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By: Jamie Simpson
Electric radiators are often used as a supplemental heat source during the winter. They are most effectively used in a poorly insulated room where heat from your home's gas furnace may be inadequate at maintaining a warm temperature. With these situations in mind, many manufacturers equip their electric radiators with wheels for easy portability. Some older homes may not have heating vents in certain rooms of the house, making an electric radiator ideal for these rooms. If your home has no central heating system at all, one or more electric radiators may serve as a temporary solution until one can be installed.

An electric radiator uses convection currents to heat your home. Practically, this means that air is drawn in through the unit, crossing the entire surface area of the electric heat source, and is blown out by a built-in fan, reaching more square footage of the room than a traditional ventilation system. Electric heat will be more cost-effective for the situations described above than a gas furnace, using minimal electric current to get its job done. The decision to buy an electric radiator should be based primarily on the efficiency of your gas furnace, how much the gas to run your furnace is costing you per month, and whether you or others would benefit from having more heat in a given room.

When it comes to choosing an electric radiator, there are many brands, each with several models in different price ranges containing various features. The expense depends on the features. Those such as surface area of the heating unit, heat output, wattage, and more. Though portable, many of these units do have a thermostat which you can control to your own comfort level. When choosing between cheaper models and the more expensive ones, it is worth noting that the more expensive units tend to be made with better quality parts, and as a result, they are more durable and reliable.

Because an electric radiator puts out a fair amount of heat, it will become hot to the touch and therefore should be used with care around children, and should not be placed near flammable materials. It's important to consider the safety features of a give unit, as this will reduce the hazards associated with operating one of these in your home. Water-filled or oil-filled units should have a stable base or other safety protection to keep the unit from falling over. This can cause the carpet underneath to heat up, causing a fire hazard. While units with an electric heating element do not have this problem, the amount of heat they put out warrants safety, caution and common sense. Older units should be repaired or replaced, as faulty parts can increase these safety hazards. For this reason, you should seek to buy a unit that comes with a fair amount of warranty coverage, protecting your investment and covering the costs associated with having the unit repaired.


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