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As the end of the year approaches, it isn’t long before you make the change on your thermostat from cool to heat. And when you do, you might start thinking about how you’re going to save money on your heating bill and not freeze at the same time. That’s where the best energy efficient space heaters come in. These units cost pennies to run and can kick out some serious heat. Pair them with some air circulation, and you’ve got this winter in the bag.
However, there are a lot of different types of space heaters out there. Some use convection heat, some use radiant heat, some even use both. How do you know what type is best for you to warm up your house or your basement? Which one is going to fit into your life?
That’s where this shopping guide comes in. First, we’re going to give you some short reviews of seven of the best space heaters on the market. We’ll tell you what each one is good for and point out what each heater does well and doesn’t do so well at. Then we have a buying guide that will give you the ins and outs of space heaters and how you can maximize your savings and stay warm this year.
- 1 Energy Efficient Space Heaters Reviews
- 1.1 1. Duraflame Infrared Fireplace Stove with 3D Flame Effect
- 1.2 2. Lasko Designer Series Ceramic Space Heater
- 1.3 3. Comfort Zone Oscillating Ceramic Space Heater
- 1.4 4. Dr Infrared 1500 Watt Portable Space Heater
- 1.5 5. Lasko Oscillating Ceramic Space Heater
- 1.6 6. Brightown Ceramic Personal Heater
- 1.7 7. Trustech 1500 Watt Infrared Space Heater
- 2 Buying Guide
- 2.1 How Space Heaters Work And How to Maximize Their Efficiency
- 2.2 How Efficient Are Space Heaters?
- 2.3 So How do they work?
- 2.4 Radiative Heat
- 2.5 Radiative Heat
- 2.6 Convection Heat
- 2.7 Questions to Ask When Shopping for a Space Heater
- 2.8 Safety with Space Heaters and You
- 2.9 Staying Comfortable with Space Heaters
- 3 Energy Efficient Space Heaters Comparison Chart
- 4 Conclusion
Energy Efficient Space Heaters Reviews
- Duraflame DFI-5010
- Watts: 1500
- Room Size: 1,000 square feet
- Dimensions: 13.1 x 24 x 23.4 in
- Color: Black
- Weight: 28.6 pounds
- Warranty: Manufacturers
- Lasko Designer Series
- Watts: 1500
- Room Size: N/A
- Dimensions: 8.2 x 8.2 x 16.1 in
- Color: Beige
- Weight: 8.1 pounds
- Warranty: Manufacturers
- Comfort Zone Oscillating
- Watts: 1500
- Room Size: 300 square feet
- Dimensions: 25 x 9.5 x 9 in
- Color: Black
- Weight: 7.35 pounds
- Warranty: Manufacturers
- Dr Infrared Heater
- Watts: 1500
- Room Size: Heat up a large room
- Dimensions: 13 x 11 x 16 in
- Color: Brown
- Weight: 19 pounds
- Warranty: Manufacturers
- Lasko 751320
- Watts: 1500
- Room Size: 300 Sq. Ft.
- Dimensions: 7.4 x 8.7 x 23.5 in
- Color: Black and Gray
- Weight: 8 pounds
- Warranty: Manufacturers
- Brightown Ceramic Space Heater
- Watts: 1500
- Room Size: N/A
- Dimensions: 11 x 8.9 x 7.1 in
- Color: Silver and Grey
- Weight: 3.55 pounds
- Warranty: Manufacturers
1. Duraflame Infrared Fireplace Stove with 3D Flame Effect
This space heater is a great look for someone who wants aesthetics with their heat. It uses quartz filaments which makes it one of the most efficient space heaters. The quartz elements generate infrared heat that will warm you up much like a real fireplace would. With a 3D flame effect and five adjustable brightness settings, this heater will give you the ambience that others won’t.
This heater also has the safety features that you want. It has overheat protection, which will automatically shut off power when it detects the internal temperature gets too high. It also has anti-tip protection, that will turn off power if the unit is knocked over.
This space heater generates 5200 BTUs from 1500 watts of power. The heat starts nearly instantaneously as soon as you turn the unit on. The outside of the space heater remains cool to the touch as well, making it safe for kids or pets to be around.
