Best Space Heater Reviews & Comprehensive Guide for 2017
Ned Stark is not the only house owner to be deeply worried about the chilly, spine numbing days and evenings of winter. People in Winterfell might not have too many weapons to fight the cold but thankfully enough, 21st century isn’t the same. Portable space heaters are a great way to warm up your living room, bedroom, cubicle or office cabin when the central heating system is either inadequate or way up your budget. Installing a room heater will help you maintain a comfortable temperature using much less power than a main heating system, resulting in a stark reduction in monthly electricity bill. Most up-to-date space heaters run on electricity.
Electric heaters are pocket-friendly, easy to install and provide maximum effectiveness when used to heat a compact area. Other than this, ceramic heaters, infrared, propane and oil-based heaters are among the other varieties. The past few years have witnessed a massive upsurge in the sales of these portable room heaters, which is partly a result of rising electricity bills and partly, the advances in heating technology. The modern versions of these machines are upgraded with a number of safety features and configurations to become more efficient heaters for single rooms. The latest radiant heaters are capable of emitting the infrared heat directly to the occupants of the room, which is a boon for cold-sensitive individuals, specially elders and kids.
Dr Infrared Heater
Reviews of the Best Space Heaters of 2016
Lasko 755320 Ceramic Tower Heater
Lasko has established itself as one of the biggest producers of world-class portable space heaters in the recent years. The 755320 Ceramic Tower Heater are one of their highest selling models so far.
The sleek and stylish casing of the unit makes it a perfect fit for bedrooms and office cabins, measuring around 1200 sq.ft. The 3 pound weight machine is easy to lift and mount over the wall without breaking the back. Quick heating capacity coupled with several other useful utilities is the biggest selling point of this product.
The unit consists of a timer which can be programmed to shut off at any hour, furthermore, a remote control brings all the configurations right at your fingertips. There’s a tip over switch as well just in case the unit main power button ceases to work or the machine begins to overheat. It can yank out up to 1500 watts of heat which is good enough to keep you warm and comfy when the chilly weather sets in. Lasko 755320 is undoubtedly one of the fastest room heaters I’ve had the opportunity to test. Except that little noisy fan, there’s hardly any deal breaker that caught in my radar.
This oil-filled radiator style heater radiates a generous amount of heat slowly, hardly making any noise. Remember that space heaters are nothing but a supplemental heating solution, it can never substitute the output of a central heating system.
Having said the, the total cost of purchasing and installing an electric main heating system will be no shorter than a couple of grands. If you are unable to spare that much yet need a solid heating solution for a large area, De’Longhi EW7507EB is probably the go-to solution for you.
The estimated size of the unit is approximately 14.5 x 6.3 x 25.2 inches which is apt for master bedrooms and spacious living rooms with a number of housemates. The radiator has a programmable thermostat and timer to help you maintain consistent temp in the room and keep off from overheating due to ignorance. The best part is the unit continues to blow hot air even after an hour you switch it off. The latest versions of this model are upgraded with a digital time. But what really sets De’Longhi EW7507EB high above the rest is the energy saving setting. When you select the option, the unit automatically detects the current temp of the room and fine-tunes the unit to a suitable power level.
Vornado DVTH Whole Room Heater
Vornado is known for its wide range of energy saving room heaters for king-size bedrooms and living rooms. Fan fact: the DVTH model’s heating and air circulation technology was inspired by engineering designs generally used in aviation industry.
The whole room vortex heater comes in a portable outer housing that maintains a safe operating temperature even after prolonged hours of usage. Products specifications worth highlighting include a digital display with 2 heat settings and a fan-only mode, push-button controls and automatic climate control.
It was a really nice move on the makers’ part to include a tip over safety option to eliminate the chances of fire hazard if the unit starts to reach dangerously high heat level.ETL certification speaks volume of the quality of safety of the model. Another welcoming feature is the noise-free operation, instead of fan forcing hot air, it rather circulates heat waves around the space surface. Expect a maximum heat output of 1500 wattage which is sufficient to keep ward off the chill during peak cold hours.
Lasko 6462 Full Circle Ceramic Heater
Lasko’s impressive collection of high-key ceramic heaters has a massive fan following in several countries. I have tested a number of Lasko models to form reviews, and many of them have successfully survived under the grueling conditions I’d put them through for 3 weeks at a stretch.
