As the temperature goes down during winter, it’s every homeowner’s wish to keep the gas and electricity bills under control. An Oil filled space heater is one of the popular solutions you need to keep the frosty, frigid weather at bay without worrying about cranking up your utility bills.
However, before you go shopping for the best oil filled space heater heater, you need to understand how it works, why they are considered effective, and how to increase energy efficiency.
In this oil filled heater reviews, we’ve included the top ten models in the market today. You’ll also learn factors to consider when you go shopping, safety tips, and how to get the best out of your oil-filled radiator heater.
What are the Best Oil Filled Space Heater?
1. DeLonghi EW7707CM Oil-Filled Radiator
- LOWER ENERGY BILLS: By heating only the room you’re in, you can lower your household thermostat and lower your energy bills
- NO ASSEMBLY REQUIRED: Only De’Longhi has patented Smart Snap pre-assembled wheels that require no assembly and make it easy to move from room to room
- COMFORT TEMP TECHNOLOGY: Cuts your costs by automatically maintaining the optimal temperature and power settings
- MAINTENANCE-FREE SYSTEM: The oil system is permanently sealed, so you never need to worry about refilling the heater
- PERSONALIZED COMFORT: Adjustable thermostat and multiple heat settings
Last update on 2021-09-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
The DeLonghi EW7707CM is the first in a series of Delonghi products reviewed here. This is because Delonghi is one of the best-recognized brands with regard to the manufacture of oil-filled radiators. This particular model includes pre-assembled wheels so you can get it running immediately without having to assemble anything first.
The Comfort Temp technology this product uses means lower energy bills as it automatically maintains the optimal temperature, and doesn’t continuously run. The system is maintenance free. You never have to worry about refilling it as the oil system is permanently sealed.
The adjustable thermostat and multiple heat settings allow you to customize the temperature for your comfort. You can heat the room and then switch it to a lower setting to maintain a comfortable environment while using less electricity to power the unit.
The safety features include a thermal shut off that prevents it from overheating, so you don’t have to worry if you forget to switch it off on occasion. There is no mention of tilt protection, a feature that is often included in oil-filled radiators, however.
- No assembly required
- Adjustable thermostat and multiple heat settings
- No tilt over protection
2. DeLonghi TRN0812T Portable Oil-Filled Radiator
The DeLonghi TRN0812T has a less austere design than some other models. It is rounded and looks very like an actual radiator due to its color and lined body.
It includes a GFI plug. These plugs protect you from receiving an electric shock by neutralizing any differences in input and output currents, allowing for an extra layer of protection when using any electrical devices. This means that you can safely use this model in your bathroom as there is no danger of the wet environment, causing an accident.
The vertical thermal chimneys behave in much the same way as a real radiator. This design maximizes radiant heat flow and simultaneously maintains an overall temperature.
This small model can easily fit snugly into any appropriate space in the room you wish to heat. It also includes an adjustable thermostat and three heat settings for maximum efficiency. Even more impressive is the energy-saving timer with a remarkable 96 settings included. You’ll never have to worry that this machine is consuming too much electricity with all of these nifty features. It’s one of the cheapest electric heaters to run.
At 1200 watts, it may not be as powerful as some other models with 1500 watts or more, but it’s still more than enough to heat a small to medium-sized room effectively.
- Can use this anywhere: even in the bathroom!
- An energy-saving timer with an impressive 96 settings included
- At 1200 watts, it’s not as powerful as some other models
3. DeLonghi EW7507EB Oil Filled Radiator Heater
- 1500 watts of heating power, silent operation, Best for medium to large rooms that need constant heat in the colder seasons.
- High quality, patented steel assembly - permanently sealed oil reservoir - never needs refilling.
- 24-Hour Timer: Energy saving double function timer spans an entire 24 hr. period. It conveniently allows you to program two different times (up to 8 hrs long each), so you can set it for the morning and night.
