Space heaters have evolved over the years to become a complex product with many different variations from which to choose. Forget the different features that are available – there are several different types of space heater designs that force you into making a choice for your home. Make the right choice and you’ll be nice and comfortable, but make the wrong choice…
Let’s avoid that scenario altogether by taking a look at the different types of space heater designs that are available right now so you can make the decision that is right for you.
- Electric Space Heaters
These space heaters are the most portable out of all the different types available today. As long as you have a standard household outlet, you have the ability to generate heat for your home. There are a variety of heat levels available in this category, generating anywhere from 400-1,500 watts of power. This means most of the space heaters in this category are efficient when used in rooms that are 200 square feet or less in size.
- Oil Filled Space Heaters
The benefit of using an oil filled space heater is that you typically receive a “softer” type of heat. This is because there is oil contained within the heater, often built like an older home radiator, so that there is always heat radiating out from the unit. The heated oil also maintains its heat better than other space heater designs, which means it takes less energy to use it over several hours. Most heaters in this category don’t need an oil refill either and have tip-over protections to prevent a mess.
- Ceramic Space Heaters
Ceramic space heaters are about equal in efficiency to other generic electric space heaters. They work on a similar principle to the oil filled heaters, except a ceramic disc is heated instead. The disc maintains the heat and radiates it outward. For a slight hit on the energy efficiency ratings, some heaters in this category come equipped with a fan to blow cool air over the hot ceramic disc to increase room warmth.
- Propane Space Heaters
Most propane space heaters are designed for outdoor or patio use only. There are some portable heaters which are perfect for individual use and only require a 1 pound tank. Others are industrial grade and can produce nearly 100,000 BTUs when hooked up to a permanent fuel source. Because there isn’t electricity involved in creating heat, the advantage of using this heater is that if it’s cold and you have no power, you can still have heat.
- Infrared Space Heaters
This space heater design is based on the natural warmth the sun is able to provide. If you’re within the rays of the sun, you feel warm. If you’re within the line of sight of this heater, you’ll also feel warm. And, just as the sun warms up the whole planet thanks to the infrared spectrum, this type of space heater warms up the entire room over time. The energy efficiencies of this design are similar to other electrical space heaters, with wattage options typically fitting from 750-1,500.
- Kerosene Space Heaters
This type of space heater might just be the most affordable that is available today. Personalized options allow some of these heaters to be used indoors, but you may need to have them mounted on a cart to maintain a safe heat source. Industrial and commercial options are also available for outdoor or warehousing use that can produce over 100,000 BTUs. The advantage of kerosene is that it can be stored for up to 10 years in ideal conditions and still be a viable fuel.
- Baseboard Space Heaters
These space heaters are a low-profile option for rooms or homes that do not have access or benefit from central heating. They are available in multiple lengths, have hydronic options much like an oil filled heater, and require very little maintenance. From an efficiency standpoint, these heaters are equal or slightly better than other electrical space heaters because of their need for a thermostat. Many models in this category will require you to hardwire a thermostat into the controls of the heater during the installation process.
- Wall and Ceiling Mounted Space Heaters
These are the space heaters that are perfect for a single room or large space applications. Many of the best garage space heaters, for example, have a wall or ceiling mount included. By forcing the warm air to the lowest levels of open space, more warmth can be generated because the cold air is displaced and circulated away from everyone in the room. One word of caution: many of the space heaters with this design type are intended for rooms with an 8 foot ceiling. These tend to be a little less energy efficient, but they’re also capable of running for longer periods of time than other space heater designs.
- Fire Pits
This type of outdoor space heater becomes the centerpiece of your backyard. Some are fueled with propane or kerosene, while others may use a 120v or 220/240v outlet in your home. Sit around the fire at night to enjoy the stars or good conversation or just enjoy a nice lunch outside during the colder months if you prefer. Efficiency ratings are less important than warmth radius ratings in this category – look for fire pits that give you a minimum 6 foot radius of heat extension for best results. Some premium models can extend their warmth radius up to 20 feet so you can put a lot of people around the fire for a nice chat.
The different types of space heater design are intended to help each home be able to meet their heating needs as effectively as possible. Choose the design which works for you, search through the best space heater reviews in that category for your preferred appliance, and then ship it directly to your home. In doing so, you won’t have to worry about the dog days of winter any more.