Home heating systems are flooding the market every year. Research shows that people need extra warmth during winter to cope with the harsh climate. However, when it comes to low-cost heating, you need to understand various types of space heaters.
Everyone runs for the cheapest types of heaters for home. And as far as cost is concerned, there are other factors you should consider like reliability. What of the safety? Space heaters are the best to serve all the purposes you need at home.
Here’s a sneak peek at these space heaters.
How Space Heaters Work
A space heater is a home or office heating device that aims at heating a single room or a small area. A space heater does the opposite if you’re used to central heating systems that heat many connected rooms.
It heats a single room or a smaller area. As such, you may use the device to warm your feet or around your seat.
Most space heaters are portable, and moving around with them is easier. More importantly, they are flexible when it comes to choosing your device. They have various fuel options like;
- Natural gas
Space heaters are more beneficial when it comes to cost-cutting. It costs a homeowner very little by heating a small area compared to central heating. Thanks to modern technology.
Categories of Space Heaters
There are three main space heater categories. Take a look for better decision-making when choosing your device;
- Convection Space Heaters
A convection space heater uses convection currents to heat the surrounding air. Air circulates through the heater, and in the process, the elements heat the surrounding air by thermal conduction.
Naturally, cold air is dense; that’s the reason it settles around the floor. Once heated, it becomes less dense therefore floating over the dense air. After rising, it circulates the room to distribute the heat.
When heated air molecules rise, they force the dense air molecules down. In the process, they pass through the heater and get heated. This creates a cycle that maintains the temperature.
- Radiant Space Heaters
The radiant space heaters work by emitting electromagnetic waves. Usually, a surface acts as a shield between the air and the heating elements or the fluid. As that’s the case, heat is first released into the objects like furniture or humans that pass it to the air.
Once electromagnetic waves are released, they carry radiant energy converted to heat energy once it collides with objects. After hitting the objects, heat is absorbed circulated within the room.
The heaters work best in crowded rooms because air circulation is not essential to get the job done.
- Combination Space Heaters
Combination space heaters are the most efficient method to heat a room. They use radiant or convection mechanisms combined with a fan to fasten the heat circulation.
Usually, when air is blown, it circulates more quickly than when it naturally rises when heated. With that said, choosing combination heaters will save you time and fuel costs.
Which are the Best Types of Space Heaters?
By understanding the categories, you can comfortably choose the best space heater for your home. Take a look at the most common types of heaters for home you may choose;
1. Fan Space Heaters
A fan space heater has a coil that uses electricity. The coil heats dense air around by convection mechanism and rises to circulate the room.
The heaters have a fan that blows air over the coil to fasten the process. The heater is very efficient due to this feature.
|The Pros and Cons of Fan Space Heaters|
|Cheap to purchase||Coils don’t retain heat after turning off|
|Small and compact||Rely on electricity only as fuel|
|Light in weight||Heats only a small area|
|Safe to touch housing|
2. Ceramic Space Heaters
Due to the ceramic plates’ wider surface, heat is easily transferred to the surrounding air. The heater is proven to be very efficient and fast by many homeowners. Further, they are the safest types of space heaters because of their non-conductor housing.
The device comes in two options;
- With fan – the fan blow air therefore faster heating.
- Without fan – air rises naturally for circulation hence delayed heating compare to the first option.
Additionally, the device has regulatory sensors that turn off the power once the ceramic plate’s heat exceeds the set limit. This mechanism reduces fire risks and enhances power efficiency.
|The Pros and Cons of Ceramic Space Heaters|
|Small and compact||Uses only electricity as fuel method|
|Light in weight||It heats a small area|
|Instant heating||Models without fans are slow.|
|Ceramic plates retain heat after turning off|
|Safe to touch housing|
3. Oil Filled Space Heaters
Oil filled space heaters are also known as radiator heaters. They use electricity to heat oil by element. The oil circulates the tubes to distribute heat. On the metal tubes, small fins are attached to absorb heat and transfer it to the surrounding air.
The heaters are fully radiant since they don’t have a fan. However, they have wheels therefore easy to move them around the rooms during use.
|The Pros and Cons of Oil Filled Space Heaters|
|Oils retains heat for extended time after turning off||It heats a limited space|
|Digital thermostat||The housing can get hot|
|It has wheels hence easily moved||It’s heavy|
4. Infrared Space Heaters
The infrared space heaters are electrically powered. They use a radiant mechanism to release electromagnetic waves later converted to heat energy. As such, your room should have objects placed around the heater to have a warm breeze.
The infrared space heaters are available in two options;
- With fan – they circulate hot air faster.
