Electric models are self-contained and
operate independently of the central heating
system. They are either plugged in or direct
wired and run on regular 120 Volt current.
They offer the advantage of four-season
usage and will provide luxurious radiant
heat to warm you, your bathroom and your
towels whether it's the dead of winter or
just a raw day. Electric models offer the
flexibility of temperature settings; low for
warming towels and high for room heating.
Electric towel radiators may be used as the
sole source of heat for a room. Larger towel
radiators (900 Watts) will heat an entire
room up to 150 square feet. However, as a
heater, electric models are often used in
conjunction with another heat source. For
example the majority of homes in the United
States are heated by forced-air, and one of
the limitations of this type of heating
system is that it is not typically zoned.
Bathrooms tend to be at the end of the
heating run. By the time the warm air
reaches the bathroom it often lacks oomph
and people find themselves cranking up the
heat in the entire house to warm the
bathroom. An electric Runtal towel radiator
provides energy efficiency by eliminating
the need to raise the temperature in the
entire house--just to warm the bathroom.
Hydronic models operate in conjunction with
a closed loop forced-hot-water heating
system and typically operate only during the
period that the central heating system is
operational. The hydronic towel radiator is
heated by circulating warm water from a
boiler, which typically operates from home
heating oil, natural gas, or lpg propane
depending on the boiler. Towel radiators are
not made to operate off of a domestic hot
water system. The one exception to this rule
is the Runtal Fain which is made entirely of
stainless steel and may be connected to the
domestic hot water system.
Hydronic towel radiators are most often used
as the main source of heat for a room
(particularly bathrooms, kitchens, entryways
and laundry rooms), and proper sizing is a
priority. A good "rule of thumb" value for a
room is 40+/- BTUH per square foot of floor
area, assuming a single outside wall with
one window, and a standard ceiling height.
For a more accurate heat loss value, consult
with a qualified heating specialist.