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Electric heaters – quick heat generation for manifold fields of application
Be it in the bathroom, living room, basement hobby room or guestroom – electric heaters ensure agreeable temperatures in a clean and timely manner and, at the same time, permit flexibility for possible uses. In order for such a device to fulfil its purpose in its entirety it is important to select a model suitable for the respective operating conditions. You should think about which type of warmth you want, how much space is available and whether you prefer to use the device positioned on the floor or mounted to the wall or ceiling. We compiled this guide in due consideration of all relevant purchase criteria to aid you in the decision-making process.
What is an electric heater?
An electric heater generates the radiated heat from electricity. The greatest advantage of these heating devices is their simple application as additional or alternative heating solution. They can be used anywhere, as long as there is a functioning socket in the vicinity. Furthermore, electric heating devices are completely maintenance-free, have minor space requirements and do not leave behind any dirt. Moreover, they permit you to be independent of fossil fuels such as oil, gas or coal.
Types of electric heaters
Since convectors emit heat immediately upon switch-on, they are ideally suited for only rarely occupied rooms, e.g. guestrooms or basement party rooms. Seeing as the room air quickly cools down again when the device has been switched off, you should consider for your purchase decision that the heating capacity can be adjusted using a thermostat with temperature controller and the air velocity can be regulated gradually. As a result the convector provides additional heating as and when required without generating excess heat.
Fan heaters are electrically operated direct heaters. They produce warmth as soon as they are switched on. Owing to their mostly small dimensions they are optimally suited for use in living and office spaces, bathrooms, basement hobby rooms, camper vans or small workshops. These devices come with a dual advantage due to their use of a fan. During the winter, the place is heated in a trice as the blown out warm air is quickly distributed in the room. On warm days, the fan function ensures an agreeable, refreshing draught.
The warmth produced by ceramic fan heaters is particularly soothing. The room air stays especially clean, odour-free and also free from irritants because no animal hair or dust particles are burned on their heating elements. For this reason, the devices can also be recommended for allergy sufferers and asthmatics. Additional safety is provided by models with an automatic switch-off function in case of overheating and with integrated tilt protection switch. The latter comes with great advantages especially in households with children or free-roaming animals.
In case of a radiator, an electric heating unit heats a storage medium (e.g. oil) which then emits the heat to the room air. The power input of these devices ranges between 600 and 2000 watts and can be gradually adjusted. The more performance levels can be selected, the more flexibly can you adjust the radiator to your individual heating demand. The power consumption can also be minimized in that manner.
Admittedly, the heat-up period is longer than that of a convector, but in return the radiator continues to emit heat for a while after the switch-off. It is therefore advisable to only have these devices running at the highest level until the desired room temperature has been reached and to then set them to a lower performance level.
Infrared heating units
Unlike with radiators, fan heaters and convectors the infrared rays emitted by these heating systems do not heat the ambient air but solid objects in their path according to the natural principle of the sun. Consequently, electric infrared heaters can be used with high precision and need less power than other additional heaters running on electricity. The targeted head dissipation entails yet another advantage: The humidity level remains unaffected by this type of heating.
The positioning options of infrared heaters are less flexible than those of other device types as they are mostly permanently installed at the wall or ceiling. But there are also free-standing infrared radiant heaters which can be conveniently relocated as needed.
Electric heaters: current consumption and electricity costs
The current consumption of electric heaters and the resulting electricity costs are determined by the wattage and the electricity tariff. With a few simple formulas you can determine how much power your electric heater approximately consumes. To do so, multiply the wattage of the device with the operating time to receive the current consumption in watt hours (Wh). To calculate the consumption in kilowatt hours (kWh), divide this result by 1,000. To calculate the energy costs, multiply the consumption in kilowatt hours (kWh) and the current hourly electricity rate.
wattage (W) x duration (hours) = current consumption in watt hours (Wh),
divided by 1,000 = current consumption in kilowatt hours (kWh).
current consumption in kilowatt hours (kWh) x electricity rate per kWh (€0.28) = hourly electricity costs
60 watts (power input in W) x 10 hours (duration in h) = 600 (Wh)
600 Wh (energy consumption) / 1000 = 0.6 (kWh)
0.6 (kWh) x 0.28 (rate per kWh) = €0.168
Keeping electricity costs in check
If you want more precise data regarding the current consumption, we recommend using an energy cost measuring device such as Trotec's BX09 or BX11. With its minimal current indication of 0.1 W the BX09 detects even the smallest of energy wasters, e.g. devices in standby mode.
All you need to do to determine the power consumer's current energy consumption is to plug the measuring device into the power outlet and then to connect the power consumer to be checked. The BX11 offers an even greater functionality permitting measurements according to the time of day and a recording mode for long-term measurements.
Where can you use electric heaters?
Electric heating devices can be used both in the private and the commercial sector for indoor and outdoor applications alike. They are suited just as well for use in bathrooms, guestrooms, basement hobby rooms and conservatories as they are for the application on balconies or terraces, in garages, workshops, warehouses or production halls.
If you want to permanently install an electric heater out of doors, make sure to choose a model approved for outdoor application. Corresponding devices come with protection type IP65 as well as with dust, splash and water-jet protection.
A particularly elegant solution for use in the garden, on a terrace or balcony are infrared radiant heaters with their heat source shielded from view. As such they do not clash with the present lighting concept, nor do they attract nocturnal insects.
Given suitable weather conditions, mobile pedestal devices can be used out of doors without worries, since they can quickly be moved to a position under a roof should necessity require it.
In indoor spaces your choice is unrestricted. It is only in wet rooms that a special device with the corresponding protection type is required. During assembly, however, ensure a perfectly safe and secure installation of the radiant heater on the floor, at the wall or ceiling.
Electric heaters from Trotec – your advantages
Whenever you're in need of a quick and uncomplicated heating solution, you can count on Trotec as reliable and capable contact. We offer high-quality electric heaters produced by renowned manufacturers, these include e.g. convectors, infrared heating devices and ceramic fan heaters as well as oil-filled radiators. In addition, we can provide you with especially efficient electric fan heaters for use in the industrial sector meeting the high requirements of this particular application field in its entirety.
Electric heaters with frost monitor function
Owing to their stepless thermal control, our mobile convectors of the TCH series can also be used as frost monitors. At cold temperatures the heating device is automatically activated by a thermostat to to protect your rooms from frost and to prevent excessive cooling.
It is not only landlords and real estate companies who benefit from the frost monitor function but also tradesmen and private persons looking for an efficient frost protection for vacant rooms or garages.
Rooms, which are not connected to the central heating system, are ideal application sites: conservatories and basements, for instance, can be reliably protected from frost and kept warm in that manner.