Mica has a significant impact on people’s everyday lives through its use in domestic as well as industrial settings and situations. This includes insulation for consumer appliances, but also its use in mica panel heaters.
While many of us have gas central heating, there are also significant numbers of people who rely on electric heating for the home. According to Ofgem research, around four million households in the UK do not use mains gas for heating. Some of these households are more likely to be fuel poor, which makes efficiency a priority when it comes to electric heating for the home.
Whereas there are various forms of secondary electric heating available, such as electric fires and other portable heating devices, primary electric heating is fundamental to the basic requirements of a non-gas heated home.
Therefore, if electricity is a household’s primary heating source, what are the main options?
Types of Electric Heating
The three main types of primary electrical heating for the home are:
High heat retention storage heaters
Direct acting, or panel heaters.
Storage heaters store energy, usually off-peak cheap rate electricity, which they then start to release during the day. While storage heaters are economical, they are less efficient than panel heaters, as they lose some heat over the course of the day. Older models of storage heater tend to be less sophisticated and may often overcharge with more energy than will be needed or used.
High heat retention storage heaters work the same way, but with certain improvements to ensure they run more efficiently. They have more advanced controls and can be over 25% more efficient than standard storage heater models.
Different models of storage heater come with variations, such as including inbuilt fans to help improve the time it takes to heat up a room through convective heating. Controls vary, from thermostats and timers to zoning.
Direct acting heaters, also known as panel heaters, work differently to storage heaters. Rather than store heat for later release, users can turn them on or off as required for immediate heat. They are made up of a resistive element cased in a protective outer shell. Whereas they use standard rate electricity, they balance this expense with being extremely efficient and fast-acting. There is no energy loss with panel heaters, so 1kwh of electricity will deliver the same in terms of heat output.
It is also worth noting that while panel heaters are primary devices usually wall-mounted, they can also come as portable, making them extremely versatile for home heating.
Mica in Panel Heaters
Mica panel heaters are known as micathermic panel heaters. They work in a different way to other types of electric heaters, and, in fact, other panel heaters. This is because the use of mica in the panel heater gives it a unique means of delivering heat. The element in the heater is covered in thin layers of mica. These panel heaters produce a combination of convection and radiant heat.
Mica’s inherent qualities include being heat resistant, electrically conductive and having a robust chemical stability. Together, these qualities make it ideal for extremely efficient, and safe, domestic heating applications.
Mica’s thermal stability helps ensure that there won’t be electrical fires or other faults, so users can confidently mount panel heaters on walls and not be at risk from scorching or burns. In short, mica is a safe heating alternative.
However, it is not just mica’s safety which makes it ideal for panel heaters.
Mica emits electromagnetic rays. This means it offers a means of heating a room that is extremely effective while being energy efficient. While most heaters heat ambient air using secondary assistance, such as a fan or blower, micathermic panel heaters are effective in themselves in heating an entire area. This is regardless of the size of the heater.
A micathermic panel heater’s electromagnetic rays will work quickly to heat an entire room. The efficiency doesn’t end there, however. With thermostatic controls, mica panel heaters will automatically switch off having reached the optimum temperature. Some models will do this with an eco-function that maintains a low-level heat after reaching optimum temperature.
The Benefits of Mica Panel Heaters
With winter just around the corner, it’s worth considering the most effective, safe and efficient means of heating a home, whether using electricity as a primary source, or looking to supplement existing heating systems.
Micathermic panel heaters heat quickly, so users experience near-immediate benefits. They can start to make a real difference after a minute’s heating.
They are energy efficient. This is partly because they are so quick to effectively heat a room; but also because they come equipped with accurate temperature controls so that they switch off, or reduce their energy usage once they have reached an optimum temperature.
Micathermic panel heaters are lightweight and thin. Mica itself combines thinness with extreme durability and this means that when it comes to manufacturing, it maximises its impact while being supremely adaptable.
This also means that these panel heaters are easy to install and move from room to room, as required. Their design is also compact.
The type of heat they produce will not dehumidify the air in a room, leaving the space feeling dry and uncomfortable. Micathermic panel heaters don’t remove the moisture from the air even as they heat it and spread warmth around.
Many types of micathermic panel heaters have a low clearance zone, so it is safe for them to be close to other objects without heating them up. They are safe to touch and they cool quickly when switched off.