Ultimate Guide to the Best Space Heater

Space heaters are one of the most reliable and effective ways to heat the specific sections of a house, a condominium or an apartment. By using an energy efficient space heater you do not have to waste precious energy heating the whole home, instead you can locate the heater where it is needed and useful.

​Read these best space heater reviews and use them to make the right space heater choice for you and your home.

The Best Space Heater Reviews Comparison Table

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Heater Name

Price

Our Rating

Select

Dr Infrared Heater Portable Space Heater review

Dr Infrared Heater Portable Space Heater

Best Infrared Heater

$$

4.7

Read our review...

best portable heater

Lasko 754200 Ceramic Heater

Best Portable Heater

$

4.7

Read our review...

most energy efficient space heater

Unique Heat Next Generation Portable Space Heater

Most Energy Efficient Space Heater

$$$

4.7

Read our review...

best heater for large room

Lifesmart Large Room 6 Element Infrared Heater

Best Heater for Large Room

$$

4.7

Read our review...

best propane heater

Mr Heater F232000 MH9BX Buddy

Best Propane Heater

$$

4.7

Read our review...

best ceramic heater

Lasko 755320 Ceramic Tower Heater

Best Ceramic Heater

$

4.7

Read our review...

best oil filled radiator

DeLonghi EW7707CM Safeheat Oil Filled Radiator

Best Oil Filled Radiator

$

4.7

Read our review...

best heater for bedroom

Ryzen H-5000 Pro Portable Infrared Quartz Heater

Best Heater for Bedroom

$

4.7

Read our review...

best heater for basement

Broan-NuTone 6201 Big Heat Heater

Best Heater for Basement

$

4.7

Read our review...

best personal space heater

Lasko MyHeat Personal Ceramic Heater

Best Personal Heater

$

4.7

Read our review...



Best Space Heater Reviews

Best Infrared Heater

Dr Infrared Heater Portable Space Heater

Dr Infrared Heater Portable Space Heater review

Infrared heaters have become a popular alternative to the traditional and more conventional convection heater. They are no longer exposed elements that are burning hot; instead, they are often put into attractive wood cases, which look much like a side table or other small piece of furniture.

​The Dr Infrared Heater Portable Space Heater is one such heater. It boasts a stylish design to match its name. Unlike your standard white or grey fan-assisted heater, this retro, jukebox-like design adds an air of class to any room.

Moreover, it is a great heater. We have looked in detail at the best infrared heater on the market in and in our view, the Dr Infrared Heater Portable Space Heater tops the table.

It is a piece of the furniture as much as it is a heater – even when not switched on during the summer months, it will certainly catch the eye.

The unique application of this heater is that it uses an infrared heating system to heat the actual objects around you in a room, as opposed to simply heating the air. This is a far quicker and more effective solution for keeping you warm than you get with a conventional portable heater.

By not focusing on simply heating the air, it also means there is little lost heat (and money) which rises up to the ceiling and through the cracks when using fan powered mechanisms, and the air stays nice and moist.

best quartz heater

It is fact a dual heating system incorporating a fan, which quietly and effectively distributes air around the room. The convection heating elements are PTC, which should last in excess of 20000 hours.

As well as nice aesthetics, this heater is compact. If necessary it is straightforward enough to transport, but it would certainly be easier if there were a handle. Moving it between rooms in the house, on the other hand, is simple thanks to the wheels underneath. If the kitchen or hallway needs some immediate heat rather than the front room, simply push it through like a wheelchair.

There are no exposed heating elements and thus no risk of harm for children or pets who will be wandering around at the same height. The Dr Infrared Heater is most suitable for an average sitting room, which is where children will be wandering around most often.

best infrared quartz space heater

As expected, it also comes with an important tilt shut-off safety feature, just in case it falls the wrong way. The chances are it will not cause any damage if it were indeed, left on its front, but there is no point in taking the risk.

The simple digital display makes setting and maintaining the desired temperature more than easy, and, unlike the majority of fan-powered heaters, it is completely silent.

Overall, this Dr Infrared Heater is a quality piece of equipment that boasts many impressive features not common in other models on the market, if used sensibly to zone heat your home will save you some money on your heating bills.

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Best Portable Heater

Lasko 754200 Ceramic Heater

best portable heater

There are many different space heater brands and models on the market. It is often difficult to choose. Here we have tried to focus down on the best model for a variety of different uses. The Lasko 754200 Ceramic Heater is our choice of best portable heater.

