What Is An Oil Filled Heater

Have you ever asked yourself, “What Is An Oil Filled Heater” and needed an article with a suitable answer? Then, you have just been lucky to meet your answer.

This article will teach you all you need to know about what an oil-filled heater is in different sections. Each section will give an extensive explanation of the nitty-gritty of what is an oil-filled heater.

The first section will introduce the topic using an overview as the heading. However, in this section, you get to know the meaning of an oil-filled heater and other relevant information that will enable you to expect more.

More so, I will proceed to explain to you how the oil-filled heaters work. Finally, this section will give you the detailed uses of an oil-filled heater and the operational mode.

Furthermore, you will learn about the basic component of an oil-filled heater in the following section. Here, I will explain the attributes and characteristics that will determine when choosing your oil-filled heater.

As we advance, I will discuss the pros and cons and, of course, a recommendation. The recommendation is a selection of the 5 best oil-filled heaters that were carefully and cautiously researched.

In addition, the subsequent sections will attend to some frequently asked questions by proferring suitable answers to them. And Finally, I will share with you my final thought.

Therefore, to enjoy this smooth and exciting ride with me, please read through till the end of this article.

Oil Filled Heater: Overview

What Is An Oil Filled Heater_ Overview

An oil-filed heater is otherwise known as (a column heater, oil-heater, or oil-filled radiator). It is a form of convection heater used in domestic heating.

The heater is usually filled with oil, but it does not involve burning any oil fuel as it is electrically heated. Hence, the filled oil is not used as fuel but as a heat reservoir.

Furthermore, they consist of metal columns with cavities inside, where the heat freely transfers oil flow around the heater. Also, it has a heating element at the base that heats the oil and flows around the cavities by convection.

Moreover, there is a relatively high specific heat capacity and boiling point in the oil that allows the oil to transfer thermal energy from the heating element. At the same time, the boiling point of the oil allows it to remain in the liquid phase for heating purposes.

Even more, the oil-filled heaters can give the affordability and soothing warmth you desire without adversely affecting your utility bills.

Therefore the affordability of the oil-filled heaters, together with the operational mode and single-zone heating components, make them the most popular choice.

However, to reduce your utility bills and stay warm, keep reading to find more reasons why it is the people’s choice.

Oil Filled Heater: How It Works

What Is An Oil Filled Heater_ How It Works

The oil-filled heater has central heating models, and it uses liquid to transfer warmth across the surface of the device. It uses its internal heating element to warm the liquid inside, while the central heating radiator uses a boiler to heat the device externally.

However, the heating element in an oil-filled heater is like a coil of metal-protected wire inserted into the base. Hence, the electrons bump together and move through the narrow length of wire when the electric current is supplied.

And therefore, it creates friction and heat as they move. In addition, heat transfer occurs to the radiator’s body as the wire heats the oil and heats the space through air convection.

Although the working process of an oil-filled heater may vary between manufacturers, the basic principle will remain the same.

Even so, the oil-filled heaters give basic heating technology and features that make them ideal for single-zone heating. Below are how the various components of an oil-filled heater work:

  • Thermal Convection: The oil-filled heaters warm the surrounding ambient air with thermal convection and radiant heating. It pulls in cooler air and pushes it out through the oil-filled fins.
  • Internal Resistor: The internal resistor of the oil-filled heater converts the electricity into heat. Thus, it heats the oil inside the heater fins. However, this oil is also known as diathermic oil.
  • Diathermic Oil: The diathermic oil evenly fills out the outer fins of the radiator when it is heated. With this, it retains the heat generated by the resistor even when the heater is switched off. It has a high heating capacity; hence, it never burns off or needs refilling.

Oil Filled Heater: Features/Factors To Consider

What Is An Oil Filled Heater_ Features_Factors To Consider

An oil-filled heater must have the following attributes for you to consider it as being effective and efficient:

Adjustable Thermostats

This is a vital feature of an oil-filled heater that you should consider with utmost priority. Also, the adjustable thermostat allows you to customize your heating preferences.

This means that it gives you access to adjust the heat level you want. You can either reduce or increase the heat level according to how it suits you.

Therefore, it is necessary that you look out for the adjustable thermostat feature when considering an oil-filled radiator.

