An easy and useful guide to understanding which are the best ceramic thermal emitters for the home. A very comfortable electric heating and that can undoubtedly benefit us in many aspects.
Electric radiators, the thermal ceramic emitters
You do not buy a thermal ceramic emitter every day. If you are new to the world of electric heating, it can be difficult to know where to start and which is the best. So we have prepared this guide to show you what to look for according to the needs of your house and to be able to choose coherently to have a warm home.
Now, the market offers an important variety of types of thermal emitters (Technically, thermal electric emitters) and many times they are labeled as low consumption electric radiators or efficient heating from a commercial perspective for energy saving, but, as we shall see, they do not everyone heats the home in the same way.
In general, the price of heating equipment is inversely proportional to the cost of supply: the cheaper the equipment, the more expensive it will be to make it work, in most cases. I’m sorry! … This is so.
What are thermal emitters?
It is a type of heating (emitter of heat) that is fixed to the wall and that works connected to the electrical network. In general, the material with which it is manufactured is aluminum since it has a very high heat transfer factor.
But, how does a thermal emitter heat a room? The comfort of our home will depend on the way in which we distribute the heat acting three main forces:
By driving: The resistance heats the material in which it is in contact
By convection: We directly heat the air in the room. First, the resistance transmits the heat to the metal (Conduction), and second, the metal transmits the heat to the air.
By radiation: It is radiant heat, that is, from material to material, heat is emitted by heating nearby bodies.
How does a radiator heat a room?
Nowadays, practically all of them carry some system with function control in automatic with a tactile keyboard to be able to program. Weekly programming with temperature sensors – thermostat, a detector of presence and open windows or more advanced options of home automation where the system communicates with smartphones.
Now that we know how heat is transmitted in a room of the house, we can already see the different types of electric radiators that we find in stores for the winter.
Types of thermal emitters
Currently, in the market, we can find three types of thermal emitter, ceramic, dry and fluid.
The difference lies in its speed in reaching the maximum temperature that depends on the concept of thermal inertia, that is, the time that is able to maintain the accumulated heat and this, we can check in the following graph:
1. Ceramic thermal emitter
They are composed of a ceramic element to accumulate heat. This emiters are those that later on reach the maximum temperature, but, due to their high thermal inertia, they are the ones that keep the heat for longer.
They are recommended for any type of installation and for continuous use of more than 8 hours.
Because of its thermal inertia, we can use them based on the most convenient electricity tariff (electricity is cheaper at night).
These low consumption radiators work as a thermal emitter of fluid, by radiation, similar to water radiators, so the comfort that we can achieve in the house is similar.
2. Fluid thermal emitter
The fluid radiators have an internal liquid that circulates through the emitter and heats up in a uniform way. They transmit heat by radiation, like a water radiator.
The thermal emitters of fluid are intermediate models between dry and ceramic emitters due to their thermal inertia since they maintain the heat up to about 4 hours.
They are equipped for integral heating installation in housing or large rooms.
The fluid emitter is ideal for continuous use in the home, between 5 and 8 hours a day of operation.
3. Dry thermal emitter
The dry thermal emitters have little thermal inertia, that is, the aluminum resistance heats the radiator elements very quickly (1 hour) but also cools very fast.
It is recommended for rooms that need heating quickly and warm areas with a little cold.
They are less effective in maintaining heat over time and also heat the air by convection. They are the cheapest models that we can find in stores.
Disadvantages and advantages of electric radiators
The utility, disadvantages, and advantages of thermal emitters for home depend a lot on the needs of the user. In a general way, we will see the following scheme of these types of low consumption heaters:
- Ease of installation No works are needed.
- Easy handling and mobility.
- Independent emitters to heat only the spaces you need.
- They are efficient in transmitting heat.
- Option to buy the model according to the hours of utility.
- Possibility of hours programming and other home automation options
- Safe heating system
- Manufacturers offer long guarantees.
- Maximum respect for the environment. No fumes, no waste.
- They are complemented with decoration. Various designs and colors.
- They work with expensive energy, electricity.
- The electricity consumption can be high if we have many modules installed.
- They require high fixed powers if we use many modules.
