Home and family heaters – the choice of one among many

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In this article: the purpose and principles of the heaters; oil heater characteristics; description of the convector; pros and cons of a fan heater; characteristics of the infrared heater; how to choose and use an electric heater safely.

Home and family heaters - the choice of one among many

Cold and frequent rains, the streets are slushy and cloudy … autumn has come, followed by winter with frosts, snow and piercing winds. The problem of heating your home is extremely acute and the first thing that comes to mind is buying a heater of suitable power and configuration. Which heater is better – oil heater, convection heater or maybe infrared? Having studied this material, you can purchase exactly the heater that you need..

Purposes of use and principles of operation of heaters

Often, the existing heating system cannot cope with heat losses and it is necessary to supplement it with electric heating devices. Heat leaves our premises all year round – the lower the air temperature outside the house, the more intense this process takes place. Heat losses are divided into transmission (through enclosing structures, in other words – the ceiling, walls and floor), accounting for about 60% of the total losses, and ventilation (partial replacement of indoor air with cold outside) – about 40%. The transmission losses of the end room are higher than those of the one located between the inner fences; they increase with a large total area of ​​the outer window openings and doors. Heat loss during ventilation of the room occurs due to cracks in window and door blocks, the operation of a duct hood, etc..

Infrared heater in the interior of the house

For space heating, the modern market offers household electric heaters that provide heat in one of three ways:

  1. By convection, i.e. mixing of denser cold air with light warm air, due to heating of the first.
  2. Long wave radiation, which heats not the inner atmosphere of the rooms, but the walls and objects in them.
  3. Heat ventilation, i.e. supplying a directed flow of warm air to the heating zone.

The difference between heaters and their principle of heating the room is especially indicative if we consider their types in detail.

Oil heater

Today, such heaters are considered classics from the 90s – in those years, oil heaters were considered the best and were in high demand. Outwardly, these heaters resemble an ordinary cast-iron radiator of a heating system, only mineral oil, heated from an electric heating element, acts as a coolant in it.

Oil heater

The oil cooler housing is divided into sections, the number of which determines the heat transfer of the device – the more sections, the higher the heat transfer. There is wave radiation of heat from this heater, but it is not particularly noticeable – basically, the principle of operation of this type of heater is based on air convection. For high-quality heating of a room with a standard ceiling height (about 2.7 m), an oil heater with a capacity of 1000 W is required for every 10 m2 heated area.

Pros of oil heaters: low price (from 1500 rubles); long-term use without shutdown with thermostat control is allowed; noiseless operation; the ability to move the device from room to room; heating the room for some time in the absence of power supply (provided that the oil contained in it was heated by the heating element before the power outage).

Oil heater

Their cons: it takes a lot of time to heat the coolant (up to one hour); large weight and size; the body of oil heaters warms up to a sufficiently high temperature, touching it will be uncomfortable (60–70 ° С); high power consumption (on average 2000 W / h); due to convection, dust is constantly present in the air.

Some models of oil radiators are equipped with a fan, which allows to increase the heating efficiency due to the heat ventilation mode.


This type of heater, as the name implies, heats the room only due to air convection. Cold air enters the body of the electric convector through the slots in the lower end, heats up from the heating element and rises to the ceiling – this process is repeated throughout the entire life of the heater. The area of ​​the heating heating element is increased due to the flat metal ribs, put on its tube. Unlike oil radiators, convectors begin to heat the room a few minutes after turning on the power, that is, there is no need to wait for the coolant to warm up – air plays its role. The body of the convectors is flat, no more than 85 mm wide, there are mobile models with wheels, but most of these heaters are designed for wall mounting. To fully heat the premises, a 1000 W convector is required for every 10 m2 area.

Wall mounted electric convector

Pluses of convectors: acceptable cost – from 2500 rubles; body heating does not exceed 60 ° С; complete absence of any noise during operation; there is an automatic on and off mode controlled by a thermostat; automatic operation of overheating protection.

Electric convector

Minuses: ineffective for heating large premises; air heating is slow, since most convectors are not equipped with fans.

