If your home isn't heating as efficiently as it should, but replacing your furnace isn't in the budget this year, a space heater can be a viable alternative. Because there are so many different kinds available, trying to find the right one can seem a little overwhelming, especially when not all of them work in the same fashion. Here are the main types of space heaters on the market today, and which one is right for your situation.
These heaters warm a room slowly, but they can take on large spaces with ease. They are popular because they're low maintenance, and even those that use oil don't need to be refilled. They come with a thermostat so you can control the temperature, and some of them come with timers, too. Setting a timer simply allows you to program the unit to turn on right before getting home.
Although some models have a fan to push warm air out, they are still incredibly quiet heaters. They do, however, get hot on the surface, so they may not be ideal for use around pets or small children.
Prime locations: large basement, living room, bedroom, any room without children or pets. Convection heaters are not ideal for rooms with high ceilings, as the heat can be lost when it rises.
Forced Fan Heaters
These use a heating coil and a fan to blow the warm air out. They come in different shapes and sizes, as well as with a variety of features to suit your needs and budget. Small, inexpensive models will warm your office or small bedroom quickly, whereas the larger ones will tackle great rooms, basements, and living rooms without trouble.
They tend to stay cool to the touch, so they're safe for use around animals and kids, but they do make noise since the fan is what distributes the heat. When shopping for ceramic fan heaters, you can look for the following add-ons:
- Oscillation—fan heaters can either be stationary (perfect for warming your feet as you sit on the couch) or they can oscillate, dispersing warm air around the room more efficiently.
- Timed Control—if you wish to set a timer for your space heater so that it turns off after a specified period of time, you should get a unit with a timer.
- Thermostat—pretty self-explanatory; space heaters with thermostats give you greater control over the temperature of the room.
- Remote control—if you're feeling cold but don't want to get up, you can turn the unit on with your remote control. If the heater comes with other features, you can also adjust the temp, turn the oscillation on or off, and raise or lower the fan speed.
- Fan speed—most fan heaters allow you to set the speed to either low or high.
Prime locations: bedroom, office, living room.
These offer immediate heat and warm up quickly, making them ideal for spot heating. Radiant heaters warm up a space in the same way the sun does: by emitting infrared heat. So they don't actually warm the air, but rather objects that are close by.
They're extremely efficient and don't cost a lot of money to run. They're also incredibly quiet, making them a good choice for entertainment rooms, bedrooms, or anywhere silence is key. They do provide a soft, orange glow, though, so people who are sensitive to light may not want them on when trying to sleep.
Infrared heaters have gained popularity over the years with restaurants, as they are often used for heat in outdoor seating areas.
Prime locations: Office, small bedroom (if the light doesn't bother you). Also good in rooms with high cathedral ceilings since they warm the objects close by, not the surrounding air.
These space heaters use a combination of convection and radiant heat to warm up your space. They're silent and do not give off any light whatsoever. They do not come with fans, so they use the air's circulation in the room to distribute heat. And although they use convection heat, they come with a protective grill over the hot surface, making them a fine choice for those with pets and small children.
Micathermic heaters can warm up a large room, and they are highly economical, making them a great space heater for almost any room and any family. Some of them can even be mounted on a wall, offering you a space-saving space heater.
Prime locations: any room in your house, large or small.
For a more permanent solution to your heating problems, contact a furnace installation company in your area.