Electrical heating elements allow you to convert your central heating radiator into an electric towel rail, this is helpful when one room is feeling cold, but the rest of the house is a comfortable temperature. You don't want to switch the central heating on because that will waste energy heating up the rest of the house to an uncomfortable temperature, therefore an electrical element provides a perfect all-round heating solution. They’re also great for keeping your towels dry in the summertime when you don’t have the boiler on, as you can still heat up your towel warmer without the need to heat the entire house. This is a great way to save energy and money on your heating bills - not only are towel rail elements useful for day-to-day use but they also save you money in the long run!
Another benefit of the heating element is that if a room isn’t currently served by the central heating system, it will often be cheaper to install an electric radiator heating element, rather than extending your plumbing system to accommodate the towel rail.
The Ultimate Towel Rail Heating Element Buying Guide!
Here at Heating Style we stock a large range of towel rail elements to suit your desired heating requirements; from thermostatic elements, to basic on/off elements, all the way up to our most advanced Bluetooth models… which can be controlled via your mobile phone! All our elements are capable of converting your radiator into a dual fuel radiator... but more on that later.
What heat output should the towel rail element be?
The first step to finding your perfect towel rail heating element is to firstly find out the heat output of the radiator within which the element will be installed. Once you know this then you will be able to match the output of the heating element with the radiator’s output. Element output is measured in Watts, therefore if you only know the BTU output of your radiator you will firstly have to divide by 3.41 to calculate the output in Watts. If you are yet to purchase a radiator or towel rail and you are unsure of the BTU's required to head your room, our BTU Calculator will tell you!
All our Terma elements have a tolerance level of approximately 10% (either way), so you will need to match the output of the element to the output of the radiator as closely as possible. If you select an element that is too weak for your radiator, then your radiator will not heat up as it should, and if you order one that is too big then the element will trip the fuse and no longer work.
In most instances it is better to select an element which is just below the wattage of your radiator; as they have a built-in thermal fuse to avoid overheating. Therefore, you don’t want to use an overpowered element as it will trip the fuse and the element will no longer function.
If your radiator has a BTU output of 2780, you would divide by 3.41 to get Watts
Our elements come in increments of 120W, 200W, 400W, 600W, 800W, 1000W so in this instance the best element for the job would have an output of 800W.
They also come in varying lengths so be sure to check if it will fit inside the towel rail (but if your wattages are accurately matched up this shouldn’t be an issue, as the length increases with heat output);
120W = 315mm
200W = 285mm
300W = 310mm
400W = 345mm
600W = 375mm
800W = 485mm
1000W = 575mm
Basic Heating Elements
The main objective of our basic elements is simplicity of use. Sometimes you just can’t beat the simple models that are easier to use. Our most basic model is the SIM electric heating element, it doesn’t have an on/off switch on its housing, so it must be controlled externally either by a timer or switched fused spur. The SIM has a maximum temperature limit of 65°C and has a built-in thermostat, so it is able to maintain this constant temperature. The REG 2 heating element works in the same way as the SIM, as it maintains a constant temperature of 65°C, however it is more aesthetically pleasing. The small, spherical controller indicates on/off operation by the display of an LED.
Terma REG 2 Pictured Above
Thermostatic Heating Elements
Thermostatic radiator elements have different heat levels and give you more control on the heat output of the heated towel rail. When it comes to thermostatic heating elements our most popular model is the Terma MOA. This is because it not only offers 5 variable temperature settings, but it also boasts a 2-hour drying function (boost). This makes it ideal for drying towels in the summer without the need for you to remember to turn the heating element off - a useful feature when you’re busy outside enjoying the sun!
Our Terma ‘ONE’ is designed to integrate beautifully with square shaped towel rail collectors (this is where the element inserts into the radiator), it is ideal if your primary aim is to integrate an element into your towel rail without hindering the aesthetics of your radiator. It has two set temperature settings and is capable of external communication with Infrared controllers for improved functionality.
Terma ONE Pictured Above
The Terma KTX 4, MEG and MOA elements all have 5 different temperature settings, whereas The KTX 3 element has adjustable temperature levels ranging from 30°C to 60° with increments of 1°C.
Finally, the KTX 4 electric radiator element also has the capability to work with our DTIR Infrared Daily Electric Radiator Controller and the TTIR Infrared Weekly Radiator Controller, which gives the element even more functionality & timing options.
Heating Elements With Timer Function
Elements with a timer, (also known as a drying function) allows the setting of a higher heating power at certain times throughout the day and then after which the heating element will return to its previous setting. This is a great function to have if you will be using the element to dry towels, or if you require a quick burst of heat to warm up the desired room.
Our KTX 4 and DRY electric heating elements have an enhanced timer functionality; automatically turning off the device after 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5 hours. The DRY remains at a constant temperature of 48°C, so if you need an element to dry towels and are not too fussed about having a precise thermostat, then the Terma DRY element is for you!
The MOA electric radiator element has a two-hour dryer function, this allows the setting of a higher heating power for two hours before returning to its previous setting. The KTX 3 element has a 24-hour timer that allows you to program up to 4 intervals for heating at a preselected temperature or to switch between heating and power off states.
We offer both the MOA and the KTX 4 in Bluetooth versions. These have all the same functionality as the normal MOA and KTX 4 electric heating elements, but with the added benefit of having wireless communication with the free mobile phone application - TERMA BLUE, which allows you to program any required number of heating cycles from your mobile phone!
Dual Fuel Towel Rails
All our Electric elements are capable of creating a dual fuel radiator, all you will require is a T-Piece. This allows the heating element to be inserted up into the towel rail, whilst also leaving space for the central heating piping to be connected to the towel rail. This means that you have the option of heating the radiator either by the boiler, or by the electric element! This is the best of both worlds and is certainly recommended, as it gives you great flexibility (which is useful with our unpredictable British weather!).
So… that's a lot of information to absorb, but we have tried to condense this into a few paragraphs to make the selecting process as painless as possible:
- If you want a thermostatic element with a high degree of functionality, we would recommend the KTX 3, MOA Bluetooth or KTX 4 Bluetooth.
- If your primary concern is drying towels with a constant set temperature and varying levels of drying time (1,2,3,4 or 5 hours) we would recommend the DRY, or better still - the KTX 4.
- If you want an element to look stylish with your towel rail but aren’t looking for a high degree of functionality, we would recommend the ONE or the REG 2.
- Finally, if you require a basic element which will simply turn on and off at a set temperature, we would recommend the SIM.
For more information on how to choose the perfect radiator for your desired room, read our previous blog: 'What to consider when choosing your perfect radiator'
Electric Towel Rail Elements
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Heated Towel Rails
If you need help deciding which element would be best for you, or you need any further information we will always be happy to help - give us a call today on 01535 288307.