Different Types of Radiator Heaters & Benefits

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We really like these heaters and here we showcase different types of radiator heaters and the reasons why you should choose one…

One of the most important questions each household needs to have the answer to in late autumn is what type of heating system they plan to have.

Advantages radiator heaters

One of the most common types of heaters that many households choose to have is radiator heaters.

Radiator heaters were invented around the mid-1800s, and with time, they have developed and evolved into one of the most energy-efficient, practical, and low-maintenance options on the market.

Being one of the oldest types of heaters, we have decided to go over everything you need to know before you decide to get radiators!


Why Choose Radiator Heaters?


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There are several reasons why many people choose to heat their homes with radiators, among which the biggest are:

Radiators are safe:

Unlike some other types of heaters, such as gas, fireplaces, etc., radiators are one of, if not the safest option for heating.

Most models that are portable offer extra safety through having a tilt sensor which instantly cuts the power in case the radiator is moved, unbalanced, or knocked on its side.

Moreover, they are considered to be less of a fire hazard compared to other heaters.

Radiators don’t emit any odors:

The reason why many people avoid gas heaters is that they have to go through the entire process of installing ventilation and constantly checking to see if it functions well.

Unlike them, radiators do not emit any harmful odors, gases or chemicals when they are used, and you do not need any ventilation systems.

Radiators are long-lasting:

another great thing about radiators is that radiators are long-lasting and reliable; once you buy and install a cast-iron radiator, you won’t have to worry about it for years, or in some cases even decades. Before you buy a radiator, do your research and make sure you buy a high-quality radiator, and you will most likely avoid any headaches regarding heating in the years to come!

Radiators are low-maintenance:

You do not have to worry about buying corresponding fuel, wood, gas if you go with radiators as they do not contain any type of fuels that need constant replacement.

Different Types of Radiator Heaters…

There are several types of radiator heaters and they are classified based on how they work. Therefore, we can distinguish between:

  1. Steam Radiator Heaters

Steam radiators are the old-fashioned types of radiators as they work on the principle of boiling water to create steam which further travels up through a set of pipes into a radiator that heats the room through radiation and convection.

The entire process of this type of heating is a full circle of water turning into not steam, traveling through pipes, slowly cooling down and turning into condensation, and then traveling back to the boiler where it heats again and the circle continues.

In most cases, steam radiators won’t be found in new, modern homes. Nevertheless, that does not mean that they are completely out of use; in fact, they are still pretty much available on the market in the form of 3 different systems:

Cast-iron free-standing systems:

These systems are the oldest and one of the most popular systems as they are the most efficient at heating the room.

It does take a while for them to heat up, and they do typically take more place, but if you can go over these downsides, then you will be able to enjoy the heat for a longer period.

Ceramic systems:

These systems are the newest edition of steam radiators and as such are probably the best options since they have more upgrades and better features.

For example, unlike the other types, these are not hot when you touch them, they are more efficient and heat the room faster.

Baseboard Steam systems:

These systems are the improved version of the cast-iron free-standing systems in the sense that they take less amount of space while working on the same principle.

They are more ‘discrete’ as well since they typically run along the baseboards of your home.

Read our article… What Are The Advantages of Baseboard Heaters? To learn more about baseboard heaters.

Typically steam radiators are one-pipe systems or two pipe systems. Some radiator heaters that have 2 pipes can also be water radiators and not necessarily steam radiators.

  1. Electric Radiator Heaters

The second type of radiator based on how they work is the electric radiator.

The electric radiators are similar in their construction to the radiators of gas central heating systems except that they have a different method of creating heat.

These radiators have a thermodynamic fluid, typically oil that facilitates the transfer of heat energy that is produced by electricity.

They are quite practical, and compared to others as they are standalone units; most of the heat they produce is created through convention – the movement of the warm air, and the smaller part, a third of the heat comes from radiant heat.

They are 100% efficient and stand out from the rest because the newer versions offer digital weekly programming and precision thermostats which are quite useful in managing energy usage and slimming down the electricity bills.

That being said, we do need to mention that these are some of the more expensive heating options on the market.

Depending on their technical properties as well as how they are distributing the heat, mainly there are 4 types of electric radiators:

Fan heaters

whose two main parts are fan and heater and work on the principle of creating a constant airflow through the heating element which heats the air and gets further spread across the room.

Convection radiators

use an exposed wire element that heats the air; they don’t have moving parts so they rely on the natural rising and falling of warm air to distribute the heat.

Infrared radiators

unlike others, this model heats the room by using electromagnetic waves of a certain frequency, while keeping the radiator cold instead of heating the air in the room. Read more about the advantages of infrared heaters.

Oil-based electric radiators

as the name suggests using mineral oil which gets heated by the heating element and passes the heat through the radiator’s cover to the surrounding area.

Although these are noise-free and have increased mobility in comparison to others, their outer cover tends to get hot leading to uneven heat distribution in the room.

  1. Water Radiator Heaters

Water radiators, or hot water radiators as the name suggests using hot water to create heat.

Basically, they have a sealed hollow metal container that is filled with hot water by gravity feed, a pressure pump, or convection.

When these radiators give out heat, the hot water starts to cool and sinks to the bottom of the radiator where it is forced out of a pipe at the other end.

As you can see, unlike the steam radiators, these radiators are two piped radiators.

Often, to minimize and prevent knocking in hot water radiator pipes, anti-hammer devices are installed on the water radiators.

These radiators although they come in many shapes, sizes and configurations, typically fall into one of these 2 types: standard and baseboard (convector) radiators.

Still, although these are some of the oldest types of radiators, often people try to avoid them. That is because they can oftentimes get quite noisy.

Types of Radiators Based On Their Form/Shape…

Speaking of different types of radiators, until now we classified the radiators based on what they are made of and how they are producing and spreading the heat.

However, we can also speak about different types of radiator heaters based on their shape and form; in this case, we can distinguish between:

  • Single Panel Radiators
  • Double Panel Radiators
  • Horizontal Radiators
  • Vertical Radiators
  • Column Radiators
  • Heated Towel Rails

How To Clean and Maintain Radiators?

If you want to get the most of your radiator heater, you need to make sure that it stays clean.

It’s a good idea not to allow any dirt or debris to accumulate on them as it can cause issues with your heating.

You can clean your radiators by shutting them down, letting them cool off and simply wiping down the radiators. You can achieve this by using a slightly wet cloth.

If there are some difficult substances or stains, in this case, you can use a mild soap to remove it.

Just make sure that you run it over again with a wet then dry cloth to remove any soap excess.

If you want to keep your radiators efficient and have them serve you for years to come, make sure that you clean them at least once a week.