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Ceramic vs Oil Heater

Winter has been raging on for quite a bit and, depending on where you live, will continue to do so for some time. So, making sure that your heating is up to par is quite important, especially if your former/current heating system is not as efficient or as effective as possible.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at two of the most popular single-room heating options you can choose from – ceramic vs oil heaters. How do they compare, what are their pros and cons, and which is better?

What is an oil heater?

Oil heaters, or more accurately, oil-filled radiator heaters, are quite an effective way to produce radiant heat in your home. Powered by electricity, these radiators are filled with oil that heats up and radiates heat very efficiently. In the “ceramic heater vs oil heater” debate, oil heaters bring quite a lot of positives:

  • Residual heat. Oil-filled heaters stay hot for quite some time even after you’ve turned them off.
  • Silence. Additionally, because they radiate heat and don’t have a fan, oil-filled heaters are virtually noiseless, making them ideal for sound-sensitive rooms.
  • Allergen-free. Since oil-filled heaters only radiate heat and don’t affect the air in your home directly, they are 100% hypoallergenic.
  • Effective in larger spaces. As a radiant heater, oil-filled heaters are better than fan heaters in medium-to-large rooms.
  • Power-efficiency. Because oil retains heat so well, oil-filled heaters are more energy-efficient than most other heaters.

Of course, these heaters are not without drawbacks. Some of the key cons of oil-filled heaters include a high initial price, quite a significant physical size, a slow start-up as the oil can take some time to heat up, as well as a very hot surface of the heater which is standard for all types of radiant heaters.

What is a ceramic heater?

On the other side of the “oil filled heater vs ceramic” dilemma are ceramic heaters. These heaters are also powered by electricity, however, their heating element is a ceramic plate instead of liquid oil. Once that ceramic plate gets heated electrically it can either radiate heat or can be used with a fan to disperse the heat in front of the heater.

In other words, ceramic heaters can either be “convection ceramic heaters” when they include a fan or be “radiant ceramic heaters” when they don’t. Radiant ceramic heaters operate in a very similar way to radiant oil-filled heaters but are typically less efficient. Instead, let’s take a look at ceramic convection heaters and their pros:

  • Instant heating thanks to the fan that speeds things up.
  • Quick cool down. This can be viewed as a drawback if you want the residual heat but it also means better power efficiency if you don’t.
  • Lightweight and portable. These heaters are smaller and lighter, which makes them great for an office or a single smaller room.
  • Precise spot-heating. Thanks to the fan you can direct the heat in a single direction and not wait for the heater to heat the entire space around it.

The main drawbacks of ceramic convection heaters are easy to determine from their description – the fan makes them a bit noisy, the smaller and more portable size makes them suitable for smaller spaces only, and they can’t heat up a room as steadily and fully as a radiant heater.

Which should you choose?

Given the pros and cons listed above, the choice between a radiant oil-filled heater and a convection ceramic heater should be based on your personal preferences. If you want something bigger, more stationary, more silent, and more effective in larger rooms – go for an oil-filled heater. If you want something smaller and more portable for an office or a kitchen – a ceramic convectional heater might be your best bet.

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