The space heater comes with a remote control as well, which allows you to fully control the unit. You can set the thermostat in even increments from 62 degrees Fahrenheit up to 82 degrees Fahrenheit. As an added bonus, if you just want the ambience of the fireplace effect, you can use that without the heat. However, you do have to activate the fire effect to use the heat.
Read Full Review: Duraflame 3D Infrared Electric Fireplace Space Heater
- 1500 Watt Space Heater generates 5200 BTUs
- 3D flame effect which can be set to 5 different brightness levels
- Flame effect can be used without heat
- Infrared heat via Quartz elements provide nearly instant heat
2. Lasko Designer Series Ceramic Space Heater
This space heater is definitely unique in its aesthetic. With the curved metal base and the tan shape of the heater, it resembles a piece or artwork or pottery. But hidden inside of that form factor is an energy efficient space heater with a lot of features.
First, this is a 1500 watt heater that has a ceramic core. The ceramic core provides radiant heat, while a fan provides force air convection heat that will have you warm from beginning to end. This space heater has a thermostat to make it even more efficient. You can set the temperature anywhere from 60 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit.
There are three different settings for this heater. Low will use 750 watts, while the high mode will use the full 1500 watts. There is also an ECO mode that will cycle the heater on and off to keep the ambient temperature consistent with what you have the comfort level set to. The ECO mode is by far the most energy efficient way to use this heater.
There is also a full featured remote control that lets you control all of the options available. There’s an oscillation mode that helps to evenly distribute the heat back and forth across your room to ensure that warm air reaches all areas.
As far as safety features go, this space heater does have overheat protection, where it will shut itself off if it gets too hot. However, there is no anti-tip protection. Possibly because the base is so sturdy, but just be mindful that if this space heater is knocked over, it won’t turn off.
Read Full Review: Lasko Designer Series Ceramic Space Heater
- 3 modes of operation: High, Low, Eco
- Thermostat set from 60 to 85 degrees
- Remote Control
3. Comfort Zone Oscillating Ceramic Space Heater
This ceramic core oscillating space heater has a tower design that makes it one of the best energy efficient space heaters around. It uses forced fan convection heating to deliver a large amount of heat quickly to your room. It’s also packed with features that you want and need.
First, there’s an 8 hour timer that lets you set the heater running and not worry about remembering to turn it off. There’s a digital thermostat that lets you set your own comfort heat level. When operating this heater there are three different power levels. The low heat uses 800 watts, medium will draw 1000 watts, and high heat will use the full 1500 watts. You can also use the ECO mode that lets the heater turn itself on and off to maintain your set temperature.
The Comfort Zone space heater has the two safety features you need: overheat and tip over protection. If this tower heater tips over or the internal temperature gets too hot, the unit will turn itself off. As an added bonus, this heater is ETL certified.
Read Full Review: Comfort Zone Oscillating Ceramic Space Heater
- Small footprint requires only 8 inches by 8 inches (plus 36 inch buffer zone)
- ECO mode to self regulate temperature
- Digital thermostat
- 3 levels of heat
4. Dr Infrared 1500 Watt Portable Space Heater
This infrared heater by Dr Infrared combines a smaller form factor with a powerful convection forced air blower to deliver a lot of heat in an energy efficient way. This combination puts it right there with the best energy efficient space heaters on the market today.
It is medium weight for a space heater at 19 pounds, but that still makes it easy to move for most people. But don’t think you have to pick it up, because the caster wheels at the bottom make it easy to roll around. And it will fit nearly anywhere with the 13 inch by 11 inch by 16 inch size.
There are three settings to control the heat here. Low and High deliver heat continuously when you want it, using 1000 and 1500 watts respectively.
Then there is the thermostat controlled setting. You can set the thermostat from 50 to 86 degrees and let the heater automatically adjust for you. Combine those with a 12 hour timer, and you can have heat when you want it without worry.
As far as safety features go, this space heater has tip over protection and overheat protection. As with most space heaters, if this Dr. Infrared heater is knocked over or the internal temperature gets too high, it will automatically shut off.
