Principle of operation of convector heaters

Principle of operation of convector heaters


Heating of living quarters becomes one of the highest priorities in the cold season, and to solve it people always tried to invent a variety of heaters, the principle of which has changed many times and was transformed. In this article we will consider the principle of the convector heater as one of the leaders in the sphere of providing home comfort and comfort.

If you are planning to purchase such a device, but still do not understand what it is different from, for example, an oil heater, the information below is for you.


  • 1Principle of operation
  • 2What are they?
  • 3Electric convector heaters
  • 4Gas convector heaters
  • 5Water convectors

Principle of operation

The convector heater works by using a simple physical phenomenon known to everyone else from the school textbooks of physics - convection. It is explained by the fact that, depending on the temperature, the air has a different density, which causes the "heavy" (cold) air to "squeeze out" the lighter (warm) upward. A competent approach to the management of this process just allows the convector heaters to successfully produce uniform heating of the entire room.

At the bottom of the device is a heat exchanger (heated element), to which, through special slots in the heater housing, air flow is supplied. At the top there are openings through which heated air leaves the device, rushing to the ceiling, "distributing" heat to all layers of air masses in and gradually "pushing" the colder ones closer to the floor (or those that have cooled down), where they return to the heater, and the cycle repeats again.

For greater heat transfer and improved efficiency of the heater, the heat exchanger is equipped with a set of flat metal fins (for increase in the surface area of ​​the heated parts contact with air), which together help to correctly direct the air flow. Most often in the role of material for the plates is aluminum because of its high (in comparison with other metals) thermal conductivity.


The entire thermal installation is closed by a protective casing made of sheet metal (usually up to 1 mm in thickness), which turns the device into a safe, perfectly complementing the interior of the apartment, unit. To control the temperature in the room there is a special heater power regulator (it can have 2-3 positions, or a smooth transition with an accuracy to a degree).

What are they?

Depending on the heat source used, the convector heaters are divided into:

  • Electric (electric current, overcoming the resistance in a spiral, heats it);
  • Water (hot water, passing through the coil, gives part of its thermal energy);
  • Gas (burning, natural gas gives heat to the air).

In addition, convector heaters can be divided into 4 types according to their installation location:

A type Features
Floor Has a height of not more than 40-50 cm; is installed directly on the floor, which is equipped with legs or wheels (to facilitate movement through the apartment).
Wall Usually higher and wider than the floor, but significantly already them, which helps to avoid cluttering free space; Mounted on the wall with the help of special brackets.
Plinth Has a relatively modest height (20-25 cm), which is compensated by the impressive length of the unit (often such heaters have up to, - meters in length). Such a structure allows for a more effective "capture" of cold air from the lower layers, except This makes it possible to install a heater in front of panoramic windows without the risk of blocking the picturesque view.
Built-in It is installed below the floor level, in the ditches provided for in advance (at the design stage of the house) for these purposes. It can be mounted near windows, or doors, thus creating a thermal curtain that prevents the penetration of cold air into the room.

Electric convector heaters

This type is ideal for heating houses, dachas, garages, office and retail space of a small area. It is possible to install even in the bathroom: manufacturers have created special models for which the increased humidity of the premises poses no threat.

Valued for the almost complete absence of noise, as well as high safety performance (the heated spiral is surrounded by a protective casing that does not come into direct contact with it). In addition, electrical convectors do not burn out oxygen in the rooms, which occurs actively during the operation of fan heaters (heat guns). Also there is no unpleasant smell of burning (its main source - particles of dust - simply can not get to the main heated element (a spiral heated to several hundred degrees)).

Represented by floor or wall type. To ensure a more pronounced convection effect, the latter is recommended to install in the lower part of the wall, closer to the plinth, where the bulk of the cold air is concentrated in indoors.

Modern electric convector heaters are equipped with thermostats, which can disconnect the device during operation, preventing overheating of the unit and the occurrence of a fire hazard situation.


It is necessary to know: a full heating of the room in the absence of a central heating system can only be provided by heaters having a power of more than 2 kW. Weaker aggregates will have to be used in a bundle of 2-3 pieces to achieve the same effect.


Gas convector heaters

Heating of a small house is possible with gas convectors, whose power is on average higher than electric convectors. But, despite this, do not try to protrude the object, the area of ​​which exceeds 60 m2. The principle of operation of such units is based on the use of flameless combustion of a special liquefied propane-butane mixture (in cylinders). The process significantly warms up a special massive panel capable of quickly giving heat to the surrounding air.

Any gas convector has a switch with which you can adjust the power of the heater, as well as a timer that allows you to adjust device so that it changes the mode of operation depending on the time of day (however, such control systems are also on other types convectors). This makes it possible to significantly improve the economy and efficiency of the entire heat installation.

The principle of operation and the basic rules for installing a gas convector heater have a characteristic difference. So, in addition to the energy source (gas cylinder), this device requires a system for the removal of exhaust gases into the atmosphere.


Do not worry about the fire hazard: all units are equipped with thermostats, stopping the gas supply to the burner, if it goes out.

And there is practically no noise from gas convectors: you can safely bask in the bed near the working device, and it will not give up its presence.


Water convectors

Representatives of this type are floor, wall and built-in floor. The main difference between water convectors heaters is their constant "residence". This is explained by the need to connect to a central heating system using pipes, where the main source of heat is hot water.

Thanks to high security, these devices have gained wide popularity among the population (most the terrible thing that can happen is a pipe break at the junction with the convector, but this is extremely unlikely).

Used for permanent heating in apartments and country houses. Due to the closed system of water circulation, do not require its renewal. It may seem that the water convector is not much different from a conventional radiator. But this is not so: this device works by means of convection air circulation, and radiator batteries transfer heat through conventional thermal radiation from the surface of the heated body (sections).

Regardless of the type of device, all convectors can be equipped with fans that help to pump cold air into the heat exchanger, thus speeding up the process of room heating.

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