I hear this argument time and again, frankly it is far too simplistic and naïve to make such a statement.
So with that theory in mind we could state a “2 litre motor car” has an identical performance to another “2 litre car”, madness ! If that were true Bernie Eccleston would be a pauper and formula one would not exist……………………..
Yes as a simplistic view in science a 1 kw heating element is the same as another 1 kw heating element.
BUT that’s not the real point or the TRUTH of the matter, all serious electric heating products are made up of a series of components……………………………….
- Heating element
- The body which transmits the heat into the room.
- Some have a heating medium such as oil to transmit the heat from the element into a body that then gives a larger surface area to then heat the room.
- A thermostat — the quality / accuracy of which can vary enormously.
- A time / temp control — not all have this, or indeed a sophisticated version.
- Electronic control
The TRUTH lies in how you take that heat generated by the heating element and get it into the room.
1) If you expose a basic heating element to the air the heat will tend to be very localised, so you need to find a way of improving its ability to spread that heat further into the room and coupled with the minimum energy you need to achieve the desired result.
Electric heaters are made of numerous differing technologies with differing costs to build and to run, for example :-
2) If you have a radiator made of steel it will never radiate the heat into the room as well as aluminium. Why ?
Steel tends to take more energy to heat than does aluminium, and aluminium is far superior at getting rid or radiating that heat into the room. Precisely the reason aluminium is used in car engines to quickly as possible get rid of the heat. So minimal energy in for minimal energy out.
Steel tends to provide “localised” heat compared to aluminium which is far superior at radiating heat, so steel will take longer for the heat to spread into the room.
So steel = more energy required to heat the room for an identical heating element.
3) A convector heater has the heating element exposed to the air it is trying to heat, this provides a very dry heat which “convects” sadly meaning all the heat is concentrated at the ceiling where you do not want it. Again more energy required to heat the room for an identical heating element.
4) A panel heater is made of a cheap pressed steel body, again the same point it takes more energy to heat the steel and the steel is less efficient to spread the heat into the room, Again more energy required to heat the room for an identical heating element.
5) Cheap thermostats will not be accurate so will tend to overheat the room and then under heat the room. Apart from providing unstable heating comfort . Again more energy required to heat the room for an identical heating element.
6) Without sophisticated time / temperature control, you cannot intelligently heat your house, ANY heating system you continually switch on and heat the room and then switch off allowing the room to drop to cold is a complete waste of money. Again more energy required to heat the room for an identical heating element.
7) Electronic control revolutionised the motor industry allowing for even greater performance enhancement not only in acceleration / top speed / but more importantly fuel consumption and economy. The same but lower technology can be applied to electric heaters.
Again more energy required to heat the room for an identical heating element.
With all this the correct answer or conclusion is that the quality and technology of componentry used for an electric heater can significantly add a huge performance enhancement to that simple 1 kw heating element.
So yes all “Heating Elements” share the same scientific rating — but NO they do not all share the same heating performance when used with differing technology’s.
A 1 kw heating element is = to a 1 kw heating element this is correct.
BUT a 1kw heater is NOT the same as another 1kw heater and they DO NOT have identical performance.
Cheap or poor quality electric heaters can seriously damage your wealth as they will take far more energy to run. Potentially x 3
They are less efficient in the way they use electricity and convert it into the heat that passes into the room.