As an added note, Dr. Infrared takes special care to boast about the high powered blower in this heater. They say that it can move 250 degree air at 3.5 meters per second, which is an improvement over their competitors, who lag behind at 2.2 meters per second and 155 degrees.
Read Full Review: Dr Infrared Portable Space Heater
- High Powered blower for faster and hotter air
- 12 hour timer
- Thermostat settings from 50 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit
- 3 Heat settings: High (1500 watts), Low (1000 watts), Auto
5. Lasko Oscillating Ceramic Space Heater
It’s nice to be cozy with a smaller space heater in your bedroom or a smaller room, but sometimes you want an energy efficient space heater for large room. This Lasko oscillating space heater has you covered. It is a 1500 watt heater with 2 direct heat settings and an automatic ECO setting for greater energy efficiency.
The thermostat on this heater can be set from 60 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit. You then let it run and the heater will automatically turn on and off as the ambient temperature changes. If you want all of the heat, you set the thermostat to MAX and then the setting to High or Low. High pulls the full 1500 watts and Low will pull 750 watts.
This is a lightweight tower heater that only requires 7.4 inches by 8.7 inches of space (plus the recommended three feet of clearance) to place it. It is very easy to control and use this heater. The controls are located on the top and have bright LEDs to indicate function. This heater alos has oscillation so that heat is delivered to all corners of the room.
Other features include a 7 hour timer that lets you run the heater and never worry if you shut it off and a remote control. The remote lets you control all aspects of this Lasko heater without getting up from your comfortable seat.
It has both safety features that are important with space heaters. You get the tip over and overheat protection. As usual, these will turn the unit off automatically if it gets too hot from continuous operation or if it is knocked over.
Read Full Review: Lasko Ceramic Tower Space Heater
- Oscillating Ceramic core 1500 watt heater
- Thermostat settings from 60 to 85 degrees
- ETL listed
- 7 hour timer
- Remote control
6. Brightown Ceramic Personal Heater
This space heater isn’t designed to warm large rooms, but as a personal unit, this is a highly efficient space heater. Whether it’s a small bedroom or your cubicle or office, this Brightown space heater is excellent.
This isn’t a fancy heater, but it does have some great features that you want. There are two dial settings on the top of the heater. One of them controls the level of heat. There are two settings: High, which uses 1500 watts, and Low, which pulls 700 watts. You can also keep it moving the air around by turning just the fan on.
The other dial on top controls the level of heat that the heater will put out. You can dial it up to the max, which will keep the heat blowing. It also operates as a thermostat, so you can set it to the level of heat that you are comfortable with.
There are two safety protections for this heater. One of them Is the overheat safety protection and the other is an anti-tip feature. Both of these will cause this Brightown heater to automatically shut off. It is also ETL listed, so you know that it has passed the safety standards you want for your space heater.
This unit uses a combination of radiant heat from the ceramic core as well as forced air convection heat from blowing air over the core. That means you’re going to get instant heat the moment you turn it on, and the warm air will eventually help increase your overall comfort level.
Read Full Review: Brightown Portable Ceramic Space Heater
- Small heater with high heat output
- Basic model at a low price point
- ETL listed
- 3 modes of operation – High (1500 watts), Low (750 watts), and fan only
7. Trustech 1500 Watt Infrared Space Heater
This energy saving space heater has a great aesthetic with a wooden cabinet that combines with a powerful radiant infrared heater to deliver heat on demand. It has three settings; High will pull 1500 watts, low uses 750 watts, and there is the automatic thermostat controlled setting, which keeps you comfortable while enhancing energy efficiency.
There is a thermostat that ranges from 59 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit, and when you choose the ECO mode, the heater will cycle on and off to keep you comfortable. Otherwise, the heater will continue to operate until you decide to turn it off. Alternately, there is a 12 hour timer on this space heater. That means you can set a time up to 12 hours for your heater to work, and when the timer expires, the heater will shut off.
This heater is listed as an infrared heater, and it does provide heat via the radiant method, but there is also a fan installed. That fan gives you forced air convection heat as well, which essentially gives you the best of everything. The radiant heat kicks on and warms you up immediately, and the convection heat will warm the air around you and make you more comfortable.