- Adjustable thermostat and three heat settings allows you to customize your heating needs
- Patented thermal slots maximize heat flow yet maintain a low surface temperature
Last update on 2021-09-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
The DeLonghi EW7507EB includes a variety of useful features which will ensure you can create a comfortable environment in your home. It’s nice and quiet and one of the best heaters for large spaces such as a master bedroom or living room. Generally speaking, a 1500 watt heater can heat a space of up to 175 square feet so that it will be effective in most average sized rooms. But for extra-large rooms you’ll need a 500 sq ft space heater.
With its high-quality, patented-steel design, this model is made to last for a long time without becoming damaged. The permanently sealed oil reservoir never needs refilling, so you can simply plug in and enjoy the radiant heat it emits without having to worry about paying for extras.
This model includes a 24-hour timer which helps to save energy by monitoring the temperature over 24 hours. You can even program two different times to allow for different heating requirements during the day.
This model also doesn’t seem to include any tilt protection features, but it’s a sturdy unit, so you don’t need to worry about this aspect so much.
- 24-hour timer
- Safe heat features
- No tilt protection
4. COSTWAY Oil Filled Radiator Heater
The Costway oil-filled radiator has a sleek design with a silver and black color scheme. It’s very slim so it can conveniently fit into your chosen space without too much hassle. You won’t have to rearrange the furniture just to find a space for it, that’s for sure.
With 1500 watts of heating power, it can heat larger rooms of up to 175 square feet to a comfortable temperature. One thing that really stands out about this model is its contemporary digital controls, which can often be easier to operate and allow for greater accuracy with regards to settings than standard displays.
This is another model that includes permanently sealed oil, so once again you can sit back and relax without having to worry about refilling costs.
There are also some thoughtful design features that allow this model to be moved around easily from room to room. First, it is equipped with four universal casters and a carry handle, so you can move it into a different room much like a suitcase with wheels. The power cord can also be wrapped around the power cord housing. This is great for when the summer arrives, and you want to store the heater away until the winter.
- Digital control settings
- Power cord housing for easy storage and mobility
- Doesn’t include as many programmable features as some other models
5. DeLonghi TRH0715 Oil Filled Radiator
The De Longhi TRH0715 has 1500 watts of heating power, allowing you to use it for most rooms in your house up to 175 square feet. It has a high-quality oil reservoir that is permanently sealed, so you never need to do anything where maintenance and replenishment of oil is concerned.
Some people get confused by the fact that oil-filled radiators contain oil and assume the oil will need to be refilled, but most modern units include this highly convenient feature.
The smart-snap wheels allow you to snap on the wheels without having to get out your toolbox. This means you can bring it home and start using it immediately. This is great for those times when your main heating system is acting up — you can simply pop out and get one of these without having to suffer through a cold winter night. Most oil-filled radiators are pretty cheap, too, so cost-effectiveness isn’t too much of a worry.
This unit operates silently and includes an adjustable thermostat and safe heat features, so you can customize the settings for maximum comfort and enjoy the heat with peace of mind.
- Safe Heat features
- Silent operation
- Not as aesthetically appealing as some other models
6. DeLonghi Comfort Temp Full Room Radiant Heater
- LOWER ENERGY BILLS: By heating only the room you’re in, you can lower your thermostat and lower your energy bills.
- SAFETY TECHNOLOGY: Perfect for family use, De’Longhi safety features include a thermal shut off that prevents overheating.
- NO ASSEMBLY REQUIRED: Only De’Longhi has patented SmartSnap pre-assembled wheels that require no assembly and make it easy to move from room to room.
- COMFORT TEMP TECHNOLOGY: Cuts your costs by automatically maintaining the optimal temperature and power settings.
- MAINTENANCE FREE SYSTEM: The oil system is permanently sealed, so you never need to worry about refilling the heater.