The Lasko 6462 Full Circle Ceramic Heater’s tall structure is close to 25 inches in length. The programmable oscillating unit can circulate the heat around in a full 360 degree radius (as well as at 90 and 170 degrees respectively) to cover the whole room within a dramatically short time.
The plastic outer casing remains cool enough to be touched even after hours of usage. The operating temperature always stays at a safe level which is a relief for people having babies and pets in their houses. The thermostat has advanced sensors that automatically figures out the temp of the room and sets the heat output accordingly to ensure maximum comfort. The convenient remote control makes device configuration a cinch from any corner of the area.
Dr. Infrared, DR968 Space Heater
Dr. Infrared space heaters have proved themselves as excellent energy-saving supplemental heating solutions for king-size bedrooms, office receptions areas, meeting rooms and the likes. This quartz infrared room heater weighs nearly 25 lbs.
Which might not be advantageous for mobility, but heaters designed for large areas focus more upon heating performance rather than portability. However, the equipment has built-in wheels to make relocating hassle-free.
The remote control operated thermostat cuts the bar with its stellar capacity to maintain a consistent temperature under constantly changing weathering conditions. The high to low temp settings offers a temp range between 50 to 85 degrees. It also has a tip over and overheat control option that automatically shuts off the unit when the machine starts to yank out excessive heat due to some manufacturing or installation defect.
Stiebel Eltron CK 15E Wall Mounted Ceramic Heater
Wall-mounted heaters lend minimum foothold, therefore, they are considered as the best electric heaters for rooms short of living space. The tiny, sober, pure white exterior can be a nice addition to your living room or office cabin.
If you’re in dire need of replacing the old heating system with a new one, Stiebel Eltron CK deserves your attention. The 1500 watt output combined with adjustable built-in thermostat could be your dear during the coldest days of the year when no amount of scotch or chicken soup feels comforting enough.
Dimplex DFI2310 Electric Fireplace Deluxe
Are you one of those people who fancy sitting by the fireplace and savouring on a glass of the finest Sauvignon while the roads are trees are capped in pearl white snow? No matter how fascinating the scenario can be if it turns out to be true, using open fire heating system indoors is a highly risky affair.
Dimplex DFI2310 Electric Fireplace Deluxe is a brilliant way to create a make believe fireplace without putting your house under an impending fire massacre. A standard 120 volt outlet is all you need to activate the heating system. The faux fireplace features pulsating embers and logs with in-built LED lights to create splendid effects.
Heating Methods Used in Space Heaters
Portable room heaters are highly energy efficient appliances to provide extra helping to the central heating system of the house. Heaters incorporate various heating methods to warm up the temperature. The three basic methods used in room heaters are radiation, convection and conduction.
Convection heating is by far the most common technique to heighten the room temperature in cold extremities. These machines usually feature a propane that blows hot air throughout the target spot, therefore, it works best when the occupants of the room are moving about. Convection heater models have a compact stature which makes them an apt fit for small rooms, cubicles, classrooms, study room and the likes. Although convection system won’t be adequately effective for large areas, it is still a budget-friendly means of maintaining a comfortable temperature in cozy places.
Radiation heating generates infrared waves that target the molecules of specific objects in a closed area, such as the skin and clothes of the occupants of the room. The aimed objects are warmed by the absorption of energy.
Conduction is the method of coursing the heat through a specific material. The heat is slowly emitted out of the coils placed within the heaters and circulates all over the room. This method is often used in spot heaters which can raise the temperature of only the objects or people within the device’s line of sight.
Types of Space Heaters
Although most room heaters rely on convection method, these heaters are light on pocket and capable to warming up small to medium rooms comfortably. Radiant heaters are particularly suitable for providing warmth and comfort to people too sensitive to cold. If you need a heater for just a few hours every day, the smarter decision would be to buy a highly energy efficient radiant heater that directly radiates the heat to the occupants of the room instead of the whole surrounding.
Convection heaters reach their peak efficiency when there are a number of people moving round and about the room. The best convection heaters can deliver up to 5000 BTUs (British Thermal Unit), plus, purchasing a unit won’t burn a hole in your pocket too. However, you might have to pay just a few hundred bucks more if you’re looking for a more advanced and versatile heating technology.