If you are looking for a capable heater in a small package then this is the solution to your problem. Measuring 6 inches by 7 inches by 9 inches and just under 4lbs in weight, this heater will fit in any room! From the kitchen to the bedroom, you will find this heater handy for keeping you warm. It is very versatile.

This is a convection heater. It is a fan forced ceramic space heater, which uses a combination of ceramic heating elements to warm the air and a fan to distribute the warm air evenly around the room.

Despite its small dimensions, this heater really packs a punch easily able to heat upwards of 150 sq. ft. rooms.

For convenience, the heater comes with a carry handle so you can move it from one room to another. You could event use this in the car if you have trouble with the air conditioner.

You also have the options of three quiet settings including high heat 1500-watts, low heat 900-watts and fan only from which you can set your ideal temperature.

The fan is quiet, making only a low hum sound, which even means that the Lasko 754200 can be used in the bedroom where silent operation is essential.

Controls are manual and straightforward. There is no digital display or “to the degree” setting, but regular use will give you all the information you need to get that temperature right.

Safety is ensured with features such as self-regulation of temperature, which ensures the device does not overheat (automatically shuts down when it does). It does not have tip-over protection, but in such a small unit, this is not a big problem.

To guarantee you of your safety even further with this device, it has a three-year warranty and is ETL listed. This means that it has been tested independently and meets all the set standards for safe use in North America.Pets and children are not at risk of getting any burns with this heater in your house. This is because the surface does not get too hot when in use.

Wondering how long you can keep this running? Well, this will depend on the temperature settings. According to manufacturers, this equipment is designed to be used continuously since it has a thermostat setting that helps avoid overheating.

The Lasko 754200 Ceramic Heater is possibly the most popular space heater on the market now. It has a perfect combination of being a high quality 1500-watt space heater, capable of heating most rooms in a home, together with a very affordable price. This was a close contender for our best ceramic heater, but we believe its size makes this the ideal choice for best portable heater.

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Most Energy Efficient Space Heater

Unique Heat Next Generation Portable Space Heater

most energy efficient space heater

The Unique Heat Next Generation Portable Space Heater is a relative newcomer to the space heater market. It is an infrared heater, has a lovely design, and build quality.

Best of all however it is extremely efficient converting a high proportion of the electrical input into heat, mainly because it does not use a fan. It is an infrared only heater. For this reason, we regard the Unique Heat Space Heater as the most energy efficient space heater on the market.

The heater has a wide heat coverage using the infrared heat technology to warm up to 1000 sq. ft. This is ideal for almost all rooms in the house. Interestingly the heating elements face upwards ensuring maximum warming is felt when you stand in front.

Do not be deceived by its compact size, it measures only 15 inches by 12 inches by 10 inches, but this has little impact on its heating ability. Most space heaters dry the air. However, with infrared technology the heater warms the room and not the air. This is great for anyone suffering from sinus or skin problems.

The heater is easy to carry weighing only 15 lbs. in total, allowing you to use the heater in any area of your home to supplement or replace the central heating.

Control is via a digital dial and a handy remote making it easy and user friendly to operate.

best space heater

As for safety and other energy saving features, this Unique Heat Next Generation Space Heater has them all. It is cool to the touch meaning it is safe for use in areas where there are children or pets. It has overheat protection, tip-over protection and thermostatic control. It also has a timer shut-off to ensure that the heater does not heat for extended periods unless you want it to.

There are no moving parts so it is a silent operation, and if it had the ability to switch on at a pre-set time it would surely be a contender for our best heater for bedroom pick.

You can easily combine this space heater into a HEPA air purifier using an upgrade kit (sold separately) which we think combines well with a heater that does not remove any moisture from the air during operation. It provides a good healthy heat.

In addition, if you are not satisfied the company are offering a 30 day no questions asked refund.

The introduction of modern infrared heaters using quartz-heating elements has dramatically improved both the energy efficiency and the look of space heaters. The Unique Heat Next Generation Infrared Space Heater combines a sleek modern design with an efficient and silent heater capable of comfortably heating any room in the home. We believe it is well deserved being our most energy efficient space heater pick and we recommend it to you.

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Best Heater for Large Room

Lifesmart Large Room 6 Element Infrared Heater

best heater for large room

Many modern space heaters claim to be capable of heating large rooms easily. Traditionally this was the reserve of the oil-filled radiator which if left for long enough could heat a large room effectively. However, with the introduction of the modern infrared heaters combined with fan forcing you can have both instant heat and large room heating capability.

