As the cold weather keeps coming, the demand for space heaters keeps increasing.
We all enjoy the winter, but when it’s time to snuggle in without spending too much, what do we do? That’s why we have space heaters.
This article will provide guidelines on how to buy the best space heater for office and small space which meets your requirements.
There is no better feeling than knowing that those you love are safe and comfortable, and that is something you can provide for them when you buy an electric heater.
Space heaters are portable heating appliances used to warm or heat up small areas of your office or home.
It basically heats a single, small area, unlike central heating which is used to heat the whole house by connecting all parts together.
A central heating system might not actually solve the problem of cold in winter, and so a space heater can act as a compliment to it and just heat up the coldest corner of the largest room in the house.
The demand for space heaters is owed primarily to the convenience it provides and the cost-effectiveness as a space heater cost between $50-$500.
Some of them have handles that can be useful in carrying about to different rooms or in the cases of guests that also need warming up.
Some are big, or portable, while some have fans, remotes or even timers.
They are powered by burnable fuel like natural gas, propane, fuel oil, and wood pellets or just good old electricity.
How To Purchase Best Space Heater For Your Office Desk?
Getting yourself a space heater is not something you do out of the blue, instead, you do the proper research and be sure of what you are looking for before buying anything.
They come in different sizes, styles, and types; and this adds to the convenience that it brings.
Because of the supposed complexity of space heaters, a lot of people can make mistakes when purchasing one and that is the main reason for this guide.
1.Editor’s Pick: The Vornado VH200
This model, Vornado VH200 has a whole room vortex heat circulation, three heat settings, energy saver and a five-year warranty.
The heater has a thermostatic temperature control knob that can be used to set your desired heat with just a turn of the knob.
It gives out a steady current of heat that envelops the office desk, unlike other heaters which create uncomfortable hot air around the heater.
The Vornado VH200 has managed to overtake the competition when it comes to the speed at which it is able to increase the temperature and heat up a small area in office.
The VH200 is one of the safest space heaters because it features an automatic tip overkill switch, which switches the heater off once the temperature reaches a certain point.
This feature is useful in cases of emergencies such as sleeping off while the heater is on or simply just forgetting it while it’s on as leaving the heater on is harmful generally.
It also has an overheat protection, which as the name implies, prevents the space heater from overheating and causing damage. No one wants an overheating heater!
The Vornado VH200 is also quieter than most ceramic space heaters and the only thing you hear is a soft whirling sound instead of the high sound resembling that of a hair dryer. This is more classy than other space heaters and the style is definitely sleek.
The VH200 ranges between $60-$80 which is a very reasonable price range for a heater that has so many benefits. It is lightweight and compact too.
- It’s quiet and does not cause any ruckus or interrupt your sleep if the case may be,
- It has an automatic tip-over switch,
- It also features a plastic casing that stays cool to the touch in spite of the heat that it provides,
- It protects itself from overheating,
- It’s very fast in increasing the temperature of a small space,
- It heats up the office desk evenly,
- It is cost effective;
- The design is sleek and classy, and the size is portable and convenient,
- In spite of the complaints, the company fixes the problems quickly.
- It is expensive and unaffordable for some people.
2.Also Reliable: The Vornado MVH Whole Room Vortex Heater
Just like the VH200, the MVH also has a thermostatic knob to control your desired temperature and also has a whole room vortex.
This model is a lot like the VH200, seeing as they are both made from the same company, but the VH200 is number one simply because the casing is cooler to touch than that of the MVH.
They also have different colors, as the VH200 is white, the MVH is black. Apart from this, they are very much alike in features and properties.
The MVH is a bit slower in heating up a room too, although the difference between it and the VH200 can be overlooked.
The price is averagely set at $60 and if you’re looking for how to chose and purchase affordable and reliable space heater, the MVH is your best pick. The VH200 and MVH clearly exceeded the performance of other Vornado models and that’s why they’re at the top.
- It is affordable to acquire, yet offers almost the same as the VH200,
- It heats up the room fast enough
- It also has an automatic kill switch,
- It relatively quiet too,
- It also prevents itself from overheating.
- It is not as fast as the VH200,
- The casing is not cool to the touch and can be harmful to the skin. Therefore, it must not be carried immediately after it was turned off.
3.Cheap But Still Reliable: The Lasko 754200 Ceramic Portable Space Heater
This space heater model is effective and can last for years. It is one of the cheapest space heaters you can find out there.
It’s a fan heater, and it warms up faster than other fan heaters.
It is also very light to carry and comes in a small size. For its small size and cheap price, Lasko is very effective in providing a focused stream of heat.
The thing about the Lasko is that the hot air it provides only reaches what is right in front of it. Unlike the Vornado models, Lasko doesn’t evenly distribute heat into the room but only blows straight on.
Because of these features, the Lasko space heater is a better fit in small rooms and office desks rather than large and spacious rooms.
When used in a small bedroom, study room or office, the Lasko space heater manages to heat up the whole room after a while. It also features overheating protection which is a bonus because of the price.
The price of the Lasko space heater is averagely at $20 and it has a three-year warranty.
It comes with an adjustable thermostat and a fan, but does not have a remote, a timer and does not oscillate/spin around. It comes in silver and black.
