A space heater is a device used to heat a small area or room. It’s a convenient and efficient way to add warmth to your living space, especially during cold winter months.
Why Use A Space Heater?
There are several advantages to using a space heater. Firstly, they are portable and can be moved from room to room, so you can keep the heat where you need it the most.
Secondly, they are a great alternative to central heating systems, which can be expensive to install and maintain.
Thirdly, space heaters can provide instant heat, unlike central heating systems which may take time to warm up a room.
Brief On The History Of Space Heaters
The first space heaters were created in the early 1900s and were fueled by coal, wood, or kerosene. These early models were often unsafe and caused many house fires.
As technology advanced, space heaters became safer and more efficient. In the 1950s, electric space heaters became popular, offering a safer and more convenient heating option for consumers.
Today, space heaters are available in a wide variety of types and styles, each with their own advantages and disadvantages.
Types Of Space Heaters
There are several types of space heaters available in the market today. Let’s take a closer look at some of the most popular ones.
Natural gas heaters
Natural gas heaters are a great option if you have a natural gas line in your home. They are relatively inexpensive to operate and can heat up a room quickly. However, they do require professional installation and can be dangerous if not used properly.
Oil-filled heaters are a type of convection heater that use oil as a heating element. They are very efficient and can provide heat for a longer period of time compared to other types of heaters.
However, they can be heavy and are not as portable as other options.
Radiant heaters use infrared radiation to heat up objects and people in a room. They are very efficient and can provide instant heat.
However, they can be expensive to operate and are not suitable for large rooms.
Infrared space heaters
Infrared space heaters use infrared radiation to heat up a room. They are very energy-efficient and can provide heat for a longer period of time compared to other types of heaters. They are also safe to use, as they do not emit harmful gases.
However, they can be expensive to purchase initially.
Electric space heaters
Electric space heaters are the most popular type of space heater. They are very portable and can be used in any room with an electrical outlet.
They come in a variety of sizes and styles, from compact models to larger ones with multiple heating elements.
What Is A Good Space Heater?
Choosing a good space heater depends on your individual heating needs and preferences.
However, there are some features that you should look for in a space heater to ensure that it is safe, efficient, and effective.
Here are some characteristics of a good space heater:
- Safety features: Look for a space heater with safety features such as overheat protection, tip-over protection, and cool-touch exteriors to prevent accidents and keep your home safe.
- Energy efficiency: Choose a space heater with an Energy Star rating to save money on your energy bill and reduce your environmental impact.
- Heating capacity: Select a space heater with a heating capacity that is appropriate for the size of the room you plan to use it in.
- Type of heater: Consider the type of heater that will best suit your needs, such as natural gas, oil-filled, radiant, infrared, or electric space heaters.
- Noise level: If noise is a concern for you, look for heaters with a low noise level or a “silent mode” feature.
- Price: Choose a space heater that is within your budget and offers the features and functionality that you need.
Ultimately, the best space heater for you will depend on your specific heating needs and preferences. It’s important to carefully research and compare different models before making a purchase to ensure that you choose a space heater that is safe, efficient, and effective.
What to Look for When Buying a Space Heater
If you’re in the market for a space heater, there are a few things you should keep in mind when making your purchase.
Here are some factors to consider:
|Factors to Consider||Description|
|Heating capacity||Choose a heater with a heating capacity that is appropriate for the size of the room you plan to use it in.|
|Energy efficiency||Look for heaters with an Energy Star rating to save money on your energy bill and reduce your environmental impact.|
|Safety features||Look for heaters with safety features such as overheat protection, tip-over protection, and cool-touch exteriors to prevent accidents and keep your home safe.|
|Type of heater||Consider the type of heater that will best suit your needs, such as natural gas, oil-filled, radiant, infrared, or electric space heaters.|
|Noise level||Look for heaters with a low noise level or a "silent mode" feature if noise is a concern for you.|
|Price||Choose a heater that is within your budget and offers the features and functionality that you need.|
- Type of heater: Space heaters come in various types, such as convection, radiant, ceramic, and infrared. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages, so research which type will work best for your specific needs.