Last update on 2021-09-14 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
The DeLonghi Comfort Temp Full Room Radiant Heater promises to give you lower energy bills by enabling you to lower your thermostat. If you use one room more than any other, this unit is perfect for keeping you cozy while your central heating system can keep the rest of the rooms at a slightly lower temperature.
The safety technology makes this model perfect for family use. There is an automatic shut off system built into the design, preventing the machine from overheating. You should be aware, however, that most oil-filled radiators are hot on the surface when they’re in use, so be extra careful when using around children and pets.
The comfort temp technology settings allow you to set the exact temperature and power you need so that you can ensure you’re getting maximum cost and heat efficiency to suit your needs and budget.
The maintenance-free system allows you to enjoy the benefits of your oil-filled radiator without paying extra running or maintenance costs, and the adjustable thermostat boosts its already efficient energy-saving capabilities. It costs a little more than some other models at $84.87, but it’s still a great value product.
- Safety technology
- Comfort temp technology
- A little bit more expensive than some other models
7. DeLonghi MG7307CM Oil Filled Radiator
- 7 permanently sealed fins with pure diathermic oil never need refilling
- Energy efficient ComforTemp feature sets ideal temperature (68-70 degrees)
- Patented vertical thermal chimneys maximize radiant heat flow while maintaining a low, safe to touch surface temperature
- Automatically turns on when the room temperature drops below the set temperature with anti-freeze setting
- Automatically turns off with safety thermal cut-off if heater becomes too warm
Last update on 2021-09-14 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
The DeLonghi MG7307CM might not look as pretty as some other models with its unusually tall and slim design, but it has a unique feature included that makes it a solid contender for the best oil-filled radiator.
What is this feature? It’s surface temperature. This model has the unique ability to be incredibly safe, even when switched on and in use. It claims that the surface temperature is safe to touch while you’re using it. This is definitely a huge advantage because if someone accidentally brushes past it or bumps into it, they won’t get injured by the hot temperature.
The comfort temp features included in this model helps the user save both energy and money. You choose your optimal temperature, and the machine does the rest. Once the room reaches the optimal temperature, it will shut off instead of running continuously. It will come on again once the temperature falls again, so you can stay comfortable and cozy without having to get up and change the settings constantly.
- Seven permanently sealed fins for efficient radiant heat
- Safe to touch surface temperature
- Less aesthetically appealing than some other models
8. Honeywell HZ-789 EnergySmart Electric Oil Filled Radiator
- WHOLE ROOM HEAT: EnergySmart technology makes this heater not only powerful but energy efficient. It features Digital EasySet Controls with a 1-12 Hour Timer, adjustable thermostat & 3 heat settings.
- SAFE & MOBILE: A large, easy-pull handle & easy-glide wheels make this heater simple to move, & it's loaded with safety features: 360° Tip-Over Switch, overheat protection & thermal insulated wiring.
- INCREASE YOUR COMFORT: Portable heaters can help increase comfort & supplement home heating needs. Honeywell carries a range of heaters including personal, ceramic, fan forced, radiant, & infrared.
- SMART SAVINGS: Portable heaters are an easy way to add warmth to any space. By turning down your home thermostat a few degrees & heating just the room you're in, a space heater can help you save money.
- HONEYWELL QUALITY: Help improve heating & energy savings in your home, office, or school using an energy efficient Honeywell portable heater to bring comfort to any sized room from small to large.
Last update on 2021-09-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
The Honeywell HZ-789 comes from another well-known brand in the niche market of oil-filled radiators. Honeywell and DeLonghi are two of the most competitive manufacturers in this area, so it’s no surprise their products appear on this list.
Weighing in at 21 pounds, this is one of the lightest models available, and it also includes several convenient features. For example, the EnergySmart technology incorporated into this design boasts a 1-12 hour time, adjustable thermostat, and three settings. All of these features can be programmed into the unit using the Digital EasySet Controls.
