Panel Heaters vs Electric Radiators

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Panel Heaters vs Electric Radiators

When it comes to searching for electric heating solutions online, things can get a bit overwhelming. But fear not, because we're here to lend a helping hand!

In this article, we'll dive into the world of panel heaters and electric radiators, uncovering their secrets and shedding light on their differences. Let's dive right in!

If you want to have a quick look, check out our handy chart:

What are panel heaters?

image of a white air conditioner unit in a living room

Panel heaters are a type of electric heating device that provides quick, efficient warmth. The slim, flat design of panel heaters allows them to blend seamlessly into any decor, making them a popular choice for both homes and offices. Despite their compact size, these heaters are powerful, capable of warming up a room quickly and maintaining a comfortable temperature. Additionally, most panel heaters come with adjustable thermostats and timers, offering users optimal control over their heating preferences.

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What is the ideal placement for a panel heater?

Panel heaters work best when positioned against an external wall to maximize their efficiency. If you have a larger area to heat, it's actually better to use multiple smaller units instead of one big unit. This way, you can evenly distribute the heat throughout the space. Oh, and don't forget to make sure there's enough air circulating around the unit! It'll help it work its magic and keep you warm.

What are electric radiators?

an image of a wall spli air conditioning system on a wall

Electric radiators provide heat all over, not just in their elements, unlike electric panel heaters. Although they are usually pricier than panel heaters, they offer stronger and more effective warmth, thanks to their heating mechanism.

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What is the ideal placement for an electric radiator?

Unlike panel heaters, electric radiators are designed to radiate heat in all directions! So, it's best to keep them away from external walls and open windows to ensure that the warm air circulates and stays in the room. Also, try placing them slightly off-centre in the room, so they don't hog too much space. That way, your room will feel cozy and spacious, without being cramped or stuffy!

How do they work?

Electric radiators and panel heaters operate on similar principles of converting electrical energy into heat, but their methods of heat distribution differ significantly.

Electric radiators work by heating a thermal fluid or an element inside the radiator. As this fluid or element heats up, it transfers its heat to the radiator's metal surface which then radiates the heat out into the room. This method simulates the comforting warmth of traditional central heating systems, maintaining a consistent temperature and providing long-lasting warmth.

On the other hand, electric panel heaters work primarily through the process of convection. They heat the air directly by drawing cold air from the floor, heating it internally, and then expelling the warm air back into the room. While this provides quick heat dispersion, the heat can be uneven and may rise, resulting in a cooler lower level and a warmer upper level in the room.

So that's how they both work, but how do they compare against each other? Let’s get straight to how well these two technologies perform at heating a room.


Electric radiators are highly efficient, converting almost all of the electricity they consume directly into heat. They also provide consistent, long-lasting warmth, ideal for maintaining a steady temperature over prolonged periods. On the other hand, panel heaters, while not as efficient in their energy conversion, excel in providing rapid heat, making them an excellent choice for swiftly raising the temperature in a specific area or for occasional use. Both options, therefore, offer unique benefits, and the choice between them often depends on the specific heating needs and usage patterns of the user.


an image of a wall spli air conditioning system on a wall

One factor to consider is the initial cost. Panel heaters typically cost less upfront than electric radiators, making them a more budget-friendly choice. However, it's important to also think about long-term energy efficiency and operating costs.

If you’re in the market for a more permanent heating solution, then electric radiators are the way to go. They have dual heat, which means they can be used consistently throughout the day and night.

If you have a space that already has a primary source of heating then a panel heater will be best, think draft conservatories, chilly home offices etc. If you find yourself needing a quick burst of heat, panel heaters are the perfect option for you.

Both types of heaters are very efficient at the point of use, which means you get less energy waste unlike a boiler or pipe system.


When it comes to choosing between panel heaters and electric radiators, durability is an important factor to consider. Electric radiators are often built with high-quality materials, making them more durable in the long run. Ultimately, while panel heaters may seem like a quick fix, investing in an electric radiator can pay off in the long run, in terms of durability.


image of an electric radiator in a living room

Panel heaters are not only sleek and unobtrusive, but they are also the perfect choice for smaller spaces in your home. With their stylish design that effortlessly blends into any room, these heaters provide effective warmth without sacrificing style. Plus, their low profile allows them to fit nicely against walls making them a great addition to contemporary interiors.

While electric radiators are efficient, their visual appeal may not be as strong. They have a slightly bulkier design compared to panel heaters, but their primary focus is on efficiency rather than style.


image of a white air conditioner unit in a living room

Proper maintenance is crucial for prolonging the lifespan and maximizing efficiency of your unit. Panel heaters require less maintenance, only occasional dusting and unblocking vents. For complex internal heating element issues, please seek professional assistance! Electric radiators need more attention. Regularly clean fins to remove dust and dirt, check for wear, leaks, or rust, and address promptly. Regular maintenance ensures warmth and promotes safety. Panel heaters and electric radiators differ in maintenance needs, but both require regular care for optimal performance.

Ease of installation

Installing panel heaters and electric radiators each have their distinct ease and challenges. Panel heaters are typically lightweight and easier to mount on walls, requiring fewer tools and steps to install. The process is often as straightforward as attaching it to the wall, plugging it in and allowing it to heat up.

On the other hand, electric radiators might require a bit more work, as they can be heavier and require secure mounting. However, like panel heaters, they also generally just require a connection to an electrical source to start operating. Both options do not require complex wiring or integration into a central heating system, making them relatively easy to install compared to other heating solutions.

So that's our panel heater vs electric radiator comparison. Hopefully, this has helped you choose which is best for you. When it comes to efficiency, electric radiators have the upper hand, but panel heaters may be more cost-effective. In the end, it is important to consider your needs and budget when deciding between panel heaters or electric radiators for your home.