Lifesmart Large Room 6 Element Infrared Heater, in our opinion, is the best heater for a large room available today. It is safe, healthy and ultra-efficient for heating any large space that you have in your house.

The heater is housed in a metal cabinet with a front grill allowing heat output from the quartz tubes within. Because this is an infrared heater the casing stays cool to the touch at all times meaning there is no danger to passing traffic that comes into contact with the heater. This is especially useful if there are children or pets living in your home.

The heater also has the other safety features you would expect; tip-over cut-out and overheat protection.

best large room space heater

Control of the heater is via three settings including an eco-setting that has the ability to heat smaller areas in your home to 68 degrees using intelligent switching between heating states to operate on average at only 500 watts. For heating a large room, this is commendable. That is more economical than most heaters in the market.

The heater is moderately heavy and would be a bit awkward to lift being 16.5 inches by 16 inches by 13 inches in size. However, Lifesmart have included casters to allow you to move the unit around with ease.

There is a control panel on the front, which allows you to change the heat output, and to set the temperature and timer controls. However, if you prefer, all this can be done from the remote control, which is provided too.

best  heater for large room

The timer allows you to set the heater to both switch off or switch on, a feature we particularly like. It also makes it good for use in bedrooms. Most people go to sleep better in slightly cooler rooms but want to get up into a nice warm room. A heater than can be set to come on an hour before you rise is great. However, the unit also includes a fan, which means that there are better heaters for the bedroom than this.

That is not a reflection of the quality of this heater. It is a powerful heater, packaged into a small unit. The six heating elements combined with the integrated fan means the Lifesmart Large Room 6 Element Infrared Heater is capable of heating the largest rooms in your home, rapidly and healthily. We have no doubt about making this heater our best space heater for a large room selection.

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Best Propane Heater

Mr Heater F232000 MH9BX Buddy Radiant Heater

best propane heater

Our preference is for electric space heaters, especially when used in the home. This has much to do with safety and the need for ventilation when using a propane heater properly. However, we also recognize there are times when a propane heater is necessary. For this reason, we have reviewed the options available and come up with our own best propane heater recommendation.

The Mr Heater F232000 MH9BX Buddy Radiant Heater is robust and rugged portable propane heater. It has compact in size, measuring approximately 14 inches high and wide, with an upright standing depth of 9 inches. It has a convenient carry handle, and weighing in at under 10 lbs. makes it an exceptionally portable little space heater. When not in use the handle conveniently folds down.

The unit made really well and has a touch enamel finish. It gives the impression that the heater means business. It does not look as though it is meant to be used in a living room. It has an outdoor look and feel to it, which we like.

It is a perfect heater for use in garage, tents, workshops, cabins, porches, RV, patios, hunting blinds or sailing boats. You could even use it for staying warm on the side-lines while watching sporting events. Versatility is built in to this heater.

propane heater review

For such a small heater it is surprisingly powerful, able to heat up to 200 sq. ft. without problem.

It is simple and easy to set up and start using. The heater comes with a 1lb. propane cylinder. This needs filling as it comes empty. You simply screw in the cylinder and start using. You can connect the heater to a larger cylinder such as a 20lb. propane tank of the sort used in barbecues. However, you need to purchase a separate hose to connect to the tank.

As with all propane heaters, safety features are paramount. Fortunately, the Mr Heater F232000 heater has all the necessary features you would need. It has an auto shut off in the event the unit tips over. It also cuts-out when lifted meaning that it cannot be burning while being moved. We particularly like this feature.

With all propane heaters, proper ventilation is important when in use. The Mr Heater F232000 heater has a sensor, which cuts the pilot light if it detects low oxygen levels. An excellent safety feature.

The Mr Heater F232000 MH9BX Buddy Radiant Heater is not a large propane heater. It is very much a personal space heater, but its versatility makes it ideal for any number of outdoor activities. It is extremely portable and very well made and we have no difficulty in recommending this to you as our pick for best propane heater.

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Best Ceramic Heater

Lasko 755320 Ceramic Tower Heater

best ceramic heater

Lasko are experts at ceramic heaters. They make excellent quality, affordable heaters that just do the job. For this reason, they are extremely popular. Our pick for the best ceramic heater is a combination of looks and quality, the Lasko 755320 Ceramic Tower Heater.

