Choosing an oil-filled heater is sometimes the best way to go when you want a reliable radiator to act as either a primary or secondary source of heat. But whether you’re looking for a product to use at home or at work, maybe in the garage or the basement, then here is a quick guide and some products that are worth your time.
Quick picks for the best oil filled heater
Advantages of an Oil Filled Heater
When people think about buying an additional heater for one of their rooms, they don’t always see oil heaters as a viable option. That’s a real shame because these products have quite a few aces up their sleeves:
- Because it uses convection heating methods for heat distribution, this type of heater can be more efficient in evenly distributing heat across the surface of the room.
- These types of heaters are filled with diathermic oil, which retains the heat generated by the resistor found inside the heater and provides you with high heating capacity.
- Oil filled heaters are generally good at being effective with electricity use.
- They come with a lot of cool features that you can find in other types of heaters, such as thermostats, timers, protection features, and the likes.
- Thanks to their caster wheels, oil filled heaters can be really easy to move around.
- Because they don’t have a fan, these heaters don’t really make that much noise when compared to a fan-powered model, for instance.
What to Look for in an Oil Filled Heater
Never having bought an oil-filled heater before could mean that you’re not sure what to look for. Before you add any such product to your shopping cart, here are the things that you need to pay attention to:
- First and foremost, you need to make sure that the oil-filled heater you choose is good to cover the area that you want to heat up. If you choose a heater that is too small or isn’t powerful enough, you could end up wasting money on a product that simply won’t manage to cover the entire square footage of the room. The wattage of a heater typically determines just how much space it can cover. Larger heaters usually have higher wattages and do a better job at heating bigger rooms.
- Every good oil filled heater should provide you with multiple heat settings. This will help you gain more control over the heat output inside the room, so you can set the temperature to your desired level (or least within an interval that’s close to the temperature you’re comfortable with).
- Before you buy an oil heater, you might want to make sure that the temperature display is in the measuring unit that’s familiar to you. Some units work with Fahrenheit, others work with Celsius, while others have both.
- Energy efficiency is definitely something that you should look into before buying a heater, no matter if it’s an oil-filled one or some other kind.
- One of the benefits that heaters usually offer is the ability to move them from one room to another. The problem with oil filled heaters is that their bulky design makes them heavier compared to other types of heaters, which makes portability an issue if you often find yourself needing to move the unit from one room to another. Look for oil filled heaters that have caster wheels so that you may find it easier to move them around the house as needed.
- The design of an oil filled heater is going to determine the functionality of some features (sometimes, in the detriment of others). What does this mean, exactly? It means that some heaters are designed to focus on covering larger areas by adding multiple fins to the design of the product. Other features have caster wheels to make portability a benefit and they are great for people who want to use the same unit in multiple rooms throughout the day. Some oil filled heaters are greatly focused on insulating the chassis, preventing the features from getting too hot.
- The materials that are used to make a certain oil filled heater will have an impact on both the efficiency and the lifespan of the product. The general rule is that you should look for oil filled heaters that are made from steel. They are durable and easy to clean, but also rust-resistant and capable of heating up properly. As far as the external coating is concerned, make sure you opt for enamel heaters. If you see an oil filled heater that’s been machine-welded, know that these are stronger and tightly sealed, which translates into less chances of leaking.
- The warranty of a product should play an important part in the buying decision, and oil filled heaters aren’t any different. The standard warranty for this type of product is one year, but manufacturers that stand by their products will offer extended warranty periods. Also, make sure that you read the fine print when it comes to choosing a product with seemingly-favorable warranty. Some manufacturers will suck you in with promises of extended warranty periods, but said warranty might not cover the most common repairs that need to be done.
Ceramic vs. Oil Filled Heaters
One of the greatest struggles when having to buy a heater is deciding between the two types that have the most market popularity: ceramic and oil filler. It is important to underline the differences between these two types of heaters because buying the wrong one can lead to a lot of frustrations and implement the belief that a room heater is a terrible product and never worth investing money in again. That being said, let’s look at some of the main things that you should know about ceramic and oil-filled heaters:
- Ceramic heaters usually function on the principle of convection. That means that ceramic heaters usually have an electricity-powered element and a fan that blows heat into the room. However, not all ceramic heaters are convection heaters, with some of them being radiant as well (we’ll get to that in a minute).
- The reason why ceramic heaters have this name is that the central heating element is made from durable ceramic material and is known for its ability to conduct heat efficiently.
- Unlike ceramic heaters, oil-based ones are radiant. That means that they function on the principle of heating up a certain surface and having that surface spread the heat throughout the entire room. This particular type of heater has oil inside it, oil which heats up and further increases the temperature of the fins that you can see on the exterior side of the product.
- Ceramic heaters make it more difficult to maintain steady temperature levels inside the room. An oil filled heater does a much better job in this aspect, even if it takes longer for it to heat up compared to its ceramic counterpart.
- Oil filled heaters are generally a better choice for medium to large rooms, while ceramic heaters have proven to be more efficient in heating up smaller rooms.
Is an Oil Filled Heater Good for You?
It all comes down to this question: would you benefit from an oil filled heater or would that just be wasted money? If you’re not sure if such a product is right for you, consider the following aspects:
- Do you like to sleep with the heater turned on? If so, an oil-based heater might be the right choice for you because it operates at a silent level, at least compared to pretty much every other type of room heater out there. Oil filled heaters don’t have any internal fans. They are just filled with oil that heats up, and the low sound output makes them a very good choice for bedroom and office use (especially in offices where silence is mandatory).
