When the temperatures start to drop outside, an electric heater can be a great way to keep your home warm without running up your energy bill. But with so many heaters on the market, it can be hard to know which one is the best electric heater and the most energy efficient one for your needs.
To help you out, we’ve put together a guide to the best electric heaters, and what makes them energy efficient. Keep reading to find out more.
Find out what the cheapest heater to run is here
Best type of electric heater
When looking for an energy efficient electric heater, your best bet is the oil-filled heater or a convector heater. Oil filled radiators use a heating element to warm oil, which is then circulated by a built-in fan to distribute heat throughout the room.
Convector heaters are also relatively energy efficient as they heat the air directly, which is then circulated by natural convection. Halogen heaters and infrared heaters are the least energy efficient options.
- Transfer heat directly from the heating element via electromagnetic waves.
- Include electric baseboard heaters, radiant floor systems, and panel radiators.
- Heat people and objects rather than the air which helps reduce heat loss from convection.
- Provide focused, directional heat good for warming specific areas.
- Leading brands are Cadet, Fahrenheat, and Marley.
Radiant heaters are among the most efficient electric heaters out there. They directly heat up the objects and people in the room, rather than just heating up the air, meaning you don’t have to wait for the heat to reach you.
Radiant heaters are best for energy efficiency because they generate heat directly from the source, such as infrared radiation. This type of heating is much more efficient than convection heating, which requires air to be heated before it can be transferred to other objects. Radiant heaters also distribute heat more evenly, meaning less energy is wasted on heating unused areas.
They’re also completely silent, so you don’t have to worry about any annoying noise. The best radiant heaters are energy efficient, and have features like adjustable thermostats and safety shut-offs.
- Provide direct warmth that heats objects rather than just the air
- Deliver focused heating to specific areas
- Energy efficient since not heating unused spaces
- Radiant floor systems provide even warmth from ground up
- Don’t heat rooms as uniformly as convection heaters
- Can be prone to more fluctuations in temperature
- Baseboard models take up wall space near the floor
- Circulate heat via convection using the natural flow of hot air rising and cooler air falling.
- Finned heaters, coiled heaters, and tower heaters are common types.
- The hot element heats the air which moves heat around the room. Good for larger spaces.
- Provide fairly uniform, widespread heat but can take time to warm up.
- Popular brands are DeLonghi, Honeywell, Optimus, and Pelonis.
Convection heaters are another great option when it comes to energy efficiency. These heaters work by circulating hot air throughout the room, and they’re great for larger spaces. When shopping for a convection heater, look for one with adjustable thermostats and a timer, as these features can help you save on energy costs.
Convection heaters are best for energy efficiency because they use air currents to circulate warm air throughout a room. This type of heating is much more efficient than traditional methods of heating, as it doesn’t require a large amount of energy to maintain a consistent temperature. Additionally, convection heaters don’t generate any drafts, so they are less likely to cause cold spots in a room.
- Can heat larger rooms thoroughly using convection
- Provide fairly uniform and consistent heating
- Safer since heating element is concealed
- Operate quietly without fans in most models
- Can take longer to reach maximum temperature
- Not as energy efficient for heating localized areas
- Heat distribution can be uneven in odd-shaped rooms
- Exposed models pose a burn risk
- Emit infrared electromagnetic waves that are absorbed by objects rather than heating the air.
- Help heat people and objects directly. Good for outdoor use.
- Quartz tube and halogen bulb heaters are common types of infrared heaters.
- Brands like Dr. Infrared, Lifesmart, and Duraflame make quality infrared models.
Infrared heaters operate by heating up objects in the room, rather than the air. They’re a great option for energy efficiency, as they don’t waste energy heating up the air. They’re also very quiet, so you don’t have to worry about any annoying noise. The best infrared heaters come with adjustable thermostats, timers, and other features that can help you save energy.
Infrared heaters are highly efficient because they heat objects in the room rather than the air. This means that the heat is used more effectively and less energy is wasted. Additionally, infrared heaters operate at lower temperatures than traditional heating systems, so less energy is needed to reach a comfortable temperature.
- Heat objects directly without first heating the air
- Provide targeted, zone heating
- Operate silently without fans
- Good for outdoor heating
- Heat doesn’t penetrate as deeply into objects
- Won’t heat rooms as evenly as other types
- Can be a fire hazard if combustibles are too close
- Use coils to heat oil contained inside a sealed reservoir. The heated oil circulates by convection.
- Provide steady, even heat and retain heat well after being turned off.
- Models include compact radiators, tower heaters, and console heaters with extra features.