Keeping the air in your house optimally heated is important for both your health and comfort. The Lasko 755320 is a compact ceramic tower heater with a small footprint. It is 8.5 inches by 7.25 inches by 23 inches high. It can easily slot into a rooms no matter how big or small.

In addition to its size it comes with a convenient carry handle and with a weight of only 9 lbs. it is an exceptionally portable heater.

Control of the Lasko 755320 is either via the control panel with digital display on top of the unit, or with the remote control. The display allows you to accurately set the temperature for the thermostat to maintain. It also allows you to set the timer to switch off after a pre-set time, a useful energy saving and safety feature.

However, to complete the safety aspect, the fact that the heater gets hot means that it really is not suitable for positioning where it might be touched by animals or kids. The heater is just the right height for young children to reach and take care when deciding where to place your heater.

The heater oscillates, meaning that it rotates almost 180 degrees from side to side. This is to ensure the air is warmed uniformly. Despite the fan and the oscillation, the heater is very quiet when in use. Many fan-forced heaters are actually quite noisy in operation so it is nice to come across one, which is quiet.

It is worth noting at this point that adequate space needs to be given to the heater. The 755320 is a convection heater meaning that it blows out warm air from the front grill. If you place the heater to close to another object there is a risk of overheating.

This is a problem with all ceramic fan-forced heaters, not just the 755320 and the heater has a safety cut-off switch in case it overheats, or the heater is knocked over. However, a little precaution when deciding where to place the heater is much the best idea.

The build quality of this space heater is very good and it is manufactured to the high North American standards as proven by its ETL listing.

Overall, we really like the 755320 Ceramic Tower Heater. It is an extremely popular device owing to a combination of quality, effectiveness and price. There is a lot of competition in the ceramic space heater market, but we have no problem giving the 755320 our best ceramic heater pick.

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Best Oil Filled Radiator

DeLonghi EW7707CM Safeheat Oil Filled Radiator

best oil filled radiator

Oil-filled radiators differ from ceramic and infrared heaters in that they incorporate a heat sink. This is a reservoir of oil that once heated continues to provide heat long after the heater is switched off. A ceramic or infrared heater in contrast simply stops heating as soon as the power is cut.

The DeLonghi EW7707CM Safeheat is an excellent example of an oil-filled radiator, robust and nicely designed. However, what makes this our choice for best oil filled radiator is the integration of some good features that set it apart from other radiators.

It stands 25 inches tall by 14 inches deep by 11 inches wide. This is large for a space heater, but oil-filled radiators are larger than their infrared or ceramic heater cousins due to the fact that they require a large surface area to heat the air.

At 23 lbs. in weight and an awkward shape, it will be difficult to move up and down stairs. However, movement on the same floor is made easier by caster wheels, which are built-in to the unit stand.

Traditionally, one of the major attractions of radiators over other types of heater is the silent operation. There are no moving parts and therefore nothing to make a noise. Recently, infrared heaters have become very popular however and they too can be completely silent.

That said, the DeLonghi EW7707CM is completely silent. A significant feature for many purchasers.

There are three settings on the radiator. A high and low setting, or the setting, which DeLonghi call ComforTemp. This automatic thermostatic control intelligently switches between the various settings in order to maintain a room temperature between 68F and 70F. By not always being on, this setting is very energy efficient, resulting in savings of 27 percent compared with full-time use.

When in use the radiator is not scalding hot, but is hot enough for you to need to be wary when young kids are around. The sensible option is to place the radiator behind something the kids cannot get round. Otherwise, the heating is quite gentle in character.

The radiator fins have a rounded corner design ensuring that any bumps and bangs against the radiator will not hurt.

Another handy feature is the inclusion of an ultra-low setting, called the anti-freeze setting. This feature switches the radiator on if the temperature in the room falls below 44F. This is useful if you have very small children and want to make sure they do not get too cold at night. Similarly useful for pets. While monitoring the temperature the radiator only draws 5% of the operating power, so is very low cost to run.

Oil filled radiators continue to be very good space heaters. They are able to operate inexpensively while at the same time providing heat for large spaces. Perhaps the only real drawback to them is that they take time to warm up.