Ceramic plate heaters rely on convection heating method. These heaters are really fast, compact and generate plenty of warmth to keep the room temp comfortable during the cold season. The devices comprise of an oscillating fan that pushes the hot air away from heating elements and fills the entire surface space. These types of space heaters are the safest choice for indoor uses, specially if you’ve children in the house. It is because heating elements are neatly sheathed in ceramic plates. However, if you enjoy peaceful atmosphere in your living room, the noise of the fan could be a bit of a turn off for you. The heating might be quick but ceramic heaters can’t hold the heat for long after you switch the unit off.
Most portable space heaters are electric. The less common non-electric counterparts come to rescue in remote rural areas where electricity is a scarce. The unit is fueled by either natural gas or kerosene and uses a propane to spread the hot air around the immediate surrounding spot.
Oil-filled Radiation Style Heaters
Oil filled units generally use the combination of convection and conduction method to spike the temperature. The large thermal core of the machines has an electrical element that heats the stored fuel in the heater’s fins. The cool air flows through the bottom and, passes over the fins, courses outward from the top and slowly fills the large room with hot air. The heating elements cycle on and off. There’s no fan to create grunting noises so, the operation is virtually noise-free. Slow heating and bulky design are the only negatives.
Radiant style heaters primarily use wire element and quartz tubes as their heating elements. Wire element heaters are plug n play devices. When the unit is turned on, the electricity passes through a string of high-resistance wires which instantly turns super hot and rakes up the temperature as much as 1000 degree Fahrenheit. The heat is then evenly distributed throughout the surrounding area with the help of a fan or reflective backing.
Quartz element radiant heaters are relatively safer than the wire versions for indoor uses. In these machines, the wire work is securely positioned inside a quartz tube. The tube insulates the wire to boost the heating speed and energy efficiency. The air remains warm long after the hardware is shut off. Two more classifications of radiant heaters are:
Parabolic heaters use a ceramic core and rake up almost as much heat as a quartz element unit. The heating area is large enough, which is why it never glazes up too much to cause a fire situation.
As evident from the name, this kind of room heaters features an energy saving halogen bulb to warm up the room environment. The bulb heats up quickly and emits heat waves that reflect on objects around.
Infrared heaters are the most expensive and technologically advanced space heater models till date. These heaters house a heating chamber inside the unit to ensure maximum heat retention long after the device is turned off and accident prevention. Modern infrared heaters have a compact profile and come in various colours to complement the interior of your house. The operation is practically silent and additional features like touch-screen controls, timers, auto shut-off and energy saving mode options allows easy customization.
Micathermic heaters are a hybrid of radiant and convection heaters. A thin sheet of mica (which is a great conductor heat) and a bunch of radiant heating coils are the two chief hardware components of this unit. The heating coils heat up and channelize the energy to the mica sheet underneath. The heated mica draws the cool air from the surrounding and fills the gap with hot air instead. Micathermic heaters are two times faster than average oil based radiators and ceramic heaters. Moreover, the small stature of the heater is well-fitted for condominiums, classrooms and cubicles. On the downside, the temp of the room drops shortly after you shut off the device.
How to Choose the Best Space Heater
Right Heating Output Depending on the Room Size
In order to reap optimal benefit from your heater, make it a point to figure out the accurate heating output suitable for the room size where the machine will be installed. Heat output refers to the amount of heat generated from the unit, not the size of the casing. A lot of factors apart from room dimension such as climate, insulation, height of the ceiling etc influence the performance of the heater. While wattage is the measuring unit for electric heaters, BTU is used for non-electric version.
Multiply the BTUs by 3.41 to convert it to watts. For a well-insulated space, it takes about 10 watts to increase the temp by 10 degrees per square foot. Measure the dimension of the room to calculate the total square footage and multiply it by 10 degrees to determine the required heat output. Note that this is just a rough estimation. The wattage will have to be increased if the atmosphere is extremely cold or the ceiling is over 8 feet high.
Nothing’s worse than an oversized heater. It not only occupies a big share of the important space of the house but also increases fire hazard. Wall-mounted ceramic heaters are an apt choice for condos, small bedrooms, workshops and study rooms. Garage heaters are usually larger in stature and deliver unflinching performance under the most grinding conditions. The units are thermostatically controlled and have a high resistance to humidity.
