What’s Inside An Electric Radiator?

What’s Inside An Electric Radiator?

What’s Inside An Electric Radiator?

We talk a lot about the benefits of switching your home to electric radiators. They save space, look great, are much more efficient than water-based radiators and heating systems, and can even save you money. But while most people know how a standard water radiator works (with heated water from a boiler flowing through it), the same can’t be said for their electric counterparts. So, if they don’t use heated water, what do electric radiators use, and how do they work?

What’s Inside?

Unlike standard radiators, electric radiators aren’t filled with water. Good thing too, as water and electricity don’t really mix! Instead, electric radiators contain 2 distinct components. The first is a heating element, which is a type of electrical resistor that can be submerged in a liquid and transform electrical energy into heat energy. And the second is either oil or more commonly a substance called glycol. The electrical resistor uses power from your home and turns every single unit of energy into heat. That heat is conducted through the glycol or oil and spread through the surface of the radiator, allowing it to circulate through the room.

The Lowdown on Glycol

Glycol might sound like a big scary word, but honestly, it’s perfectly safe and an incredibly useful little chemical. Essentially it’s a thermodynamic fluid (which means it’s good at conducting heat) that has natural anti-freeze and anti-corrosion inhibitor functions, which have been specifically designed for heating systems and sealed radiators. What all of that means is that glycol has a low freezing point and doesn’t cause the metal to rust, while transferring the maximum possible heat in the most efficient way. It’s used in all sorts of industries, from HVAC to food and even pharmaceuticals.

Some of the main benefits of using glycol in electric radiators include:

  • It retains heat for longer, providing ambient heat for your room
  • There will be no build up of limescale, rust or corrosion within the radiator
  • Thanks to it’s prevention of ruse and limescale, it transfers heat just as well, if not better, than water
  • Reduces noises
  • Removed the need to bleed or balance your radiators
  • It has a low freezing point, so the system won’t freeze over during harsh winters

There are two types of glycol on the market, called ethylene glycol and propylene glycol, but 90% of the industry has now moved away from using ethylene glycol as it can be incredibly toxic. Instead, we use propylene glycol, which has been approved by regulators and is proven to be a safe, non-toxic compound.

Getting Wired In

So how does all of that run? On electricity! There are several different types of electric radiators, from wall-mounted units to little ones on wheels, and all of them are powered by electricity. The only difference is how they access it. You can get models that plug into a mains socket, making them portable, which can be useful in the depths of winter if you need to heat a room you don’t often use. But the best way to power your electric radiators is to have them wired into your mains. This is simple to do, and you can have your new radiators up and running in no time.

So now you hopefully know a little bit more about how electric radiators and how they work. At Electric Heating Expert we can supply a wide range of electric radiators and heating solutions, to bring you all the benefits of electricity with none of the downsides.

If you would like to know more, contact us on 01252 560770 or email the team at enquiries@electricheatingexpert.co.uk.

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