A warm bathroom is a pleasure during the winter months, giving users an even temperature throughout the house. A heated bathroom also prevents extreme temperature differences when one steps out of the shower. Bathroom heating is available in different forms, of which some are more effective than others. Buyers can choose from radiant bar heaters, heat lamps, or even underfloor "hydronic" heating. Buyers on a budget can find several economic options for bathroom heating. However, the cost of heating a bathroom does not end with the purchase of the heater. Buyers should also know which heaters are the most efficient and economical to operate.
Heaters come in two types: space heaters, or central heaters. Central heaters warm all the rooms in a house. It uses more energy, and can be less efficient than space heating. Space heaters heat only one or two rooms. If used in a room with bad insulation, space heating can actually use more power than central heating in a well-insulated house.
Space heaters are either electric or gas-powered. Government regulations prevent the use of gas heaters in bathrooms or bedrooms because of the risk of harmful gases in an enclosed space. Both gas-powered and electric space heaters can be radiant heaters, convection heaters, or a combination of both.
Type of Space Heater
Heat by direct radiation of heat
Provides targeted heating
Can be turned on and off immediately
Heat by warming and circulating air
Are fitted with a fan to move heated air
Surface is not very hot to touch and is safe for children
Longer reaction times
Fan can cause noise
In general, radiant heaters are a good choice where part of the room requires heating because of proximity to a window or draught. They are also a good choice for larger, draughty rooms, as well as bathrooms. For rooms with high ceilings, a mix of convection and radiant heating works well. Convective heating is also excellent for small rooms.
There are limited choices when it comes to heating a bathroom. Radiant heaters are one of the best choices, and several types of radiant heaters work well in a bathroom. However, buyers should also consider hydronic heating, an efficient type of central heating with minimal operating costs.
Radiant heaters work by transmitting heat through infrared rays to a person or object. They do not heat the air around them, and therefore work well in rooms with exhaust fans, such as bathrooms. The heat is targeted and constant. It warms the user, and other factors do not affect its output. Electric radiant heaters warm up quickly, but users must turn it off when leaving the room.
Bar heaters, or "strip heaters", are the type best suited for bathrooms. They are wall-mountable electric heaters that feature bar that radiates heat and warms people or objects in front of it. Radiant bar heaters are inexpensive; buyers can even find cheaper, used options . However, electric space heaters do cost more to operate. Since gas-powered heaters are not an option for bathrooms, users can reduce running costs by turning off their radiant heater when the bathroom is not in use.
Heat lamps are similar to light bulbs, but produce focused heat as well as light. It uses a quartz filament that, since it is resistant to electricity, generates heat when electricity flows through it. Heat lamps often come with reflectors to focus the heat, and sometimes come in waterproof units with an integrated fan for ventilation. Buyers can find wall-mounted, free standing, or recessed units. They are more efficient than radiant bar heaters.
There are several types of underfloor heating for bathrooms. They lie beneath the bathroom floor and radiate heat through the floor into the room. Underfloor heating may take place in the concrete slab, or above it (but below the flooring).
Slab heater installation must take place when the concrete is poured. The system uses off-peak electricity to heat the slab itself. The system may also use "hydronic" heating, a type of central heating that pumps hot water through pipes in the concrete slabs. In slab heating, the slabs heat up, and then radiate warmth upward into the room. It is an efficient and cost-effective system, and requires relatively low maintenance.
On the other hand, users can install above-slab systems at any time. These use thin-film heating elements located above the slab, but below the floor. It works just like slab heating, by radiating heat into a room. Though this method does not use off-peak electricity, it is more efficient than other types of electric-powered space heaters.
Heated towel keep towels dry and warm. Some types of heated towel rails can also help warm the entire bathroom. Heated towel rails are sufficient if users only need gentle heating in the bathroom.
Buyers looking for bathroom heating options on a budget have several decisions to make. While electric radiant heaters, heat lamps, and heated towel rails are inexpensive, they are often costly to run. Underfloor heating, though more expensive to install, is cheaper to operate. Buyers can find bathroom heaters on eBay. They can use the site's search bar to quickly locate what they are looking for. For example, a search for "heated towel rails" lists all the heated towel rails currently available on eBay. Buyers can ask sellers any questions they may have, and should review sellers' return and exchange policies before committing to a purchase. Buyers can also browse eBay for regular deals on heating equipment.