- Size and capacity: Consider the size of the space you want to heat and choose a heater with the appropriate power output (measured in watts or BTUs). A general rule of thumb is that you need 10 watts of power per square foot of space.
- Energy efficiency: Look for energy-efficient models to save on electricity costs. Some heaters have energy-saving features like eco-mode, programmable thermostats, and timers.
- Safety features: Ensure the heater you choose has built-in safety features such as tip-over protection, overheat protection, and a cool-to-touch exterior. Some models also come with safety certifications like UL or ETL listed.
- Noise level: Some space heaters can be noisy, especially fan-based ones. Check the noise level of the heater, usually measured in decibels (dB), to ensure it won’t be too loud for your comfort.
- Thermostat and temperature control: Opt for a heater with an adjustable thermostat, which allows you to set the desired temperature and maintain it. Some models also have multiple heat settings to better control the heat output.
- Portability: If you plan to move the heater between rooms, look for lightweight models with handles or wheels for easy transport.
- Design: Consider the design and aesthetics of the heater, ensuring it blends well with your interior décor.
- Price and warranty: Compare prices and warranty periods to find the best value for your money. Longer warranties are usually an indicator of better quality and reliability.
- User reviews: Read user reviews to learn about other people’s experiences with the heater you’re considering. This will give you a better idea of its performance, reliability, and potential issues.
Pros And Cons Of Space Heater
|Pros of Space Heaters||Cons of Space Heaters|
|Provides targeted heat||Can be a fire hazard if not used properly|
|Portable and can be moved from room to room||Some models can be noisy|
|Can be a more cost-effective heating option compared to central heating systems||Can be expensive to operate, especially if not energy-efficient|
|Provides instant heat, unlike central heating systems which may take time to warm up a room||Some types of space heaters require professional installation|
|Offers greater control over temperature in individual rooms||Fuel-burning space heaters (such as natural gas heaters) pose a risk of carbon monoxide poisoning if not used properly|
|Energy-efficient models can help save on energy bills||Some types of space heaters (such as radiant heaters) may not be suitable for larger rooms|
|Some models offer safety features such as overheat protection and cool-touch exteriors||Electric space heaters may not be as efficient as other types of space heaters|
|Wide variety of types and styles available to suit different heating needs and preferences||Heavy or bulky models may not be as portable as other options|
What Is A Convection Space Heater?
A convection space heater is a type of space heater that works by circulating warm air throughout a room. Convection heaters are designed with a heating element, which heats up the air around it.
As the air becomes warmer, it rises and is replaced by cooler air. This process creates a natural convection current that circulates warm air throughout the room.
Convection space heaters are typically more efficient than radiant heaters, as they can heat a larger area more evenly.
They are also relatively quiet, as they do not rely on a fan to circulate air. However, they may take longer to heat up a room compared to other types of space heaters.
Some common types of convection space heaters include oil-filled heaters, ceramic heaters, and baseboard heaters.
These heaters are available in a variety of sizes and styles, making it easy to find a convection space heater that will suit your heating needs and preferences.
Does A Space Heater Save Money?
There are several types of space heaters available on the market, and each has its own energy consumption profile. The most common types include electric space heaters, propane space heaters, and oil-filled space heaters.
Electric space heaters are the most popular option for residential use, as they are easy to operate, safe, and widely available.
These heaters typically use between 750 and 1,500 watts of power, depending on the size and model. To calculate the running cost, simply multiply the wattage by the number of hours you plan to use the heater and divide by 1,000 to convert to kilowatt-hours (kWh). Then, multiply this figure by your local electricity rate.
For example, a 1,500-watt electric space heater running for 8 hours a day would use 12 kWh (1,500 watts x 8 hours / 1,000) of electricity. If your electricity rate is $0.12 per kWh, the daily running cost would be $1.44 (12 kWh x $0.12).
Propane and oil-filled space heaters have different energy consumption rates, as they use fuel rather than electricity.
To calculate the running cost for these heaters, you’ll need to know the heater’s fuel consumption rate (usually measured in gallons per hour) and the current cost of the fuel.
