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best-plinth-heater

The UK's bestPlinth Heaters2022 Review

What To Look For in a Plinth Heaters

First, you’ll need to choose the most suitable heating method. Hydronic plinth heaters are the most cost-effective option. These work using the heat that your central heating system already generates. Therefore, they essentially use what would otherwise be ‘wasted’ energy.

If your home hasn’t got central heating, you’ll need an electric plinth heater. These are also a lot easier to install – you don’t need a plumber, and you’ll have more flexibility in terms of positioning. Electric heaters are cheaper to buy but may cost more to run.

The best plinth heater will have adjustable power settings. Naturally, these give you more control over the temperature and energy consumption. Generally, I would recommend looking for a heater with at least a low power 1 kW setting and a high power 2 kW setting.

An additional feature, that can improve the versatility of a plinth heater, is a ‘cool fan’ mode. This option can come in useful during summer, allowing the heater to be used year round.

One final thing that’s worth looking out for is remote control compatibility. This is a great choice if you want to avoid bending down, or don’t want to scramble on the floor to adjust settings.

Bear in mind that plinth boards are not always the same size. The average plinth board is approximately 15cm high, so a plinth heater under 15 cm will be perfect. However, check your kitchen carefully – yours could be smaller or larger. 

Overall, I’ve chosen the Winterwarm WWFH20E Plinth Heater as my top recommendation. This electric heater can be fitted without the need for a plumber and is effective at warming a room. There’s only one 2 kW heat option, but the real selling point of this heater is that it can be controlled by a remote.

For more details about this plinth heater, as well as several other options, check out the reviews below!

What Are The UK's Best Plinth Heaters?

IMAGE RECOMMENDED PRODUCTSPRODUCT FEATURES
best-plinth-heater Winterwarm WWFH20E Plinth Heater
  • Easy to install - no plumbing
  • Best budget option
  • Fits neatly under cupboards
best-plinth-heater CDA APH01SS Stainless Steel Plinth Heater
  • Stainless-steel grill
  • Provides plenty of heat
  • Easy to install
best-plinth-heater Thermix KPH-1500 Plinth Heater
  • Connects to central heating system
  • Neat space-saving design
  • Boost function for extra warmth
best-plinth-heater Diamond Central Kitchen Plinth Heater
  • Connects to central heating system
  • Great value for money
  • Cooling fan option
best-plinth-heater Smiths Hydronic Plinth Heater
  • Connects to central heating system
  • Can be connected to a room thermostat
  • Best plinth heater on the UK market

Read Our Plinth Heater Reviews

B009GXADB8
5011139060488,5011139022844
Easy to install - no plumbing, Best budget option, Fits neatly under cupboards,

Winterwarm WWFH20E Plinth Heater

best-plinth-heater Winterwarm WWFH20E Plinth Heater
FEATURES RATING PRICE
FEATURES
  • Easy to install - no plumbing
  • Best budget option
  • Fits neatly under cupboards
RATING
100
PRICE
On sale at Amazon

Winterwarm WWFH20E Plinth Heater Review

Whilst a lot of plinth heaters require calling out a plumber to get them installed, this Winterwarm WWFH20E Plinth Heater doesn’t have to be hooked up to the central heating system – meaning no plumbers needed!

As a result, fitting it into the plinth is a relatively easy job, so long as there’s enough space to fit the 11-centimetre-high front grill. Once up and running, it’s an efficient heater, capable of producing a lot of heat and sufficiently warming the kitchen.

It only has one heat setting, and is otherwise controlled by a thermostat to regulate the heat output. This means that there’s no low-energy setting, which may be off-putting for those who like to have a bit more control over power usage – the only option is 2000 W.

A Bluetooth remote control comes included, which allows the heater to be turned on and off without having to scrabble about on the floor; it has a wall-mounted holder in order to reduce the chance of it getting lost.

The biggest drawback of this heater is how difficult it can be to set up and programme the remote – encouraging it to pair and correctly following the installation instructions can be more complicated than expected.

Also, if there is a power cut, or power is lost, the setting-up process will need to be repeated.

Overall, this is an efficient unit and one of the best plinth heaters if you’re after fast heating with minimal fuss in terms of installation. The biggest drawback is the overly complicated Bluetooth remote, which will require patience to get to work.