- Without fan – they are slower compared to the first option.
|The Pros and Cons of Infrared Space Heaters|
|Heat transfer is not affected by furniture||Expensive than ceramic heater|
|It retains heat after turning off||Heats on one direction|
|Some types have appealing wood design||Heats a small area|
|Safe to touch housing||Requires objects to efficiently transfer heat|
|Has handles and wheels to move around|
5. Propane Space Heaters
The heaters are liquid propane fuelled; therefore, they aren’t limited to electricity. They are easily portable since no electric cords are plugging into the power outlets.
Propane space heaters are considered the hottest and the cheapest for home use. They work by a radiant mechanism since they emit electromagnetic waves to the nearby object, circulating them as heat.
The propane fuelled devices are available in two options;
- With fan – faster heating.
- Without fan – slower than the first.
|The Pros and Cons of Propane Space Heaters|
|Portable||Prone to explosion|
|Not limited to electricity||Some types are not safe for indoor use|
|Hottest||Some types emit carbon monoxide|
|Cheap to use||The need to refill propane gas|
|Propane is cheaper than electricity|
- Panel Space Heaters
Panel space heaters are turning popular every day because they are the best heaters for bedrooms. They can easily sit on the floor by the support of their stands or easily mounted on the wall. This makes them best for kids’ bedrooms because it isn’t easy to reach them when mounted.
The devices use electricity to heat the coil, which later radiates heat to the surrounding objects. The panel space heaters may not be portable once you mount them on the wall.
On the other hand, they are proven to slow in heating and have fewer controls for the user.
|The Pros and Cons of Panel Space Heaters|
|Modern styling||Less heat|
|Mounted on wall for safety||Fewer controls|
|Firm stands for floor heating||Not all types have fans|
|Easy to use||Once fixed on the wall it’s less portable|
|Reduced fire risks|
Factors to Consider When Purchasing a Space Heater for Your Home
Although it might be the best idea to shift from central heating to space heaters, there are several factors you should first consider. Take a look;
Some space heaters are hotter than the others. In simple, there are space heaters that heat a wide area than others.
Before purchasing your heater, it’s good to analyse and know what you need from the market. For instance, you may choose a hotter space heater with a small room and end up wasting fuel every time you run it. On the other hand, you may choose a less hot space heater for a larger room and suffer cold during winter nights.
- Fuel Cost
Depending on your country, you may find electricity is cheaper than propane or natural gas. In other cases, it may be vice versa.
To save some money, analyse and determine the best space heater for your home in terms of fuel cost.
Although modern technology has equipped nearly all devices with safety; some models have more safety features. You wouldn’t want to burn your home or put your kids or pets at fire risk.
Gas-powered heaters are more prone to explosion if mishandled. The same goes for electric-powered heaters with hot elements. They can quickly burn your carpet and sofas if they contact the fabric material.
Some heaters produce heat faster than others. Secondly, some fuel refilling stations are far more located than others. It’s essential to consider reliability since you wouldn’t want to spend your winter night shivering.
Some space heaters are more efficient than others. You would like to keep your room warm during winter and still save some money.
Radiant space heaters, for example, can retain heat for long after being turned off. As such, it’s good to choose them if you intend to save some money over the winter.
It’s wise to choose the most common and available space heater at your local dealer. By choosing the most common, you’re sure of getting a repair specialist or spares if the heater fails.
Secondly, if your local dealer stocks the space heaters, there is a possibility of refilling stations nearby if you purchase a gas-fuelled device.
FAQs on Space Heaters
What Type of Heater is best for Indoors?
Radiant space heaters are the best option for indoor heating. However, they are suitable for outdoor heating too. They are usually recommended for indoor heating because they don’t require insulation. The device’s hot oil or elements are already insulated for heat radiation. This mechanism makes them less fire hazardous.
Which is Better Infrared or Space Heaters?
There are infrared space heaters in the market as well. Infrared space heaters are more efficient than other heaters because they release 100 % of the heat they produce. By releasing all the heat to the zone, rooms are faster heated and reduced fuel costs. Additionally, their heating coils don’t overheat, therefore reducing fire risks.
What’s the Difference Between Ceramic and Infrared Heaters?
Infrared heaters produce thermal energy, which turns to heat once it comes into contact with objects. The objects then transfer heat to each other. On the other hand, ceramic heaters produce heat through a coil which is then transferred to the ceramic plates. The plates heat the surrounding air by convection mechanism, and the air rises to circulate the room.
Do Space Heaters Increase Electric Bill?
Electric space heaters heat faster. Since they run on household electricity, you should be ready for an increased energy bill. More so, if you regularly run them. Especially during winter, your energy bill may be higher than average. However, there are types of space heaters that retain heat for an extended period after you turn them off. They can be the best option if you intend to reduce your energy bills.