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Choosing the right electric radiator

A radiator is a heater that can be electric, hot water or gas. Most are wall mounted but there are also mobile radiators. Depending on the type of radiator, the transmission of heat is performed by conduction, convection and/or radiation. Some devices combine two types of distribution: convection and radiation. In this guide we discuss electric radiators, ranging from basic convectors to recent storage models.

In order to choose the right radiator you will need to know the volume of the room to be heated and the budget available as there are large price variations from one type of radiator to another. It is also necessary to determine its intended use. For example, to heat a room quickly it’s best to have an infrared radiator, while for smooth and regular heating a storage radiator or inertia is preferred. The design of the radiator can also influence your choice. There are radiators with very neat designs, some can even be likened to works of art.

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  • How to choose an electric radiator?

    Antrax IT contemporary electric radiator

    Radiators can be placed in any room, though some have more specific applications. This is the case for towel radiators that are intended for use in bathrooms and kitchens. Some important questions to ask yourself when choosing an electric radiator are:

    • What duration of heat do you need?
    • At what moment of the day and for what energy consumption?
    • Radiator with inertia or radiating panel?

    To control your heating bill, avoid unnecessary consumption during periods of absence. The optimal type of radiator and setup will be different if you are always at home or out at work. Take a look at the following section to better understand the different types of technology available and which one(s) might best respond to your needs, with regard to the above questions.

  • What are the different types of technology to choose from?

    Electric radiators come in a wide variety of materials, each with different characteristics: for smooth and even heating, the radiator will be made of a material offering good inertia (cast iron, glass, stone), while for a rapid rise in temperature, steel or stainless steel will be more appropriate. Electric radiators can use 5 different technologies: convector, radiant panel, fluid inertia, dry inertia and low surface temperature.

    • The convector: It is the most common electric radiator. As its name suggests, the electric convector operates on the principle of convection, meaning the air enters through the lower part of the apparatus, is heated by electrical resistance, then emerges out the top part. Hot air is less dense than cold air, so it naturally re-enters the lower part in this way giving off persistent heat. The first advantage is its extremely affordable price, especially for a complete installation in a new house. Heat is quickly brought into your living space as it takes a short time for the electrical resistance to reach the correct temperature and diffuse the hot air into your room.
    • The radiant panel: it radiates a gentle diffusion of heat. Its principle is simple, it produces heat in the form of infrared radiation which is transferred through a perforated facade or flat plate. The resistant surface emits radiation by directly heating objects, walls or people. It has the advantage of not moving dust and therefore not smelling, making noise or blackening walls.
    • Inertia: It produces evenly distributed heat and its comfort is comparable to central heating. There are different models: fluid inertia, cast iron, ceramic or aluminum heating bodies, and various facades. Radiators with an aluminum heating body heat more quickly, while cast iron heating bodies store heat longer.
  • Which technology for which room?

    DELTACALOR bathroom electric radiator

    To choose a suitable radiator or radiators, it is important to take into account the particularities and the attendance of the rooms of destination.

    • Rooms where you are regularly present need a good quality of thermal comfort.
    • Transit rooms or rarely occupied rooms require a lower level of heating.
    • Bathrooms have specific needs such as towel warmers and require a higher level of heating than all other rooms.

    The inertia radiator is ideal for living rooms and wherever you need optimum comfort. If your room is large, install two radiators of average power, rather than one of high power.

  • How to calculate the power of an electric radiator?

    The first data to consider is the volume of the room in m3 (area in m2 x height). You will need about 40 watts / m3. This figure corresponds to a properly insulated house.

    If your insulation is bad (under the roof / walls / carpentry), plan for higher power heating as a short-term solution but, above all, your priority should be to undertake improvement work.

    To save money, you should only heat according to your needs. It is therefore important to be able to program the radiator according to your lifestyle.

    For example, you can install a single interface to control either all devices or device by device.
    Some radiators are equipped with door or window detectors. If it detects a sudden drop in temperature in the room, when you ventilate for example, the device turns off or goes into eco mode.

  • Which radiator should you choose for your decor?

    heat style LINHART concrete finish radiator

    Radiators are increasingly becoming decorative accessories. You have, for example, the choice of shape: a low or high model, horizontal or vertical, even in the form of baseboards. Where space is limited, opt for a column radiator. Demande is increasing for radiators in different colors. You might also appreciate the very pure aesthetics of models with glass or stone facades.

    New trends include: retro designs, a concrete effect, vertical radiators with a flat surface, remote control radiators, radiators that also purify air, a “mirror” aesthetic, integrated night light—ideal in a child’s room—, powerful baseboard radiators and intelligent and connected electric radiators.

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