However, we continue to like oil filled radiators and especially the DeLonghi EW7707CM Oil Filled Radiator and have selected it for our choice of best oil filled radiator.^

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Best Heater For Bedroom

Ryzen H-5000 Pro Portable Infrared Quartz Heater

best heater for bedroom

Many space heaters claim to be perfect for the bedroom. However, we believe that fewer are as suitable as their manufacturers claim. We think the best heater for a bedroom need three essential characteristics.

  • Silent operation
  • Timed switch on
  • Low case heat

The Ryzen H-5000 Pro Portable Infrared Quartz Heater has all these features and more.

Infrared heaters are increasingly popular. They do not rely on warming the air, instead they warm objects surrounding the heater, a little like standing in sunlight warms you. In fact the heat created by an infrared heater does not dry out the air.

The Ryzen H-5000 is an infrared heater that incorporates a washable air filter meaning that it cleans the air, great for anyone suffering from sinus problems or certain skin complaints.

The heater does incorporate a heat exchanger and a quiet scroll fan, but the notable feature of this heater is that it is almost impossible to hear when in operation.

People tend to fall sleep best in a room that is slightly colder than normal room temperature . However, when they wake, they want a room that is warm.

This is why we believe the timed switch-on is an important feature for the best bedroom heater. The Ryzen H-5000 has such a timer and is one of the reasons why we particularly like this heater for bedrooms.

In order to sleep soundly while using a heater means that you need a high level of confidence in that heater. It should be cool to the touch reducing the risk of damage to the surrounds. It should have a fail-safe overheat protection and tip-over security. It also needs to be built to a high standard in order that these feature work every time.

best bedroom heater

The Ryzen heater has all of these characteristics. The features are all integrated and the heater is safety tested and approved by both CSA and ETL Intertek.

Other features included with the Ryzen H-5000 are high 1500-watt and low 750-watt settings together with an eco-setting that uses the thermostat to maintain a preset ambient temperature. This reduces the power consumption of the heater by 1/3 while keeping the room temperature at a comfortable level.

The control pad is lockable to prevent children from misusing the heater and a remote is also provided.

The heater is also very portable, weighing in at only 13lbs. with dimensions of 8 inches wide by 13 inches high and deep. Moving the heater to different bedrooms as needed is simple and easy.

In summary, the Ryzen H-5000 Pro Portable Infrared Quartz Heater is a compact, well made heater combining all the essential features we believe make an ideal bedroom heater. For this reason we have no problem putting forward the Ryzen heater as the best heater for a bedroom.

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Best Heater For Basement

Broan NuTone 6201 Big Heat Heater

best heater for basement

Basement heaters come in many different shapes and sizes. The main issue for most homeowners is that fixed systems require venting. One great option for heating is installing a stand alone pellet stove and we recommend our detailed review on what is the best pellet stove. We have also looked in detail at what makes the best garage heater.

Our preferred option for heating a basement is to purchase an electric unvented space heater. It does not need to be large but versatility and portability is important. Our recommendation for the best heater for a basement is the Broan-NuTone 6201 Big Heat Heater.

This rugged little heater is ideal for anyone looking for simple, effective heating solution. Its compact design, measuring just 6 inches by 5.9inches by 5.2 inches and comes complete with a sturdy handle and a weight of only 5lbs., makes it very portable. The small dimensions also mean it is easy to stow.

It pumps out various levels of heat depending on the settings chosen (from high’ to low’ with a 1500-watt fast heat setting and a 1200-watt maintenance heat setting, while fan-only produces a flow of cool air), it is ideal for both winter and summer use. A dial on the side of the unit allows you to set the temperature you want.

The stand out feature of the Broan-NuTone heater is the heavy duty feel of its construction. It feels a lot sturdier than your average ceramic heater making it perfect for basement use. The case is made from steel and finished in aluminium. It has a UL listing meaning it is manufactured to a high standard and suitable for sale in North America.

The construction while great for ensuring your heater lasts a long time does have a drawback. When in use the outer casing becomes hot. For basement use this should not represent a problem but care should always be take when placing it down. Avoid any surface that may be flammable or prone to heat damage.

quality space heaters

The thermocube is a great little device to enable a heater to operate in your absence. The thermocube turns on when the temperature falls below 35F and off at 45F. Don't let your basement freeze while you are away.

When operating the fan is very quiet. This means that it provides little distraction. That quiet operation might also be a drawback. It is easy to forget that the heater is on.

We believe the best option is to use the heater in conjunction with a thermostat socket turns on and off based on ambient temperature. This will allow you to maintain a pre-set level of heat in your basement and prevent freezing.