One of these controls is a very convenient power button. Standard power buttons on oil-filled radiators are often switches. This one looks like the one you find on gadgets like TVs and computers, allowing you to switch them on and off with ease. Another nifty feature on the digital control system is a current temperature display. This means you can always ensure your unit is running at an optimal level by making sure the current temperature matches the thermostat settings.
The only slight downside to this machine is that the wheel assembly looks more complicated than other models. There is even a small section in the user’s manual that explains the wheel assembly process, so it might take a little bit of time to get this model ready for use. Still, it’s hardly the same difficulty level as trying to assemble IKEA furniture!
- Digital EasySet controls
- Safe and mobile
- The wheel assembly seems more complicated than other models
9. NewAir AH-450B Electric Oil-Filled Space Heater
- [Efficient Whole-Room Heating with ECO Mode] Keep winter's bite at bay with this portable oil-filled space heater. This powerful heater has seven fins that provide constant comfort all winter long. Thanks to the ECO mode, you can keep it on all day without worrying about your electric bills — it's one of the most efficient heaters around.
- [Totally Silent Operation] Unlike convection heaters that require a fan to pump out hot air, this space heater uses diathermic oil inside its radiating fins to keep you warm without making a sound. The result? Quiet comfort in rooms up to 12' x 13'.
- [Intuitive Controls and Remote] Three heat modes let you control your comfort — and your energy usage. Set your desired temperature in 5° increments, or turn on the 10-hour timer for worry-free shut-off whenever you like. The included remote control lets you do it all from anywhere in the room.
- [Powerful, Portable Heating] The slim, lightweight design of this space heater allows it to fit in any room, while easy-glide casters make it a cinch to roll into place. When winter finally ends, just slide it into storage until you need it again.
- [Smart Safety Features] This ETL-certified space heater features a thermostat for your convenience and an automatic shut-off function that prevents overheating. There's also an anti-tip switch that detects a fall and shuts the heater down immediately to prevent accidents.
Last update on 2021-09-14 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
The NewAir Electric Oil-Filled Space Heater is a solid example of a convenient and efficient oil-filled radiator. It is one of the few products that includes an actual tip-over switch, which shuts the system down if it is accidentally knocked over. It also has an overheat protection to ensure the unit never gets too hot before shutting itself off.
The digital display might not be as impressive as some other models, but it’s still a practical design with easy to read numbers and wording. It includes a timer that can operate at increments of two hours, up to a total of ten hours. It might not have a 24 hour timer, but many people who use oil-filled radiators might feel uneasy about leaving it switched on when not in use, so you might not find this to be a problem.
The front carrying handles, caster wheels, and storage compartment for the power cord all ensure this unit is suitable for moving and storing easily. You and your family might spend most of your time in the living room, but this can be easily moved to the dining room when dinner is ready with little inconvenience.
- Tip-over switch
- Overheat protection
- The digital display isn’t as high-end as some other models
10. Insignia HTRFBK6 Oil-Filled Radiator Heater
- Heats areas up to 144 sq. ft.
- 12.5 AMPs oil radiator
- 1500W radiator
- Safety tip-over switch
- Remote control included
Last update on 2021-09-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
The Insignia HTRFBK6 uses 1500 watts of power and can heat a room up to 175 square feet. For maximum efficiency, it is best used in rooms that are 144 square feet. It is perfectly capable of providing warmth in large space, like any models with 1500 watts, but 144 square feet is at the lower end of this spectrum, allowing for faster heat-up and circulation. This is something you might want to consider if you want the room to be warm as quickly as possible.
This model includes a safety tip-over switch. For anyone with hyper pets or kids, this feature gives you extra peace of mind.
This unit also includes a caution light as it gets hot on the surface when in use. Be careful about brushing past it when this light is on, and also be extra careful with small children.
If you’re comfortable on the couch or lying in bed reading and want to adjust the settings, you don’t have to move. One of the useful things about this model is that it includes a remote control, so you can change the settings from a distance.
