What is the best heating element for a convector?

Your home’s comfort and efficiency can be greatly affected by selecting the appropriate heating element for your convector. It can be difficult to choose the option that best fits your needs when there are so many on the market. Every type of element, including hydronic and electric, has pros and cons of its own. Let’s examine the things to think about in order to choose the best heating element for your convector.

One of the most popular options for convectors are electric heating elements because they are easy to use and convenient. These components function by transforming electricity into heat, which the convector then distributes throughout the space. They are a well-liked choice for homeowners looking for hassle-free heating solutions since they are simple to install and usually require little maintenance. But when choosing electric heating elements, it’s important to take things like operating costs and energy efficiency into account.

Conversely, hydronic heating elements use steam or hot water to produce heat, making them a more energy-efficient option than electric ones. In order to circulate heated water or steam to radiators or convectors throughout the house, these systems rely on a network of pipes connected to a boiler or water heater. Hydronic systems can result in lower long-term energy expenses and can provide consistent, comfortable heat distribution, even though they may require more upfront investment and installation expertise.

Your budget, your energy-efficiency objectives, and the heating infrastructure you currently have in place should all be taken into account when choosing the ideal heating element for your convector. The best heating capacity and distribution strategy for your requirements can also be found by taking a close look at the dimensions and design of your room. You can choose the heating element that will keep your house comfortable and energy-efficient all year long by carefully considering these variables and speaking with heating experts.

Heating element for convector – what is it?

A tiny component integrated into the radiator body’s lower section is called a heating element. The transformation of electrical energy into thermal energy is the foundation for the device’s operation. Considering the cost of the consumable resource, these convectors are more frequently utilized for supplementary air heating.

Every heating element is split into two groups under certain conditions. The degree of electrical protection and the IP21 marking identify the open type device. There’s a mechanical thermostat to control it. The closed type device has an electronic thermostat that can be set to a preset or programmable temperature. Such equipment-equipped convectors are distinguished by their low energy consumption and IP24 level protection.

Types of electric heaters

There are various designs available for the heating elements in terms of structure. As such, the principle of operation and technical characteristics of the convector have their own unique features, advantages, and disadvantages depending on the type of built-in TEN. It’s crucial to educate yourself on these factors before deciding which convector radiator to buy.


The English name for the heating element is "sewing" or "stitching." The phrase "needle heating element" is more widely used in Russia. A continuous conductive filament and a dielectric plate serve as structural representations of the device. It is composed of nickel-chromium alloy and has a heat-resistant, oxygen-insulating varnish covering it. On either side of the flat base, the wire coils into numerous loops.

Usually, manufacturers install two of these heaters. The following are the benefits of using an electric convector with needle heating elements:

  • Heating up to +250 and more degrees Celsius and cooling of the filament occurs within a few seconds;
  • The operation of the equipment is silent;
  • Energy consumption is economical.

One drawback is that it exposes oneself to direct oxygen, which lowers the room’s humidity index. An ignition and sparking risk exists if dust gets on the glowing wire. Radiators with thin filament are brittle, which shortens their lifespan.

Crucial! The heating element of the Stich type is not further protected from direct water contact. This fact restricts the application to only dry rooms.


A high-strength steel bulb serves as a representation for tubular type elements. Fine sand composed of quartz, ceramics, or magnesium fills the container. Plugs are included in the device to keep the mixture from leaking out. A nichrome thread that runs through the mineral dielectric material heats it.

Flat or spiral elements with a high coefficient of heat conductivity made of aluminum are added to the bulb to increase the amount of air covered. Fins are developed by each manufacturer based on their unique technology. Convectors with various designs of tubular heaters, however, produce nearly the same amount of heat.

The tubular element’s filament is shielded from air, moisture, and dust in contrast to the needle heater. This makes it possible to roughly double or triple its service life. Radiator use in wet rooms is permitted since manufacturers typically offer the IP24 level of protection.

