Best Oil Filled Space Heater (2021 Review)

Considering an oil filled space heater to keep warm without racking up electricity bills? You’re in the right place!

Keep on reading to learn about the best oil filled space heaters on the market.

In this proHVACinfo guide, you’ll learn:

  • What are oil filled space heaters? (some common misconceptions)
  • What are the different types of oil filled space heater? (are they any different?)
  • How do oil filled space heaters work?
  • What do you look for in the best oil filled space heaters (don’t forget these 4 things!)

And much more!

proHVACinfo | Oil Filled Space Heaters

Below is a quick list of our top recommendations. Keep scrolling to read our buying guide and choose the best oil filled space heater for you!

ImageProduct
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De’Longhi Radiator Heater (EW7707CM)
  • Comfort Temp Technology
  • No Assembly Required
  • Overheating Prevention Shutoff
  • Comfort Temp Technology
  • No Assembly Required
  • Overheating Prevention Shutoff
View on Amazon
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De’Longhi Radiator Heater (TRD40615E)
  • Maintenance Free
  • Patented Thermal Slot Design
  • Digital Controls
  • Maintenance Free
  • Patented Thermal Slot Design
  • Digital Controls
View on Amazon
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Costway Radiator Heater
  • Intelligent Power Saving
  • Durable Construction
  • Silent Operation
  • Intelligent Power Saving
  • Durable Construction
  • Silent Operation
View on Amazon
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Pelonis Radiator Heater
  • Power Indication Light
  • 1 Year Warranty
  • Easily Portable
  • Power Indication Light
  • 1 Year Warranty
  • Easily Portable
View on Amazon
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TaoTronics Space Heater
  • Remote Control
  • 3 Heat Levels
  • Easy View Display
  • Remote Control
  • 3 Heat Levels
  • Easy View Display
View on Amazon

What Are Oil Filled Space Heaters?

Oil filled space heaters, believe it or not, run on electricity, not oil!

You may even know them by one of their other common names, for example column heaters, or oil filled radiators.

They are domestic heating appliances that run from mains electricity, and are typically used to heat a single room.

We’ll stop here to reiterate this point and clear up a few common misconceptions about oil filled heaters.

These units are powered by electricity, and do not burn oil.

What’s more, the oil that the unit does use is included with the unit and for most modern heaters you should never need to refill the oil.

They are popular because they provide such effective warmth that it’s possible to turn off your home’s central heating and enjoy whole room heat – ideal for money saving!

These heaters make great choices for students living in college dorms, as other types of electric heater with exposed elements are often prohibited.

proHVACinfo | DYK Oil Filled Space Heaters

Oil Filled Heaters vs. Other Heaters

Oil Filled Space Heaters vs. Ceramic Space Heaters

Both oil filled heaters and ceramic space heaters are powered by electricity, and neither require any significant maintenance.

Oil filled heaters work by process of thermal convection, where hot air rises up from the fins, and draws cooler air down, where it gets warmed by the heater.

Ceramic heaters work by using heating elements to warm up a ceramic plate, and the plate radiates warmth into the room, a process that is often sped up with a fan.

Oil Filled Space Heaters vs. Fan Space Heaters

Fan space heaters are amongst the simplest you will find.

Again, like oil filled, they are electrically powered, but the electricity is used in a different way. In a fan heater, the electricity is run through a coil, and the coil becomes hot.

This hot coil warms the air immediately around it and that hot air is blown into the room with a fan.

Oil filled heaters use their electric power to warm the diathermic oil that flows through the fins.

Oil Filled Space Heaters vs. Infrared Space Heaters

Infrared space heaters use an entirely different principle of heating compared to oil filled space heaters.

Infrared heaters use a special bulb that emits infrared radiation, an invisible light that has the effect of heating whatever it contacts (much like the sun).

They don’t actually warm the air, unlike oil filled heaters, which work specifically by heating the ambient air in the room.

How Do Oil Filled Space Heaters Work?

Oil filled space heaters are one of the oldest designs, and yet, they have stood the test of time. Their extraordinary performance makes them the ideal single zone heating solution.

The process of their operation is as follows:

Within the internal electronics of the heater, a resistor converts the mains electricity into heat.

This heat then begins to warm the diathermic oil, which in turn begins to expand, completely filling the columns, also known as fins.

The oil used is specially selected for its high heat resistance – this ensures that it never reaches its flashpoint, and it doesn’t begin to evaporate, and therefore never needs to be refilled.

The purpose of the diathermic oil is to retain the heat that is created by the resistor, and this is what drives the efficiency of these heaters.

Once the oil is up to temperature, it starts circulating around the fins. As the fins heat up, they begin to warm the air around them.

This has the effect of drawing cool ambient air down towards the fins, while the warm air starts rising up.

The cool air becomes warmer and the cycle continues – this process is known as thermal convection.

http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/thermo/heatra.html

What Do You Look For In The Best Oil Filled Space Heaters?

When it comes to picking the best oil filled space heater there are a few key areas that help some models stand out above others.

There are literally hundreds on the market, so by following these shopping tips, you’ll avoid picking lower quality units.

Heating Performance

Check the performance of the heater you are interested in by learning about its BTU (British Thermal Unit) rating.

Obviously the greater the number, the more powerful the heater. It’s best to go for one that has the appropriate heating power for the room you intend to use it in, rather than going under or over power.

Too little power and it won’t heat the room the way you want it too, too much power and it will use more energy than necessary and won’t run efficiently.

Heat Settings

It’s best to avoid one setting heaters.

Good oil filled space heaters will have at the bare minimum preset heat settings for you to choose from.

At the better end, they will be equipped with a dial type thermostat for even more control over heat output.

The best models will have digital control over the thermostat, allowing you to select the exact room temperature you want, and the heater will maintain the temperature there for you.

Energy Efficiency

There is no sense in investing in an oil filled heater if it’s going to rack up crazy electric bills. Look for a space heater with Energy Star certification.

The less power a heater uses to generate warmth, the more efficient it is.

Portability

Be on the lookout for lightweight models, and units with casters, or wheels.

This will allow you to conveniently move your space heater from place to place with ease, getting the warmth top where it’s needed most.

Our Reviews Of The Best Oil Filled Space Heaters

Final Thoughts On The Best Oil Filled Space Heaters

Oil filled space heaters are a fantastic option for anybody looking to save a few bucks by only heating the room they are using.

Note that this tactic is really only advised for ‘chilly weather’ – if temperatures are below freezing, you should really keep your whole house heated to prevent freezing, in which case these radiators make excellent supplemental heaters

Not only is using one of these heaters a money saver, it’s better for the environment as you aren’t wasting gas or electricity heating rooms that aren’t being used and don’t need to be heated.

They are simple machines, but when you absolutely need reliable heating, there is no better option.

Stephen Marks

Stephen Marks

Stephen is an HVAC and home-repair enthusiast. He's here to answer any of your questions about HVAC!

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Stephen Marks

Stephen Marks

Stephen is an HVAC and home-repair enthusiast. He's here to answer any of your questions about HVAC!

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