How Long Do Oil Filled Heaters Last?
This guide looks at and breaks down the question “How long do oil-filled heaters last?” If you’ve ever used an oil heater, you know how incredibly well they can work.
I remember we used to have on in the living room, and it handles the large space effortlessly. There are quite a few things you need to know about oil-filled heaters, and some things to keep an eye out for.
By the end of this guide, we want you do be well-informed and knowledgeable. You’ll know how to get the most efficiency from your heater, where to use it, and some helpful safety pointers.
Let’s get into the guide!
How Long Do Oil Filled Radiators Take Up Heat?
Before we get into how long oil-filled heaters and radiators last, it’s important to look at how long they take to heat up.
The Answer to This Question Depends on a Couple of Things:
- Electrical output (wattage)
- Size of the room
- Size of the heater itself
- External temperature
- Type of oil being heated
It’s important to remember the oil-filled heaters don’t use the oil as fuel. The fuel is electricity, which in turn heats the oil.
It’s a conductor of sorts, so don’t worry about releasing toxic fumes or carbon monoxide into the room. Oil filled radiators and heaters take longer to heat up than solely electrically heated ones.
This is because the oil has a high-temperature capacity and can absorb a lot of heat without raising the temperature of the oil much.
If you’re heating a large room, the oil filled heater will take more time to heat up as there is more air that needs to be heated. You can expect 30-45 minutes for an oil-filled heater to get hot and start heating the room it’s in.
How Long Do Oil Filled Heaters Take to Cool Down?
This also depends on the above points. The good news about oil filled heaters taking a long time to heat up is that they also take a very long time to cool down.
Oil is excellent at heat retention and you can expect it to cool down within 1.5 – 2.5 hours of being turned off.
This means that there is more residual heating after the electric supply is cut off. You’ll lower your energy consumption and spend less as a result – double win!
Traditional electric heaters (using an element) cool down very quickly. Just a couple minutes after switching off and you’ll be back to normal temperature.
How Do Oil Filled Heaters Compare to Other Heaters
They’re more energy-efficient than electric-only heaters that use an element. The balance is that it takes longer to heat up and cool down than electric element heaters.
You’ll find that oil filled heaters are better for larger spaces, and the electric element heaters are better suited to smaller spaces.
Fan heaters are more energy-efficient than oil filled heaters. They’re also cheaper to buy. The trade-off here is that they are terrible at heating larger spaces and won’t keep the room warm once they are shut off.
Are Oil Heaters Safe to Leave On Overnight?
Yes, they are. Most oil filled heaters have a thermostat and the ability to set timers. This means that you can set a temperature ceiling, and the heater will automatically shut off once it’s at that temperature.
These heaters don’t glow red hot like electrical element heaters. You won’t need to worry about nearby materials catching fire. That being said, the sides and sleeves of the heater can be very hot to the touch, so be careful when handling them.
Oil filled heaters are excellent for using overnight as they’re energy-efficient and do a great job at heating the room evenly.
The oil used in these heaters has a boiling point of around 300-degrees Celsius, which means there is no danger of overheating, especially when there’s a thermostat. They don’t release any fumes of any sort, so there aren’t any health concerns either.
Are Oil Heaters Safe Around Babies?
Yes, they are – to an extent. The side panels are very hot to the touch (though they don’t glow red hot). Your baby probably won’t be crusading around the room anyway, so that shouldn’t be much of a concern.
They are very safe and your baby won’t be able to mess with the controls or settings. There aren’t any parts that your baby can put in their mouth, and the cables aren’t easily accessible.
Overall, I’d have no issues having these oil heaters around my baby – but the call is yours. It just depends on your baby and how explorative they are.
How Energy Efficient are Oil Heaters?
They’re very efficient. It’s hard for us to give you numbers because the costs vary depending on where you are, sizes of your rooms, and the external temperatures.
Needless to say though, they’re very efficient and cost-effective. This is mainly due to how slowly they cool down.
Your room will stay cool for ages after the power supply is shut off. These savings add up quickly and can make a substantial difference to your annual utility costs.
How Long Does an Oil Filled Heater Last?
Now for the reason you’re here – let’s answer the “How long do oil filled heaters last?” question. The main gauge for the lifetime of an oil filled heater depends on the internal temperature that the heating element is used at.
The higher the internal temperature, the less time the heater will last for. If the internal temperature is kept under 1000-degrees Fahrenheit, then you can expect the heater to last around 16-20 years.
This lifespan is gradually reduced as you increase the temperature. Higher internal temperatures will cause the coil to deteriorate faster.
Here Are Some Other Aspects that Affect the Overall Longevity of the Heater:
- Frequent on/off cycling without giving it time to cool reduces the lifespan
- Harsh knocks
- Mechanical damage
- Harsh weather
- Power surges
All of these factors will affect how you answer the “How long do oil filled heaters last?” question.
What Kind of Oil is used in Oil Filled Heaters?
Oil filled heater use diathermic oil. It’s very high capacity oil that does extremely well at holding the heat in. It absorbs a lot of heat before raising the temperature and has a very high boiling point.
It loses heat slowly and doesn’t need to be changed often.
Can You Use Oil Filled Heaters on a Carpet?
Well, the answer isn’t a simple yes or no. I’ve used my oil filled heater on carpets with no troubles, but I’ve heard of people who have damaged their carpets.
I’ve never heard of a fire being started, but it’s possible. The level of risk depends on your carpet and the power of your heater. You’ll need to test it the first time and monitor how it affects the carpet or other materials in the surrounding area.
Monitor it closely and keep feeling the carpet to see how hot it’s getting. If you’ve tested it and feel comfortable with how it feels, go ahead and use the heater on the carpet.
That being said, it’s risky. It’s wiser to use it over tiles, or a protective cover. All it takes is one bad time to start a fire and destroy your room or house. You could even buy a board and place it under, or around, the heater (not a wooden one for obvious reasons).
Do You Have to Refill Oil Filled Radiators?
This is a very common misunderstanding. The oil in these heaters isn’t used as fuel; it’s used as a heat-conducting liquid. Many other heaters use water, or elements that get red hot.
So long as the oil never boils, it’s not going to evaporate or burn and you’ll never need to replace the oil.
You should feel quite comfortable with answer this “How long do oil filled heaters last?” question. The answer is “It depends” or “Anywhere from 10-20 years, depending on the way it gets used, the internal temperatures and mechanical damage.”
You know everything that you need to about this topic. Keep all this in mind when you go out and choose a heater for your home or office. If you already have a heater, now you know the best places to use it, and how to get more out of it.
You can easily compare the different types and make the best choice that fills your needs. Now that you can answer our “How long do oil filled heaters last?” question, you’re ready to get the best value for your money, and from your heater!