This unit has one nice feature that isn’t found on many other space heaters. There is a special cord storage on this space heater that allows you to put the cord away safely. This means that the cord won’t be trampled on or potentially damaged when moving the heater or putting it in storage.
This space heater has the two safety features that are necessary for all space heaters. The first one is the anti-tip protection, which disables the heater if it falls or is knocked over. The other protection is overheating, which will turn the heater off if it gets too warm.
Read Full Review: Trustech Electric Infrared Space Heater
- 1500 watt heater
- 3 modes of operation – High (1500 watts), Low (750 watts) and Eco mode for self-regulation
- 12 hour timer
- Cord storage on back of unit
How Space Heaters Work And How to Maximize Their Efficiency
Space heaters are designed to transmit heat, of course. They take the energy of the electricity and turn it into heat, usually through some sort of resistor. A resistor is an item that doesn’t want to let electricity pass through it, so it resists it. But for heaters, you don’t want it to resist so much that no energy gets through. You want it to resist enough that the resistance generates enough heat to make it worthwhile. Most space heaters have a maximum power of 1500 watts, which is plenty of power to generate all the heat you need.
How Efficient Are Space Heaters?
For resistance, there are two common heater cores: ceramics and quartz filaments. These allow the energy to slow down enough to create heat, but not enough heat to damage the core itself. That part of the process is actually quite efficient. Most of the electricity is converted to heat.
If you have a unit with a fan or LEDs or other gizmos, then some of the power you’re putting into the machine is diverted to those features. But that is usually a very small amount comparatively. But if you’re trying to eke out as much efficiency as possible, the fewer the bells and whistles, the more power that will go to generating heat.
So How do they work?
When it comes to transmitting heat, space heaters have two basic methods of getting heat from the unit to you. Those methods are convection and radiation. Let’s discuss each of them in turn and how you can make sure you’re using them so they are the most efficient.
When you think of how heat works, this is probably what you think of first. It’s how fires get you warm on a cold night, and how the sun warms your skin on a chilly fall day. Essentially, radiative heat uses thermal radiation to carry energy from the source to the first thing it hits.
- Straight Lines – Another word for radiative or radiant heat is infrared radiation. Essentially, this radiation travels in a straight line from the source and keeps going until it hits something. For radiant heaters, that something is usually you or the wall. When the infrared radiation hits you, it imparts energy to you (or the wall) in the form of warmth.
- Proximity is Key – One of the key things about infrared heaters is that the closer you are to them, the more heat you will get. And conversely, as you move away from the heater, you’ll get less of the heat. That’s because the same amount of radiative heat is being transmitted, but it’s hitting a bigger surface area. There’s a math equation that describes this relationship called the Inverse Square Law.
This law says that the intensity of the radiation is equal to the inverse of the square of the distance from the source. For example, if you are ten times as far away from the heater, you’re going to get 100 times less heat. Knowing this can help you to place your infrared heater. Put it too far away and the heat you get will be too weak to do much good.
- Direct Heat – One key thing about radiative heat is that it doesn’t rely on the air to get you warm. Because of that, when you use an infrared heater, it doesn’t matter if you’re in a drafty place or not. Remember how this type of heater is like a fire or the sun? When you’re in the sun in the fall, you can get really warm, despite the cool breeze blowing over you. The sun doesn’t care if the wind blows. And radiant heaters don’t care if you use them in a drafty shop or out in the garage while you work on your car. They’re still going to warm things up that are in front of them.
Convection heat is the other way that space heaters work. Convection heat works by making a fluid warm. That fluid then transmits the warmth to whatever it is around. The important thing to realize is that for the sake of heat transfer, air is considered a fluid.
So for forced air convection heat, a space heater will warm up a core of some sort. For most space heaters, that’s a ceramic core. Using the same principle as radiative heaters, the space heater heats the core. A fan then draws in air and blows it over the hot core. The air picks up the warmth from the core and then gets blown out. The warm air then goes out into the room and starts to warm things up.
- Relies on Air Currents – One of the key things to remember is that convection heat warms up the air and it can take a while to warm up the room you’re in. The larger the room, the longer it will take to warm up. That’s because heat likes to distribute itself evenly when it’s in a liquid.