The device has a built-in tilt shut off feature; overheat protection. There’s also a useful warning’ light if starts to overheat, giving you a visual prompt to switch off.

Heating a basement is a little different from heating other rooms in your home. The space is likely to be used for a combination of different things, including meters, storage and workshops. The Broan-NuTone 6201 Big Heat Heater is a small, sturdy and surprisingly powerful standalone electric heater that we believe has all the attributes necessary to be the best basement heater.

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Best Personal Heater

Lasko MyHeat Personal Ceramic Heater

best personal space heater

If you are a looking for a space heater that heats you but not the whole room then you can do no better than the Lasko MyHeat Personal Ceramic Heater which is our pick for the best personal heater.

This personal space heater is tiny, measuring only 6 inches by 4 inches by 4.5 inches. It is barely larger than a cell phone. Not only is it small in dimensions but it weighs only 1lb too. The tiny size of this space heater make it incredibly portable. You can simply throw it into a bag and bring the heater with you wherever you go.

But a small size is no good if the heater does not work very well. So how well does the Lasko MyHeat space heater heat?

The answer is that it heats a small spaces really well. The power consumption is low at 200watts so a space heater like this is always going to struggle when pitted against its much larger cousins, but for heating a small room like a study or a bedroom the Lasko MyHeat Personal Heater is more than capable.

It has no trouble heating a room up to 150 sq. ft.

In order to work most effectively it is a good idea to position the unit approximately around 2-3 feet away from where you are. The cord is 72 inches long which means it is easy to position in a convenient spot. At that distance you should almost immediately feel a continuous stream of warm air directed personally at you.

personal heater

It also works in a complementary way with other space heaters. For instance if you use an oil-flled radiator then you will know that they take some time to heat up. Why not use the MyHeat to warm you up while waiting for the effects of the radiator to kick in?

What about safety?

Well, the MyHeat utilizes ceramic heating elements with a small internal fan and it is designed so the casing does not get hot to the touch when in use. This is an important factor for a personal space heater because by its very nature it is likely to be frequently picked up or re-placed.

The heater does have overheat protection meaning that if for any reason it begins to get too hot, the thermostat kicks in and turns the unit completely off.

best personal ceramic heater

However, the MyHeat does not have any form of tip-over protection meaning that if the unit falls onto its front it will continue to blow out heat until it overheats. This is slightly disappointing, but given that it is likely to be operated close to someone it is likely that they would notice if the unit had fallen over for any reason before any harm was done.

Personal space heaters are relatively new, but perhaps it is no surprise given the rapid technological improvements made every day in our modern world. The term personal space heater may also include much larger space heaters. However, we believe that the Lasko MyHeat Ceramic Personal Space Heater is well named and the best personal space heater available.

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Space Heater Buying Guide

When shopping for the right model to buy, consider the many advantages that a space heater can provide. They are not only portable and easy to carry around but they are also safe and easy to use.

​Do Space Heaters Save Money?

​This is not actually as straightforward a question as it may seem.

The short answer is “Yes!”, but there are some qualifications necessary.

Zoned Heating and Space Heaters

Many modern heating and cooling systems are zoned. Zoned heating means that you break your home up into areas or “zones” which you can heat independently of the other zones.

The clear benefit of zoned heating is that you heat the areas that you use, while do not waste money or electric heating areas you are not using. If you have a zoned heating system then you definitely save money on your heating bill.

The problem is that many homes do not have zoned heating installed and it is not possible to adapt their existing central heating system.This is where portable space heater come in.

A portable space heater can allow you to create a heated zone in your home, without needing to heat anywhere else. You create a very simple and yet very effective zoned heating system without the need for costly heating engineers.

​To take full advantage of your ability to both zone heat your home and save money on your overall heating bill you need to choose the right space heater for your particular circumstances.

​Types of Space Heater

​The best way to keep your home warm while beating the ever-increasing cost of gas is by investing in a quality space heater. Space heaters, both conventional and radiant, are safe heating equipment, guaranteeing you of comfort and warmth in your home’s interior in the end. However, homeowners need to be careful when using space heaters, as they may cause fires or even death.

Convection Space Heaters

Convection heaters use very simple technology in order to work. They have in built heating elements tasked with warming the air directly or heating oil, which in turn transfers air to the surroundings. They are convenient heaters as they easily provide some constant heat at given temperatures to well-insulated rooms or the interior of a home.