- Not suitable for very cold areas.
- For large surfaces, several radiators and that can raise the cost.
Since we have seen the classification of thermal equipment for heating, its benefits and disadvantages of the models that we can find in stores. Now, we wonder if some are more efficient than others that is, if they spend less electricity and therefore we will save a few euros.
What type of thermal emitter is more efficient?
This is the typical doubt that many times is answered by the commercial of the stores attending more to the possible sale that to the reality of the energetic efficiency of this type of electrical radiators. As a starting point:
- First, we must recognize that it is an economical alternative (from an installation perspective) if in our house we do not have a central heating system based on pipes for a heating circuit. Installation is very easy!
- In second, for zones with intense cold, it is not the most adequate, and they are recommended for houses with moderate heating needs.
- And third, they are ideal for those homes that need heating reinforcement if we have a centralized system in the building or as reinforcement for large houses.
But, better let’s see the following scheme:
First, recharge, as we can see in the graph, boilers, and pellet stoves are the most efficient equipment, but we can’t always install it at home.
In the graph, two values stand out. First the use, Brief, moderate, prolonged and then, it’s level of efficiency – energy saving, but we must be careful with thermal emitters.
Actually, the thermal emitters consume the same in electricity, that is, although some take longer to warm up and others less (Remember the concept of thermal inertia) that extra heat we have when turning off the radiator, we have already paid for it of a long time to warm them initially.
The Thermal Emitters Have The Same Energy Efficiency, Where Saved Is In The Choice Of The Electricity Tariff
“Here the real saving is given by the electricity we use, with a ceramic emitter (It takes about 4 hours to warm and cool) we can save more if we turn it on a schedule when electricity is cheaper and shut off when electricity is more face.”
Obviously, it is important the functions of automatic control and programming that the emitter can have to regulate them according to needs, not like the typical electric stoves, halogens, heaters or wood fireplaces.
So beware of the concept of low-energy heat emitters or blue heat radiators, all are the same covered with marketing labels to sell more.
Knowing the energy efficiency of thermoelectric emitters, now we have to see which one we should choose for our home.
How to choose a thermal emitter?
We have to clarify several aspects before starting to buy, steps to follow to avoid getting lost:
1. We must know the surface of the room in m2 where we will place the thermal emitter, this will determine what power we need. Generally:
- Calculate between 80 and 100 watts per square meter of the room to be heated. For example, for a room that has 12 square meters, you will need an emitter of 1200 watts of power.
- Plus 15 square meters you will need two or more emitters that add the total power that is needed, in order to distribute the heat better.
- In bedrooms, kitchens, and corridors the theoretical power can be reduced by 20%. If the stay is undercover, the power must be increased by 20%.
If we are more strict in calculating the necessary power of an electric radiator, we can see in what climatic zone we live (Kcal / h thermal needs come into play). For Spain, we could use the following scheme:
We must see if the insulation of the walls, windows, and the roof is good (see insulating material properties ), if the qualities are suitable for winter, we will need less heat power to heat the house and if there is little insulation, it will cost more.
Orientation is also important … Does the Sun enter the home or not? In those spaces where sun rays fall, we will need less installed power.
2. We have to see its use
If we are going to connect it for several hours or sporadic use. Remember that:
- Less than one hour a day, we will use a dry emitter.
- Between 5 and 8 hours a day, we will use a fluid emitter.
- More than 8 hours a day, we will preferably use a ceramic emitter.
3. Remember to check the size. The number of aluminum elements that we are going to buy (width and height measurements). You will need a separate space of 10 – 12 cm to warm it properly.
4. Look at the possibilities of programming. Control and measurement are important if we want savings in electricity consumption. This aspect also comes with the lowest or highest price.
How to install a thermal emitter?
If we are not a handyman in the bricolage and we will practice a complete installation for the whole house of thermal emitters, directly a professional. And if we like to play, then directly to the next video that is very well explained.
As a final point, although it is not the most efficient heating, it has many advantages as we have seen; from its ease of installation (without works) and possible mobility to other rooms relatively easy, a good design, also offer good guarantees or the possibility of being controlled and programmed, even with the mobile.
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