- It’s cheap and still does it’s work well
- It protects itself from overheating,
- It is portable and can be easily carried around,
- It is perfect for small places,
- It usually has positive owner reviews.
- It’s slow and doesn’t evenly distribute heat,
- It isn’t convenient to be used in small rooms pr office desk space.
- It doesn’t have an automatic kill switch and must be watched regularly so that it won’t exceed the normal temperature,
- It does not have a plastic protective casing against the skin,
- It does not have a remote or a timer which reduces the level of convenience,
- It’s usually not the best-looking option.
4.Good-Looking But Reliable: The Honeywell UberHeat Ceramic Heater HCE200W
This model isn’t as strong or cheap as the Lasko, but it’s good looking- that ought to count for something.
Apart from its attractive design, it can’t warm up a larger room like the Vornado VH200, but it does almost better than the Lasko.
It also has better safety tendencies than the Lasko, primarily because it has the automatic kill switch.
One thing though; the Honeywell is one of the loudest space heaters. It sounds as loud as a hairdryer.
But apart from these, it is one of the most attractive models made, which is an improvement since the design isn’t a priority in most space heater companies.
The Honeywell costs between $25 to $40 and it has a three-year warranty. It has an adjustable thermostat, and just like the Lasko, it doesn’t have a remote control, a timer or an oscillatory feature.
It also doesn’t have a fan and comes in colors white and black.
- It’s attractive to look at,
- It’s affordable and worth the price,
- It usually has positive reviews
- It is safe as it possesses the automatic kill switch feature,
- It is useful in small rooms or office.
- It’s loud and can prove to be distracting or disruptive,
- It’s not as strong and cannot be used in smaller rooms
- It’s not very portable,
- It does not have oscillatory features which restrict it from even distribution of heat,
- It doesn’t have a casing to protect the skin if it touches the heater.
5.Slow But Sturdy: DeLonghi TRD40615T
The TRD40615T is an oil filled radiator and consequently, it is silent and slow.
It’s the best oil filled radiator because its sturdy, effective and the exterior is cool to the touch. Although it isn’t a ceramic model, and so it can’t spread heat quickly using its fans, this is to its advantage as it holds heat longer and this makes it more efficient.
The metal construction also makes it more self-standing than other plastic cased space heaters.
It’s also more attractive than any other oil filled radiator. The price ranges from $85-$100 and it has a one-year warranty.
It does not have a fan, remote, timer or oscillatory feature. It only shuts off automatically in cases of over-heating and it has an adjustable thermostat. It only comes in color white.
- It is durable and sturdy,
- It is silent,
- The exterior is safe to touch,
- It lasts longer,
- It spreads heat evenly.
- It is expensive,
- It is also hard to manage as it operates on oil as well as electricity,
- It is slow in heating up a room.
6.Expensive and Worth Every Penny: The Dyson AM09 Fan Heater
This is a superb fan heater, sleekly designed, easy to use and very versatile. Although the benefits come with a steep price tag.
The temperature ranges from thirty-three to ninety-nine degrees and the thermostat is adjustable.
It also comes with a remote, automatically shuts off in case of overheating and has a timer.
It also spins around, which allows it to evenly distribute hot air into the room.
It comes in different colors and this is part of what makes it attractive. It also comes in colors black and silver; nickel and blue; white and silver; and nickel and copper.
- It is powerful and evenly heats up a room. It also has cooling features,
- It is very attractive,
- It also has the necessary safety measures in place for situations such as over-heating.
- It is very costly and expensive. It ranges between $500-$700,
- It is very noisy and can prove to be very disturbing,
- It does not work without the remote. This can be useful but if it gets lost, you would find yourself in a dilemma.
7.Long Lasting and Safe: The Vornado VH10 Vortex Heater
This model has an enhanced and improved design that can maintain balanced room temperature.
Even with the hot air that it exerts into the room, the plastic casing like that of the Vornado VH200 keeps the heater cool to touch.
It also uses a tuned airflow which allows the hot air to circulate throughout the entire room using walls and ceilings as pathways. The heat is also warm and gentle.
It has two heat settings and a dial used to control and select the temperature you prefer, either the low temperature which is as low as 750W or the high temperature in which the limit is 1500W.
It also saves energy because it only heats the room it is in and decreases the temperature in other rooms.
It has an adjustable thermostat, but no fan, remote control, timer or oscillatory functions. It also has the automatic shut off feature in case of over-heating and a five-year warranty! It only comes in the color black.
- It is powerful and distributes heat evenly,
- It is cool to touch on the exterior in spite of the heat it emits,
- It automatically turns off in case of overheating,
- It is affordable,
- It has tip-off protection.
- It does not have oscillatory functions,
- It is basically the same price as the Vornado VH200 but provides lesser services.
8.All In One: The Lasko 751320 Ceramic Tower Heater
This space heater model has three temperature settings: high heat, low heat, and auto; and it is quiet.
It comes with a built-in handle and it’s very compact and portable.
It is also housed in such a way that it is cool to the touch even when it emits heat. It can easily be moved from room to room.
It has an adjustable thermostat, a remote control, a seven hours timer and a widespread oscillatory feature which helps in distributing heat through the room evenly.