They are the most preferred heaters as they heat rooms more quickly compared to radiant heaters. They have fans to help in heat circulation in the room and the cheapest heaters available in any market. Conventional heaters can be further classified into the following:

Ceramic Fan Forced Heaters

These heaters have in-built ceramic heating elements to generate warmth. A fan, which can be adjusted to oscillate hence warm, then circulates the heat generated the home more effectively.

Ceramic space heaters are best used in heating small to medium spaces but this is also dependent on the size of the ceramic heating element and the fan’s power.

Homeowners intending to purchase this type of conventional heater should also look at the safety features, for example, an auto shut off. This will go a long way into preventing fires or deaths in case the heaters overheat. However, these heaters guarantee you of rapid performance and ease of use.

Oil Filled Radiators

Also known as, a column heater, this heater is filled with oil that is electrically heated by a heating element located at the bottom of this equipment. The heated oil then flows around heater’s cavities through convention. The heating element has a high heating capacity, allowing the heated oil to remain warm for longer periods.Heat is then transferred through the metal wall hence heating the surroundings. This heater conveniently warms large spaces since more air comes into contact with the heater. However, they should not be kept on for longer periods in order to save on electricity cots.

Radiant Heaters

Also known as reflective heaters, theses equipment generates warmth using infrared rays. The infra-red radiation is absorbed by cloths and skin, making it the main reason why they are directed to the user and effective only in heating the air in small spaces. They have safety features like wire guards in order to prevent accidental contact with the hot ceramic heating elements.

The coiled heating element used is heavy gauge in order to prevent the metal housing from becoming hot and withstand high temperatures.

Infrared Quartz Heaters

Its heating element is made up of tungsten filaments, safely sealed in quartz envelopes effective in radiating the infrared rays. The quartz envelops also go a long way into increasing the filaments life due to overheating. Up to 86% of input electric power is converted into theses rays while the rest is lost into conventional and conductive heat.

Natural Gas Heaters

They are used to provide warmth to spaces by heating butane, petrol or even natural gas.

This heater spreads heat through radiation and heat is absorbed by persons or objects on the heat’s path. They have a thermostat controlled electronically that works hand in hand with an electric filament to heat gas activated by a valve.

A fan then distributes the heat. They can be used either indoors or outdoors. However, if used indoors, there ought to be adequate ventilation in the space and must be turned off before sleeping.

All in all, irrespective of the heater one intends to use, it is best to consider the health risk these equipment poses. They include fires and carbon monoxide poisoning which can be fatal. It is therefore important to consider the safety features of the heaters, for example the programmable timers, energy saving modes and tip over protection switches while also finding the best location to place the heater, such as high walls to prevent direct contact with infants.

Survey the Area to Heat?

Size and Shape of Room or Area

The dimensions of the room you wish to heat will be a major factor in which is the best space heater for you.

Things to take note of include:

  • ​The square footage of the room. Large rooms are more difficult to heat. Oil-filled radiators tend to make the best space heater for large rooms, although some infrared space heaters are catching up fast.
  • The contents of the room. Infrared heaters work most efficiently when they heat objects within an area. If a room is largely empty of objects then clearly this will not be effective. If the room to be heated has few contents or is a large open area then a convection heaters will probably be the best choice.
  • The level of traffic in the room. With a safety first mindset, which should always be used when using space heaters, it is worth thinking about the use of the room you wish to heat. Think kids and pets. Some space heaters get very hot and you do not want unfortunate injuries to occur. In family areas infrared heaters which often are cool to the touch are best.
  • Ventilation. Some heaters, especially natural gas heaters require ventilation. This is very important as poor ventilation can lead to complex safety issues, including fire hazard and carbon monoxide poisoning.

How Powerful Does Your Space Heater Need to be?

In order to determine the number of BTUs or Watts that your space heater should have, begin by determining the area (in square footage) of the space that you intend to heat. Measure the length and width of the specific room and then multiply the figures to get the area of your room.

To determine wattage, have the square footage of your room multiplied by ten. Ten is the average wattage that is required to heat a square foot. This will give you the total number of wattage required to heat your space properly.

To determine BTU output, multiply the wattage that you got in the above step by 3.41. This is because 1 watt is equivalent to 3.41 BTUs.

Safety First - A Warning and Some Precautions

Remember space heaters are made to provide heat. When you generate heat in your home, you should take great care. Insist on a model that is certified to meet the minimum safety standards.

