How To Use An Oil Filled Radiator Efficiently

Oil-filled heaters are a popular choice for home heating because they are efficient and relatively inexpensive to operate. However, like any home heating system, there are pros and cons to using an oil-filled heater.

How to use an oil filled radiator efficiently

  • Place radiators in unblocked, well-ventilated spaces on level surfaces
  • Check and adjust temperature setting before turning on
  • Turn up slightly if room is particularly cold, then turn down to save energy
  • Keep radiator clean and free of obstructions
  • Use a timer to turn on and off and keep at low temperature when not in use
electric oil filled radiator

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What are oil filled radiators?

Electric radiators filled with oil are an effective method to heat a room or a whole house. They are a cost-effective and efficient heating option that is simple to install in any space. These radiators use electricity to heat an oil, resulting in more efficient radiant heat.

The oil helps to retain heat and keep the indoor temperature comfortable for longer. This eliminates the need to constantly adjust the radiators as the temperature varies. They are also extremely safe because the heating element is covered in oil, eliminating the possibility of fire or burning.

Oil-filled electric radiators are also low-maintenance because there are no moving parts.

Advantages of oil filled radiators:

Energy efficient

Oil-filled heaters like this DELONGHI TRRS 2kW Oil Filled Radiator are more energy efficient than other types of electric heaters because they use a convection process to heat the air.

This means that they circulate warm air throughout the room, rather than just heating the air directly in front of the heater. This makes them more effective at heating the entire room and helps to reduce energy costs.

Safe to use

Oil-filled heaters like this De’Longhi Dragon 4 Oil Filled Radiator are generally safe to use because they do not have any exposed heating elements. This makes them less prone to accidents and fires compared to heaters with exposed heating elements, such as fan heaters or space heaters.

Low maintenance

Oil-filled heaters require very little maintenance. All you need to do is keep the heater clean and free from debris, and occasionally check the oil level to make sure it is sufficient. This makes them a convenient and hassle-free choice for home heating.

Quiet operation

Oil-filled heaters operate quietly, like this Silentnight 9-Fin Radiator making them a good choice for bedroom or other areas where noise may be an issue. This is because they do not have a fan or other mechanical parts that generate noise.


Initial cost

Oil-filled heaters can be more expensive to purchase upfront compared to other types of electric heaters. This is because they have a larger, more complex design and may require more materials to manufacture.

Slow to heat

Oil-filled heaters take longer to heat a room compared to other types of electric heaters, such as fan heaters or ceramic heaters. This is because they rely on convection to heat the air, which is a slower process compared to heating the air directly with an exposed heating element. You will need a more powerful radiator, like this KEPLIN 2.5kW Radiator, to heat a large room up quickly.

Limited heating area

Oil-filled heaters are not suitable for heating large areas or open floor plans because they do not provide targeted heat. They work best in smaller, enclosed spaces where the heat can be contained and circulated more effectively.

Heavy and bulky

Oil-filled heaters are heavy and bulky, which can make them difficult to move around. This can be inconvenient if you need to move the heater from room to room or if you need to store it when it’s not in use.

Are oil filled radiators cheap to run?

In terms of cost, oil-filled heaters are generally cheap to run compared to other types of home heating systems. They use less electricity than other types of electric heaters and are more energy efficient, so they can help you save money on your energy bills.

However, the exact cost will depend on factors such as the size of the heater, the cost of electricity in your area, and how often you use the heater.

For example, a small oil-filled heater with a wattage of 750-1000 watts may cost around £0.20-£0.32 per hour to operate, based on the average cost of electricity in the United Kingdom. A larger heater with a wattage of 1500-2000 watts may cost around £0.34-£0.56 per hour to operate.

These estimates are based on the assumption that the heater is used for 8 hours per day, 5 days per week, for a total of 40 hours per month.

It’s important to note that these estimates are just rough estimates and the actual cost will depend on your specific circumstances. Factors that can affect the cost of operating an oil-filled heater include the cost of electricity in your area, the size and efficiency of the heater, and the ambient temperature in your home.

Overall, oil-filled heaters are a good choice for efficient and cost-effective home heating, especially in small, enclosed spaces. However, it’s important to consider the initial cost, heating speed, and heating area when deciding if an oil-filled heater is the right choice for your home.

How long do oil filled heaters last?

Oil-filled heaters are generally a long-lasting and reliable option for home heating. With proper maintenance and usage, they can last for many years.

There are several factors that can affect the lifespan of an oil-filled heater, including the quality of the heater and how often it is used. Higher-quality heaters may last longer than cheaper, lower-quality models. Additionally, heaters that are used more frequently may wear out faster than those that are used less often.

To extend the lifespan of an oil-filled heater, it is important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for maintenance and usage. This may include cleaning the heater regularly, checking the oil level, and replacing the oil as needed. It is also important to use the heater safely and avoid overloading it or placing it too close to flammable materials.

In general, you can expect an oil-filled heater to last for several years with proper care. However, it is always a good idea to consult the manufacturer’s warranty and instructions for specific information on the lifespan of your particular model.

Are oil filled heaters safe?

Oil-filled electric heaters are generally considered safe to use, as they do not have any exposed heating elements and do not produce any open flames.

Some safety tips for using an oil-filled heater include:

  1. Keep the heater away from flammable materials: Do not place the heater near curtains, bedding, or other flammable materials.
  2. Do not cover the heater: Do not cover the heater or block the airflow around it. This can cause the heater to overheat and increase the risk of a fire.
  3. Keep the heater clean: Regularly clean the heater to remove dust and debris, which can accumulate and increase the risk of a fire.
  4. Do not touch the heater when it is in use: The surface of the heater may become hot during use, so it is important to avoid touching it.
  5. Use the heater at the appropriate wattage: Do not use the heater at a wattage that is higher than recommended by the manufacturer. This can cause the heater to overheat and increase the risk of a fire.

By following these safety tips, you can help to ensure that your oil-filled heater is safe to use in your home.

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*The information in this article should be used for general guidance only and not as financial or health advice.  Full details are on the link in the footer to our disclaimer page.  Always discuss your requirements with a competent and suitably qualified professional before undertaking any work.