Using a space heater is a great way to heat your home without having to crank the central heat. If you aren’t savvy about the different styles, picking one can be tough.
Whether you’re trying to save a little money or just need the extra warmth, here’s what you need to know before buying a space heater.
Types of Heat
Convection heaters work by heating up the air in the room. Though it takes some time for them to heat up, they provide long-lasting warmth—even after they’re shut off. This even distribution of heat makes convection heaters ideal for rooms you spend a lot of time in.
Unlike convection heating, radiant heaters only provide warmth to the area directly in front of the heater. These heaters warm up quickly, so if you’ve just come in from the blistering cold, radiant heat is the way to go. But this feature is also its downside—as soon as you shut the heater off, the warmth goes away.
If you’re looking to cut costs on utility bills, you’ll want to make sure your heater has enough output to fill your room with warmth. A good rule of thumb to follow is have ten times the amount of wattage per square foot. So if you want to heat a 150 square foot room, you’ll need a 1500-watt heater.
With the amount of heat space heaters pump out, it’s only natural to be concerned with how safe they are. Safety features differ from model to model, but most heaters include built-in switches and sensors to shut the heater off if it overheats or tips over.
Always read the instructions to make sure you’re using the space heater safely. As a reminder:
- Keep heater at least 3 feet away from loose, combustible materials (blankets, curtains, bedding)
- Turn heater off when leaving the home
- Plug heater directly into an outlet – don’t use an extension cord
Manufacturers are making space heaters more convenient than ever. Some have built-in fans that oscillate to evenly distribute warmth. Other nice-to-haves include digital thermostats, remote controls and timers.
Space heaters are an easy way to add warmth to your bedroom, office or anywhere else you need to stay toasty. It’s important to consider what’ll work best for your home with the amount of styles, heat types and additional features available.