What’s the most energy-efficient electric radiator? What’s the most energy-efficient electric radiator? When it comes to choosing the right electric radiator for your home, there’s no one size fits all. The radiator you choose will depend on a number of factors – including the size and layout of the room, and your budget. However, the most important attribute to consider is how energy efficient the radiator is. After all, selecting a low-cost radiator won’t convey long-term savings if it has high running costs. In this article, we’ll guide you to the key features you need to look for when selecting the most energy-efficient electric radiator. What wattage do you need?OK, so first of all, you’ll need to consider the wattage of the radiator you need to buy. Whether this is a 600W, 1200W or 2000W unit will be governed by a number of factors. These include: • The size of the room• The number and type of windows• The number of doors• The type of flooring• Whether there’s a heated room above or below• The number of outside walls Using a BTU (British Thermal Unit) calculator, you can ensure you have the right amount of wattage you’ll need, in order to heat your room. It’s important to note that if you fall between two wattages, you should always go for the higher wattage. A good energy efficient radiator will have a built-in sensor, ensuring only the right amount of heat is generated in order to maintain ambient room temperature. So even if the wattage is higher than necessary, you won’t be wasting energy. Energy-efficient features to look out for Construction The best electric radiators will be of all-metal body construction, and the most popular metal to look out for is aluminium. This is because aluminium is lightweight, strong and is a superconductor, so it will heat up quickly. Alternatively, a steel body that’s galvanised and powder coated will also perform well. Even if a unit is advertised as all-metal, always check that the end panels and fascia aren’t made of plastic. Manufacturers use plastic parts to lower manufacturing costs, but these models won’t be durable and the plastic parts can discolour over time. Once you’ve determined that the construction is all metal, check whether there’s a scratch-resistant coating. This will ensure the radiator looks pristine throughout its lifetime. Another feature to look out for is interchangeable electronics. This means that control panels can easily be replaced, without having to buy a whole new radiator, even when the unit is out of warranty. Also, as pleasing as a smooth surface can look, there’s a reason traditional boiler-fed radiators have a ridged design. This increases surface area for heat exchange. So select an electric radiator with a ridged surface, for optimal efficiency. Heat output The best electric radiators combine radiant and convected heat. Ideally, select a unit that utilises multiple ceramic plates and has a sealed thermodynamic core. This will generate heat at a more constant, uniform level, for supreme comfort. This may sound technical, but a good retailer will be able to guide you to the right model. Programmability The most efficient electric radiators will offer full 24/7 digital programming. Using this feature, you can set a precise heating schedule to meet your needs, ensuring you have heat exactly when and where you’ll need it. This energy-saving feature allows you to control your heating like never before and ensures no money is wasted heating unoccupied rooms, or when you’re not at home. Adaptive Start This is another important feature to look out for. It’s an intelligent pre-heating system that actually anticipates the heat-up time of your room, based on the ambient temperature. Heat output commences in advance of the start time, to ensure the room is up to temperature precisely when you need it to be. After all, in the winter months, it will take slightly longer for the room to reach temperature than in the spring or autumn. Ideally, if you’re up at 7 am for work and you want the room to be at 21 degrees, you don’t want that to be the time the radiator starts producing heat, you want that to be the time the room is the correct temperature. Likewise, if you’ve set the programmer for when you come home from work, you want it to have already reached that temperature when you walk in the door. Well, with this feature you can achieve just that. The radiator will apply the precise energy needed, giving you unparalleled heating control and ensuring maximum comfort. Energy Monitor Smart controls, or smart meters, are an excellent way to track your energy usage and control your monthly bills. However, before you invest in a smart meter, maybe look for a radiator that has this inbuilt feature. With this feature, energy usage is tracked and you can see how much energy your radiator is using day by day, week by week and annually. You can use this function to address any areas of your home that are performing poorly in terms of heat retention and address any concerns, such as poor insulation, draughty windows, etc. Open Window Sensor An ‘open window sensor’ is a fantastic feature to have on your radiator. This energy-saving technology senses sudden drops in ambient temperature (for example, when a window or door is opened) and reactively pauses heat output until the room temperature stabilises. Other important features to consider OK, so you’ve determined the required wattage, identified the energy-efficiency functions you need and down-selected some radiators. What else can set them apart? Here are some other issues to consider: WiFi Enabled We’ve already mentioned the importance of smart controls in monitoring and controlling your energy usage. However, to integrate with smart controls, your radiator will need to be WiFi-enabled. Look for this feature to ensure you can control your environment in real-time, from wherever you are, at the swipe of an App. Surface Temperature Control Electric radiators are created to produce heat, but in doing so some models can become extremely hot. This presents a health and safety risk, especially around young children and the elderly. So make sure your electric radiator comes with surface temperature control. This will limit the surface temperature of the unit, keeping it at a level that’s safe to the touch. Warranty When it comes to the warranty, always check the fine print. Just because the sales description states a certain warranty, it doesn’t mean that all elements of the radiator are covered for the same time period. Don’t just look at the length of the warranty, also make sure there’s comprehensive cover for all the working parts, for a decent time period. We hope this article has helped you understand the criteria to consider when selecting an energy-efficient radiator for your home. Here at Electric Heating Expert, we have a fantastic range of electric radiators available that more than meet the above efficiency criteria. With a range of products to suit every budget and warranty periods of up to 30 years, you can be sure you’re buying the best electric radiators on the market today. Check out our Economiser and Vantage electric radiators, as well as our Ecopanel XT electric panel heaters, and find your electric heating solution today!