they tend to use their heater often and want to minimise their running costs. What’s great about electric radiators is that you’re free to choose free standing heaters that are as basic or as advanced as you prefer. If you want a heater with simple controls, budget models come with staged heat outputs and easy-to-use turn dial thermostats. However, if you’d like something with more energy-saving features, you can purchase models like our RC Wave with an additional set of feet, so you’ve got all the advanced functionality of a fixed heater but with greater portability. The Haverland RC Wave includes full 24/7 programming and a precision digital thermostat so you’ve got total control over your energy usage. What’s more, with its lightweight aluminium housing, you’ve still got the freedom to move your electric radiator from room to room whenever the need arises. And, as an extra plus point, it's completely oil free so there's no chance of leaks further down the line!
When to Choose a Convector Heater…
Convector heaters are all about quick heat and quick results. They’re the products we reach for when we need on-demand heat and they’re found just about everywhere – topping up the temperature in a yoga class, warming a home conservatory, or providing quick heat in a little-used meeting room. They’re not as energy-efficient as electric radiators and cost more to run if used regularly, but for total convenience, they’re exceptionally effective.
These heaters use an exposed metal element in the base that quickly heats up and spreads warmth to the surrounding air. The warm air then rises up through the heater grill and begins to circulate around the room, creating a convection current that will ensure your space is well heated. Their basic design means that convector heaters are lightweight and easy to pick up and place wherever you want, however, their reliance on convected heat means that they’re much less efficient to run. Every time you leave the room or open a window, you’re losing any accumulated warmth and breaking the convection cycle, so the heater has to work harder to try and replenish any lost heat. Just as with electric radiators, you’ve got a choice between budget and high-end models. Our Ecostrad iQ Glass panel heater comes with 24/7 programming and an accurate digital thermostat to help slim down your energy usage, and if that wasn’t enough, it also comes with its own feet and remote control so you can manage your freestanding heater from the comfort of your chair.
Energy-Efficient Warmth or Quick On-Demand Heat
Both electric radiators and convector heaters are excellent as portable heating solutions so you can’t really go wrong with either choice. We highly recommend electric radiators for energy-efficient heating but the rapid warmth of a convector heater can also be a great choice if you’re only using your heater on occasion. Choose from our excellent selection of portable radiators and freestanding heaters to find the perfect match for your needs. For supplementary warmth at your place of work, for on-demand heat as you move from site to site, or simply for convenient heating at home, we’re sure to have the ideal solution.