Best Plinth Heater Buying Guide
A plinth heater is an alternative to traditional radiators in a central heating system when it comes to heating a room without taking up too much space. And as they can be located within room furniture such as the plinth in a kitchen cupboard, they are a good choice for smaller rooms for extra heat or where there is limited wall space. Discreet inn design and with a grill front to emit heat, plinth heaters can generate a decent amount of warmth while being energy efficient and can be used in both domestic and commercial locations.
Considering the different features to look for will ensure you get the best plinth heater for your needs. These include:
Type of plinth heater
There are three main types of space saving plinth heaters – electric, dual fuel and hydronic - which are all powered differently and use varying amounts of energy. We look in more depth at the types later on in this guide.
You need to get the right size of heater to work with the space you are looking to heat as well as decide how many you need. For example, in a larger, well ventilated kitchen you may need to install several for an even warmth, but smaller spaces may only need one, depending on its size. Most manufacturers will specify the maximum room size a single heater can heat. And also ensure that the heater will fit in the space you want it to go before buying.
To have greater control over how warm your space gets, look for a plinth heater than has a control so you can vary the heat. Look for a model which offers 2-3 heat settings so you can more accurately adjust and remain energy efficient throughout the year.
With plinth heaters typically installed under kitchen units or lower down, having a visual indicator such as a light will make it easier for you to know at a glance whether the heater is on or off. A visual indicator is a particularly good idea if you have opted for plinth heaters which come complete with remote control.
Thermostatic control is another key feature to look for as it will prevent overheating and also help you to save energy when you don’t need the room to be so warm. However, some hydronic models may not have an internal thermostat as they rely on your central heating system when it comes to temperature control.
Another energy saving feature on plinth heaters is a timer, so you can control when and how long the heater comes on for.
A warranty is always a good idea when it comes to any home heating or appliance, and the longer the warranty period the better, ideally over two years. However, do ensure you check the T&Cs if you are planning to install it yourself, as there may be a few caveats.
- Hydronic (Hot Water)
This is the most common type of plinth heater found in most homes. A hydronic plinth heater uses hot water to generate heat in a similar way to a radiator, except that it blows out the warmth into the room. A hydronic heater generates heat via a heat exchanger and is connected to a home’s central heating system.
- All Electric
An electric plinth heater is solely powered by electricity and is not connected to the home’s main heating system. It simply uses electricity to warm air and then push the heat out into the room via an electric fan.
- Dual Fuel
This type of plinth heater offers the best of both worlds by mixing electric and hydronic. Using both electric energy and a home’s central heating system, a dual fuel plinth heater can generate a decent amount of heat to warm up the whole room.
Affordable, easy to install and with functionality above its price-tag, the Winterwarm Plinth Heater scoops our best plinth heater top pick title. the design is slimline and is ideal for smaller kitchens, or it can double up for larger rooms. Add in a thermostat and a programmable timer plus a Bluetooth remote control, and we think you get a lot of quality heat and design for your money.