It does not have a fan though but it also automatically shuts down when there is a case of over-heating. It has a five-year warranty and only comes in the black.
- It is portable and easy to carry around,
- It comes with remote control and a timer which allows for convenient use,
- It is durable and lasts longer,
- It protects itself from over-heating,
- The casing protects anyone who touches it and allows for easy moving around,
- Can be used in small rooms.
- It does not have a fan and as such, would not save energy,
- It cannot work without the remote control.
9.Hot and Affordable: The Fitfirst 950W PTC Ceramic Space Heater
The Fitfirst heater claims that it can heat up a room in just two seconds! It has a 90degree auto-oscillating feature which disperses heat evenly into the room.
The heater is portable and can be moved from one room to another and it is strong enough to heat up a small room.
It has three wind speeds: natural wind, low heat mode, and high heat mode.
This space heater is also flame resistant, which drastically reduces the risk of an actual fire.
Hot right? It also has a tip over protection which shuts it off when it is tilted, and over-heating protection which protects the heater against over-heating.
It also has a filter which keeps dust out of the fan while it’s in use. The price range is between $40-$60.
- It is flame resistant,
- It has an impressive oscillating feature,
- It has the necessary tip over and over-heating protection,
- It also keeps dust out of the fan and allows for easy cleaning.
- It is only effective for small rooms or spaces,
- It is not fast in heating up a room.
10.Warm and Toasty: The Vornado VMH300N Whole Room Metal Heater
This space heater model uses an intense air circulation that emits a gentle heat that spreads through the room.
It has two temperature modes, the high and the low; and it works best in spaces between 100 and 300 square feet.
It only works effectively when keeping a small part of the room, or your personal space in office, warm and dry.
Since it uses air circulation rather than intense heat, the space heater machine does not get hot while it heats the room or small space.
This makes it relatively safe to be used around children. It also has the tip over and over-heating protection features.
Although its larger than some Vornado heaters, it can still be easily moved from room to room as it weighs around ten pounds. The price range is between $85-$100.
- It is relatively safe when children are around,
- It gives out a gentle air rather than harsh wind thereby warming up the room and not just heating it up,
- It is portable,
- It has the necessary tip over and over-heating protection features.
- It is expensive and does not provide as much as the VH200.
How Space Heaters Work ?
Even after you make the decision to get a space heater, and decide on what you want, there are some things you should know and a lot of things that you have to consider.
Space heaters are usually electric and consume up to 1500 watt depending on the use and make.
The infrared heaters only pass electricity into a conductive wire and heat up the area around it. It does not heat the air, but instead, it heats up different things in your room like your bed, clothes, even your skin.
Infrared heaters are usually beneficial to those with sensitive skin. Convection heaters, on the other hand, heat up the air by passing a heating element through a ceramic plate or an electric coil.
This heats up the air surrounding it until it expands across the whole room or workplace. Some of these heaters have a fan that makes the circulation of hot air faster within the room.
Ceramic plates are said to be better in temperature regulating than electric coils.
Ceramic plates also keep the outside of the heater safe for touching.
The convection heaters can end up drying out all the skin of the people in the room and the air, while the infrared is more concentrated but obviously, expensive and energy efficient.
Heats pumps are the same kind used in refrigerators and air conditioners but in the cases of space heaters, they are used in reverse.
Heat pumps are used to move heat from outside a room to inside the room, thereby heating it up.
We also have mica thermic heater which gives out both convection and radiant heat. And of course, the oil filled radiators, although, despite the name, it uses electricity alongside the oil. The electricity heats up the oil and this causes it to emit hot air.
Most space heaters used are powered on by plugging into a power source, mostly a two-prong outlet.
Older models use a three-prong outlet. Even those that are oil filled radiators or natural stone heaters still need to be powered on by electricity.
Space heaters are not exactly a replacement for your central heating system seeing as they only work in bedrooms and small places, but they are a pleasant and convenient way to add warmth to your room or workplace.
They can only increase the temperature of a room by some degrees depending on the insulation of your room and the outside warmth.
Whatever space heater you choose, as long as it isn’t broken, would not take more than fifteen minutes to reach the temperature that you want or prefer.
What Are You Looking For?
Space heaters are obviously not all the same, and when purchasing a space heater, there are certain features that you should be looking for in order to avoid a regrettable mistake.
The first thing you should consider is the size. Do you want a heater that you can carry around the house, maybe in case there is a guest, or if you’ll need it in another room?
Apart from the portability, the size would also determine the range or distance which the hot air would reach.
Small space heaters would obviously be meant for small rooms or desks in offices, or just to heat up one or two people.
Large ones, on the other hand, would be better used in equally large rooms and would not be carried about as often as the small ones.
A office space heater uses approx 10 watts of heating power in one square foot, therefore, a typical 1,500-watt heater will cover a room as large as 150 square feet, although not when used as the core source of heat but rather as a supplementary source.
If you plan on using it for core heating, it would take twice as much time to heat up the whole room.
Some space heaters also shut off automatically, and those are the kinds that you are advised to purchase in respect to your safety.
We never know when we fall asleep with the heater on or forget it in a room while it is on and go out.
The automatic kill switch would turn the heater off once it reaches a certain temperature.
