September 12th, 2023 by
If you are thinking of upgrading or adding some extra heat to your bathroom, but are not sure what you should be looking for, then this blog is for you. It can be deceptively tricky to select the right kind of heater for your bathroom after all there are a lot more factors that need to be considered than you may have initially thought. Throughout this blog, we will take a look at some of the factors you need to consider when choosing your new bathroom heater, from the most suitable types to important specifications and installation.
Is a Bathroom Heater Essential?
You may not have decided on whether you feel a heater for the bathroom is necessary or not yet after many of us in the UK have fairly small bathrooms and heaters can take up a lot of space especially if you have the more traditional radiator installed. Well in all honesty having a heater in the bathroom is a matter of preference, if you feel like your bathroom stays warm enough as it currently is then a heat may not feel like a must-have. However, as well as providing additional warmth when you leave the bath or shower and keeping towels nice and toasty bathroom heaters are the most effective way to prevent mould and mildew from building up in the damp environment, especially since we often experience damp and cooler temperatures here in the UK that means extractor fans are not always effective enough to prevent these unsightly growths from developing – whereas an additional source of heat will help to keep moisture at bay keeping mould and mildew in check. This is one of the largest benefits of having a heater in your bathroom.
What Kind of Heater Can I Use?
The good news is that you can have almost any kind of heater in your bathroom nowadays, so you don’t need to feel restricted by clunky traditional radiators, which can not only take up a large amount of room but often come with incredibly high running costs in comparison with modern heaters. That being said here at HSD these are some of our favourite options:
Heated Towel Rails
When heated towels first became available back in the 1980’s they were often seen as a sign of luxury and usually came with a luxury price tag too – the good news is that these heating options are not only much more affordable now but with advancements in technology they are even more innovative that when they first appeared on the scene this is why they have quickly become one of our favourite heating solutions.
Not only are they a great source of warmth, but they boast stylish and compact designs meaning you can keep your bathroom warm and comfortable without losing too much space. These heaters also have the added benefit of being safe to drape clothes, you guessed it, towels over them to keep them warm while you shower or bathe, keep them nice and warm for extra comfort while drying off. They are also a more hygienic way to hang hand towels as the heat will help to keep them dry making it much harder for bacteria to develop the way it would on a damp towel.
Heated towel rails have come far in recent years, with new models including thermostats to provide excellent control to ensure your bathroom is always kept at your desired temperature. Some modern model also houses programmable timers or countdown timers too, to provide even better control over your comfort. This is why in our opinion these are some of the more superior choices of heating for your bathroom.
Another fantastic option for heating your bathrooms also includes panel heaters, these modern heating solutions are packed full of incredible features that make them an amazing choice for heating any area in your home including the bathroom which may come as a surprise to some. Of course, there are some important factors to consider when selecting a panel heater but we will look at that in more detail further down, for now, let’s take a look at why these make a great choice for your bathroom.
Much like heated towel rails, panel heaters come in stylish and compact designs so you can choose a heater that suits the aesthetic of your bathroom while also reducing the amount of space taken up, panel heaters are also a great way to keep energy usage in check thanks to their many energy saving features – these often include thermostats with outstanding accuracy (usually within 0.2 degrees), programmable timers and open window functions that will ensure your heater will not continually draw power to heat a room with an open door or window. This makes them an excellent choice for those who want to heat their bathroom, but are concerned about the large energy bills that come with using central heating.
Overdoor Fan Heaters
Fan heaters are another fantastic choice for bathroom heaters, in particular, overdoor heaters are an excellent source of warmth and are a particularly good choice for small bathrooms that have very limited space since these can be installed higher up on the wall usually over the doorway as the name suggest, this means you don’t lose any space or risk catching yourself on the hot surface of towel rails, panel heater or radiators.
Fan heaters are very efficient in heating up smaller areas while using very little power, so this means that you can keep warm while also keeping your energy bills low, modern fan heaters have also made large steps forward in keeping up with other heating alternatives including timers and accurate thermostats, so you can programme them to suit your needs, or simply switch them as and when they are needed since they are able to produce almost instantly unlike some of the other available options.
Now that we have covered some of the best options available for keeping your bathroom warm and comfortable during the cooler months, let's take a look at some of the more technical aspects that need to be considered when choosing the right heater for your bathroom. There are a couple of things that your heater needs to have before it can be safe to use in the bathroom, this is an adequate IP rating, professional installation and installed in the right area of your bathroom, as unfortunately, it is not as easy as picking your desired model and plugging it in.
An IP rating also known as 'Ingress Protection' rating is a rating given to an electrical product that shows customers how well protected they are against water and solid debris. This is one of the most important things you will need to check when purchasing a heater for your bathroom - as heaters that do not hold an IP rating cannot be used in bathrooms as this can result in damage or in worst-case scenarios dangerous electrical faults developing. The ingress protection rating will often appear on products as IP followed by numbers 1-8 where protection is not applicable this will often appear as X. These numbers correlate directly to how well protected a unit is against debris and water – the higher the number the better the protection. You can find a simple guide online that breaks down what each number means so be sure to do some research before committing to a certain heater.
An example would be IP24 – this indicated that the product has level 2 protection against solids and debris objects over 12mm while it has a level 4 waterproof rating meaning Protected against water splashed from all directions (this is the minimum requirement for bathroom installation). If an item were to hold an IP rating of IPX4 this means it is not protected against solids but is waterproof – likewise, IP4X would indicate protection against solids but no protection against water.
So before choosing your heater be sure to check that it holds an adequate IP rating, if you are still unsure then you should always double-check with the supplier before making your purchase.
Another important factor that goes hand in hand with the IP rating of your unit is ‘zones’ within the bathroom, these zones are designed to show where it is safe for units with different IP ratings to be installed. These zones are usually numbered 0-2 with 0 being the closest to water sources, for example in the sink, or the bathtub so the closer to a water source the higher the IP rating required.
It is important to keep these things in mind while choosing your heater, so before you begin browsing heaters have a good idea of where exactly you want your heater to be located and which zone this will fall in – this will make it easier to narrow down your search.
When it comes to installation, for all of the information provided above it is important to ensure that you hire a professional to install your new heater as they will be able to hardwire your heater safely while also ensuring it is in the correct zone and holds an adequate IP rating. While we understand it can be tempting to undertake these projects on your own to save money – it is not a simple task and should only be undertaken by someone with the correct qualifications and knowledge.
We hope that this article has helped you to understand the different types of bathroom heaters how they work and what other requirements you should be careful to check for before completing your purchase. It's important to choose a safe heater that won't cause any damage to your bathroom or yourself. We recommend talking with an expert before making your final decision if you are still uncertain.
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