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The most energy efficient electric heaters - As for energy efficient electric heater ratings (for example energy star or the canadian energuide ratings), there aren’t any. Electric water heaters - us department of energy : Specify or select residential electric resistance water heaters that meet or exceed the energy efficiency requirements outlined above.
Sustainable Living Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for folks dedicated to a lifestyle that can be maintained indefinitely without depleting available resources. Assuming that any of these has the same electrical input power, and given that they must all eventually be 100% efficient at converting electricity to heat, any advantage or disadvantage must relate to the way that they transfer the heat to the room. In bed, a modern, safety-certified electric underblanket or hot water bottle would be more efficient, and might also be safer. Radiative heaters radiate infra-red light which strikes objects and heats them directly, heating the intervening air less. Oil filled radiators, work like ordinary central heating radiators, primarily heating the air in the room by natural convection.
If you are heating a space with ventilation but no heat recovery (you open a door or window regularly, or have a draught) then a fan heater or radiator would be less useful than a radiative heater.
If you are in a space where there is little likelihood of hot air escaping, but where the walls are thin and poorly insulated, then a fan heater might be better. In a well insulated room with little escape of air, there would be negligible differences between the different methods other than perceptual ones. It is usually recommended that radiative and fan heaters are not left running when unattended. Care should also be taken with these heaters when used in a room where people are sleeping. From personal experience, I always feel warmer in front of a radiative heater, and they certainly produce less noise pollution than fan heaters, so are more pleasant to be around. I don't normally heat my bathroom, but I turn on my bathroom IR wall heater before I get in the shower so it is up to full heat by the time I get out of the shower.


Thanks - so a fan heater (with a thermostat) is probably going to be better at maintaining a steady temperature in a well-insulated room, but a radiative heater aimed at your body will warm you more quickly. When it comes to safety (eg for a heater used in a child's bedroom, or someone sleeping), I would never use a fan heater or bar heater because of the fire risk should the device be knocked over, covered, or an item put in front. Unfortunately oil heaters are terribly inefficient, as much of the heat rises to the ceiling where it is lost with little benefit. Also, twice I've had fan heaters fail where the fan stopped working but the heater part continued to operate. My experience has been that thermal cut-outs are often over-sensitive and likely to fail open, rather than not working or failing closed. I'm also inclined to use insulation rather than heating, preferring a DIY box-bed over heating the whole bedroom, for example.
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Is building vertically instead of horizontally in climate with large seasonal temperature changes more sustainable? The most energy efficient portable electric heaters - Energy efficient electric heaters are a bit of a misnomer. While some of the heat from the radiative heater will strike you and heat you directly, the energy which hits the walls will be divided between radiating back into the room and escaping through the wall. Even when an oil filled radiator is rated for unattended operation, care should be taken, as with any heating device, that nothing flammable is left close to or in contact with the heater. Moisture in the air could cause a heater not rated for those environments to fail, posing an additional fire risk. Both are more controllable than oil frilled radiators, so you get heat out of them sooner after you need it and waste little heat when you no longer need it.
The infra-red heat keeps me nice and warm in those those crucial moments between stopping the hot water flow and towelling off the rapidly cooling water.


I find that they can never warm up the air in the bathroom enough during the time you are showering that you don't feel cold during the towelling. A thermostatically controlled fan heater will alternate between be either on or off, say 1 minute on then 5 minutes off. However, dust can settle on the heating element, and you can't reach it to clean it, so you get the smell of burnt dust. If part of the heater's duty will be to help dry clothes, this radiator might be your best option. I'm reasonably comfortable using an oil filled heater or wall-panel heater though, but I wouldn't go without having a smoke alarm in the room that's been tested. Also, while safety is a concern, a well built fan heater would trip it's thermal fuse long before it caught fire, even if its normal bimetal cutout has failed.
I then turn off the heater as I leave the bathroom, having wasted little electricity unnecessarily heating it.
I know that IR heaters are seen as old technology, but they work very well, are as 'efficient' as every other electric heater and are far more reliable than fan heaters.
The switching of the radiator heating elements may be similar, but the heat output would be more consistent due to the thermal mass of the oil. I have never had a fan heater last more than a decade, the IR heater in my bathroom has been working for over three.



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