Think of when you’re taking a bath and the water gets cold. You turn on the hot water, and swirl the water around. As the hot water mixes, the entire bath gets warm, a mixture of the hot water coming in and the cold water already there.
That’s the same as when you turn on a convection heater. The warm air the convection heater produces is like the hot water you’re putting in your cold bath. And just like it takes time to warm up the bath, it takes time for the warm air to heat your room.
- Sit Anywhere – What this means is that it doesn’t matter how far away from the heater you are. It is going to warm up the room no matter where it is. Of course, if you put yourself right in front of it and let the warm air flow over you, you’re going to get warm right away, but the room will eventually warm up.
- Drafts are Bad – This also means that convection based heaters don’t do well in rooms where there’s a lot of draft or where cold air is coming in. And that the larger the room, the longer it will take to get warm. So, this type of heater is best suited for your bedroom or the living room with the other doors closed. If you don’t have doors in your house, you can hang some sort of barrier like a curtain or blankets in doorways to prevent heat
- Circulation is Good – One additional note about convection heat. When air is warmed, it will rise. That means that you should be running a ceiling fan when you run convection heaters. That will ensure that the heat that rises to your ceiling is forced down. In the winter, get your fans to run counter-clockwise to drive air up in the middle of the room and send warm air down the sides.
Use direct radiative heat
Use a fan to blow warm air
Useful in open areas and even outdoors
Best in places where there are little to no drafts
Have a definite range
Can warm an entire room from anywhere
How Much Can You Save Using a Space Heater?
The main reason for using a space heater is to save money. But you might be wondering how much money you can actually save by using one. Let’s talk about that.
When you use your regular heating system, there are a couple of things to keep in mind. One, your heating system is designed to warm your entire home unless you have zone heating. And two, your heater is dependent on the placement of your thermostat.
So let’s say that the thermostat is in the hallway. That means that your heating system is going to run until your hallway is the temperature that you have set. So, you’re paying money to run a heater to heat your hallway. How much time do you spend in your hallway? Enough time to justify heating it?
So, when you use a space heater, the object is to set your thermostat to a low temperature that will save you money, but one that is high enough to keep the rest of your house from completely freezing. While the rest of your home is hovering somewhere above arctic conditions, you run a space heater in the rooms you actually stay in.
Cost of a Space Heater
The type of space heater you use and its placement is determined by what type of room you are in. For the most part, however, the best energy efficient space heaters will be a combination convection and radiant heater. These will give you the immediate start up and heat that you want to get warm, and then settle into a nice relaxing ambient heat that surrounds you as the air gets warmer.
But how much can you save? When you look at the average cost of electricity in the United States, you find that it ends up being about $0.1327 per kilowatt hour. You know that most space heaters use 1500 watts to provide heat. So, running a heater for an hour uses 1.5 kilowatt hours. So that costs you about 20 cents. So running it for an entire day costs $4.80.
Cost of a Heat Pump
Now let’s look at the average heat pump. They pull 15,000 watts on average. Now, they aren’t going to be running all day, but if you have your heat set at a comfortable 68 degrees inside, they could conceivably be running about 4 hours in the day. At 15,000 watts, that’s 15 kilowatts per hour, which means that’s 60 kilowatt hours. At the above cost, that’s $7.96 per day.
You can already see that even by running a space heater 24 hours per day you’re saving about $3.20 per day. Over the duration of a 90 day winter season, that totals to about $270.
But you know you aren’t going to be running a space heater for a full 24 hours per day. You’re only going to run it when you’re home and even then if you run it on a thermostat mode (which most space heaters have), that won’t be a constant thing. So let’s say your space heater runs for 4 hours per day too.
You can see then:
Unit Being Run
4 per day, 28 per week
4 per day, 28 per week
Cost per day @ $0.1327 per kWh
Cost per week
Cost for 12 week season
Your savings may go up or down depending on the heat pump you use and the cost of electricity in your area, but based on these rough estimates, you can see that using a space heater can save you a lot of money.