Make no exceptions to this.

It is not worth the risk.​

Make sure that your choice of space heater is accredited by one of the following organisations:

UL listed

UL (Underwriters Laboratory)

etl listed

ETL (Intertek)

csa listed

CSA (Canadian Standards Association)

These verification demonstrate that the heater has met US safety standards in construction quality and performance. Most insurance companies often require this accreditation.

If you buy electric model, it is advisable never to use extension cords.

Key Space Heater Safety Checklist

  • Ensure that at all times, you plug your unit directly into 120volt power outlet.
  • If you wish to buy a gas or propane heater, avoid operating in an enclosed area and make sure there is adequate ventilation to allow fuel fumes to escape.For additional protection, look for models with thermally protected motors and flame-resistant cases.
  • Regularly check the power cord for damage or wear. Power cords are frequently the cause of fire and injury in the home.
  • Always ensure the power rating of extension cables meets the power requirement for your space heater. Mismatching of power ratings can cause overheating and cable damage.
  • The best space heaters have automatic shutoff systems, which are very important if a space heater overheats or is accidentally knocked over when operating.

Ensure You Get the Most Energy Efficient Space Heater

In order to knock off the cash off your power bill, it is important that you find the most energy-efficient space heaters to heat various rooms. Electric space heaters tend to be very energy-efficient, and this is especially so with units with automatic thermostats.

​Infrared space heaters are a relatively new entrant to the space heater market and are considered some of the most energy efficient space heaters you can buy today.

As noted above infrared space heaters heat objects rather than air which makes the heat they generate almost instant. However, they have no residual heating capability, meaning that when they are turned off, the heat stops almost immediately. This compares to say an oil-filled radiator which can continue to heat for some time after being switched off.

Features Which Affect Energy Efficiency

The two main methods of controlling heat and improving energy efficiencyare by using thermostatic controls and timer switch-offs.

Thermostats​

Thermostatic control is a function that allows your highly efficient space heater to be turned on and off depending upon whether the temperature in the room has reached a pre-set level. This ensures that you do not continue to heat a room that is already warm enough. This coupled with the use of a low heat setting can significantly improve the energy efficiency of your portable space heater.

Timer Switches​

The timer switch off, is a great way to ensure that excess heating does not occur when using your space heater in the home. In effect, you program your space heater to switch off after a set number of hours. This makes sure that you do not forget to switch off your heater when you leave the area you are heating and end up heating a room for no reason. This is especially useful when using a silent space heater, which is easy to overlook.

These simple controls enable you to control the quantity of heat that you use.

Radiant Heater or Convection Heater?

After looking at the safety features and that it fits your space, you will have to choose between convection and radiant space heater.

Convection space heaters are most suited to be used large spaces or rooms. They tend to be a relatively passive form of heating allowing the air in the room to circulate around the heater and being warmed as it does so.

Oil-filled radiators with fins that have a large surface area are perhaps the most commonly seen form of convection portable space heater. They tend to have the advantage of being silent when on, but are often larger, a great deal heavier than radiant space heaters and need to be situated on the floor.

On the other hand, a radiant heater works best in a small space since it uses infrared radiation for warming up people who sit within its range.

Many radiant space heaters incorporate a heat exchanger system inside the space heater case, which warms the air as well as the surrounding environment. These space heaters tend to require a fan to ensure that the warm air is moved away from the heater elements to prevent the space heater from getting too hot.

This means that most radiant heaters are not completely silent. This may not matter but some people definitely like their heaters to make as little noise as possible.

One consideration to help you choose between the two types of heaters is how frequently you will be using it. If you want a space heater to heat your room only for a few hours, your best option is a radiant heater. If you are looking for more general heating then a convection heater may well be your best option.

How Much Do Space Heaters Cost?

Most space heaters are reasonably priced. You will certainly be able to get hold of a good quality space heater for between $40 and $50. Prices for some of the smaller models are also available at prices from around $20 and upwards.

You will see from our space heater reviews that smaller does not always mean better in the world of space heaters. We have come across some great portable space heaters that can be purchased on Amazon for as little as $25.

Conclusion

Space heaters are very important in heating rooms during the cold winter months. They will save you a lot of money in electricity bills since they are portable and only used to heat specific sections of the room. When shopping for one, consider safety features, energy efficiency and size of the room that you intend to heat.

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