- Brands like DeLonghi, Pelonis, Honeywell, and Optimus make quality oil-filled heaters.
Oil-filled heaters are a great option when it comes to energy efficiency. They operate by heating up a reservoir of oil, which then radiates heat. This means they’re great for keeping a room warm for long periods of time, without wasting energy. The best oil-filled heaters come with adjustable thermostats, timers, and other features that can help you save energy.
Oil filled heaters are energy efficient because they retain heat for a long period of time. Oil takes longer to heat up than air or water, but it also stays warm for a longer period of time. This means that the heater does not have to work as hard to keep the room warm, resulting in less energy being used over time. Oil filled heaters are also quieter than other types of heaters, making them ideal for bedrooms and other quiet areas.
- Provide steady, uniform heat from retained oil heat
- Remain warm after being shut off
- Are silent with no fans
- Don’t dry out the air like other heaters
- Can take a while to initially reach maximum temperature
- Heat distribution can be uneven in very large spaces
- Oil can eventually degrade after years of use
Cost and Electricity Usage Costs Comparisons
- Estimated running costs: £0.16 – £0.24 per hour (based on 2000W model)
- Hourly electricity usage: Up to 2000W max
- Estimated running costs: £0.20 – £0.28 per hour (based on 1000W model)
- Hourly electricity usage: Up to 1000W max
- Estimated running costs: £0.12 – £0.20 per hour (based on 400W model)
- Hourly electricity usage: Up to 800W max
- Estimated running costs: £0.16 – £0.24 per hour (based on 2000W model)
- Hourly electricity usage: Up to 2000W max
What is the best electric heater for you?
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Customer Reviews 4.0
This heater is the perfect choice for those looking for efficient heating with safety and convenience. With a 24 hour shut down timer, daily schedule feature and turbo heating option for fast heat, you can be sure your home is heated exactly when you need it.
It also has a power on indicator, tip over switch, thermal fuse and overheat protection for added safety, and with 1.5m cable and castors/wheels for easy manoeuvrability, it is reliable, safe and convenient.
Customer Reviews 4.5
This powerful 2500W oil radiator provides instant heating, making it the ideal choice for heating up rooms in the home or office. It has 3 heat settings (1000/1500/2500) and an adjustable thermostat and temperature control dial for added comfort and control, as well as a built in 24-hour timer for energy efficiency.
The tall, slim design is perfect for storing in the corner of a room, and is easy to move around thanks to four castor wheels and a carry handle. It is also stylish, with a modern grey design that will look great in any room. The radiator is 50 x 24 x 62 cm in size and comes with a 1.5m power lead and an integrated cable tidy.
Customer reviews 4.2
The SONBION quartz heater is a modern and efficient heating solution for cold winter days. It is made of superior ABS V0 fireproof material and has a long working life of up to 7000 hours. This portable heater features advanced safety features such as overheat protection and an anti-tip over switch, allowing for total peace of mind.
It operates quietly, with no noise disturbance, and is skin-friendly. It is also energy-efficient, converting up to 95% of power directly to heat. With an 18-month warranty and 100% satisfaction guarantee, this quartz heater is the perfect choice for your home.
Customer reviews 4.4
The De’Longhi TRNS0505M Oil Filled Radiator is a great choice for anyone looking for an energy efficient heating solution. This radiator is equipped with an adjustable thermostat and three adjustable power settings, so you can easily adjust the temperature to your needs.
It also features a special Safety Cut-Off Feature, which will automatically turn the radiator off if it overheats. This radiator also has wheels and a handle, so it’s easy to move around your home. In terms of energy efficiency, the De’Longhi TRNS0505M Oil Filled Radiator is a great choice. It has an A+ energy efficiency rating, which means it will help to save you money on your energy bills.
It also features an Eco-Friendly Mode, which will reduce electricity consumption and help to protect the environment. Finally, it is made from recyclable materials, so you can rest assured that you are doing your bit for the environment.
Customer Reviews 4.6
The ENER-J free-standing Infrared heater is an energy-efficient solution for all-season heating both indoors and outdoors. Its compact size and low weight make it easy to transport and move around, while the dual wattage option offers the perfect amount of heating power depending on your needs and the weather conditions.
The oscillation function helps to distribute the warm air evenly and optimally, while the coated cool-touch grille and anti-tilting features provide safety and security. Enjoy pleasant warmth no matter the season with the ENER-J Infrared heater.
Customer Reviews 4.4
The HV220 is the ideal heater for any home. It has two heat settings to adjust the level of heat, an anti-frost function which keeps the room above freezing point and a thermostat control to maintain your chosen temperature.