In case you’re wondering about gas powered heaters that use natural gas or propane, it depends on how much fuel it uses. According to recent reports, natural gas averages $10.03 per 1000 cubic feet (Mcf). One of the highest rated natural gas space heaters uses 0.020 Mcf per hour. So running that space heater for 4 hours uses 0.080 Mcf, which costs $0.80, which is on par with the electric space heaters.
Questions to Ask When Shopping for a Space Heater
When you’re looking to buy a new energy efficient space heater, there are a few things you should be asking so you get the best space heater for your needs. Here are five things you should be asking the next time you look for space heaters:
- What size room are you heating?
- What kind of room are you heating?
- How many people need warmed up?
- When will you be using it?
- How portable does it need to be?
Let’s cover each of these questions one by one.
What size room will the heater be in?
This should be one of the first questions because it will determine not only what type of heater you should get, but also how many. If you have a large room, then you might need two of them. Depending on the size of the room, you can get a forced air convection heater that will heat your room or a radiant heater that will focus heat on one specific area.
If the room is too big, then a forced air convection heater will have to work overtime to heat the massive volume of air in the room. In that case, a series of radiant heaters could be your best bet. They will cast an even bath of heat over a dedicated area.
What kind of room will it be?
When you think about heating a room, you need to consider the type of room it is. For example, most space heaters don’t do well in damp spaces like a bathroom. That’s because the excessive moisture can cause the heating element to break down and die much sooner than expected. You can get a specific type of space heater for this that are UL Damp rated, but they are usually much more costly.
Additionally, if you’re trying to heat an outdoor area, you know that a convection heater isn’t going to be the best idea. That’s because the wind will blow away the warm air you’re making and counting on to keep you warm. Use a radiant heater in these cases.
How Many People Need Warming?
If you’re heating your entire family, and you’re all sprawled all over the living room, you might not want to get a radiant heater. That radiant heater will only focus the heat in one area. Getting a convection heater will work best in this case, where the warm air will be circulating and keeping your entire family room.
On the other hand, if it’s just you that needs heating, then consider one of the smaller personal space heaters. They are excellent at blowing warm air and keeping you or a small room warm and toasty. If you don’t like those, an infrared heater you can point at yourself from across the room will keep you warm and snuggly.
When Will you be using it?
This question is designed to help you consider what noise and light level you’re willing to put up with. If you’re going to be using your space heater primarily when you’re going to be sleeping, you want a space heater that is quiet. You also might want to avoid a space heater that has a bright light function. Depending on your sensitivity, even a fireplace space heater might be too much.
If you plan on running your space heater during the day, then the noise and light don’t really matter. But then aesthetics might. If you’re going to be running it during the day when people are around, then getting a space heater that looks good in your room or matches your décor might be important.
How portable does it need to be?
When it comes to space heaters, they come in all shapes and sizes. You can get space heaters that are huge and others that tiny cubes smaller than your phone. The type of space heater you get should be influenced by how often you’re going to be carrying it. For example, if you’re carrying it around from home to your office, you don’t want a 3 foot tall tower heater. But if you’re going to leave it in the corner of your bedroom, then that tower heater may be just what you’re looking for.
Also think about how you’re going to store the heater during the off season. Are you going to keep it in the closet? Maybe put it in the garage? Depending on where you’re going to be storing your space heater, you may want to get a different size.
Safety with Space Heaters and You
Space heaters are a great way to save money, but that doesn’t really mater if you have an accident. According to Nationwide Insurance, 80 percent of all fire deaths in homes involve a space heater and space heaters also caused 32 percent of all home heating fires.
Failure to be safe with space heaters cause 360 deaths, and over a thousand injuries with over 19.000 home fires. All combined, this caused an estimated $559 million in property damage.
That’s a lot of money and the causes were simply due to owners not following some simple ground rules when it comes to space heaters. Here are six basic rules when it comes to being save with your space heater:
- Watch where you put it – Space heaters should always be on level ground that is hard and non-flammable. Don’t put space heaters on top of tables, chairs, or any other furniture. Especially don’t put space heaters on carpet. The carpet can block the air inlets and cause the heater to overheat and start a fire.
