Winter is coming! Now is the perfect time to dry-clean all the comforters and blankets, dust up the room heaters and prepare for the approaching season change. Needless to say, room heating is an important aspect that requires attention as soon as the mercury begins to drop. While markets are flooded with choices, it is imperative to buy the right heating device based on your bespoke needs to stay warm and comfortable all through the season. We bring you a series of articles to introduce you to all kinds of room heaters. These will help you choose the right one for your home or office space and get the maximum bang for your money.
Let’s begin the series with sleek, stylish and high-performance oil filled radiators (OFRs).
What is an Oil Filled Radiator?
An oil filled radiator, more commonly known by its abbreviated name OFR, is a convection heater used for heating up small indoor spaces. This room heater is filed with oil, which is electrically heated. OFRs do not involve burning oil. They only use oil as a heat reservoir.
OFRs are also known as oil heaters, oil-filled heaters and column heaters.
What Do OFRs Look Like?
Oil filled radiators comprise a number of thin metal columns, known as fins. The front panels of OFRs have the power (On/Off), knob to set heating positions and other thermostatic controls. The heating element is located at the base of the heater. Usually the devices rest on castor wheels, which make them easy to move from one place to another. There is a power cord as well as the facility to wind it up and store it out of the way.
How Does an OFR Work?
The thin metal fins of an OFR have cavities that are filled with silicone oil. The heating element heats up this oil, which in turn stays hot for a long time. This oil flows around the metal column cavities, transferring the heat to the walls of the fins through convection and then to the surrounding areas of the room through convection and radiation.
Do note that this heated oil has very high boiling point (so it stays in liquid state) and high specific heat capacity (so it can store a large amount of thermal energy in a relatively smaller volume)!
Are OFRs Efficient?
OFRs are best-suited for bedrooms and small-to-medium sized enclosed spaces. They come with thermostats that prevent inefficient heating. This means, if your room is already warm, you can choose how much warmer you would like it to get. So the heating would be more efficient and customized to your needs. This feature also makes oil filled radiators more economical to run as compared to other kinds of room heaters.
The power consumption of oil heaters typically falls between 2000 – 2500 Watts. Their power rating is directly proportional to the number of columns (fins) and their length. The wattage determines their operating cost; more wattage equals lesser cost while a lower wattage involves higher cost. Therefore, a 1000 Watts heater will take half the time to reach a desired thermostat setting as compared to a 500 Watts heater.
Some oil heaters come with a fan. This increases the air flow over the heater. As more and more colder air from the room comes into contact with the heater, there is a significant improvement in the rate of heat flow from the heater into the room. This rate of heat flow is even higher when the temperature difference between room air and heater is more.
Are OFRs Safe to Use?
Oil filled radiators are relatively safe to use, especially when compared to fan heaters. They also come equipped with a host of safety features that offer additional peace of mind. For instance, there is overheat protection as well as tip-over switch that cuts off the power when the appliance is tilted or knocked over. Both of these features eliminate the risk of fire or other electrical mishaps.
Do remember that OFRs should not be kept in damp areas such as laundry rooms or bathrooms. The moisture and humidity present in these areas may damage the heating element or reduce its efficiency.
Also, you should never attempt to dry clothes on an OFR or keep flammable materials such as clothing, bedding or plastic toys near the devices they can easily catch fire.
OFRs may be slightly expensive when compared to other kinds of room heaters, but they are matchless in terms of aesthetics, performance and longevity. This makes them a popular choice in modern homes looking for sleek and stylish room heating solutions.
Looking to buy an oil-filled radiator? Usha’s OFRs with a choice of 9, 11 and 13 fins, are the new benchmark in heating efficiency. They use world-class oil grade and ensure faster heating while retaining the humidity levels in a room for a natural and healthy environment around you and your loved ones.