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What Are the Differences in Micathermic Panel Heaters & Oil-Filled Radiating Heaters?

Peggy Deland

Micathermic panel heaters and oil-filled radiators are quiet electric convection heaters without fans. Neither will heat a room quickly, but both provide consistent heating over long periods of time. Still, there are significant differences to consider before choosing between the two heaters.


Oil-filled radiators work by heating oil stored inside the heater's body. Micathermic panel heaters heat thin sheets of mica, a kind of stone. Micathermic panel heaters produce heat more quickly but oil-filled radiators retain heat longer.


Micathermic panel heaters are much lighter weight than oil-filled radiators, so it's easier to move them from room to room. They're also flatter, so they fit into tight spaces more easily.

Energy Use

The U.S. Department of Energy recommends oil-filled radiators because they store heat more effectively. As a result, this type of heater is more energy-efficient than a micathermic panel heater.


All space heaters can cause burns. Some micathermic panel heaters lack a safety mechanism to turn them off if knocked over. Oil-filled radiators can leak hot, flammable oil, creating a fire hazard.