When the weather turns and it becomes chillier, turning the heating on is usually a last resort. Until then, you may want to consider using an electric space heater. They’re the perfect quick-heating addition to your home that’ll save you money because they’re perfect for single room heating. Today we’re looking at a few of the best electric space heaters on the market and everything you need to consider before you invest.
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Types of Indoor Electric Space Heaters
First of all, it’s important to note the different types of space heaters that you could consider. There are four types of electric space heaters to choose from: a convection heater, a radiant heater, a fan-forced heater, and a micathermic heater.
Convection heaters are great for that evenly spread, whole room heating, for those of you who feel the chill immediately and need instant warmth, whereas radiant heaters are better for spot heating certain areas of a room. Fan-forced heaters use a fan to intermittently blow warm air through a room, stopping once the optimal temperature has been reached, and finally, micathermic heaters are space saving heaters that provide rapid heat output for whole room satisfaction.
Did you know that in 2011, heating equipment including space heaters accounted for 14% of house fires in the United States. Luckily, since then, the safety measures have been increased and space heaters are considered much safer.
Finding the Right Indoor Electric Space Heater
To find the best indoor electric space heater, you’ll need to consider a few things – namely the heating capacity that your space heater has, and how energy efficient it is. This will help you work out what size heater you’ll need, and how much it’ll cost you roughly per month.
Obviously, the easiest way to find out how much power a space heater has is to judge it by its size. However, there are other ways of working out how much power a space heater has.
For example, check the heater’s wattage rating to discover exactly how much power it has. As a general rule of thumb, you can assume that 10 Watts of power will adequately heat one square foot of space. By that ruling, a space heater that has a power of 200 Watts can heat up a 2,000 sq ft room easily.
Of course, although this is a general rule, this power may differ based on the make and model you choose, so always take a closer look to get the right wattage to heating capacity.
Energy efficiency goes hand in hand with the heating capacity – the higher the wattage and power outage of your space heater, the more it’s likely to cost.
Because of this, it’s important to only pick a heater with the wattage to heat up your room’s size. Buying a space heater that has too much wattage for your room’s size will end up in your energy bills going through the roof and costing you more than it needs to.
If you’re still a little confused, you can look for specific extra functions to help keep your power output as low as possible, saving you money along the way. Certain functions such as programmable timers, energy saving mode, and even adjustable thermostats will make your space heater more energy efficient.
Electric Space Heater Features
If you’re looking for the perfect temperature, you may want to invest in a space heater that offers a thermostat. That way you can choose exactly how cozy you want your room to be.
Nowadays, electric space heaters come with a wide range of features to give you plenty of control, to keep you as comfortable as possible and to ensure your safety.
First of all, for maneuverability, most space heaters are equipped with castor wheels and/or easy grip handles. This makes it super quick and easy to transport them from room to room, making your life much simpler.
If you’re hoping to make your room toasty before you’ve even entered it, you could invest in a space heater with an added timer function, which allows you to choose when it turns on and off without having to be in the room. This is a great extra for those chillier days when rooms can feel damp with cold. This will not only help you feel more snug more quickly, but it could even help to battle the chills that could lead to a cold or the flu.
If you’re not looking for a unit with a timer, but you still want a little bit of control without having to get up every time you want to change a function, you could buy a space heater with a remote control. That way, you can turn it on and off, and even adjust the temperature without having to move from your seat.
Then there’s tip-over protection switch, a safety function that automatically switches the heater off should it be tipped over. While it’s uncommon that this will occur (space heaters are hard to tip over), this added safety benefit is perfect for homes with pets and children who are the most likely to have accidents.
Caution: never leave children or pets unattended with your electric space heater. Create a child-free no-go zone if you can to avoid accidental burns or your heater being knocked over.
Another incredible safety feature that you’ll find on every electric space heater is an Overheat Protection Switch. This is another great feature that’ll stop your heater from overheating and becoming a safety hazard. Once it reaches a certain temperature, it’ll simply turn itself off – great for if you’ve left the heater on and then left the room.
Many space heaters nowadays come with a cool-to-the-touch outer shell, which means you’re less likely to burn yourself should you accidentally try to move the heater while it’s switched on. This is another great safety feature for pets and children who may touch or bump into it accidentally too.
Factors to Consider when Choosing an Electric Space Heater
It’s important to consider the noise pollution that your chosen space heater may omit once it’s turned on. This varies from one model and make to another, so do your research if it’s something that’s likely to bother you.
As another general rule of thumb, you should be aware that fan heaters are much noisier than their fan-less alternatives, although some of the more recent fan models to come with a whisper setting that makes them much quieter than their older counterparts.
For your safety, do not use extension cords with your electric space heater. They can become easily overloaded which can cause a fire hazard.
Electric Space Heater FAQ
A few common questions about electric space heaters:
Q: How can I make sure I’m using my space heater correctly and safely?
A: Space heaters are a lot safer than they used to be. However, it’s good practice to follow safety guidelines to ensure nothing goes wrong. Firstly, keep the space around your heater free from any clutter. It’s best to give your heater a wide berth, and not let it get caught against anything that could melt or break if it gets too hot.
Secondly, use your space heater on a flat surface, and never on an uneven one. This will prevent it from tipping over and breaking, or harming someone who happens to be in the way. Finally, always unplug your heater after use to make sure it isn’t left switched on, and can fully cool down.
Q: Will my electric space heater warm the whole house?
A: No, space heaters are only a temporary source of heat that can heat up a certain amount of room at a time (see the heating capacity and energy efficiency section of this buying guide for more information). Unfortunately, you won’t be able to heat your entire home with your space heater.
Q: Why does my space heater smell like it’s burning?
A: When you first bring home your space heater, it’s likely to give off a burning smell. This is normal and happens with every heater the first few times it’s used. If you’ve had your heater for a while, you may smell burning once every so often – but there’s no need to worry – it’s just burning off dust that’s settled on it over time.
Q: How expensive is an electric space heater likely to be?
A: Prices of these heaters range greatly, and it depends a lot on whether you buy a basic model with an off/on switch, or go for one that has numerous extra functions. You could pay anywhere between $10 and $2,000 for your unit though, so always pick carefully.