Micathermic heater (and why they are so thin)
While researching vented propane heaters, as well as electric heaters, I came across a listing for a micathermic heater.
What the heck is a micathermic heater?!
Well, it turns out this type of heater simply has a conventional electric heating element that is sandwiched between thin sheets of the mineral mica.
How can they be so thin? Efficiency?
The mica sheets are very thin and (apparently) allow the element to be sufficiently insulated and protected. They appear thinner than even an electric ceramic panel heater that I have which is about 1/4″ thick. Of course both of those are drastically thinner than the electric heaters that uses oil reservoirs to insulate the heating element.
Since there is no unique heating element in play here the actual heat produced should be the same as any other electric heater. However, apparently the unique thing about this type of heater is that it functions as both a convection heater and a radiant heater. One source says the breakdown comes to about about 80/20: Micathermic heater uses 80% convection and 20% reflective [radiant] heat That almost seems like the opposite of what is should be… if anyone out there has a definitive answer please let me know!
How long to warm up? Most models seem to be a minute or less
Also, due too the thin mica sheets, micathermic can heaters warm up and get to “maximum hotness” very quickly… the downside is that they cool off just as quickly! With an oil-filled radiant heater it does take a while for the oil to warm up, but that same oil also retain its heat for quite some time after the unit is turned off.
Is this the be all end all of heating?!
So, the combination of convection/radiant heat as well as the near “instant on” nature of the micathermac heater may result in an area of your house/room feeling warm quickly and if that lets you turn off/down the heat then that is good. 🙂 However, I would not get my hopes up thinking that one of these is going to heat the entire house or if it left on the same amount of time that is going to use significantly less electricity than any old electric heater…
Convection vs. Radiant Heat:
Do you have experience with a micathermic heater? If so, please share your expertise in the comments section below. Thanks! 🙂