There are also heaters with timers, which are kind of like the automatic kill switch, except you set that yourself. It’s useful when you want to heat up the room for a while, probably when you want to sleep, and it helps you save money.
For safety purposes, get a heater that would shut off in the case of over-heating- these are thermal cut-out switches that alarm you if the heating element is too hot.
The space heater should also have tipped over sensors which detect if the device is upright or not.
If it is not upright, the device would turn off. There are also heaters with air flow sensors which detect if something is blocking the exhaust of the space heater.
These are the safety precautions put in place in some space heaters by the manufacturers. Look out for them when purchasing a space heater.
A heater isn’t complete without a thermostat- trust me. How else are you going to adjust the temperature whenever you want?
The thermostat allows you to set the space heater to your desired temperature and as long as the heater is on, it would maintain that temperature.
It’s more convenient when your space heater comes with a remote to operate the thermostat. It’s much easier to warm up yourself while lying comfortably in your bed or sitting in your office chair.
You also have to look out for the space heater with the longest power cord. Why does this matter?
The power cord allows for flexibility when making up your mind on where exactly to place the heater.
The most convenient place might be a little too far from the socket, but a long power cord would fix that problem as its not advisable to use an extension cord.
You obviously want a quiet space heater, as no one wants to try sleeping while hearing a humming sound or do your work when your space heater sounds like a hairdryer.
You must consider if you’re able to manage a noisy environment with your space heater as it is generally tough to sleep or work in a noisy environment.
Before you buy your space heater, check if it’s the silent kind and if there are any noise complaints about it.
Read your instruction manual before operating the space heater; yes, that small book that you’re usually ready to throw to the side.
Every space heater is different and there are safety advice and instructions that the company would want you to be aware of.
You can purchase the space heater that has a fan so that when you turn off the heater, you can still leave the fan on.
This also saves energy and money. There are fancy models that even come with an electronic display, although this might not appeal to you when you’re about to sleep at night.
You would have to find a way to cover it up.
One last thing, you can look for a space heater with a handle. This would be useful when summer comes and heats you up itself, or when you have a guest who also needs it.
There are a lot of things to consider when getting a space heater, and this is to help you make the right choice.
Safety Tips To Operate Space Heater
Space heaters are responsible for around forty percent of home heating fires and eighty-five percent of related deaths according to the National Fire Protection Association.
Approximately 6,000 hospital emergency department visits are caused in the United States per year by space heaters, and most of these accidents are caused by touching the hurt surface of a heater.
This is not to discourage or prevent you from purchasing them because most of these accidents can be easily avoided and they only happen because most people don’t know how to use them well.
The NFPA recommends that anyone using a space heater should not keep anything that can burn three feet away from the space heater and they also remind users to turn it off whenever they leave the room and to not use it overnight.
Space heaters are created to be safe, but they won’t be if they aren’t used in the way that they should be used.
Accidents happen when people don’t use them in the right way, or safely, or when they buy a space heater that hasn’t been verified by a product safety organization like the UL or ETL label in the United States, or the CSA or ULC label in Canada.
Any space heater that doesn’t have a verification label isn’t safe for use and so you shouldn’t buy them.
You should also buy space heaters with the automatic shut kill switch, and as mentioned earlier, read the safety instructions.
Place your heater away from anything flammable in your room or office, like the clothing, bedding or furniture.
At least three feet away would do the trick. Do not use an extension cord- this is one main cause of fires.
Instead, inspect your space heater cord for cracks or damage before you use it, and plug it directly into the wall outlet or you can plug it into a heavy-duty cord of 14-gauge wire or larger.
Any other improper extension would definitely cause a fire. If your plug or cord is damaged, replace it before using the space heater again.
Keep your heater away from water, obviously, so you can avoid electric shocks.
Don’t put it in a place where something like the curtains could hit it, or someone like your kids or your pet.
Also, don’t put anything on the heater, and wipe if often to remove any dust. Also, do not use your heater near flammable materials like paint or gasoline.
Electric space heaters do not cause any form of carbon monoxide poisoning, so you don’t have to worry.
Electric space heaters don’t burn any fuels and carbon monoxide poisoning is only caused by machines that burn fuel.
If you’re using another type of space heater, smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors should be installed nearby.
Also, don’t ever leave a space heater unattended in any room; turn it off once there are no adults in the room.
If you have children or pets, this is mostly for you because you never know when they touch it, put something on it or knock it over.
Whenever you’re not in the room, the heater should be off. Keep your children or pets at least three feet away from the heater.
Do not even think about letting your space heater run all night while you sleep. Even though most of them can protect themselves from overheating, by shutting off, you still shouldn’t sleep off while it’s on.
You’re unconscious when you’re sleeping and that’s basically leaving it unattended.
If something bad happens, like a fire, especially if you have older wiring in your home that can even cause the walls to catch fire, you would have to wake up before you can take care of the fire. And if you’re a deep sleeper…
For safety purposes, warm up your room before going to bed. If you have a space heater with a timer feature, that’s even better. If you don’t, turn off the heater once you’re about to sleep.
Apart from causing a fire and all those terrible things, keeping your space heater on through the night isn’t healthy for your sleep.
