Panel heaters are a type of heating appliance that are designed to provide heat for indoor locations while not taking up much space. Panel heaters generally have a large stainless steel or quartz cloth surface, which is slowly heated. This heated surface radiates heat outwards, causing some to refer to panel heaters as radiant heaters or radiant panel heaters, though they are not strictly the same: not all radiant heaters are panel heaters. Panel heaters are generally powered by electricity, and can often simply be plugged into a mains socket.
Electric Panel Heaters
Panel heaters, often referred to as electric panel heaters, are considered to be cost-effective and easy to install, owing to their slim design and light weight. Panel heaters that are not wall-mounted are fairly portable, as their dimensions allow them to be moved without much difficulty from one room to another. Some even come with wheels for ease of movement.
Their cost-effective nature is owed, in part, to their well insulated rear panels, which help to minimise heat loss. Electric panel heaters produce moderate amounts of heat when compared to other portable heating systems, and thus can be the more cost-effective choice in small homes or businesses. Other portable heaters may be appropriate in situations where heat is required instantly, an electric panel heater can take longer to reach the desired temperature, but panel heaters are a serious option when cost effectiveness and ease of use are important considerations. Electric panel heaters are available in a range of sizes, allowing them to be fitted in anything from small bedrooms to large offices.
Wall Mounted Panel Heaters
Wall mounted panel heaters are useful when one wants to minimise the danger of someone tripping over the panel heater, or if one wants to use the panel heater in a particular room on a more permanent basis.
Infrared Panel Heaters
As well as the common stainless steel variety of electric panel heaters, buyers now also have the option of ceramic panel heaters and infrared panel heaters. Infrared panel heaters work by using electricity to generate infrared waves, which are then directed towards the front of the panel heater, warming it up. This type of panel heater produces large amounts of heat, and is available in a wide range of appearances to help match the décor of the room in which it is to be fitted. They do however cost significantly more than the standard panel heater varieties.
Ceramic Panel Heaters
Ceramic panel heaters also produce more heat than standard varieties, but again are more costly.
Oil Filled Panel Heaters
A further option for potential buyers is the oil filled panel heater. Oil filled panel heaters heat oil that is sealed within the pipes in the heater, similar in operation to a central heating system. These are considered easy to use and cost-effective, as the on-board thermostat works to a high degree of accuracy.
Panel Heater Options
Some safety features in panel heaters include thermostats to regulate the temperature, protection against corrosion and a function to automatically turn the panel heater off should it overheat. It must be noted however that in areas where there is a high degree of condensation on a regular basis, the panel heater should be grounded to minimise the risk of an electrical short.