Several factors can affect the running cost of your space heater, including the heater’s efficiency, the size of the space you’re heating, and how well-insulated your home is.
For example, a poorly insulated room will lose heat more quickly, requiring the space heater to work harder and use more energy to maintain a comfortable temperature.
Projected US Heating Costs for Winter
The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) publishes regular reports on projected heating costs, which can provide valuable insights for homeowners looking to save on energy bills.
According to the latest EIA projections, heating costs are expected to vary across different regions, primarily due to differences in climate, energy sources, and local fuel prices. For instance, homeowners in the Northeast who rely on heating oil may see higher costs than those in the Midwest who use natural gas.
One significant trend is the continued rise in energy prices, which could impact the cost of heating your home this winter. As energy prices increase, it becomes even more important to find ways to reduce your heating costs and improve your home’s energy efficiency.
Can You Really Save on Heating by Using a Space Heater?
To determine whether using a space heater can save you money, it’s essential to compare the costs and energy efficiency of space heaters to traditional heating methods.
When it comes to energy efficiency, electric space heaters convert nearly 100% of the electricity they consume into heat. However, they are typically most cost-effective when used to heat a single room or a small area, rather than replacing your home’s central heating system.
This is because space heaters can consume a significant amount of electricity when used for extended periods or in multiple rooms, leading to higher energy bills.
Traditional heating methods, such as central heating systems using natural gas, oil, or electric heat pumps, are generally more energy-efficient when used to heat an entire home. These systems can distribute heat evenly throughout the house and maintain a consistent temperature, while space heaters may struggle to provide the same level of comfort in larger spaces.
That being said, using a space heater strategically in combination with your central heating system can lead to savings.
For example, if you have a room that is consistently colder than the rest of your home or if you want to provide extra warmth in a specific area, using a space heater can be a cost-effective way to supplement your central heating system without increasing the thermostat for the entire house.
How Much You’ll Save Using a Space Heater?
The amount you can save by using a space heater depends on various factors, including the size of your home, the efficiency of your central heating system, and how you use the space heater. Here, we’ll discuss potential savings and provide tips for maximizing those savings.
- Heating a single room: If you only need to heat a single room or a small area, using a space heater can be a cost-effective alternative to raising the temperature of your entire home. By concentrating heat in the area you spend the most time in, you can lower the thermostat for the rest of your home and save on heating costs. Depending on the size of the room and the efficiency of your central heating system, you could potentially save 10-20% on your heating bill.
- Supplementing central heating: If you have a large home or a space that is consistently colder than the rest, using a space heater can help maintain comfort without overtaxing your central heating system. In these cases, a space heater can be an efficient way to provide targeted warmth without raising the thermostat. You might save 5-15% on your heating costs, depending on the size of the space and the efficiency of your central heating system.
- Zonal heating: By using space heaters to create “zones” in your home, you can optimize your heating system to focus on the areas you use most. For example, you could set up a space heater in your living room during the day and move it to your bedroom at night. This strategy allows you to maintain a comfortable temperature in the areas you occupy while reducing energy consumption in other parts of your home. Depending on your home’s layout and insulation, you could save up to 25% on your heating costs.
To maximize your savings, consider the following tips:
- Choose an energy-efficient space heater: Look for models with adjustable thermostats, timers, and energy-saving features, such as an eco-mode.
- Use the space heater only when needed: Turn off the space heater when you leave the room or when it’s not needed to conserve energy.
- Properly maintain your space heater: Clean and inspect your space heater regularly to ensure it’s working at peak efficiency.
- Insulate your home: Improve your home’s insulation to minimize heat loss and maintain a comfortable temperature with less energy consumption.
Larger Homes Save More with a Space Heater
Space heaters can be particularly beneficial for those with larger homes, as they offer targeted heating and help reduce overall energy consumption. Here, we’ll discuss space heater efficiency in large homes and provide tips for using them effectively in expansive spaces.
