Radiant heaters get a bad press


Here is my newest heater, a Goldair GIR350 which sells for about $120 or so. It is a radiant heater that is also designed to be a convector as it has a grill in the top to let air go around the elements and out the grill. So it does both.
Radiants are supposed to be unsuitable for anything except spot heating but as I found out in the cold snap when we had snow they are absolutely the best heater because it takes a lot more time to heat up a room and even when it is not super cold waiting for the room to warm up is hard. When the cold came the convector heater that I used in the small study, which I thought was a really good heater for that, was totally a waste of time because it couldn’t warm the room up fast enough. And convectors of any kind like my previous oil columns were completely useless in the living room where there is too much air escaping for them to keep up anyway.
This radiant tries to be like a typical convector and has the same type of tall narrow shape, some funny metal chines on the reflector to supposedly channel air upwards, and it has a tilt switch in it like lots of these Goldair heaters, in fact it was the convector that didn’t have one, the fan heater and all the radiants all have some kind of tilt switch even if it is a foot switch in the cheaper ones, the bigger radiants like this one and the fan assisted one have mercury or pendulum switches because they rattle if you shake the heater. There are also wheels to move it round which is quite useful. Three heat settings from four bars.
When I grew up we had Conray heaters that worked the same way, a bright orange radiant glow and they also warmed up the room with convection heat from air moving round the elements. So I am not sure why other types of heaters are supposed to be better or more suitable. Oil columns are better because they don’t get so hot, but not because they are better heating. Panel heaters are nice and flat to go on a wall, but not better heating. Box convectors work differently but aren’t actually better. Radiants are really good for both heating you up and also heating the room up, as mine have shown, even the smallest one I’ve got will get the room warm at the same time as drying me after a shower, just leave it on a bit and the air temperature soon comes up.
So now I have radiants for three rooms and a fan heater for the rest and that is all a much better set up than oil columns that take too long to heat themselves and heat the room and can’t cope with draughty rooms or cold snaps. I just sold two oil columns. I also sold the three month old De Longhi convector because it can’t do a good job in really cold conditions. I only got $30 for all three heaters about a tenth of what they would all have cost originally. No one wants to pay a reasonable price for a second hand heater these days.