Oil heaters – how to choose the right one

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In this article: how the oil cooler works and works; a comparative overview of the characteristics of three models of a heater of equal power; how to choose the right oil heater, what to look for when buying, and what not to pay attention to; examples of improper handling of the device and how they threaten households.

Oil heaters - a detailed overview

The first autumn colds unobtrusively hint to households about the need to heat their houses and apartments, prompting an urgent trip to stores to purchase heaters – for some reason, central heating is always not enough. To facilitate the task of choosing a heater, we offer you a series of reviews dedicated to different types of heaters, after studying which you can get a really effective device. And in the first such review, we will focus on oil heaters.

The device and principle of operation of the oil heater

The main working element of the structure – the radiator – is made of ferrous metal, 0.8–1.0 mm thick. Metal parts of the body are cut on a laser machine, bending – on bending machines, small elements are formed by stamping. Finished radiator elements are connected to each other in sections using spot welding and pressing, technological holes are preliminarily made, then the sections are joined together by the nipple connection method to achieve complete radiator tightness. A metal radiator is painted with powder paint, followed by polymerization in an oven.

Mineral transformer oil is poured into the finished radiator, an electric heating element, overhead metal and plastic panels with an adjustable thermostat installed in them, a thermostat-switch (turns off the power when overheating), a heating intensity switch are hermetically mounted, the power cable is connected. Modern models of oil heaters, unlike earlier models, do not have a separate valve for oil filling, because this operation is performed only when assembling the device.

Like any other type of heater, an oil cooler dries the air. To partially solve this problem, manufacturers equip some models with a removable metal container for water that evaporates during operation due to contact with heated surfaces of the heater..

Metal radiators of some models of oil heaters are closed with a casing and are positioned as heaters for a children’s room. The outer casing provides protection against contact of children with a heated radiator during operation, while some manufacturers claim its advantage in improving the convection process – this is not true, the casing only worsens convection.

The wheels, with the help of which the heater can be moved around the rooms, are installed on the body of the device with the help of a bracket and nuts after it has been delivered to the room to be heated.

Oil heaters - a detailed overview

After turning on the power and setting the required temperature level to which the heater must warm up the air in the room, the electric heating element is sequentially heated, then mineral oil, then the radiator body, which in turn heats the air. The maximum temperature to which the body of an oil heater can be heated is 150 ° C (depending on the model of the device). As a result of heat transfer, the air near the heater heats up and rises to the ceiling (convection). At the same time, the radiation of heat is directed to heating the sections of the oil radiator – their ribs are directed towards each other, so there can be no feeling of “fireplace heat”, often used in advertising slogans of trading platforms, during operation of this device..

The fan, which is equipped with some models of oil radiators, can accelerate the heating of the air in the room. In the absence of a built-in fan, you can use a regular floor or tabletop fan, with the help of which households are saved from the summer heat – by placing the fan at a certain distance from the switched on and heated heater, activate the radiator blowing at a low speed of rotation of the blades. By the way, the effect will be higher than from the built-in fan. the diameter of the floor fan blades is larger.

Comparative characteristics of three models of oil heater

Three brands of oil coolers were selected for the review – “De’Longhi”, “Polaris” and “Caliber”, of the same maximum power and number of sections.

Oil heaters - a detailed overview De’Longhi KH 770715

Oil heaters - a detailed overview Polaris 7 PRE S 0715 H

Oil heaters - a detailed overview Caliber EMR-1511/7

specifications De’Longhi KH 770715 Polaris 7 PRE
S 0715 H
Caliber EMR-1511/7
power supply and power consumption
voltage, V 220 220 220
frequency Hz 50 50 50
maximum power, W 1500 1500 1500
operating modes, power consumption
number of operating modes 3 3 3
first mode, W 700 600 600
second mode, W 800 900 900
third mode, W 1500 1500 1500
room thermostat mechanical mechanical mechanical
overheat protection there is there is there is
control of heating modes push-button push-button push-button
light indication when the mode is turned on there is there is there is
General characteristics
type of shell harmonic harmonic harmonic
primary radiator colors black or white black or white black or white
number of sections 7 7 7
for space heating, m2 15-20 15-20 12-15
size WxHxD, cm 24x64x31 16×67.5×41 14x66x39
Weight, kg eleven 10.2 7.2
type of instalation floor floor floor
wheels for moving there is there is there is
brand owner De’Longhi Appliances SRL, Italy Texton Corporation LLC, USA PPK Caliber-2001 LLC, Russia
country of origin China China China
warranty, months 12 12 12
estimated service life, years five five 3
other options
heated towel rail there is there is not
frost protection there is not not
fan heater not not not
humidifier not not not
rollover sensor not not not
programmable inclusion not not not
average cost, rub.
2600 2100 1800

Now let’s analyze the tabular information:

  • all three models of oil heaters are produced in China, however, there is no special catch here – Chinese enterprises today produce most of the household appliances;
  • the largest overall dimensions and weight is the model of the “De’Longhi” company, it is also the most expensive, although it has an identical set of options with the other two participants in the review;
  • control of three models is carried out using two buttons, each of which is responsible for activating the first and second operating modes, pressing both will cause the oil heater to work at full power;
  • the Russian model, or rather, sold under a little-known Russian brand, has almost all the options as popular brands, with the exception of a plastic towel rack. However, with equal energy consumption with the described models “De’Longhi” and “Polaris”, the heater “Caliber” has a slightly smaller overall dimensions and weight, which affects its heating capabilities and price;
  • all models described have the same warranty period, the given service lives are announced by the manufacturing companies and, of course, are not limiting.