Pros

  • Good heat output which is sufficient for heating a kitchen
  • Does not need to be connected to the central heating making installation relatively straight forward
  • Can be controlled by remote, to avoid having to kneel down to turn on/off each time
  • Good size to fit into the majority of kitchen plinths

Cons

  • The remote control often needs to be synced again when the power has been turned off
  • Design feels overly complicated with the Bluebooth connectivity which isn't very intuitive
  • If left on the anti-frost setting, it can come on too frequently - better just to manually switch on and off when required
  • Only one power setting of 2000 W without the availability of a lower setting
  • Not silent - whilst not excessively loud, the noise may be distracting for some people depending on where it's positioned
B004U5EFU2
5060143311956
Stainless-steel grill, Provides plenty of heat, Easy to install,

CDA APH01SS Stainless Steel Plinth Heater

best-plinth-heater CDA APH01SS Stainless Steel Plinth Heater
FEATURES RATING PRICE
FEATURES
  • Stainless-steel grill
  • Provides plenty of heat
  • Easy to install
RATING
97
PRICE
Check Price on Amazon

CDA APH01SS Stainless Steel Plinth Heater Review

If you’re trying to stick to a budget, the CDA APH01SS Stainless Steel Plinth Heater offers a good balance between price and function. It even has some features that more expensive heaters lack.

There is an on/off switch, and then two further switches to control the amount of heat supplied. This gives the choice of operating the fan with 2 kW or 1 kW of power, and it can also be used as a fan-only appliance to push out cold air in the summer.

In terms of effectiveness, this heater can take the chill off kitchens and noticeably improve the temperature in smaller rooms. There’s no remote control or timer, so all settings need to be changed using the switches on the front, but it can be used at any time – not just when the central heating is running.

It works at a reasonable volume, although the second setting can be a little noisy, and the installation is straight forward. Measuring 10 cm high, it can fit into some smaller plinths than larger heaters.

There are a couple of factors that make it noticeable as being cheaper than other models, and these come down to the quality of the finish. For example, there’s no plug supplied on the 1.65 m mains lead, so one will need to be fitted.

All things considered, this is one of the best plinth heaters if you’re on a budget. It works sufficiently well, is easy to install and has a good variety of functions.

Pros

  • Several functions: 2 kW and 1 kW power mode as well as cold-air fan
  • Long 1.65 m mains cable helps make installation easier
  • Good budget option offering balance between price and performance
  • Sufficient warmth to take the edge off chilly rooms

Cons

  • No remote control so settings can only be changed from unit itself
  • Mains cable comes bare without plug fitted
B07FMVY6K7
0708653167537
Connects to central heating system, Neat space-saving design, Boost function for extra warmth,

Thermix KPH-1500 Plinth Heater

best-plinth-heater Thermix KPH-1500 Plinth Heater
FEATURES RATING PRICE
FEATURES
  • Connects to central heating system
  • Neat space-saving design
  • Boost function for extra warmth
RATING
95
PRICE
Check Price on Amazon

Thermix KPH-1500 Plinth Heater Review

One of the best plinth heaters for energy efficiency is this Thermix KPH-1500 Plinth Heater. It has an energy rating of A++ and two heat options to choose between, making it possible to have more control over power usage.

It works with a heat output of around 1260 W on normal speed and 1450 W on boost speed. Although, it’s worth mentioning that due to the fact it’s connected to the central heating, these figures are based on the entering water being at 70°C.

The settings are easy enough to control, with a simple three-way switch giving the choice of ‘off’, ‘level one’ and ‘level two’. According to customer accounts, the lowest setting is still powerful enough to produce quite a lot of heat and generally sufficient to warm the kitchen.

Like all hydronic heaters, it has the drawback of only being possible to use when the central heating is on because there’s no built-in heating element. Professional help will also be required for installation.

Whilst the initial purchase is quite expensive compared to an electric unit, it is efficient at heating and can make the kitchen a more comfortable environment to be in. The brushed stainless steel finish is also quite desirable in modern kitchens – blending in better with other appliances compared to a white plastic unit.

Pros

  • Lowest setting is powerful enough to sufficiently heat most kitchens
  • Brushed stainless-steel finish fits in well with most modern appliances
  • Built-in thermostat automatically switches heater on and off based on the temperature of the centrally-heated water
  • Relatively quiet fan doesn't make too much noise

Cons

  • Has no heating element so will only be warm when central heating is on
  • Can't be fitted in houses without central heating
  • Needs to be fitted by a professional
B001S2FOF0
Connects to central heating system, Great value for money, Cooling fan option,

Diamond Central Kitchen Plinth Heater

best-plinth-heater Diamond Central Kitchen Plinth Heater
FEATURES RATING PRICE
FEATURES
  • Connects to central heating system
  • Great value for money
  • Cooling fan option
RATING
92
PRICE
Check Price on Amazon

Diamond Central Kitchen Plinth Heater Review

Not all hydronic plinth heaters have the option of a cool fan, but this Diamond Central Kitchen Plinth Heater does, making it a versatile option for both winter and summer.

There are several settings available, with a low- and high-power heat setting as well as the aforementioned cold-air-only fan.

For the heater to be effective, the centrally-heated water temperature needs to be set sufficiently high. When this is the case, the heater works well on the lowest fan setting to throw out an average amount of heat.