For our bodies to rest, it needs a colder temperature- this signals our brain that its time to sleep. If you have the heater on, it keeps your body awake and alert.
No specific type of space heater is particularly safer than the other, but to reduce the risk of accidents, the temperature should be reduced.
Money and Energy
One thing you might be worried about is the effect a space heater would have on your electric bill.
You don’t want to spend money on something cost-effective only for you to spend way more than you planned.
It all depends on how many you’re using. If you’re living somewhere cold and you need a heater in all rooms, you should just install a central heating system.
But if you’re in a warmer climate, then you don’t need so much. You can always just heat up your bedroom before you go to bed.
To avoid a case of your electricity bill shooting off the ceiling, it is imperative to choose the right space heater for your space, room or environment.
You can also use special features like energy saving modes, adjustable thermostats, programmable timers, and low wattage to help you minimize energy and at the same time, save your money.
If you’re worried about saving energy, space heaters are marketed as energy efficient. As they help you save money, they also help you save energy.
This still depends on the size you are buying. Traditionally, the bigger the size, the more energy it consumes and the smaller the size, the less it consumes.
You have to think deep and choose the right size, especially if you have a sleeping partner.
Space heaters should be placed on a flat surface and far away from anything flammable.
This is why you’re advised to get a heater with a longer power cord, around seventy inches long.
Different Types of Space Heaters For Office Use?
Each space heater is unique in terms of control flexibility, installation and follow-up maintenance, durability, response speed (some heaters take time to kick into gear, whilst others get working within seconds), the fuels required to operate them, and the carbon footprint they leave on the surrounding environment.
The system of space heating itself can be divided into two major categories:
- Direct heating
- Indirect heating
Direct heating space heaters utilize fuel to be converted into thermal energy to heat up space.
This is applicable towards convective heaters, gas radiant heaters, open coal fires, and most electric-based heaters. Indirect heating space heaters convert fuel energy into thermal energy in a fixed position.
The heat is then radiated throughout a building and is emitted in the surrounding space.
Space heaters that use this form of heating include radiator-based heaters which use either boiling hot water or heated air particles via convection.
What is a Kerosene Heater?
A kerosene heater is also typically known as a paraffin heater. In some international countries such as Japan and Korea, people primarily use this method of heating to warm up their households during the cold season.
However, in Australia and North America, kerosene heaters are merely used as a secondary heating device during power outages after a storm.
How Does a Kerosene Heater Work?
A kerosene heater functions in the same way a kerosene lamp might work. Kerosene is the main source of fuel used in the heater and is highly combustible.
A small, circular wick composed of a mixture of cotton and fiberglass (or wholly fiberglass) is built-into a burner. The entire unit is then fixed above a small tank, also known as a font, which is then filled with kerosene.
Using capillary action, the wick will draw out the kerosene from the font. Once the unit is lit, the wick will then function as a heat source to heat up the kerosene and convert it into the gas via gasification.
As the gas burns, it then heats the surrounding air particles via convective waves or thermal radiation.
The burner integrated into the heater has been designed exclusively to ensure that there is an abundant supply of oxygen to the heater, and flames are distributed evenly throughout the device.
The height of the flame can be adjusted by either lowering or increasing the height of the wick integrated within the burner through either a knob or button.
Just like a small kerosene lamp, the kerosene heater can be switched off by adjusting the wick into a slot located below the burner. This will then extinguish the flame within the heater and turn the device off completely.
How Should I Safely Use a Kerosene Heater?
There are several quick safety tips to adhere to when you use a kerosene heater. Here’s a quick peek at some of them:
- Do not mix your kerosene with gasoline! This is perhaps the most important aspect of owning and using a kerosene heater. Since kerosene is the main fuel source of your heater, you must ensure that only 1-K kerosene is used to heat up your device.
- Mixing up kerosene with gasoline or other solvents under the impression that they provide the same function (eg. acting as fuel) can backfire horribly.
- A kerosene mix usually runs a significantly higher risk of bursting into flame or causing your heater to explode in a fiery conflagration.
- The kerosene you use for your heater must be stored separately from your gasoline containers or cans.
- Avoid using a used can that has housed gasoline previously to store your kerosene.
- Even after thorough washing and drying, gasoline particles tend to linger and adhere to the surface of the insides of the container that once housed it.
- This means that your kerosene will ultimately be mixed with residual gasoline, even if the gasoline is a fraction of the amount of kerosene stored.
- Purchase your kerosene from an established dealer. In certain states in the US, there are certification stickers or programs that promise high-quality 1-K grade kerosene.
- Do not compromise quality for the sake of price or quantity. Other grades of kerosene are also available but do take note that the consumption of these types of kerosene will release harmful air pollutants into your home and the surrounding environment.
- Always refuel your kerosene heater outside the confines of your home.
- The tank should be filled in the yard and a good distance away from any flammable objects.
- The refueling process should only be conducted once the heater has had a significant time to cool down.
- Refueling a ‘hot’ heater or over-filling the tank runs the risk of fire and explosion. You may endure serious burns should this happen.
- Ensure that the heater is well-maintained at all times. Wipe up any spillage of kerosene sliding down the sides of the heater when the device is turned off, and use a damp cloth to do so.
- Operate the heater according to the manual or booklet provided with your device. If a flare-up occurs, do not try to move or touch the heater.
