The Best How to Use Electric Radiators

Ecostrad Fina-E Electric Radiator


Electric radiators provide an efficient and convenient way to heat your home. Unlike central heating systems that require installation and maintenance, electric radiators just need to be plugged in to provide instant heat. With a wide variety of styles and sizes available, there is an electric radiator to suit any space. This guide covers everything you need to know about selecting, using and maintaining electric radiators.

Electric Radiators

Electric radiators work by converting electricity into heat. Inside the radiator are electric heating elements that warm up when switched on, with the heat then dissipating into the room.

An electric panel radiator

The main types of electric radiators are:

  • Panel radiators – slimline and lightweight, these fix directly onto walls. Ideal for small spaces.
  • Column radiators – freestanding and requiring no installation, these are moveable and provide directional heat. Good for larger areas.
  • Oil-filled radiators – filled with thermal oil that retains and emits heat. Provide steady, uniform warmth but slower to heat up.
  • Ceramic radiators – lightweight and portable. Quick to heat up but heat output diminishes rapidly once turned off.
  • Fan heaters – use a fan to circulate heated air around a room. Fast to heat up and can direct heat but noisy in operation.

Consider the size of the area, required heat output, speed of heating, and portability when choosing an electric radiator.

Electric Radiator Kyros
Electric Radiator Kyros

Heater Thermostat

Electric radiators are controlled via an adjustable thermostat that enables you to regulate the heat output. Thermostats have different settings:

  • Manual switches – basic on/off function. Need to manually adjust heat.
  • Temperature dials – set a desired temperature and the thermostat maintains it.
  • Timers – program radiators to switch on and off automatically at set times. Useful for warming rooms before you use them.
  • Smart controls – connect radiators to home wifi and control remotely via smartphone/voice assistant.

Opt for a thermostat that suits your heating needs. More advanced controls provide greater convenience but at increased cost.

An electric radiator with thermostat

Fan Heaters

Fan heaters rapidly heat a room using an electric element to warm air that is then blown out by a fan. They are a good option when you need to take the chill off a room fast.


  • Quickly heats up small spaces.
  • Heat direction can be adjusted.
  • Small and portable.


  • Noisy in operation.
  • Heat not focused so rooms cool fast once switched off.
  • More expensive to operate long-term than other types.

Use fan heaters for short bursts of directed heat. Turn off once at temperature rather than for ongoing use.

A fan heater

Are Oil Filled Radiators Cheap to Run?

Oil-filled radiators heat up a room slowly but have low running costs compared to other electric heaters.


  • Energy efficient – retain and emit heat gradually.
  • Silent operation.
  • Compact size.
  • Even heat distribution.

Running costs

  • 1-2kW models – approx 14-20p per hour (at 28p/kWh).
  • 2-3kW models – approx 28-42p per hour.

Oil filled radiators may take longer to heat up but provide steady, uniform warmth at a reasonable running cost once at temperature. Well suited to keeping small rooms warm for long periods.

Best Heating Radiators

Here is a comparison of some top-rated electric radiator models across different types:

ModelTypeHeat OutputSizePrice
DeLonghi HCX9124E SlimStyle Panel HeaterPanelUp to 1.2kW59.5 x 58 x 6.5cm£90
Futura 2000W Electric Column HeaterColumnUp to 2kW60 x 23 x 69cm£55
LIVIVO 2.5kW Oil Filled RadiatorOil FilledUp to 2.5kW64 x 23 x 61cm£120
Challenge 2kW Fast Heat Fan HeaterFanUp to 2kW27 x 15 x 37cm£35

Consider the room size, typical temperature, and speed of heat required before choosing a model. Column and fan heaters work best in large or occasionally used rooms. Panel and oil filled radiators are better for smaller, regularly used rooms.

Maintenance Tips

Follow these maintenance tips to keep your electric radiators working efficiently:

  • Use a vacuum cleaner brush attachment or duster to remove dust from behind the radiator grille every few weeks when in use, taking care not to damage internal elements. This improves airflow.
  • Wipe down the exterior casing occasionally with a dry or slightly damp cloth to keep the appearance clean. Don’t use abrasive chemicals.
  • Ensure radiators are switched off and unplugged before cleaning.
  • Check heating elements and grilles are intact and not cracked or chipped, replacing any damaged parts.
  • Keep radiators away from damp and check for any water ingress around elements.
  • Don’t place radiators near curtains or furniture and allow space for airflow around the unit.

Regular light cleaning and checks help electric radiators run safely and efficiently.


  • Electric radiators provide instant heat and are simple to install. Panel and oil filled models are most efficient for regular use.
  • Opting for radiators with advanced thermostat controls like temperature dials or timers to conveniently regulate heat.
  • Fan heaters rapidly warm a room using a fan but are noisier and less efficient for extended use.
  • Oil filled radiators are energy efficient and cheaper to run long-term than other portable models.
  • Clean and check radiators regularly to keep them working safely and efficiently.


How much does it cost to run an electric radiator?

Running costs depend on the radiator size and efficiency but typically 1-2kW models cost 14-42p per hour to run at average electricity prices.

What size radiator do I need?

Choose a radiator with a heat output (kW rating) suitable for the room size. Approximate guidelines are:

  • Small room (15m2) – 1-1.5 kW
  • Medium room (20m2) – 1.5-2 kW
  • Large room (25m2+) – 2-3 kW+

Where is the best place to position a radiator?

Situate radiators underneath windows to counteract cold from outside. Position column radiators in corners or next to chillier outside walls. Leave a gap behind for airflow.

Can I control my radiator remotely?

Radiators with smart controls can connect to home wifi and be controlled remotely via a smartphone app or voice control. Useful for pre-heating a room before use.

How can I use a radiator safely?

Site radiators away from damp, curtains and furniture. Never cover units or dry clothes on them. Clean and check regularly and ensure all cables and plugs are in good condition. Switch off when not in use.


Electric radiators provide a versatile and efficient way to heat your home without the need for a central heating system. Choosing the right style and size of radiator along with a suitable thermostat enables you to conveniently regulate the temperature in your rooms. Maintaining radiators properly also ensures ongoing safety and performance.

Explore our best-selling radiators in the UK and choose one that fits your budget and requirements. Don’t settle for a subpar heating system and upgrade your home or business with the best selling radiators today. Your comfort, energy bills, and the environment will thank you.

It is crucial to seek guidance from the manufacturer and a certified professional for the installation process to ensure safety and compliance with all technical specifications and requirements.

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