- Do you have a larger room that needs heating? Oil filled heaters are typically preferred by those who have to heat up a large room. However, the versatility in size makes them suitable for just about any rooms. The basic rule is this: for smaller rooms, you want an oil filled heater with a lower number of fins (also called external heating elements), while larger rooms require bigger heaters with multiple fins.
- Do you have any allergies? Every heater that has an internal fan and works on the principle of air circulation will basically create a vortex of contaminants that just keeps spreading across the room. Oil filled heaters are a much wiser choice for people who have allergies and simply can’t stay in an environment where pollen and dusts just circulate from here to there.
- Are you looking for a really cheap heater? The sad part about oil filled heaters is that they tend to be more expensive compared to other types. If you want a product that has additional safety measures and is made with high-quality construction, you can expect to pay even more. Features like auto shutdown or anti-tipping will add to the final price of the product, which makes oil filled heaters a poor choice for people who have to stick to a very limited budget.
Are There Any Drawbacks to Oil Filled Heaters?
Part of our job is delivering accurate buying information and informing our reader as best as we can. Realistically, that means discussing the drawback of purchasing a specific type of product. While there are plenty of advantages to buying an oil filled heater, here are some of the not-so-great things about it (there is a chance you might not consider there to be disadvantages as all, because we all have different needs from a product):
- Unlike other types of heaters, oil filled ones take a longer time to heat up initially. Some heaters will radiate elevated temperatures into the room in a couple of minutes but an oil filled heater can take between 15 to 30 minutes to actually warm up the air inside the room. If you want a product that can deliver heat instantly when you turn it on, this might not be the right choice for you.
- Another thing that you will have to consider when it comes to oil filled heaters is that the external surface can get pretty hot. While adults can be trusted to understand that and not touch the heater while it’s operating or until it cools down, this can be problematic if you have children. Using an oil filled heater in a home with children and pets might require supervision to make sure they don’t touch the surface.
Top 5 Oil Filled Heaters
Now that you know what an oil heater brings to the table and why it can be a more viable option when compared to other products in the niche, let’s explore some of the best products in this category to get a sense of what the market offer is.
This Pelonis radiator comes with three different heating options and five temperature settings that grant you with more control over how hot you want the air inside the room to be. It features a timer that will turn off the heater after 10 hours if you want it to, a programmable thermostat, and four swivel caster wheels that can rotate at 360 degrees to make it easier for you to move the heater around the room.
Whenever the unit is turned on, you will see the power indicator light turned on. The heater is also equipped with a bunch of safety features, such as overheat protection that turns off the unit automatically if the internal components exceed a certain hazardous temperature. The front side of the heater comes with an LCD panel for really a cool-looking design and better interface.
- Three heating options.
- Five temperature settings.
- Programmable thermostat.
- LCD screen.
- Built-in timer.
- Overheat protection.
- Noisy when it heats up.
The NewAir oil filled heater is a really nice looking unit with a black finish that allows it to blend well amongst any type of furniture. It comes with an ECO mode that you can activate if you’re looking to get a more cost-effective way of using electricity. Filled with diathermic oil, this heater uses the power of convection to radiate heat through its fins, making sure heat is dissipated in all directions at the same time.
It comes with three heat modes that grant control over the heat output, as well as energy usage. You can set your temperature at increments of five degrees and you have a 10-hour timer that you can use at your convenience.
- Lightweight design.
- ECO mode.
- Three heat settings.
- Integrated timer.
- Short lifespan.
The first of the Costwat heaters that we’ve chosen for our best-of list comes with 1,500 watts of power that promise you every penny you spend on this product is a good investment. It comes with three heat settings to give you more freedom of choosing how warm you want the room to be, but also how much energy you’re willing to consume. That means that you can set the radiator to the lowest settings (600 watts) or turn it up to the highest one (1,500 watts).
The bottom side of the heater has four casters that allow you to move the unit around as you please, while the carrying handle will make sure that you’ll never have to touch any of the heated elements while doing so. The unit is also equipped with a tip-over auto-shutdown feature and an overheating protection system.
- Three heat settings.
- Four casters.
- Carrying handle.
- Tip-over protection.
- Overheat protection.
- No timer.
- Unsuitable for large rooms.
If you’re looking for a cheaper oil filled heater that works well with smaller rooms, here is the option to go for. This Costway heater may have just 700 watts, but sometimes you really don’t need anything more.
When the heater is on, you will notice that the power indicator turns to bright orange, so you’ll always know when the unit is up and running. The front panel is also home to a carrying handle that makes it easy to move the unit back and forth even when it’s heated. It also features an overheating protection system to avoid any hazards.
- Overheating protection system.
- Built-in thermostat.
- Affordable option.
- Front carrying handle.
- Can only heat up small rooms.
The DeLonghi is a customer favorite for a good reason. It might be a more expensive option when compared to the other four, but the price is reflected in the quality and features that people seem to be so happy with. Made from high-quality steel, this product is as durable as is it good-looking.
The built-in thermostat provides you with better control over keeping a consistent temperature in the room where you’re using the radiator, while the 1.500 watts of power should be a really good job in making sure the room warms up pretty fast. You can choose between three different heat settings, and you have peace of mind knowing that the unit is equipped with an overheat protection system.
- High-quality steel assembly.
- Overheating protection system.
- Built-in thermostat.
- Modern front control panel.
- Noisy at high temperatures.
The Bottom Line
In a world where people are doing whatever they can to save money on heating electricity bills, oil filled heaters are really viable solution that gives you heat when and where you most need it. With their designs and capacity to radiate heat in all directions instead of just blowing it in one, oil filled heaters are reliable sources of warmth throughout colder months.