This doesn’t include an ACLI safety plug, however, which is pretty much the same as a GFI plug, so it’s not suitable for use in bathrooms or utility rooms.
- 1500 watt
- Safety tip-over switch
- No ACLI safety plug
OIL FILLED SPACE HEATER BUYING GUIDE
With so many space heating units available in the market, deciding which product to buy can be a challenge. Between assessing energy efficiency and comparing brands, it can take a long time to settle on an option.
This guide is designed to help you make an informed decision of whether an oil filled space heater would be your best option. Among other things, we’ve discussed in detail how oil heaters work, their benefits over other home/space heating options, safety precautions, and the cost of running such heaters.
How Do Oil Filled Radiators Work?
Simply put, oil filled heater work by using an electrical element to heat a reservoir of thermal oil inside the unit. The electrical element is fully submerged into the oil.
When you switch on the unit, this heating element is heated, and the warmth generated transferred to the surrounding oil. The warm oil, in turn, heats the metal fins, creating an even level of warmth. The heat from the fins is then dissipated into your rooms, increasing the temperature of your surroundings.
The following are a couple of details about the heating process that you may want to know about;
How the heating element works
The heating element in an oil filled space heater is typically a high resistance wire inserted into the base of the unit. When the radiator is switched ON, the flow of current through the wire results in the generation of heat. Since the wires used are of very high resistance, a lot of heat is typically produced. Other factors that affect the performance of resistance elements are shape and size.
Convention at the heart of it all
While the transfer of heat from the radiator unit to our rooms is mainly due to radiation, convection plays a vital role in the radiator. Heat transfer process in fluids, where hotter and therefore less dense material rises to the top while older, denser materials rise to the top, convection ensures that the oil in your radiator is evenly heated at all times.
Throughout the process, warm air rises to the top of the unit, pushing cold oil to the bottom of the unit for re-heating. This process helps keep the oil evenly heated.
Closely packed fins maximize efficiency
Like all radiators, oil-filled heaters give out up to two-thirds of their heat in the form of convection. To ensure that as much of this heat is emitted into the surrounding as possible, oil radiators are designed with fluted bodies and closely packed fins to make maximum contact with the air.
You don’t need to replace the oil
If you’re new to space heaters, it’s easy to get the impression that the oil inside the unit needs to be replaced or maintained in some way. You may even be led to believe that the radiators use oil as their primary energy source.
This isn’t the case. Oil-filled radiators are, in fact, electrical heaters. Their primary “fuel” is electricity. The oil inside is simply a thermal reservoir for the heating element rather than consumable fuel. The oil used isn’t even motor oil. It’s usually mineral oil, vegetable oil, or commercial oil.
You can also check on waste oil burning heater for garage.
Benefits of Oil Burning Heaters
Oil filled radiators are one of the most popular space heating units for a reason – they come with a ton of benefits. The following are some of the reasons you should hop on the bandwagon;
They’re impressively quiet
Of all medium-sized space heating products, oil heaters are arguably the quietest. Most heaters push air out with the help of a fan; an exposed heating element emits heat, and the fan blows the heat around the room. This is usually the biggest cause of noise in space heaters. Oil filled radiators do not use fans and therefore, are impressively silent. The only sound you’ll hear is the clicking of the thermostat as it adjusts itself.
Related: Best Quiet Propane Heater Reviews
Lower running costs
While it still costs money to run an oil heater, the long-term costs are much lower compared to other space heating options. This is especially true if you can find a heater with a fully programmable heating control. These units give you the flexibility to program your heating on a need basis, meaning you get the optimal temperature and prevent wastage in unused space.
Related: Most Energy Efficient Space Heater Reviews 2021
Excellent heat retention
These units have exceptional heat retention capacity. The fluid in an oil-filled space heater has an amazing ability to stay warm and retain heat longer, meaning it takes less electric power to achieve desired room warmth.