In a large home, it can be challenging to maintain consistent temperatures throughout, especially if the central heating system isn’t optimized for the house’s size. Space heaters can help solve this problem by providing supplemental heat in specific areas or rooms that tend to be colder.
This allows you to maintain a comfortable temperature in those spaces without increasing the thermostat setting for the entire house.
Tips for using space heaters effectively in larger homes:
- Prioritize high-traffic areas: Place space heaters in rooms where you spend the most time, such as the living room or bedrooms, to maximize their impact on your comfort and energy savings.
- Use zonal heating: Divide your home into zones and use space heaters to maintain a comfortable temperature in the zones you occupy, while reducing energy consumption in unused areas.
- Combine space heaters with other energy-saving strategies: Implement additional energy-saving measures, such as sealing drafts, adding insulation, and using programmable thermostats, to further reduce heating costs.
- Choose the right space heater: Opt for energy-efficient models with adjustable thermostats and timers, which allow you to control the temperature and energy consumption more effectively.
Same Goes for Those in Colder Climates
Space heaters can also be beneficial in colder climates, where maintaining a comfortable temperature can be challenging and expensive. Let’s explore space heater performance in extremely cold temperatures and strategies for using them to save money in colder regions.
In extremely cold climates, central heating systems may struggle to maintain consistent temperatures throughout the home, leading to increased energy consumption and higher heating costs. Space heaters can provide targeted warmth in specific areas, helping to maintain comfort without overtaxing the central heating system.
Strategies for using space heaters to save money in colder regions:
- Insulate your home: Ensuring your home is well-insulated is crucial in cold climates, as it helps retain heat and reduce energy consumption.
- Use energy-efficient space heaters: Look for models with adjustable thermostats, timers, and energy-saving features to minimize energy usage.
- Combine space heaters with other heating methods: In extremely cold climates, consider using space heaters in conjunction with other heating systems, such as radiant floor heating or baseboard heaters, to maintain a comfortable temperature more efficiently.
- Close off unused areas: Reduce the amount of space you need to heat by closing off unused rooms or areas, allowing you to focus your heating efforts on the spaces you use most.
How Much Does A Space Heater Cost?
The cost of a space heater can vary depending on several factors such as its type, size, brand, and energy efficiency. On average, a basic portable electric space heater can cost anywhere from $20 to $100, while larger and more advanced models can cost upwards of $200 or more.
Gas-powered space heaters are usually more expensive than electric models. It’s worth noting that the cost of operating a space heater also needs to be considered.
Electric space heaters generally cost more to operate than gas heaters, but they are more energy-efficient and safer to use.
The cost of electricity varies depending on your location, so it’s best to check with your local utility company to determine the cost per kilowatt-hour in your area.
How Hot Does A Space Heater Get?
The maximum temperature a space heater can reach depends on the type and model of the heater. Generally, electric space heaters produce less heat than propane or kerosene heaters.
Electric space heaters typically have a temperature range of 65°F to 85°F (18°C to 30°C). Some models may have a higher maximum temperature of around 90°F to 100°F (32°C to 38°C), but this can vary based on the wattage and design of the heater.
Propane or kerosene heaters can produce higher temperatures, with some models reaching temperatures up to 200°F or more.
However, these types of heaters are typically not recommended for indoor use due to the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning and fire hazards.
Safety Concerns With Space Heaters
While space heaters are a great way to heat up a room, there are some safety concerns that you should be aware of.
Space heaters can be a fire hazard if not used properly. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, space heaters are responsible for over 25,000 residential fires each year.
To reduce the risk of fire, be sure to keep flammable materials away from the heater, and always use the heater on a level surface.
Carbon monoxide poisoning
If you’re using a fuel-burning space heater, such as a natural gas heater, be aware of the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
This can occur if the heater is not vented properly or if there is a malfunction. To reduce the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning, never use a fuel-burning space heater in an enclosed space, and always use a carbon mon
This article is a great resource for anyone who wants to learn about space heaters. I found the explanation of how they work and the different types available to be clear and informative. It’s important to understand the safety precautions that should be taken with space heaters, and this article provides helpful tips for using them safely.