Space Heater Buyer’s Guide

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Space Heater Buyer’s Guide

Staff Writer · Jul 27, 2010

Space heaters can be a great way to heat up a room without paying to heat the whole apartment. They provide enough heat to warm up a small room or area in the home. Using a space heater is a great idea if you ensure that you are using a safe one and following safety recommendations.There are several types of space heaters to choose from. Inform yourself about the differences between them and the pros and cons of the different styles.

Different Types of Space Heaters

  • Electric space heaters use electricity to heat the coils that run through them and become hot very fast. Most electric heaters have a fan to circulate the air. Electric space heaters are generally not safe for children because they get so hot on the outside.
  • Ceramic heaters have ceramic plates inside them instead of coils. They are more energy efficient than electric space heaters and the outside remains cool making them safer to have with children around.
  • Heater fans do not provide enough heat for a room, only for a very small area. They also use a coil and fan and usually have a feature to turn the heat off and use as the fan by itself.
  • Oil filled radiant heaters are permanently filled with oil and take a little longer to heat up, but give off steady heat.
  • Gas or kerosene heaters have the benefit of working if you lose power because they do not run on electricity. Although they are considered space heaters, they are not usually recommended for use in an enclosed area with no ventilation.

Safety features

Safety features should be the top priority when picking out a space heater. Certain heaters should not be used with small children around who may touch it and get burned. Check for a feature that comes on most electric space heaters that causes it to automatically shut off if it is tipped over. This will prevent the heater from causing a fire in the apartment. Also, check to see if the model you choose does not have exposed coils, they should be covered.

Convenience Features

Look for features to make using your space heater as convenient as possible. A thermostat on the space heater is a great convenience feature. Thermostats prevent you from having to turn the heater off and on as the room gets warm or cold, it will turn on and off automatically based on the setting. Watch for a heater with several settings on it like low, medium and high. A heater with just on and off may be cheaper but can be a real hassle if you have to get up and down all the time. Quiet space heaters are much more convenient than louder models.

Watching television or even having a conversation can be difficult if the space heater is extremely loud. Another great convenience feature is to have a space heater that oscillates. This is especially important if you want to heat a room full of people, instead of it blowing on just one person.

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