It also means that heating won’t instantly stop when you shut off the unit. Indeed, most oil-filled radiators can continue dissipating heat for up to a few hours after shut off. The result – more money in your pocket!
Energy saving qualities
Most oil-burning heaters also feature several extra features designed specifically to help save energy. Many of these heaters, for example, come with an inbuilt energy monitor to help you optimize energy usage. Some also have open window detection built in. This feature automatically detects whether your windows are open. If the windows are open, it autocratically shuts down.
Like other space heating products, electric oil heater get hot too. If you touch the body of the heater when it’s operational, it will be hot enough. However, the heat rarely gets to a point where it would burn someone and cause serious injuries.
Additionally, unlike some heaters where the heating element is exposed and posing a safety hazard, the heating element in an oil-filled radiator is located deep inside the internal oil and the appliance fully sealed. These qualities make oil-filled radiators much safer than most types of heaters.
Related: Best Safest Space Heater
Other qualities that make oil filled radiators superior to other space heaters in the market include portability, ease of maintenance, and environmental friendliness. The portability of the unit means you can carry your heater and place it close enough for maximum warmth.
The lack of grilles/vents means you don’t have to worry about dirt and dust entering the unit. This is a relief maintenance-wise. Finally, oil-filled radiators don’t produce any harmful fumes or gases, making them very safe for the environment, and they are idea for very confined spaces, especially if you want to heat your basement.
Dangers of Oil Space Heaters
Though not as big a safety hazard as other home space heaters, oil filled heaters are still known for a few risks. These include;
Any product that generates heat is a fire hazard, and oil filled heaters are no exception. Although the fire risk is low compared to other space heaters, there is still a risk of the unit catching or causing fire.
Two common scenarios that can result in a fire are when the oil tank is leaking and when the unit is overheating, perhaps due to malfunction or age. For these reasons, it’s important to keep your heater in optimal shape to avoid fire risks. Remember that oil leaks can also damage carpets or the floor underneath.
We earlier mentioned that the enclosed nature of gas-filled radiators means they don’t emit as much fumes as other home heating products. While this is true, it doesn’t mean that oil filled radiators are completely free of fumes.
For one, they emit oil fume which, although not as big a health hazard as the likes of carbon monoxide and sulfur dioxide, is still not completely safe. Some people, for example, are sensitive to oil fumes and may become nauseous and develop headaches and stomach aches when exposed to the fumes.
This topic rarely gets the attention it deserves. One of the qualities of traditional space heaters that blow air through the room (often using a fan) is that they remove moisture from the air. This process usually leaves the air dry, which can be dangerous, especially for people who have dry skin. However, dry air also has many benefits, including the killing a few airborne allergens.
Unfortunately, oil-filled radiators don’t dry air; they don’t remove moisture from the air, resulting in many challenges. The combination of warmth and moisture, for instance, makes any space a breeding ground for mold.
Leaving the unit ON overnight
From the above discussion on fire hazards and risk of fumes, anyone would conclude that oil filled radiators are safe enough to use overnight. But is that the case? Is it safe to leave your oil heater on overnight?
Manufacturers think it’s not. If you read your user manual carefully, you’ll likely find a strong warning from your manufacturer against leaving the unit overnight. We strongly recommend that you heed this advice. Why? Because you don’t know what can happen in the space of several hours! What if a leak starts overnight? What if the unit breaks down? The risks are just too many.
Safety Tips When Using Oil Filled Space Heaters
Now that we know the safety hazards, we can discuss measures to keep yourself, your family, and your home safe when using oil filled radiators. You’ll likely find these are other model-specific precautions in the user manual.
- Don’t use your radiator in damp areas: Manufacturers warn against using an oil filled space heater in damp places with poor ventilation such as bathrooms, laundry, or any other areas where the unit may come in contact with water – water and oil-filled radiators don’t mix.