On both the low- and high-power settings the fan is quite noisy, so it may take some getting used to in the kitchen. For the most part, the TV and radio shouldn’t be interrupted by the sound.

There are also some positives and negatives to the way this heater works with the central heating. On the plus side, it’s not strictly necessary to keep manually turning the heater off and on via the switch on the unit, because it will only run when the central heating is warm enough.

However, there is a bit of a delay with this system, and the fan can continue to blow out air when the central-heating temperature has dropped. This can result in some cool air blowing out when not desired, unless the unit is manually switched off.

Overall, this is one of the best plinth heaters in terms of versatility – particularly if you want a hydronic heater that can also circulate cool air in summer. However, you may need to keep an eye on it more than some other hydronic units to make sure it’s not blowing any cold air in winter.

Pros

  • Lowest setting provides enough heat to warm up smaller spaces
  • Comes with a selection of different colour front panels to choose between
  • Sound of fan isn't disruptive to TV watching or listening to radio
  • Can also be used as a cold-air-only fan in summer

Cons

  • Chrome screws supplied to attach black grill really stand out
  • There may be a delay between heating switching off and fan switching off which can cause it to blow out cold air
  • Fan is quite audible on lowest setting if there's no other noise and may take getting used to
B002T9K8IO
Connects to central heating system, Can be connected to a room thermostat, Best plinth heater on the UK market,

Smiths Hydronic Plinth Heater

best-plinth-heater Smiths Hydronic Plinth Heater
FEATURES RATING PRICE
FEATURES
  • Connects to central heating system
  • Can be connected to a room thermostat
  • Best plinth heater on the UK market
RATING
90
PRICE
Check Price on Amazon

Smiths Hydronic Plinth Heater Review

This Smiths Hydronic Plinth Heater is one of the best plinth heaters to go for if you want a decent all-rounder; however, it is quite a lot pricier than the other units on this page.

If you’re working to a strict budget, this might not be in your price range – but, on the other hand, it’s high quality and reliable, which can’t always be said for cheaper models.

As a UK-based company, Smiths are quite well known for their heating appliances. This particular model has a grill that measures 10 x 49.8 cm and should fit into the majority of kickboards.

A choice of grill colours come included, either in white or a brushed-steel effect, allowing the heater to fit in with the surrounding appliances.

Being a hydronic heater, professional installation will be required – it needs to be connected to your existing central heating system and will turn on when it detects hot water passing through. There is a fan that pushes the heat from the hot water into the room, which can be set on ‘normal’ or ‘high’ power.

On the lower power setting it produces enough heat to make a noticeable difference in the room, and the fan will also stop automatically when the central heating drops below a certain temperature – this means it won’t blow unwelcome cold air, even if left on.

The most powerful fan setting can be a little noisy, but in general the sound generated from low-power mode isn’t loud enough to be disruptive.

Customers have also reported seeing very little change in their smart meter energy consumption when using this heater, so it’s considered energy efficient and cheap to run.

Pros

  • Sufficiently powerful on lowest power mode to be used on this setting the majority of the time
  • Comes with two grill colours so you can compare and see which will look better in the kitchen
  • Lowest fan setting is very quiet

Cons

  • On the second setting the fan is loud enough to be considered obtrusive
  • No cold-air-only function which is present on some plinth heaters of a similar price

How to Choose The Best Plinth Heater

Plinth heaters are often used in kitchens and are a great way to keep the room temperature up, especially during winter.

One of the most useful things about a plinth heater is that you substitute a radiator for one in the kitchen,. This frees up wall space which can be used for storage or seating.

There are a few different styles of plinth heater out there, so the following information has been put together to help you make an informed decision when choosing one for your home.

As mentioned in the introduction, plinth heaters offer a space-saving way to heat a kitchen or utility room. They fit into the plinths beneath your cabinets; easily making use of what would otherwise be dead space.

Fitting a plinth heater frees up wall space to allow more room for cupboards, appliances, seating or tables.

Being at floor level, a plinth heater helps heat achieve maximum circulation in the room. The plinth heater continuously heats the air at floor level, which will rise and then make room for more air to be heated.

If you have a hydronic plinth heater, it will automatically come on at the same time as your central heating, meaning that very little additional thought is required.

There are two main types of plinth heaters: hydronic heaters and electric heaters. There are positives and negatives to each style, and one may suit your household more than the other.

Hydronic Plinth Heaters

Hydronic heaters connect to your existing central heating system.

The heater can be set to turn on automatically when it detects hot water in the pipes. It will then push the heat from the central heating system into the room via a fan. This type of heater is more cost-effective than an electric-only plinth heater.

This is because a hydronic heater has no heating element of its own, instead making use of heat that would be generated anyway.

If left permanently ‘on’, these plinth heaters will function with your heating system, turning off and on according to the times you have set so there is no need to manually turn them off and on (although you can also do this if you wish).