The “frost protection” function mentioned in relation to the “De’Longhi KH 770715” model means the following – when the thermostat is set to the “*” position, the device can be used to maintain a constant temperature of + 5 ° C in the room for a long time, while the consumption electricity, according to the manufacturer, “will be minimal”.

Conclusion: the described models of the oil cooler of the brands “De’Longhi” and “Polaris” have an equal set of options and identical characteristics, a developed network of certified service centers in the CIS (in this moment, “Caliber” is inferior to them) – when choosing between the models described in the table, it is reasonable there will be a choice in favor of the heater brand “Polaris”, because it is cheaper.

How to choose an oil heater – criteria

The main criterion was and remains the power of the device. With the declared 1500 W of power, the oil heater in severe frosts can effectively heat no more than 15 m2, at the same time, it will work practically without shutdown, which will seriously affect the service life of the device. Therefore, for a room with an area of ​​15 m2, located in a particularly cold climatic zone, an oil heater with a capacity of 2000 W should be chosen in order to use half the power on normal days of the cold season and the maximum power during frost.

Pay attention to the thickness of the sections. The narrower the section, the faster it heats up, i.e. such a heater consumes less electricity, but the total area of ​​too narrow sections will also be small, respectively, the contact with air will be insufficient and it will warm up slowly. On the other hand, sections that are too wide will be quickly cooled by air and will require a lot of energy to heat them..

Oil heaters - a detailed overview

The low weight of the device with outwardly impressive dimensions means that too thin metal is used in its design, a small amount of mineral oil is poured into the radiator tank – both options that explain the lightweight design are equally bad.

You should not purchase an excessively powerful heater for heating a small area – this will damage both the indoor climate and the device, cause it to overheat.

When choosing an oil cooler, make sure that the offered models necessarily have: several power modes with convenient user control; an emergency shutdown thermostat when the device overheats; user adjustable thermostat. It should be noted that the presence of such options as a built-in fan heater, a timer for automatic heating on and an air humidifier for this heater model will be convenient during operation..

Ignore the following claims from sellers:

  • “This model of oil heater does not dry the air” – the operation of any convection heater reduces the level of air humidity;
  • “This model does not burn dust” – regardless of the price and power, oil coolers are not capable of burning dust, because their heating elements do not have direct contact with air;
  • “Does not raise dust into the air” – since the main method of heating a room for devices of this type is convection, the constant presence of suspended dust in the atmosphere of the heated room cannot be avoided.

Oil-fired heaters with a black-painted radiator heat the room more efficiently as dark surfaces transmit heat radiation better.

Don’t look for wall-hung oil radiator models – they don’t exist. The minimum distance from any objects to any wall of the device during its operation must be at least half a meter, otherwise it will overheat.

How not to operate an oil heater

Like any electrical appliance, before turning on, the oil radiator must be installed as far as possible from any source of water – accordingly, it cannot be installed in the bathroom..

Oil heaters - a detailed overview

During operation, its surfaces become very hot, so you should not touch them with an unprotected hand. As already mentioned, the minimum distance between the operating device and any object in the room should not be less than 500 mm, otherwise the heater will heat itself up by the reflected heat and the emergency thermal sensor will turn off the device. In order to avoid overheating, it is strictly forbidden to cover the surface of a working heater with anything, no matter whether it is dry or wet. If you pay attention to the removable towel warmer hanger, which some models of oil radiators are equipped with, then the things placed on it will not dry close to the device – not at some distance. By the way, the process of drying things on a heated towel rail (and only on it!) Must be strictly monitored by households – after the things are dry, they must be removed from the hanger.

What happens if the switched on oil cooler is put on its side or its overheating sensor is faulty and the device runs uninterruptedly for a long time? You’d better never face the consequences – the thermal expansion of the oil will cause an explosive rupture of the metal radiator, hot drops will fly in all directions, and a fire is possible. With overheating as a result of a malfunction of the temperature sensors, everything is clear, it remains to clarify the reasons for overheating when laying a working heater on its side. The fact is that the transformer oil is not poured into the capacity of the heater to the eyeballs – a 10-15% margin for thermal expansion is left. In the position of the radiator “on the side”, the oil will drain to the underside of the device, partially exposing the tube of the electric heating element – in the absence of a coolant, it will quickly heat up to 800 ° C, which will damage the case and, possibly, fire.

And, in conclusion: the oil heater cannot be moved around the room by dragging by the power cable; in winter, do not store the device indoors without heating, otherwise damage to the case and oil leakage are inevitable.

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