Which Portable Heater is Best?

Portable heaters are a quick and economical way to create a comfortable temperature in rooms such as offices and workshops and other individual living spaces.

In this guide, we will cover how different portable heaters work, what the benefits to each type of heater are and which product best suits your requirements. 

How do oil filled radiators work?

Oil filled radiators work by heating oil held in pipes with an electrical element, this heat is then pushed out into the room to heat the air. 

What are the benefits of an oil filled radiator?

These types of radiators can take slightly longer to heat up than other portable heating options but the benefit of oil filled heaters is that they can emit heat for hours after they are switched off, making them ideal for smaller rooms and bedrooms where you may wish to turn off the heat before sleeping but still keep a chill out of the air. They are also fairly silent which makes them a great space heater for offices, bedrooms or other quiet areas.

Once heated, the warm oil covers the entire surface of the heater which creates an even distribution of heat eliminating issues such as cold spots that can occur through the use of central heating. 

Oil filled radiators are largely maintenance free. The oil inside does not need to be replaced or replenished, making electric oil filled heaters a more fuss-free option than central heating. 

How do oil free radiators work?

Unlike oil filled radiators, oil free heaters utilise thermal components such as aluminium to create heat. However, they still generate heat through the same process of convection and radiation as an oil filled radiator meaning they heat a room quickly and evenly.

What are the benefits of an oil free radiator?

Oil free radiators are more suited to heating larger areas or rooms with high ceilings because they generate heat more rapidly than their oil filled counterparts. However, this type of portable heater does not share the same benefit of heat retention as oil filled heaters as they cool down much quicker after they are switched off. 

Other than this, they remain similar to oil filled radiators in that they are very quiet and heat the room with the same mixture of radiant and convected heat, creating a comfortable warmth throughout a room.

What’s the difference between an oil filled radiator and an oil free radiator?

The biggest differences between oil filled and oil free radiators are the unit weight and the impact on the environment. Oil free radiators are better for the environment as they leave a smaller carbon footprint and are easier to recycle at the end of life. They are also lighter and easier to move around as they rely on materials such as aluminium instead of heavier liquids such as oil to create heat.

How do convector heaters work?

Convector heaters warm a room from the top down by utilising the natural movement of air which rises as it heats and drops as it cools. These heaters are filled with water and utilise an internal element to produce hot air to create a heat circulation system throughout the room.

What are the benefits of a convector heater?

Convector heaters such as the Dimplex DXC20Ti are generally cheaper to buy than oil filled or oil free radiators and can heat a smaller room quite rapidly and evenly as the warm air spreads uniformly across enclosed spaces. They are also a quiet method of heating which means they are suitable for use in a range of different settings. 

Convector heaters are not ideal for use in areas where there may be draughts or regular blasts of colder air because any re-circulated air will be cooler than the other air in the room and will need to be heated. They are also not the most energy efficient option for use in larger rooms as it can be harder to control a natural air flow in these areas.

Allergy sufferers may find that an oil filled or oil free heater is better for them as the warm air generated by a convector heater doesn't pass through any filters, meaning allergens and dust can build up and spread throughout the room. Regular cleaning can help to eliminate this issue but it is still worth consideration. 

Which type of heat is most comfortable?

The heat felt from radiators is similar to the heat you would feel from the sun. Radiators work by emitting energy rays which create heat once they hit an object or body within the room. Convector heaters work by heating the air and pushing it through the room. 

Oil filled and oil-free radiators use a combination of convected and radiant heat creating a more comfortable warmth than convection heaters

Are portable heaters safe?

As long as they are used correctly, electric heaters are one of the safest ways to heat a room. Electric heaters do not rely on burning fuel internally, so there is no naked flame, fumes or risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. 

You should be sure that you are purchasing a safe portable heater. One of the best ways to do this is to look for the BEAB approved mark. The BEAB mark is a European Safety Mark which demonstrates that the product’s safety has been verified by Interek, an independent third party.

The BEAB mark is the highest safety standard in the UK market and ensures the production of high quality goods that are manufactured in an inspected factory, aa well as a commitment to best practice and consumer safety. 

All our Dimplex Oil Filled Radiators and Dimplex Oil Free Radiators are BEAB approved and boast a variety of safety features including: run back timers eliminate energy waste; dust filters which are easy to clean; thermal cut-outs; or a built-in tilt switch which turns off the heater in the case of it being knocked over. .

Other safety considerations for portable heaters include:

  • Keeping the heater on a level surface ensuring it remains unobstructed
  • Do not power a heater from an extension lead as these can be easily overloaded causing fires
  • Do not cover electric heaters and do not use them to dry clothes
  • Ensure the heater is kept at least a metre from curtains and furniture
  • Regularly check the heater for any damage and deterioration. Do not continue use if there is any apparent damage.
  • Do not purchase second hand heaters, buy from recognised retailers.

How much do portable heaters cost to run? 

For a general idea of the running costs of a portable heater use this calculator:

 Energy input (kW) x pence per kWh= running cost

 For example a 2kW oil filled heater running continuously for 1 hour would cost:

 2kW x 14p/kWh = 28 pence per hour

(Calculation is based on 0.14p per kWh - please check your most current electricity bill for an accurate electricity price. Running costs also vary due to a number of factors including number of doors, windows, type of insulation etc.)

Which portable heater is best for use in my home?

The Dimplex Cadiz CDE2Ti Portable Heater is a popular choice of portable heater for the home as they can save up to 30% more energy on heating a room and generate 50% more heat in half the time of an oil filled equivalent. This makes them ideal for heating bedrooms, living areas and home offices.

Eco Cadiz Heaters work by emitting both radiated and convected heat through twin panels which can be controlled individually to provide an economical heating solution. This lightweight heating technology also means that the Eco range is also up to 45% lighter than other portable heating options. 

The Dimplex Cadiz CDE2Ti benefits from a 24-Hour programmable timer which can be set digitally or with a remote control. Both the 2kw ECC and 3kw ECC models feature precise Electronic Climate Control which can be programmed in 1oC increments from 5oC to 35oC

Which portable heater is best for use in my garage?

We have a range of garage and workshop heating available including convector heaters such as the Dimplex MPH1000 1000w Workshop Heater and the Dimplex MPH500 500w Workshop Heater which are splashproof and benefit from frost protection. As these are convector heaters they are well suited to heating smaller spaces. 

We hope that you have found our portable heating guide useful however, if you have any further questions please give us a call on 0203 994 5470, drop us an email at sales@electricpoint.com or use our Contact Form.