- Instead, focus on manually turning the device off using the shut-off knob or switch. If the fire surges out of control, evacuate your home and contact the fire department immediately.
- Always position the heater away from flammable materials such as curtains or carpeting, and even furniture.
- Keep the heater in an isolated corner of the room, preferably against the wall, and monitor the heater when you have small children or pets running around and playing about.
- Remember to switch off the heater when you’re leaving the room, and never keep the heater on throughout the night.
- Since kerosene heaters continuously have a burning flame running through the heater, do not use any aerosol sprays such as hair sprays or even anti-pest sprays anywhere near the heater because this might trigger an explosion inside your home.
- Always keep a window partially cracked open to improving the air circulation inside your home.
- When kerosene heaters burn, they release several gas byproducts including carbon monoxide and sulfur dioxide.
- Both these gases present a severe health risk during prolonged exposure.
- You may use an air purifier alongside your heater to improve the air quality inside your house, but it is advisable to let a natural breeze slip in every now and then.
What Are The Safety Hazards of Using a Kerosene Space Heater?
There are several notable hazards when using a kerosene heater as listed below:
All heating devices present a fire hazard, and a kerosene heater is not exempt from this rule.
Since the heater itself has raw fuel being burnt in it, it can cause a fire or explosion if the kerosene leaks out of the heater or spills onto the flooring and comes into contact with combustible materials such as cloth and wood.
Therefore, it is important to ensure that your kerosene heater does not tip over while it is being operated, and there are no traces of kerosene running down the exterior of the heater’s tough casing.
Gas Heater Safety Tips
The final most commonly utilized space heater in households is the gas heater.
Before we conduct an in-depth exploration of how to safely use your gas heater, let’s discover how this space heater works, shall we?
What is A Gas Heater?
Also dubbed as a ‘home furnace’, a gas heater is a type of space heater that utilizes the combustion of natural gasses such as propane and butane to provide warmth in a room or designated outdoor area such as a camping tent.
All gas heaters fall into two major categories:
Fluid heaters require permanent installation in a home or office building. A flue is basically a duct whereby gas byproducts or smoke travel through via convection.
If the flue is installed correctly with the appropriate height to provide circulation, it should be able to extract and reduce most of the gases emitted from the heater.
If installed and maintained correctly, a flued gas heater is extremely safe to use in a building with confined or limited space.
Non-flued heaters, also known as unvented heaters, can be either portable or permanently installed.
This space heater can be unsafe if installed incorrectly or not maintained regularly.
All non-flued heaters must be ventilated thoroughly and switched off before leaving an area or before you go to sleep.
The main byproducts emitted by a non-flued heater include carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, and moisture.
How Should I Safely Use a Gas Heater?
Do take note of these quick tips when you operate your gas heater:
- Proper installation and maintenance are the main keys to keeping a gas heater functioning at optimal capacity without risking a fire or your health and safety.
- Dust, hair, and detritus can easily build up and clog the vents of the gas heater, thus preventing it from working properly.
- Always ensure the vents are clean and free of any clogs or debris. Contact a licensed gas serviceman to routinely check out the vents for any damages or build-ups in the flue.
- Quality control is extremely important. When purchasing your gas heater, hire a licensed professional to install it in your home or office tower.
- Ensure they have the proper certification to handle the work required, and always refer to the instructions outlined in the manual when in doubt.
- Make sure there is adequate ventilation throughout your home or office. Heater emissions need to be exchanged for fresh air to ensure the air circulation and air quality in your home is top notch.
- Most of the gas heater emissions can be poisonous if they are left to build up in an enclosed space over a period of time.
- Do not run any exhaust fans if you are using a non-flued or unvented gas heater. Unlike flued heaters, non-flued gas heaters produce copious amounts of carbon monoxide.
- This gas can very easily slip back into your household as the gas particles are pushed around by the exhaust fan.
- Position the gas heater away from anything that has the potential to develop into a fire hazard.
- This goes for combustible materials or highly flammable objects such as fabric found in curtains, bedding, and carpeting.
- Make sure there is a safety radius of at least one meter or three feet away between the gas heater and an object.
- Place your gas heater in a location which is not easily reached by a child or a pet. Unlike adults, children or animals have a tendency to accidentally touch a gas heater while it is operational, mostly out of curiosity. This could result in severe and painful burns.
- Do not use any aerosol sprays such as hair sprays or anti-pest sprays, or cleaning liquids such as window and floor cleaners anywhere near the gas heater.
- All these sprays and liquids are highly combustible and might trigger a fire or even a small explosion when they come into contact with your heater.
What Are The Safety Hazards of Using a Gas Heater?
Operating a gas heater can present several different hazards such as:
Both flued and non-flued gas heaters can pose a fire hazard if used incorrectly.
The gas byproducts can become highly combustible once they are in contact with flammable material, with the added heat from the heater serving as a catalyst.
It is therefore recommended that you choose the position of your heater carefully.
In the case of non-flued heaters which are sometimes portable, you would need to isolate the heater away from any material, liquids or sprays that can trigger a fire.
Although the chances of a gas heater exploding on you are significantly lesser than using a kerosene heater, gas heaters should not be used overnight, especially when you’re asleep.