The main benefits of a hydronic plinth heater are:

  • It can heat the space without having to be manually switched on every day.
  • Running costs are kept low because the only additional electricity being used is to power the fan.
  • There’s no heating element which means that the grill shouldn’t get particularly hot.

There are also some disadvantages: these heaters can require professional installation and they can’t be fitted in homes without central heating. They are also more expensive up front than an electric plinth heater.

Electric Plinth Heaters

These are not connected to the central heating and therefore to do not have to be installed by a plumber.

Electric plinth heaters are cheaper to buy than hydronic heaters; however, they can cost more to run. This is because they need to power a heating element as well as a fan.

They are easy to use – you simply switch them on whenever you need a boost of heat. There is often a low- and high-power setting so you can have more control over how much electricity is being used.

The main benefits of an electric plinth heater are:

  • It can be used at any time, irrespective of whether the central heating is on or not.
  • Installation is easier, as a plumber is not required to connect the heater to the central heating.
  • Central heating is not required.

There are also some disadvantages: as mentioned, they can cost more to run than hydronic heaters, and also the heating element can cause the front grill to get hot.

Adjustable Power Settings

You may find that you get more use out of a plinth heater if you choose one that has adjustable settings. A very basic plinth heater will simply have an on/off setting. This will offer one fan-speed output, and no control over temperature.

Then, there are plinth heaters that have different power settings and fan speeds, as well as some models with an optional ‘cool fan’.

For the most part, you would likely run the heater on the lowest power mode. However, having a second option can be useful if the room needs a quick boost of heat. The higher power modes can often be quite noisy, as the fan tends to ramp up, which is why they aren’t generally appropriate for full-time use.

Having different power options can give a little more control over how much energy the heater is using, which can help you keep an eye on your electricity bill.

Finally, as mentioned, there are some plinth heaters that also offer a cold-air-only fan. This can make the unit more versatile, as it can also be used to circulate cooler air around the room in warmer weather. This option can be found on both electric and hydronic plinth heaters, but it isn’t present on all models.

Remote Controlled Heaters

Some plinth heaters come with a remote control. This can be a particularly useful feature to have if reaching down to the heater is difficult. Naturally, it’s also a useful addition for anyone who just doesn’t want to keep scrabbling around on the floor. However, be careful of overly-complicated remote controls as these can make the heater more trouble than its worth.

If you think that you’d be interested in a plinth heater with a remote control, it’s worth double checking with customer reviews to make sure that the control is more of a help than a hindrance. In some cases the remote will need to be paired with the heater via Bluetooth, or connect over WiFi – both of these can work well as long as they have good designs.

When it comes to installing a plinth heater, be it electric or hydronic, you’ll likely need to call in professional help.

A hydronic heater needs to be connected to the central heating system in your home which isn’t something you should attempt yourself. Making a mistake can easily result in a lot of problems, so it’s best just to get a professional to do it from the get-go.

Some electric plinth heaters may have a standard plug and just require connecting to the mains, which can be done without an electrician as long as the manufacturer’s manual says it’s suitable to fit without professional help. Otherwise, you should call in an electrician.

You can make the hole in the plinth yourself, in preparation for the heater to be installed. Most of the user manuals supplied with plinth heaters will detail how big a hole to make depending on the model. You should leave a minimum clearance of 20 mm between the top of the heater and any shelf or cupboard units above.

Plinth Heater FAQs

If you are using a hydronic plinth heater which connects to your central heating, the additional cost of using a plinth heater will be very minimal. The only cost will come from the energy required to run the fan, which is generally just a couple of pence an hour. However, if your plinth heater isn’t connected to the central heating, it will have a heating element as well as a fan. This is where running costs can creep up.

If the heater and fan use 2000 W of power, it will cost approximately 40p per hour to run (based on the price of 1 kWh being 19p, which may differ depending on your energy provider). If the heater uses a thermostat, it will not be on continuously, which can help keep costs down.

Plinth heaters are generally considered to operate at the same noise level as a humming fringe or a fan oven. The noise comes from the fan which is used to push the hot air out of the heater. For most plinth heaters the general consensus seems to be that the lowest setting isn’t often too loud or intrusive, and it’s possible to watch TV or listen to the radio without being distracted. The higher power setting might be louder and more distracting, but won’t normally be required for prolonged periods of time.

If you’re installing a hydronic plinth heater, get a professional plumber to fit it. The heater needs to be attached to part of the central heating, as well as connected to the electricity, and this sort of job should be left to an expert. With an electric plinth heater, you may be able to fit it yourself if the manufacturer’s manual says it’s possible to do so without professional help. Some electric plinth heaters simply require plugging in; however, others may be more complicated. Getting an electrician to fit a plinth heater is recommended.

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