Silent Heating

Another important feature of the oil heater is the silent heating ability. More so, an electric oil-filled heater is often quiet when there is an absence of a fan and the use of radiant-convection heating.

Even more, this feature will help you get a cool and noiseless relaxation while your heater is working.

Caster Wheels

If you care much about the portability and maneuverability of the heater from room to room, then it is essential to consider this feature.

However, you can easily carry heaters with the caster wheels, and they are convenient for usage at any point. More so, it gives you access to use the heater just anywhere you go.

Programmable Timers

The programmable timers enable you to activate the auto shut-off features before bedtime or before you leave the house. Also, with this feature, you will be able to set the timer in advance to when you need it to shut off.

However, do not leave your heater on overnight or when you are out of the house. Therefore, with this programmable timer feature, you will be able to set a shut-off time.

ECO Modes

This feature helps you set the appropriate power level program for ECo nide and the heater while reducing power consumption. Als, this is usually by cycling between the highest setting elected and LOW heat to maintain room temperature.

Oil Filled Heater: Pros And Cons

What Is An Oil Filled Heater_ Pros And Cons


Below are the benefits of using an oil-filled heater:

It Is Energy-efficient

The oil-filled heaters are almost 100% efficient, as they use energy directly converted to heat. Also, it does not even have to provide power for a fan motor.

It Has No Noisy Fan

Unlike standard space heaters with exposed heating elements that require a fan to blast hot air into the room, oil-filled heaters are nearly silent.

Hence, the operation is nearly noiseless. However, the most noise it makes is some clicking that occurs when the thermostat adjusts itself.

It Has A Thermostat Control

The heater will automatically cycle on and off to maintain the warmth once the area or room reaches a comfortable temperature. This will help avoid running continuously and save you money while preventing overheated rooms.

It Is Compact And Portable

Oil-filled heaters are usually lightweight, and you can easily move them from one place to another. In addition, many models are small enough to fit perfectly under a desk.

It Has No Grills Or Vents

Considering the fact that an oil-filled heater is entirely covered; hence, you do not have to worry about dust or debris getting inside. Or fingers were poking through an exposed grille.

More so, you have no issues blocking air flow through intake and outtake vents.

It Has No Exposed Heating Element

The heating element is sealed inside the heater. Therefore, there is no chance of encountering anything inflammable.

Thus, it is very safe for use anywhere.

It Has Built-In Safety Features

Most oil-filled heater models have overheating protection and tilt switches that automatically turn off the heater in case of a problem.

Additionally, other benefits of the oil-filled heaters include:

  • The lack of a fan helps the air in your room not to dry out.
  • Also, it keeps radiating heat even after turning off the power.
  • More so, you do not use the oil as fuel; hence, it is no need to replace it.
  • Furthermore, the metal surface gets warm to the touch and never hot enough to burn if accidentally brushed against.
  • Lastly, since they do not burn gas or oil, they are very safe to use indoors.


It Is More Expensive

The oil-filled heaters are the most expensive when compared to other room heaters. Also, they are made with a very complicated technology, which makes them cost more.

However, when you consider the duration and energy-saving features of this device. Then, be confident that you can get the best returns on the investment in a few years.

It Heats Slowly

The heat production process of an oil-filed heater happens in stages. This is because it does not have any exposed heating element.

The heat process’s first stage is feeding the heating element electricity by dipping it in diathermic oil. With this, the heating element and the oil exchange heat.

Secondly, it transfers the warmth of the oil to the metal fins. And thirdly, the surrounding air gets warm from the fins.

Therefore, the oil-filled heater uses a three-stage heat process that takes up to 20-30 minutes to reach the desired and comfortable temperature.

Everyone Cannot repair it.

Because they contain diathermic oil, the oil-filled heaters are entirely sealed. As a result, if the seal is accidentally broken, it cannot be re-sealed by any technician.

And this is because it requires a specific oil level for operation. Therefore, only their manufacturers can fix them.

Oil Filled Heater: My Recommendations

In this section of the article, I will give you a list of the 5 best oil-filled heaters, with their specs and comparison in a tabular form.

