The Perfect Guide to Choosing 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 Comparison Table
Broan-NuTone (6201) Big Heat Heater
Dr Infrared Heater Portable Space Heater
Lasko 6435 Ceramic Oscillating Heater
Lasko 754200 Ceramic Heater
Lasko 755320 Ceramic Tower Heater
Lifesmart Medium Room Infrared Heater
6" x 5.9" x 5.2"
13" x 11" x 16"
16" x 8.2" x 8.2"
10" x 7.5" x 6.7"
23" x 8.5" x 7"
12.5" x 8" x 14"
What Do Our Reviews Tell Us are the Best Space Heaters?
We have reviewed many of the bestselling space heaters on the market today. The following 5 space heaters are a few of our favorites.
LASKO 755320 Oscillating Ceramic Tower Heater
Complete with a digital display, this ceramic tower heater is the perfect way to warm a home during the cold winter months without creating a hole in your pockets. Thanks to its powerful air penetration, elongated ceramic heating element and widespread oscillation all combine to give you optimum warmth in the whole room.
It features a convenient carry handle that coupled with a weight of around 5 pounds enables it to be easily transported to all rooms in your house. With programmable thermostat, 8-hour timer and digital controls, staying warm doesn’t get any easier than with this quiet, effective and efficient portable space heater.
Vornado ATH1 Whole Room Tower Heater
The ATH1 Tower Heater is able to effectively circulate heat without necessarily needing oscillation. Instead, it uses V-Flow heat circulation. It features auto climate control, a technology that intelligently manages the fan speed and heat output to maintain the precise room temperature that you have chosen. It has advance safety measures like automatic shutoff system and automatic tip-over protection which guarantee worry-free use.
Its main features are V-flow heat circulation that offers wide heating zone which ensures balanced heat output. It doesn’t require oscillation. Another top feature is the touch-sensitive controls that come with heat settings as well as two fan settings. These ensure greater efficiency and control.
DeLonghi TRD0715T Safeheat 1500W Portable Oil-Filled Radiator
The Delonghi TRD0715T space heater heats a space by electrically warming its internal oil supply. It mimics the way a conventional hot water radiator works. This implies that the space heater does not produce too much heat at the beginning.
However, given time, the space heater is able to effortlessly warm a large room. Also, just like a traditional radiator, it retains its heat for a long time after turning off the electricity. This makes it suitable for use in the bedroom because you should never go to sleep and leave behind an operating fan heater.
Lasko 754200 Ceramic Heater with Adjustable Thermostat
The Lasko 754200 is a little heater which properly serves the purpose for which it is intended. You could use it to reduce the chill in your computer room or bedroom. The unit is plastic containing a metal grille. Despite this, it feels very well made and is sturdy. This little space heater is truly portable being only 9” high and is therefore able to be used in small spaces, such as under a desk.
It has full heating capability being a 1500-watt heater despite it’s size. It has an acceptable fan noise level. Although it is not one of the most silent space heaters, it is calm enough to stop interfering with other people.
Its controls are pretty straightforward. A single power dial contains 4 settings. Its other dial has thermostat with an limited range of settings.
Lasko 6462 Full Circle Ceramic Heater
The Lasko 6462 ceramic heater can sweep warmth to a full range of 360 degrees. Thanks to its 25-inch height, it is able of projecting warmth in the entire room. Among its top features are versatile remote control and a filter that is easy to clean. This keeps the space heater functioning efficiently. Its safety features include among other things overheat protection, safe ceramic element, cool-touch housing and safety plastic casing.
Its key features include ceramic heating element, digital programmable thermostat, ETL listed, 1.5 kilowatt of warmth with low, high and thermostat-controlled settings and a programmable sweep.
Best Personal Heater
Lasko MyHeat Personal Ceramic 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 space 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 (Underwriters Laboratory)
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.
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.
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.
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.