They should also not be left unattended, especially when you’re leaving a non-flued heater in your tent or caravan.
The amount of air contaminants emitted by a gas heater is extremely high compared to other space heaters.
Not only will leaving them on for a prolonged period pollute the environment, but you also run the risk of one of your young ones touching the heater while you’re gone.
Thus, each type of space heater definitely has its share of benefits as well as risks.
If installed, utilized and maintained properly, the chances of you encountering any of the health risks or safety hazards is significantly lessened.
Therefore, it is highly advisable you follow the safety tips and tricks listed above.
After all, it isn’t worth gambling your life or the lives of your loved ones over just a few hours of warmth and comfort.
How to Troubleshoot & Fix an Electric Space Heater?
Like every other electrical machine, an electric space heater comes up with its own set of challenges that can be tough to deal with.
But knowing some of the common issues with them and how to fix them can be more fun, rather than a menace.
But before we dive into how to troubleshoot an electric space heater, let’s understand what it is and some of the most common problems that we face handling it.
An electric space heater is one of the most common heaters available in households today.
It’s small and snug and provides great value in terms of efficiency and effectiveness as a personal heater in your room.
While it’s suitable for a small to a medium sized room, it might not be as efficient when it comes to dealing with large sized bedrooms.
It is also prone to get damaged and may require repairing if it’s not managed and maintained properly.
Some of the most common issues are tripping down too often, not being able to heat, overheating or making too much noise.
But before you call someone to get it repaired, consider how to troubleshoot and fix electric space heater by yourself. We’ll discuss the issues one by one in this article and advise you on how to get it fixed.
Some of the most common issues with an electric space heater are rooted in its power supply. It can cause the electric heater to malfunction and may also result in components to falter.
Common Issues Related To Space Heaters
Heater Doesn’t Work
If your heater has stopped working altogether, check whether the breaker has tripped, or the fuse has blown up. If that’s the case, try replacing the fuse, or resetting the breaker. This should help.
If not, check out the wiring connections, and keep an eye for any loose links. Make sure you switch off the main switch before attempting to open the heater.
Dismantle the control knob, thermostat knob, and faceplate and check for any loose wires.
Also, check the thermostat and ensure that it’s set up correctly. Also, check that there’s plenty of space around the unit to provide a seamless airflow.
If this doesn’t help, then it’s probably time to change the heating element within the unit.
The Heater Trips a Lot
If the heater turns on and off repeatedly, then this could be possible because of the plants or other things blocking the air vents of the heater. Check if that’s the case.
If not, then this could be possible because of a faulty thermostat or control switch.
The Heater Fan Doesn’t Work, But the Heater Gets Hot
There can be two possibilities here: either the wiring Is loose or faulty here, or the heating element has stopped working.
Switch off the main power and check for any defects or faults within the system.
If there are any loose wirings to and from the fan motor, tighten it up.
Also, make sure that there are no obstructions in front of the fan. If this doesn’t work, then it’s time to change the heating element.
The Heater Doesn’t Get Switched Off
The fact that the heater continuously keeps on running indicates either of these two defects. Firstly, the room isn’t well insulated, or perhaps the thermostat has stopped working properly.
Check out the doors and windows of your room, keep an eye on the eye on the cracks and crevices.
Add weather insulation to doors and windows and some padding to doors and walls to prevent heat from escaping.
Also, refer some eco professional to assist and advise you on what more you could possibly do to help insulate your home in a better way and save more in terms of utility expenses.
If this help, there might be an issue with your thermostat as there is a possibility that it is not able to identify the temperature fluctuation. Replace the thermostat with a new one, and hopefully, this should resolve the issue.
There’s a Burning Smell From the Heater
This is indeed an indicator that the electric space is used sparsely or seasonally and there’s a lot of dirt, debris, and hair which has coagulated onto the heating element.
Therefore, when you switch on the heater, the heating element burns off the dust and dirt on the surface on the heating elements.
That’s is why it’s essential that the heater is cleaned and well maintained.
The dust particles collected on the surface has the potential to spark up a fire, so in case you haven’t used your heater lately, make sure that you do the following:
- Cut off the main power supply
- Open up your heater carefully
- Clean heating element carefully with a vacuum or a soft, dry cloth
- Replace the heater back at its place.
It’s also imperative that you know about the safety features that are common to other devices at home.
When you think about what could possibly go wrong with a device, you should investigate whether it works at all, and how can you fix it.
For example, an electric space heater commonly has a tip switch, and this cuts power to the entire device.
You can also find a thermal cut off inside the body of the heater as well, so in case the heater overheats, the power is cut off straight away.
If the device is working intermittently, then you might think about sensors and its settings. Check the thermostat, usually situated right at the top end corner of the heating element.
The questions that you should be asking yourself is, “Does it have lint in it?”, “Does it show signs of carbonation?”.
This is important to consider as you want to make sure that the current is flowing properly through the device and there is no problem in the contacts.
If the device is doing poorly but doing what it’s supposed to do, then its time to look into the actual critical functions of the heater.
For instance, if the heater is not getting hot enough, or perhaps the fan on the back side is not allowing enough air to flow through the device, then its usually the wiring that you need to look into.
