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Buying guide: Electric panel heaters

Electric panel heaters are quick solutions to heating problems. If your centralised heating system does not work efficiently or there is no structure to warm the house at all, they are useful in providing heat in a room or any space. Learn what features to look for when buying heaters powered by electricity.

Types of electric heaters

Air heaters or electric fan heaters They are small in size and are typically used in bathroom heating. Hot air is blown continuously in the environment. Panel wall heaters These room heaters are flat panels that can be mounted on walls or as stand alone units. Electric oil heaters Oil-filled radiators have the advantage of not making the environment dry since they do not blow hot air. They are quite efficient in heating both small and large rooms. Towel heater Usually installed in bathrooms, towel heaters consist of racks that can dry wet towels and fabrics. Storage heaters They are devices used for house heating by storing energy at night when electricity prices are cheaper. The system then distributes the heat during daytime when it is needed.

What to look for when buying electric panel heaters

The kind of electric heater that you buy largely depends on your needs such as the size of room that needs heating. Other typical considerations are prices and heater characteristics. If you decide to opt for electric heating, consider these features when shopping for a suitable home heater: Energy output Electric heaters use British thermal unit (BTU) to calculate energy output. The higher the BTU is, the more heat it will produce. Power consumption Directly related to energy output is power consumption. Typically, a heater will use between 400 to 2,200 watts of power. Timer You can program heaters to switch off automatically after a certain time to save energy. Protection grids Look for heaters that have secure grids and bars to prevent fires and accidental burns. Portability If you have to move electric heaters in between rooms, search for appliances that are not so heavy or have caster wheels for portability. Safety and health tips Heaters should be switched off at all times when there is no one in the room.
They should be kept away from curtains and other flammable materials. If the heater is placed at the foot of your bed, make sure that blankets will not fall and cover the air vents. Cords should lie flat on the floor to avoid that people trip on them. They should also be tucked away from the appliance.
Consider the use of humidifiers when the air in a room gets too dry to avoid nose bleeds, parched throats and other health problems.

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