- Don’t rely on external technology to monitor heating: The only tools you can use to monitor and control heating in oil space radiators are the built-in thermostat and other built-in technologies. Using external tools and technologies for heat monitoring and control increases the risk of overheating
- Have a radiator with wheels? Exercise even greater caution: Many people are excited by the prospect of pushing the radiator around the house to maximize heating efficiency. However, those same wheels are a big safety risk if you have kids. Your kids too may feel that they can push the unit around as they wish. To prevent any accidents, any radiator heaters with wheels must be secured to a predefined location, away from children.
- Keep a safe distance from the unit: Radiators don’t glow hot, and the heating element in these appliances is safely tucked away into the oil, making radiators relatively safe. But, they still can get warm and sometimes hot enough to be felt on the skin. To avoid any injuries, especially to pets and young children, keep these appliances a safe distance away.
- Keep the radiator away from flammable items: For increased safety, it’s also wise to keep your heater away from things that can catch fire such as draperies, walls, and combustible material.
Always use the right cord: A new radiator will come with a matching code, so you don’t have to worry about this right away. However, down the line, you may need to replace the cord. When this time comes, find a cord with the capacity to handle radiator load. Otherwise, there’s a high risk of the cord melting, creating a fire hazard.
- Don’t run cords under the carpet: Also, don’t run it under any rugs, runners, or anything that covers the cord. Manufacturers consider this a huge risk since it becomes impossible to monitor the cord for any issues such as exposed wires and dampness, both of which increase the risk of electrocution and electric fires. For this reason, always run the cord on the surface where it can be easily seen.
- Don’t plug the cord into an extension: Extension cords, while convenient, in most cases, can’t handle the electrical load required for home heaters. And, even where the extension can handle the load, the portable nature of extensions makes them a natural hazard. It’s easy for the extension to be accidentally pulled around, creating an unnecessary risk.
Other safety tips
Other than the above tips, we also recommend that the radiator be placed on a sturdy, level, and non-flammable surface. Also, the surface must not be higher than three feet. Never put your radiator on a rug. Above all, find a heater that has been tested by a reputable testing laboratory.
Oil Heaters vs. Electric Heaters
Oil-filled and pure electric heaters both depend on an electrical element to generate heat which is used to heat your rooms. However, that’s as far as the similarities go. The following are some of the differences you need to know about;
While both oil-filled heaters and pure electric heaters both depend on electric current for heating, there’s a small difference. Electrical heaters, also known as oil-free heaters, generate the heat directly from the electrical element. Current is forced through the element, producing heat. The heat is then pushed out into your rooms, warming up your surroundings.
In oil-filled heaters, meanwhile, the heated element doesn’t directly warm your rooms. Instead, it warms special oil contained within the appliance. It is this oil that in turns produces the heat that dissipates into the surroundings, warming up your rooms.
Both oil-filled and electric heaters come with a range of safety hazards. However, safety issues vary slightly. First, electric heaters tend to become extremely hot when heated. Touching the heater while in use can easily result in burns and injuries. Oil-filled heaters get warm too, but not the point of causing serious burns.
Another key safety difference is that a much higher electric voltage flows through oil-free heaters, making the units much more dangerous. There is a much higher risk of electrocution and fire if electric heaters trip or come into contact with water.
As long as they are properly maintained, neither electric nor oil-filled heaters pose a significant threat to the environment. However, there are still a few drawbacks in each case. With electric heaters, for example, the high amount of electrical energy required to power the systems is a big concern for environmentalists.
Oil heaters don’t consume as much electricity. However, they contain oil, which is an even bigger threat to the environment. If not disposed of properly, the material poses several environmental challenges. Luckily the oil in oil-filled heaters doesn’t burn and only needs to be replaced after several years.
Noise, weight, and convenience
Finally, oil-filled heaters and most electrical heaters are portable and thus making them impressively convenient. Both are also relatively easy to maintain compared to other space heating options in the market.
However, the two differ slightly when it comes to noise and weight. Oil-free heaters are a lot lighter, making them even more portable. But they are much noisier. Oil-filled options, meanwhile, are heavier, but much quieter.
