Best oil Filled Radiators Buying Guide
Oil heaters don’t actually burn the fuel to create warmth but heat up the oil using electricity. At the heart of the oil heater is a resistor which turns electricity into heat, which in turn heats up the oil. The oil used is called diathermic oil which is stored in an internal reservoir and is particularly good at holding on to heat. Diathermic oil also has a very high boiling point – around 300 °C – so the radiator doesn’t need a venting system to release any build-up internal pressure. Once hot, the oil flows smoothly into the radiator fins and columns in a similar way your central heating flows hot water into your home’s radiators. The result is an even spread of warmth radiating from your oil heater.
With a wide range of price-tags, it’s important to look beyond the cost of an oil heater and consider what it is offering you. Key factors to take into account when buying an oil filled radiator include:
The size of your oil radiator will depend on the space you will need the heater for as the larger the radiator, the more energy it will consume and so the higher the running costs. And if you are needing a very large radiator, then another type – a space heater, for example – may be more energy efficient than oil. Just make sure the size of radiator you choose works with the size and heating needs of your room.
A higher watt radiator that gives out a high power output may actually be more efficient when it comes to the running costs than a smaller model, especially if you have a larger room to heat. But whether you opt for a more powerful heater or one with a lower energy output, make sure you choose a radiator that has a choice of heat settings so you can adjust its output to suit your desired temperature needs.
You need to be able to effectively control the levels of heat the oil filled radiator puts out, so look for controls that are easy to use and adjust. Many oil heaters also include programmable settings, 24-hour timers and adjustable thermostats as well as a minimum temperature level and frost settings, so it fires up when you need to generate more heat.
As it is generating heat, you want your new oil heater to be as safe as possible so look for built-in safety features for that extra peace of mind. Things to look for include auto shut-off and overheat protection should the device get too hot, as well as stabilising devices (if it is freestanding) and tip-over switches should it get knocked over.
You want your new oil filled radiator to be as efficient as possible when it comes to energy consumption, so that it is cost-effective to run, especially on a daily basis. Look for energy saving features, including remote control operation, adjustable thermostat, 24-hour timer, programmes and max/min temperature and power settings, which are all designed to enable you to control the energy efficiency.
If you plan to use your oil heater in several locations in your home, as you need it, then it needs to be easy to move and transport. Look for lightweight portable heater models with handles and wheels so it can safely move around.
As with any heating device for your home, there are pros and cons, depending on your needs. We take a look at the differences between oil filled radiators and other types of heaters that are available.
Compared to other heaters, including fan heaters and electrical, oil filled radiators:
- Have no internal fans so are one of the quietest types of domestic heaters you can buy
- Used correctly, oil heaters are energy efficient and cost-effective to run
- The oil inside the radiator doesn’t need to be replaced as it is not the fuel source
- They create a lovely, long-lasting warmth, even after the device is switched off
- Many oil filled electric radiators will cycle on and off, when it reaches the desired temperature, so saving energy without losing warmth in your room
- Unlike heaters based on fans or blowers, oil heaters don’t dry out the surrounding air
- There is no exposed heating element which can be a fire hazard
With its compact design and 2kW output, the De’Longhi Dragon 4 will work well in most rooms and can create a decent amount of heat. It also offers a ‘chimney effect’ design, meaning the heat gets evenly distributed around the whole room. And it warms up faster than more traditional oil heater designs. With an adjustable thermostat, safety features,24-hour timer and castor wheels so it is easy to move around, we think the Dragon 4 is a hot addition to any home.