Panel heaters take forever to warm up a room but once they do they keep them warm as long as the doors and windows are kept closed. Used 1 last year in an open plan family room (40sqm) - worked pretty well even though 1 is not sufficient.
In the open plan lounge and dining room (55sqm) I used a big fan heater which worked brilliantly but chowed up plenty of electricity. My plan for the lounge / dining room this year is to put in a couple of panel heaters and run them on timers for about 16 hours a day switching of at specific times. I've put that fan heater on a timer so far. I'd better go out and buy the panel heater today. Will see how it works out. Might just buy one for now. We still use the Salton/Haz type 3 bar heater which is awesome - actually the best at providing heat where you need it and not bad at warming a room but not safe to leave on all the time or when not in the room.
Most efficient in my opinion is a decent inverter air conditioner.
Sure, costs a bit to install, but my 12k btu LG Inverter heats the bedroom up in 10-15 minutes.. (cools it down nicely in summer too, obviously) and pulls just over 1kw at peak power. As the room warms up, it drops that consumption to probably 200W.
Gas is the better/cheaper way. Unfortunately its not an option for a child's room.
I do miss the days of the water heaters...
The best, fastest and most energy efficient way to heat up a room is to use you aircon, not even only the inverter types - any aircon. That is why they are using heatpumps to heat water - they are also much more efficient than the old heating element. A heatpump works on the exact same principal as an aircon.
I suffer from CDO, it's like OCD, but in the correct alphabetical order.
You should also consider an electric blanket.
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Yeah its mainly for my son, tried the aircon option and it heats the room faster and better than the oil fin heater (purely because I suspect the oil fin heater is too small for the room). Also noticed its a little better on electricity consumption...so gonna stick with the aircon as a heater for now