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About Space Heaters

There are many times that a space heater can come in handy in a home or office. It may make more sense just to heat the room you’re in instead of the entire house. Or, maybe your office is cold and you only need a heater under your desk. In cases like this it is a good idea for a person to invest in a portable heater for the winter months.

There are several styles of heaters available on the market. Each type has its ups and downs and a person should conduct some research before purchasing one so that they can be assured that they are purchasing the best model to fit their needs.

Electric heaters are probably the most popular style of heaters that are on the market today. They come in a variety of sizes and shapes. They also come in a variety of wattages depending on what a person needs. These heaters typically max out at 1,500 watts, which is quite a bit of power, but can still much less than running a central heating unit in your home.

Standard Electric Heater - Stay Toasty
Electric Heater

Most of these heaters are relatively safe to use. It is important to note that the air that is coming out of many of these units are quite hot and can cause burns to exposed skin that is located near it. Legs and feet should be kept at a distance if the heater is on full so that skin or clothing does not become affected by the hot heat.

Many of these heaters also have an anti-tip cut off switch which will automatically shut the unit off if it is tipped over. This is not only to protect the unit from overheating and shorting out, but it is has also been installed in these units as a fire preventative so that carpeting, wood, or anything else that is under the heater will not catch fire if it is toppled.

A person that is interested in getting one for a particular area should always make sure that the heater that they get will be powerful enough to heat the area. Typically, this information is provided on the box that the heater comes in.

Kerosene heaters have been around for a long time. They burn kerosene in order to generate heat. Most older kerosene heaters lack a safety shut off switch which means that if the unit is tipped over and the fuel is spilled out the chance for a fire is greatly increased. Some people prefer these heaters since they require no electricity and kerosene is readily available at most gasoline stations.

Kerosene Heater - Stay Toasty
Kerosene Heater

They come in many sizes and most of the kerosene heaters that are on the market today provide about 12,000 to 24,000 BTU. In the United States they are mainly used for emergency heating, but in other countries they are used as the primary means of heating.

There are some units that also use electricity in order to operate a fan to help distribute the hot air that comes out of the unit. Kerosene heaters use a wick that soaks up the fuel and burns it evenly. They are quite efficient, and inexpensive, to use.

Propane heaters have been used by construction contractors for a long time. They are quite good at heating an area, but there needs to be proper ventilation when it is in use. Caution should be taken when operating a Propane heater as they do emit carbon monoxide. A well ventilated space is highly recommended.

Propane Heater - Stay Toasty
Propane Heater

Propane heaters come in all sizes. They are most commonly found at the 1000-100000 BTU level, depending on the size of the unit. Many of the newer propane heaters that are out there for contractors are cylinder shaped units that force the hot air out of one side. These are great for heating a large room in a short amount of time. There are also small units that can screw directly on to the top of a propane cylinder.

These units are typically radiant heaters and they work by warming up objects in a room which, in turn, warms up a room. They are very cost effective to operate and fuel is easy to come by since most home improvement stores and gas stations have propane cylinders available for sale.

Ceramic heaters work by having coils that get hot by forcing electricity through them. The ceramic plate gets hot and disperses the heat into a room. The plate is usually exposed so that it can heat more efficiently than other types of heaters. They range in sizes from 1000-50000 BTU.

Ceramic Heater - Stay Toasty
Ceramic Heater

In a cold climate it usually takes about 50-60 BTU per square foot to effectively heat a room. To figure out the size needed a person simply takes the square footage of a room and multiplies it by fifty. That will give a person the size, in BTUs, of the heater that they need.

Infrared heaters typically are the most silent of the heaters that are out on the market since they do not typically use a fan. They work by producing heat that is made from invisible light. They come in propane, natural gas, and electric powered units depending on the owner’s preference and their sizes vary. It is best to refer to the aforementioned formula to determine the size needed.

Infrared Heater - Stay Toasty
Infrared Heater

Convection heaters uses air convection in order to move air around the heater’s heating element. Warmer air rises and is then dispersed into a room. There are many oil heaters that are on the market that use this process to heat areas. Although some people may be deterred from these heaters because they do not disperse forced air via a fan they are still good units to have.

Convection Heater - Stay Toasty
Convection Heater

The safety measures that should be taken for any space heater are simple. If the area is unoccupied it is a good idea to turn off the heater. This not only decreases the chance of a fire, but also saves fuel or electricity. Any heater that has a frayed, or cut, outlet cord should be repaired, or disposed of, immediately. Any heater that is leaking fuel should also be repaired immediately to avoid the possibility of a fire.

There are many different types of heaters available to consumers. It all depends what type of space heater they want to buy. Many of the heaters that are available for sale come with a manufacturer’s warranty. This means that if the unit breaks within a certain amount of time it can be replaced by the maker of the unit for free. This gives the customer peace of mind because some of these units can be quite expensive. If they are taken care of, and routinely cleaned, a portable heater can last an owner many seasons.