Vented V/s Unvented Heaters
Vented heaters are the safest kind of heaters for indoor uses. They are designed to be set permanently nearby a window or an outside wall. The flue gas vent needs to be fitted right through a ceiling or the outside wall. Vented heaters either come with sealed combustion units or 100% outdoor air units. The reason why vented heaters are much safer than their unvented version is because they do not draw hot air from the room which in turns helps maintaining the quality of air inside the closed space. On the other hand, unvented combustion heaters produce highly inflammable substances like carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxides during the heating process.
Portability is another crucial point to out under assessment while shopping for the best space heater. Quality models come with built-in wheels that make relocating the unit a breeze. If you’re looking for an ultra-light model, make sure there’s a heat protective handle on the casing.lightweight, compact heaters are easy to lift, and therefore, installing it on the wall won’t cause a crack in your bone.
This is an important aspect to pay attention to if you’re planning to buy a fan forced convection heater. The option to oscillate the appliance side to side helps you circulate the heat more quickly and thoroughly over a large surface area.
Having the option to adjust the heat output with the help of an in-built thermostat is a welcoming feature in any room heater. Many top end models offer multiple heat settings with a timer so that the machine can be turned on or off without manual effort.
The advances in space heater manufacturing technology aren’t restricted to the features. With a massive leap in the sales over the last few years, manufacturers have been inspired to come up with unique and stylish designs to blend in with the décor of the room.muh attention have been given to the safety and functionality of the combustibles. Many top-of-the-line infrared heater models replicate fireplaces, these aesthetically stunning designs add a nice, vintage feel to the living rooms.
Hush Hush Operation
Fan forced ceramic heaters can be very noisy, due to the constant movement of the fan. Nobody wants this kind of disturbance while enjoying a movie or sipping on hot chocolate on a cold wintry evening. Infrared and Micathermic heaters yield plenty heat in a pin-drop silent mode.
Space Heater Safety Considerations
Apart from the general safety instructions provided by the manufacturer, there are some other safety guidelines to be followed between the lines in order to prevent potential accidents:
- Make sure the model you’re eyeing for have gone through several fire safety tests. Any safety certification such as the UL hallmark from Underwriters Laboratories or the equivalent ETL or CSA certification bear the testimony of a heater’s safety arrangements.
- Have your vented heater inspected by a professional before installing. If the quality of venting isn’t up to the mark, the air inside the room might be introduced to an alarming level of carbon monoxide which a highly toxic gas. Another possible cause behind excess CO production could be wrong positioning of the device or any other installation error.
- If the space heater doesn’t come with GCFI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) plug, do not commit the inexcusable mistake of setting the unit around water or it may result in electrocution.
- Use only approved fuel for oil-based radiant heaters. You will get a fair idea of recommended heat transfer fluids from the manufacturer’s guidelines. Store the oil in a suitable container and never overfill the tank.
- If using an extension cord is necessary for plugging in your electric heater, stick to the manufacturer’s instruction regarding the following as most electric heaters aren’t suitable to be used with an extension cord.
- It’s best to spend slightly more for a machine that offers automatic shut-off option to guarantee optimum safety of the house as well as the housemates. Overheating is a stand-alone cause for emergency situations in thousands of apartments every year. Devices equipped with smart sensors automatically shuts off the unit whenever necessary, in case you forget to turn it off on your own.
- Place the heater on a levelled surface, at a safe distance from water and ignitable elements. Put it at a high altitude, at least a few feet away from the reach of pets and kids, furniture and curtains.
- Get the heater tested every month, specially the cord and install a smoke alarm in the house or wherever you’ve installed the device.
Summing up the Article
Portable room heaters save energy by boosting the temperature surrounding the occupied room instead of heating the entire apartment. The new and improved, thermostatically controlled models prevent energy waste and overheating. While purchasing a heater, make it a point to choose a product that offers all the current safety features in order to avoid nightmare scenarios in future. Take extra precautions if you have children or pets in your house, place the heater at a space distance from their reach. Vented heating units are the safest heaters to be used inside home as they expel the combustion gases directly through the ceiling.