n recent years, electric radiators have witnessed a steady rise in popularity, additionally influencing trends in home décor. Flat, portable, with integrated accessories and design-led: there is something for everyone, but do you need to know to choose the right one for you? Let's see the pros and cons of the principal styles (depending on the heat diffusion): thermoconvectors, inertia-free radians and inertia radiators.
Thermoconvectors work with an electrical resistance that moves and heats the air: the hot air rises and replaces the cold air with a continuous circulatory movement that produces dry air. Thermoconvectors are lightweight and space-saving, perfect for corridors and well insulated spaces (such as bathrooms) because they allow you to heat the room in a short time. However, they tend to lower the humidity rate quickly and do not heat homogeneously. In addition, they are not suitable for allergy sufferers because they move the air and dust.
Radians without inertia heat through infrared rays that reproduce the effect of the sun: that is, they diffuse heat by irradiation, but also by convention, heating everything with which they come into contact (from furniture to walls to people). However, they use more to heat the environment than convectors.
The two styles require electricity, unlike inertia radiators that retain heat and release it over time, even in the absence of electricity. Inertia radiators are the cheapest, they work with coolant such as oil or glycol, or with a solid material such as ceramic, steatite and volcanic stone (the energy in this case is produced by an electrical resistance in the cable). There are two types of inertia radiators: soft heat and storage.
Soft-heat radiators have several advantages: they allow a rapid increase in temperature thanks to their radiant facade, they diffuse heat constantly, they do not dry the air and they guarantee maximum thermal comfort (the effect is the same as that of central heating). The best are cast iron and aluminium.
The storage radiators are made of refractory material and can return the heat accumulated at night for the entire following day even without any electrical connection, with a greater capacity than those with soft heat. In general, however, these models have a greater weight and size.
Also worth mentioning are the towel warmer radiators, which are part of the inertia family and offer the double advantage of heating the bathroom and drying the towels. These models are the perfect alternative for the bathroom because they allow you to quickly increase the temperature of the room, creating a homogeneous heat and are increasingly equipped to store sponges, bathrobes and toiletries.
Electricity consumption varies greatly from one style to another, but the latest designs focus on maximum efficiency and energy savings. This is due to the large radiant surfaces, the high speed at which they reach the desired temperature and the ability of the new systems to guarantee the lowest consumption. In addition to not requiring special installation systems - just an electrical outlet - in fact, many models allow you to program temperature and operating hours even remotely, optimizing functionality.