ProductsDimensionWeightPower SourceHeating Method
De’Longhi DeLonghi TRD40615E Full Room Radiant Heater16.4 x 10.3 x 26.1
Corded ElectricRadiant
Space Heater, KopBeau 1500W Oil Filled Radiator26.2 x 15.3 x 6.4
19.56 poundsCorded ElectricForced Air
Dreo Radiator Heater7.5 x 19 x 26
ACRadiant, Convection
De’Longhi Oil-Filled Radiator Space Heater27.5 x 16.3 x 6.65
Corded ElectricRadiant
PELONIS Electric 1500W Oil Filled Radiator Heater13.78 x 11.02 x 25.19 inches16.09 poundsCorded ElectricForced Air

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is the difference between oil-filled and electric heaters?

The significant difference between these two heaters is that the oil-filled heater is efficient and provides longer-lasting heat. Also, it is tranquil when compared to the electric heater.
However, an electric heater provides instant heat, is lightweight, and is easily portable so that you can direct the heat.

2. Do oil heaters run out of oil?

No, It does not.
Oil-filled heaters have a metal body that is fully enclosed; hence, the heater cannot run out of oil. More so, the oil heaters do not need to be refilled.
Moreover, the oil inside the heater is not the source of heat and does not burn. Therefore, it does not require a refill.

3. Are oil heaters safer than electric?

Yes, they are.
The oil-filled heaters are much safer and have no fire risk if clothes are left on them accidentally. However, in terms of price, it typically costs more than others.
But it eventually helps you save more in the long run.

4. Can an oil heater explode?

Yes, it can.
However, this is in cases when their thermal fuses fail to trigger a shutdown. And this can cause fire, thick black smoke, oil spill on walls and other surfaces, unpleasant odors, and lots more.

5. How long does an oil-filled heater heat a room take?

An oil-filled heater usually takes much longer to warm up a room than other space heaters. The duration can fall between 30 minutes to 2.5 hours for the heat to kick in fully.

6. Can I leave an oil heater on all night?

Yes, you can.
Generally, oil heaters are safe to leave on overnight. And the reason for this is that they do not have an exposed heating element.
Moreover, they have construction that does not make the surface too hot.
In addition, they have auto-off/on tip-over switches and built-in timers that helps shut off the heater in certain circumstances. Hence, reducing fire risk.

7. Is an oil heater better than a fan heater?

Yes, they are.
The oil-filled heaters have better heat retention features, making them more efficient to operate than the fan heaters.
Also, if need be, the oil heaters can be changed to a low power setting and use less energy to maintain a preferred warm temperature.

8. Do oil heaters dry the air?

No, they do not.
They are almost entirely silent. More so, the noise they make eats some clicking as the thermostat adjusts.
Thus, they will not dey the air, and the absence of a fan assures that the air in your room will not dry out either.

9. Do oil-filled heaters give off carbon monoxide?

No, they do not.
There is a misunderstanding about how oil-filled heaters work that has given room to this myth. However, an oil-filled heat uses the oil as a heat conductor, unlike a furnace that burns home heating oil as fuel.

10. Are oil-filled radiators better than storage heaters?

Yes, they are.
They save money with their heat retention feature and offer an alternative to central heating. Also, they offer the flexibility and the ability to program heating around your routine.
Therefore, they are the preferable choice over electric storage heaters for most consumers.

Oil Filled Heater: My Final Thoughts

What Is An Oil Filled Heater_ My Final Thoughts

Without much ado, I believe this article has helped you with all you need to know about what an oil-filled heater is. Also, the FAQs section might have provided answers to your intending questions.

Furthermore, the oil-filled heater is without doubt quite expensive to purchase. However, it is a guarantee that you will get more than you invest in the long run.

It is cost-efficient and as well energy-efficient. Therefore, you can rely on it for a desirable and comfortable heating experience.

However, if you have intending questions or observations, you can fill out the “Leave A Reply’ form found towards the end of this page.

Even more, you might need to look through other informative and educative articles like this, then visit the pages below:

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Agboola Mary Gbemisola
Agboola Mary Gbemisola is a Technical Writer for PowerVersity.com. She has a B.Sc in Mass Communication and Journalism. Mary loves Cooking, Playing games, and involving in educational talks. In PowerVersity.com, she writes product best picks, buying guides, and product comparisons.


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