It runs silently, has cool-to-touch handles to move it from room to room and features protective grills, insulation, over-heat protection and tip-over protection for added safety. It also has a cable management system for tidying up the cord when not in use.
Customer Reviews 4.7
This space heater is perfect for providing warmth in the cold weather. It features a 4-mode setting with 600W low heating (131℉/55℃), 1200W high heating (158℉/70℃), low heating shake head and high heating shake head mode, with a turn of a button on top of the heater.
Moreover, it has 3s fast warm-up and energy efficient, thanks to its advanced PTC material which has a high heating conversion efficiency and energy conservation. It is also light and portable, with a PU leather carry handle and lightweight (1.25kg), plus a 1.25m power cord. Plus, it is whisper-quiet at only 45dB, so it won’t disturb your sleep or work.
Customer Reviews 4.3
The built-in thermostat automatically switches off the convector when the set temperature is reached, further saving energy and increasing comfort. The modern design of the air outlet ensures that the air is evenly distributed throughout the room in a short time.
The convector heaters are tested and certified to a high standard of safety, with built-in overheating and tilt protection to ensure safety. The fan function can be turned off for quieter operation, ideal for sleeping and working. The lightweight and secure design makes it perfect for small and large spaces, making it a great choice for any indoor space.
Which is the most energy efficient electric heater?
Out of the electric heaters listed, the most energy efficient option would likely be the oil-filled heater. This is because oil-filled heaters use a heating element to warm oil, which is then circulated to distribute heat throughout the room. Because the oil retains heat well, it continues to radiate warmth even after the heating element has been turned off, resulting in more consistent and efficient heating.
The convector heater is also relatively energy efficient as it heats the air directly, which is then circulated by natural convection, which is less energy intensive than using a fan, which is used by the fan heater. The halogen heater and infrared heater are the least energy efficient options as they heat the air directly and heats objects and people in the room, which causes a lot of heat loss.
Energy efficiency factors to consider with electric heaters
There are several other factors to consider when evaluating the energy efficiency of electric heaters:
Size of the heater:
Larger heaters are generally more energy efficient than smaller ones, as they can heat a room more quickly and with less energy.
Insulation in a room can greatly affect the energy efficiency of an electric heater. A room with good insulation will retain heat better, allowing the heater to use less energy to maintain a comfortable temperature.
Look for a heater that comes with a built-in thermostat or one that can be controlled with a separate thermostat. This allows you to set the temperature to your desired level, and the heater will automatically turn off or down when the temperature is reached, saving energy.
Some heaters come with a built-in timer, which allows you to set the heater to turn on and off at specific times. This feature is useful for saving energy when the room is not in use.
Look for heaters that have a high energy efficiency rating, such as those that have been certified by Energy Star.
Look for heaters that have safety features such as overheat protection, tip-over switch and safety shut-off valve to ensure that the heater is safe to use.
Regularly maintaining the heater by cleaning it, and keeping the filters clean, can also help improve its energy efficiency.
Room size and usage:
Consider the size of the room, the number of people and pets, and how often the room is used. This will give you a good idea of how much heat is needed, and what size and type of heater will be most energy-efficient for your needs.
Electric heaters come in different types and models, each of which has its own level of energy efficiency. Among the most energy-efficient electric heaters are oil-filled heaters and convector heaters, which heat the air directly and are less energy intensive, and fan heaters.
Infrared heaters are the least energy efficient options. Other considerations when evaluating energy efficiency of electric heaters include size, insulation, thermostat, timer, energy rating, safety features, maintenance, and room size and usage.
Frequently Asked Questions About Electric Heaters
Q: What is the most energy efficient type of electric heater? A: Oil-filled radiators and convector heaters tend to be among the most energy efficient electric heater options. They rely on the circulation of heat rather than constantly generating it directly.
Q: Are electric heaters safe to leave on overnight? A: It is not recommended to leave any portable electric heater on unattended or while sleeping. They should be turned off and unplugged before bed.
Q: How much does it cost to run an electric heater per hour? A: On average, an electric heater running at 1500 watts can cost £0.12 to £0.16 per hour to operate. Smaller 400-800W models range from £0.06 to £0.10 per hour.
Q: What size electric heater do I need for a small room?
A: A smaller 400-800 watt heater is ideal for warming up a single small room up to 10 square meters. Larger models can be overkill and drive up energy bills.
Q: Can electric heaters be fire hazards? A: If misused or positioned too close to flammable objects, electric heaters can pose fire risks. Proper positioning and built-in safety features minimize this.
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