Oil filled radiator heaters are becoming more and more popular as they are effective, energy efficient and safe to use. So, what is an oil filled heater? Oil filled radiators look like old-fashioned radiators and the only difference is that they are smaller than the former.
Do you remember the kind of radiators you see someone beating with a wrench on TV? That is the old-fashioned radiator I am talking about. Oil filled electric radiators usually have a series of joined fins or columns which at times have open spaces between them, attached at the base and fronted with a control panel.
Very few oil filled radiators in the market have a single flat panel. The heaters usually have diathermic oil inside its body and fin. So, do you have to refill the oil? Of course not. You don’t have to refill the oil in an oil filled radiator. This is because of the fact that the oil is not used as fuel but serves as a heat reservoir. This means that the oil will never be used up but instead continues to circulate through the heater for as long as you use it.
How do oil filled radiators work?
1) Electricity is directed into a resistor found in the heater where the energy is converted into heat.
2) Diathermic oil will then absorb that heat.
3) As the oil warms up, it will start circulating through the columns and fins.
4) As the oil moves, it will transfer heat into the metal of the heater’s fins. This creates an even surface temperature.
5) The heating of the metal fins will make them start radiating heat into a room. This heat will be circulated throughout the room by natural convection in the air.
Air circulation and convection
One of the best things about oil filled heaters is that they operate silently without making noise. Why? This is because most of the heaters do not have built-in fans to distribute hot air. After the air around the oil filled heater is warmed up, Physics will take care of circulating warmth in the room through convection. So, what is convection? It is the process in which “heat rises”.
Scientifically speaking, when the temperature of a certain liquid or gas goes up, it will become less dense and rise upwards. Therefore, when heater warms the air around, the air will rise up towards the ceiling and it will push the cooler air back towards the floor. This cooler air will be warmed by the heater hence leading to continuous convection current throughout the room.
Depending on the size of the room, the convection current will create an even temperature throughout the room. This will happen after some time but in the meanwhile, those near the heater feel the effects of the heat radiating from the heater.
Advantages of Oil-Filled heaters
I hope that you now understand how oil filled heaters work and you are now ready to know about the advantage of these heaters. Below are the major reasons why oil filled heaters are becoming more popular
- Does not dry the air – The lack of a fan means that the air in your room will not dry out either.
- Energy efficient – Electric heaters are almost 100 % efficient meaning that all the energy used is usually directly converted to heat. Oil filled heaters do not have to provide power for a fan motor.
- Slow to cool – Oil filled heaters will radiate heat even after you turn the power off.
- Thermostat controlled – After the room has reached the right temperature, an oil filled heater will cycle on and off automatically. This helps these heaters maintain that warmth instead of running continuously. This will save you money and will also ensure that your rooms are not overheated.
- Safe to use -Keep in mind that oil filled heaters are amongst the safest space heaters.
- Non-scorching surfaces- Even though metal surfaces become warm to the touch, they never become hot enough to burn especially if you accidentally brush against them.
- No fumes or gas – Oil filled heaters are safe to use indoors as they don’t burn gas or oil
- No exposed heating element – Since the heating element is sealed in the heater, it is impossible that it will come into contact with anything flammable.