Issues with Thermofuse
With an electric space heater, the most common problem is the tip switch that has gone bad or a thermo-fuse.
Quite often, there’s something like an inline fuse, and it’s a one-time fuse, so in case it blows off, you need to replace it.
Unfortunately, there’s no light or indicator about whether that’s the cause of the issue and whether you need to change the fuse.
It’s not just only with electric space heaters, but with other similar devices such as hair dryer, a heat gun, curling irons – anything that can get hot will have this safety feature embedded in it to keep the temperature in check and under control.
Electric space heaters are susceptible to power fluctuations, and as a result, fuses are the first to give in when an electrical surge happens. Don’t worry if that happens.
The good news is that it isn’t that difficult to fix the thermo-fuse either. All you must do is to open the heater, locate the thermo-fuse, pop it out and replace it with another.
Power Switch Issues
There may be times when the power switch may cause an issue. Under most circumstances, this is primarily because of some manufacturing default and can be identified within the first couple of weeks of being bought.
If only your heater is not covered under warranty, and you would like to save yourself from the hassle of going back to the store and claim the warranty, you attempt to open the heater on your own and replace the power switch with an original switch available at a store near you.
Make sure you get the wirings right, as small negligence can lead to a big disaster.
Using A Multimeter to Fix Electric Space Heater
If you a bit techie and want t work with an electric space heater in case it’s not working, then a multimeter might be able to make your life a bit easier.
Start by switching off the heater and cutting off the power supply. Connect the nodes of the multimeter with plug positive and negative terminals, as well as the earth, and check whether you can detect any fault here. The digital meter should read it as “0.L”.
Open the heater by unscrewing the cover and popping out the front base. Again, make sure that the unit is unplugged. You don’t want any voltage in there. Sift through the wires and the terminals.
There should be no corrosions on the screws or the cables, neither should any of them be loose or open. Make sure that everything is well connected with the heating element.
Now put your multimeter in diode checking mode so it would beep a little when there’s an anomaly.
Check both sides of the wires that are connected with the heating element and the tip switch.
If everything looks okay here, check the wiring from the plug to the heating element and then to the thermostat.
If you have trouble understanding this, contact an expert, or do it under the supervision of a consultant.
Electric Space Heaters
The household, portable electric space heaters are a great utility. You can fit them anywhere in your room, carry them around, and you can be sure that they continue to provide you warm emollient air when you need it.
While they can be slightly expensive as compared to their gas-based counterparts, but with a little measure, like keeping the thermostat at around or below 60 degrees most of the winter season, you may be able to get the most out of your heater at the lowest cost.
You can also keep the heaters on only and when necessary, and in the rooms in which you are. This might be very feasible for you, but it can help you cut down a lot on the costs.
In case you do use a plug-in heater, such as an electric space heater, it is suggested that you switch off when you are away, and when you go to sleep.
If you are intending to buy an electric heater anyway, a $70, 1500-watt heater produces almost the same amount of heat as compared to the heaters that cost hundreds of dollars.
You can ask your vendor to do a power check or evaluation on how much you are able to save when you are buying a heater of one brand against another.
Moreover, there are different versions of electric space heaters available in the market.
You might want to investigate further on how they work and what would possibly be the right choice for you by doing a bit of google search.
You may also want to study the costs, the maintenance and the ease of troubleshooting and fixing an electric space heater on your own.
These heaters include convection heaters, infrared heaters, oil-filled heaters, and mica thermic heaters.
But regardless of what heater you choose, they are more likely to be similar in terms of performance, i.e., they should be able to warm up the room within 15 to 20 minutes.
However, your deciding factor should be based on the features that you would like to see in your heater.
These include features such as size, thermostat, timer, auto shut off capability, ability to adjust the settings with remote control, body finishing and design.
As long as you have got a got an electric space heater that can suit your needs, they can be a real bliss during the chilly seasons.
By just knowing the basics about how to troubleshoot and fix electric space heater you should be able to do it without the need of calling up an expert to assist or even supervise.
Using a space heater is very convenient to add warmth to your personal space and raise your room.
Whether you are in your personal space at home in front of the television or in the office, a space heater is just what you need to keep you warm, dry and toasty.
Remember that when picking a space heater, you should consider what kind of heater you want, the size you prefer, energy saving method that you prefer, the condition of your home and your family, the noise level, the durability and don’t forget the safety of yourself and those around you.
Now, what are you waiting for? Now that you know that electric heaters do not emit carbon monoxide, go ahead and buy yourself one. And for that reason, Qlabe recommends Vornado VH200 space heater.
The Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM) recommends further precautions, such as keeping flammable materials like paint and matches far away.
- U.S. Home Heating Equipment Fires fact sheet (PDF), NFPA.org, December 1, 2017
- Stay Warm and Safe This Winter With These Portable Heater Safety Tips, Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers, October 26, 2015
- U.S. fire deaths, fire death rates, and risk of dying in a fire, U.S. Fire Administration
- Learn the Parts of Your Space Heater and How it Works, Air & Water
- Marina Oster, Space Heaters vs. Central Heating: Essential Question, Stanford Magazine, March 1, 2010
- Rosalind Jackson, How Infrared Heaters Work, HowStuffWorks, March 10, 2009