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Q. "What's the difference between electric and hydronic towel warmers?
A. Both electric and hydronic towel warmers are designed for in-home use. Electric towel warmers typically have very low energy consumption rates - many consume the same power as a standard light bulb (60 Watts). These models contain one of two types of low wattage elements: some use a dry element, while others use an element to heat mineral oil within the unit. Electric towel warmers are available as either hardwired or plug-in. Hardwired units will need to be integrated into the building's electrical system, while plug-in models simply plug in like any other appliance. Both types of electric towel warmers may be operated with an on/off switch or with a timer. Some of the larger electric units can provide enough heat to warm a room, though electric units are typically used in conjunction with another heat source to heat a room. Hydronic towel warmers simply utilize your hot water plumbing to produce heat by running the hot water through the towel warmer. This can be done one of two ways; by connecting to your home's hot water heater (open system), or to a specific hydronic heating system (closed system). In most cases the hydronic towel warmer is going to be the most efficient method (energy savings-wise) but can also be the most difficult for installation unless the installation is part of a complete remodel or new construction. For more information about towel warmers, please see our towel warmer information page.
Q. "Which is better suited for home use, the hydronic models or the electric models?"
A. Both are for home use. Electric is easier to install and more easily turned on-and-off. Hydronic is used when there is a recirculating system in the house.
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