October 6th, 2021 by
A tubular heater is literally what the name suggests; a tube-shaped heater that provides low-level ambient heat. Its primary purpose is to give off enough background heat to keep frost away and take the chill from spaces in areas where it’s difficult to have traditional heating, or uneconomical to run it. That’s because tubular heaters are very cost-effective and use a similar amount of energy as a light bulb.
What are the main uses for tubular heaters?
The main objectives for using tubular heaters are as follows:
Protection from frost
This is one of the most common uses for tubular heaters and it’s usually for outbuildings such as greenhouses. These buildings may have contents that you need to protect from very cold temperatures, such as plants. Using this kind of heater prevents the temperature from dropping below zero which could kill delicate plants in the winter.
MYLEK Electric Digital Tubular Heater 180W with Timer 950mm
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Protection from damp and mildew
Areas that are unheated can be vulnerable to damp, mould, and mildew in the winter so low-level background heat can regulate the temperature, preventing it from dropping to the dew point. This is useful for sheds and garages (for example, if you use them to store camping gear or a classic car) or cellars (when damp can take hold and then start to affect the rest of the house).
Tubular heaters can provide enough heat to take the chill from the air, so they are useful in areas where it’s not viable to have central heating or where central heating has a limited effect. This includes long, bare walls which can often get cold, or the areas under large windows. They can complement traditional heating and can be used in spaces where you just need background heat rather than toasty warmth.
This could include areas like an airing cupboard after a tank has been removed or is no longer in use, an outdoor dog kennel or chicken shed, an outdoor workshop, or a conservatory.
Knowing which one(s) to buy
Choosing the right tubular heater will depend on a number of factors, including how big the space is, the type of environment, how well insulated the area is, and what your objective is (ie which of the reasons above). They come in different lengths and the length determines their heating output. In general terms, 1 metre is equivalent to around 120-150 watts of heat (or 40-50 watts per foot). Obviously, the longer the unit, the more heat it generates. You can also use multiple tubular heaters in one room to increase the heat (it’s common to mount up to 4 of them horizontally up a wall on brackets). They either come with a plug to plug into the mains or can be hard-wired/fuse spurred into the supply (this must be done by a qualified electrician).
MYLEK Electric Tubular Heater 1050mm with Thermostat and Cage Guard
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If you intend to use them in a space occupied by animals, such as a dog kennel, rabbit hutch, or chicken shed you should always use them with a guard to protect them from touching the heater and prevent accidental damage.
How long should you run them?
This is down to personal choice. It will obviously be determined by how cold it is and what you need them for, but they are economical enough to run continuously in very cold weather if needed. If you don’t want to do that, look for models that have a thermostat as you can set these to come on when the temperature of the space reaches a fixed level.
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