How Much Electricity Do Oil Heaters Use?
The maximum power rating of the heating element in oil-filled radiators is the same as other electrical space heaters – 1,500watts.
But, as we mentioned earlier, oil heaters are much more energy efficient compared to electric space heaters. So, you’ll find many heaters with lower power ratings in the 700-800 watts range.
When you switch ON the unit, electricity is consumed at the selected rate. Currently, the national average is around $0.12/kilowatt-hour (kWh). This means that you’ll pay $0.18 per hour when the unit is running at maximum capacity (1,500 watts) and $0.10 per hour when it’s running at the lowest power setting (700watts). There’ll be additional power settings in between.
This, however, doesn’t mean you’ll be paying $0.10-0.18 every hour the radiator is on. Why? Because, unlike oil-free radiators, oil-filled heaters don’t draw electrical current continuously!
The electricity is simply required to warm the oil. The thermostat closely monitors the temperature of the oil, and whenever the oil is hot enough, electric supply is automatically turned OFF – until the temperature of oil dips past a specified mark at which point power supply is switched back ON.
In the end, you could be consuming as little as half of the electricity you’d consume if using an oil-free radiator. The amount of electricity you use largely depends on how many times in a month you use the heater and the size of the room.
Things to Consider When Choosing an Oil Filled Heater
So, we’ve covered some tips to help you get the best out of your oil heater. Now, let’s look at things you need to consider when making the purchase.
- Power: Like all space heaters, oil-filled radiators are available in a wide range of power ratings. Choose a unit that’s powerful enough to deliver the amount of heat required for your room. Additionally, choose one with different power settings.
- Safety: Though relatively safe compared to other space heaters, oil-filled radiators aren’t 100% safe. Look out for any specialized safety features. Tilt switches and overheat protection are two examples that come to mind.
- Ease of maintenance: Oil-filled radiators aren’t very difficult to care for. You don’t have to worry about changing the oil since it isn’t used as fuel. Also, there are no fans to worry about. Nonetheless, it’s important to find out how often you’re required to maintain the unit.
- Portability: Pretty much all oil-filled radiators are portable. However, since they come in different sizes and weights, maneuverability differs. While some are small enough to be carried around the home, others are fairly heavy and can only be moved around using handles and wheels, choose an option that best fits your needs.
- Efficiency: Different oil-filled radiators have different efficiency levels. You want to find a model that’s designed to produce maximum heat while managing low surface temperatures. The unit should also be able to disperse heat throughout the room fast.
- Timer: All modern space heaters come with a programmable timer, and oil-filler radiators aren’t different. The latest models come with in-built timers that allow users to set desired heating temperatures, giving you round-the-clock control over your home heating activities.
- Design: You don’t have to compromise interior decor just because you’re bringing in a space heater. With oil-filled heaters, there are all kinds of designs and styles to fit just about any decor. From shapes to colors and sizes, the choice is yours.
- Cost: There are two categories to keep in mind; initial and operating costs. Since oil-filled radiators don’t need installation, the initial cost here refers to the cost of purchasing the unit. What’s your budget? Operating costs, on the other hand, include costs of electricity, repair, and maintenance. Ideally, you want a reasonable priced high-performing radiator that’s easy to maintain.
Note: Don’t forget about the warranty. First, only buy a product that has a warranty. Secondly, check the length of the warranty. And, lastly, check the list of covered parts. A great warranty covers as many parts as possible, for the longest time possible.
These oil-filled radiators are some of the best products currently available in this niche market. Most models include numerous features to ensure a low-cost method of boosting the heat in your home. Oil-filled radiators are not designed to replace a heating system, but they can certainly save you tons of money if you spend most of your time in one room.
They’re so easy to use and don’t require complicated assembly or maintenance tasks, so if you’re a fan of convenient heating methods, they’re certainly a great choice.