Fan heater

Its dimensions depend on the radius of the fan blades, built-in inside and driving air through heating elements – a spiral or ceramic heating element in the form of a plate. Forced air supply significantly accelerates room heating (this is the heat-ventilation method of heating), the temperature in it rises noticeably after half an hour of operation of the fan heater. A fan heater with a capacity of 1000-1500 W for every 25 m can warm the air in the room2 room area.

Electric fan heater

Pluses of fan heaters: the lowest price among others – with a spiral heating element about 500 rubles, with a ceramic plate – about 1100 rubles; power consumption within 1000–1500 W; equipped with a thermostat that automatically turns off the heater in case of overheating; due to its small size allows easy transfer from one room to another.

Fan heater for home

Minuses: noise during work; impossibility of long-term use, because it quickly overheats; kicks dust into the air.

Infrared heater

Their heating method is based on infrared long-wave radiation generated by a halogen, quartz or carbon emitting lamp. Infrared radiation for the most part is outside the spectral range visible to the human eye, therefore, the operation of an infrared heater is visually almost invisible to a person. Unlike convection and heat ventilation heaters, infrared waves do not heat the air, but objects in the room where their radiation is directed – the floor, walls, furniture and bodies of people in the radiation zone are heated. Ceiling, wall and floor models of infrared heaters allow you to warm not only the interior, but also outside the building, for example, terraces and balconies. To heat unheated rooms, an infrared heater with a power of 1000 W is required for every 10 m2, for heated ones – 1500 W for every 10 m2 area.

Floor standing infrared heater

Pros of IR heaters: silent operation, without dust rising into the air; equalization of the temperature throughout the air volume in the room due to the rapid heating of the floor and walls, that is, warm air does not collect at the ceiling, and cold air does not collect at the floor; heating starts when the appliance is turned on, after disconnecting the power supply it cools down immediately.

Infrared heater in the children's room

Minuses: relatively high cost – from 2500 rubles; heating only the irradiated area, and a long-term presence of a person under infrared radiation is undesirable – it is fraught with overheating of the body.

How to choose a heater and how to use it correctly

Let’s start by debunking the myths – “This heater model does not dry the air”, “This heater does not burn oxygen” and “The efficiency of this model is higher than that of others.”. When the air temperature rises, and this happens as a result of the operation of any type of heater, including infrared, the humidity of the air decreases – that is, any heater dries the air. Oxygen is burned out, as you know, only in the presence of an open flame, and after all, not a single electric household heater uses fire during operation – accordingly, the phrase “oxygen burning” does not apply to electric heaters. With regard to “greater efficiency” – any type and model of a household electric heater works with close to 100% efficiency (energy losses are minimal), that is, each consumed kilowatt will become heat given to the room.

Wall mounted infrared heater

Now about the choice of a heater. The main selection criteria are power, operating principle, conditions in the room that is supposed to be heated (dustiness, humidity level, presence of children, etc.). It is better to heat rooms with a high presence of dust with infrared heaters, the nursery room should be equipped with a wall or ceiling heater, for rooms with constant humidity (shower room, bathroom), only waterproof devices are suitable. Pay attention to the presence of a stamp on the certification of the heater for operation in the electric networks of Russia.

It is better to buy an expensive device than a cheap one from the lineup of well-known manufacturers. Heaters of the lower price segment are not equipped with automatic overheating relays and thermostats, their casing is made of the cheapest construction materials, such as black metal and ABS-plastic (in the first case, corrosion is inevitable, in the second – an unpleasant smell during operation and increased fragility of the casing).

Fan heater

You should not purchase a heater whose power is designed for a deliberately larger area than it is supposed to be heated in reality..

Oil heater

Correct operation of the heater begins with plugging it into an outlet – one outlet for one device. Electric heaters are too powerful and when another device is connected to the same outlet, the load on the electrical wiring will increase, it may not withstand and melt, causing a short circuit and a fire. The minimum distance from the floor (wall) heater to any object in the room must be at least 500 mm. It is strictly forbidden to put the device under the window opening – the material from which the curtains are made quickly heats up and is highly flammable. Do not dry any things on the radiator grill of the heater – blocking the ventilation slots will lead to an increase in the temperature of the device with the most unfavorable consequences.

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