Crucial! It is advised to position convectors more than 0.6–1 m away from water sources, even with splash protection.

The energy transfer to the mineral filling takes a few minutes for the heating element with fins to transfer heat (the same can be said about cooling down). There is a partial loss of heat because the aluminum reflector does not fit snugly against the main working component. The amount of energy used rises as a result. Because of its uneven expansion and contraction during heat, metal frequently makes a crackling sound.


The heater’s solid version does away with the needle and tube type’s drawbacks. This is because the filament is located inside the siluminous bulb with X-shaped fins, which is a one-piece construction. More frequently, quartz is used as a filler.

The homogeneous metal construction and monolithic heater type are prerequisites for all of the radiator’s benefits. Specifically, there is no noise, the nickel-chromium wire is long-lasting and isolated from the environment, heat loss is reduced, and the equipment’s relative humidity remains unaffected. Regarding indoor spaces, there are essentially no limitations to the application area. One of the drawbacks is the comparatively high price.

Which convector to choose, what to pay attention to

Choose the option that will give you the most knowledge about the device, maintenance, energy consumption, and heat output of the electrical elements: monolithic heater, stich, or tan. The manufacturer of a given product always specifies the equipment’s power, level of moisture protection, and whether or not it has sensors, timers, switches, regulators, or other devices in the instructions for use. The gadget can also have a child lock, tilt protection, air humidifier, ionizer, and remote control unit installed.

The radiator’s power is computed according to its intended use in connection with either the primary or secondary heat source. Therefore, 0.5 kWh is sufficient for a small bedroom with continuous convector use, and 0.5 kWh is sufficient for a 20 square meter living room. One meter only needs 1.5 kWh, but two rooms will need at least 3 kWh. The calculation is divided by roughly 1.7–2 for auxiliary heating.

Heating Element Type Advantages
Electric Heating Element Easy to install, provides instant heat, suitable for small spaces.
Hydronic Heating Element Efficient, provides consistent heat, can be integrated with existing boiler systems.

For a convector to operate as efficiently and effectively as possible, a number of factors need to be taken into account when selecting the heating element. The kind of heating element is one of the main factors to take into account; there are electric, hydronic, and steam-based systems available.

Because they are simple to install and operate, electric heating elements are very popular. They can be used in a variety of environments because they function by transforming electrical energy into heat. Because of their reliability and ease of use, electric convectors are frequently chosen.

In contrast, hydronic heating elements produce heat through the use of steam or hot water. Although these systems can be more difficult to install and maintain, they have benefits like even heat distribution and energy efficiency. The ability of hydronic convectors to provide cozy warmth without the use of electricity makes them popular choices.

Although they are less common, heating elements based on steam can be very effective in some situations. These systems provide rapid warmth and accurate temperature control through the use of steam as a heat source. Steam convectors can efficiently heat large spaces or commercial settings, but they may need specialized equipment and maintenance.

The ideal heating element for a convector ultimately comes down to a number of variables, including your personal preferences, the particular needs of the room, and your budget. Many homeowners find that electric convectors are a flexible and convenient option, but in some circumstances, steam- and hydronic-based systems may be preferred due to their effectiveness.

In the quest to find the best heating element for a convector, it"s crucial to consider efficiency, durability, and effectiveness. Electric heating elements are popular for their ease of use and precise temperature control, making them a convenient choice for many. However, infrared heating elements offer a different approach, emitting heat that directly warms objects and people in the room, providing a more comfortable and energy-efficient option. Meanwhile, hydronic heating elements utilize hot water or steam to generate warmth, offering consistent and even heating throughout the space. Ultimately, the best heating element for a convector depends on factors like personal preference, energy efficiency goals, and budget constraints, with each option offering its own unique benefits.

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Sergey Ivanov

I like to help people create comfort and comfort in their homes. I share my experience and knowledge in articles so that you can make the right choice of a heating and insulation system for your home.

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