- Watch Kids and Pets – When you place your space heater, you need to keep in mind that pets and kids aren’t going to be as careful of it as you are. They may run into it or bump the space heater and knock it over. And while the shell of space heaters may stay cool, the outlet ports often get extremely hot. An inadvertent brush with that area can cause a serious burn to a kid.
- Turn it off – The inclusion of the timer feature in most space heaters is great and can be used as a backup. But you should never leave a space heater running if you leave your house for an extended period of time. While nobody is watching it, anything can happen, and the last thing you want is for a fire to break out when you aren’t there. Use the timer, but don’t rely on it. When you go to bed or when you leave, turn it off.
- 3 feet rule – The three feet rule is that you need to make sure that the space heater is far away from anything that might catch on fire. That includes loose drapes, clothing or any other object that can catch on fire like furniture. It also ensures that nothing will block the ventilation ports of your heater and cause it to overheat.
- Smoke Alarms – When you run a space heater you need to ensure that you have working smoke alarms in your home. They should be on every level and positioned outside of sleeping areas. Test them on a monthly basis to ensure that they are working correctly. Also, if you have a gas fueled space heater, consider getting a carbon monoxide alarm as well.
- No extension cords – Space heaters draw a lot of power. 1500 watts is nothing to sneeze at. And because they draw so much power, they can overheat a standard extension cord. If you plug a space heater into one, it can actually get hot enough to melt the cord, which becomes a burn and a fire hazard. They should always be plugged directly into the wall. No extension cords or surge protectors either.
These might seem like extraordinary rules, but they really aren’t. Stay safe with your space heater.
Staying Comfortable with Space Heaters
One thing that separates convection and radiant space heaters is how they deal with the humidity in the air. Convection heaters, as we showed you, warm up the air to keep you warm. Radiant heaters don’t. So what does that have to do with staying comfortable?
One of the key things that keeps you comfortable is humidity. That’s why heading outside after a rain storm in the middle of July in Florida can be such a miserable experience. The humidity is too high. And likewise, the middle of winter when it’s freezing cold can be miserable because of how dry it is. Your skin cracks, your nose dries out, and static electricity makes touching anything metal a risky proposition.
All of that is affected by humidity. Or more precisely, they are affected by relative humidity. There are two types of humidity that is measured. Absolute humidity and relative humidity. Here’s the difference between the two:
- Absolute humidity is the amount of water that is in the air period. It’s not affected by anything else, it just measures how much moisture is currently floating about.
- Relative humidity measures the ratio of how much moisture is in the air compared to how much moisture the air can hold. Warm air can hold more moisture. Cold air holds less.
Convection space heaters warm the air. And warm air holds more moisture than cold air. So if you don’t add any more moisture to the air while you warm it up, relative humidity drops. And that is an issue when it comes to staying comfortable.
When the relative humidity drops, that means that the air can hold more moisture and that means that the relatively moist linings of your nose and throat will start to leach out moisture to the air. That means that you’re going to dry out and start to feel scratchy
A low relative humidity also can affect how much allergies and colds make you feel. So, how do you make sure that you don’t feel horrible when you run your convection space heater? There are two options.
The first option is for you to also run a humidifier at the same time as you run your space heater. If you have a smart thermostat, it will tell you the relative humidity in your home. Keep your humidity anywhere from 25 to 60 percent. Anything outside of that range will feel uncomfortable.
Energy Efficient Space Heaters Comparison Chart
|Duraflame DFI-5010||1,000 square feet||1500||13.1 x 24 x 23.4 in||28.6 pounds|
|Lasko Designer Series||N/A||1500||8.2 x 8.2 x 16.1 in||8.1 pounds|
|Comfort Zone Oscillating||300 square feet||1500||25 x 9.5 x 9 in||7.35 pounds|
|Dr Infrared Heater||Heat up a large room||1500||13 x 11 x 16 in||19 pounds|
|Lasko 751320||300 Sq. Ft.||1500||7.4 x 8.7 x 23.5 in||8 pounds|
|Brightown Ceramic Space Heater||N/A||1500||11 x 8.9 x 7.1 in||3.55 pounds|
|Trustech||N/A||1500||18 x 14.3 x 13.4 in||15 pounds|
Running a space heater in your home is a great way to save money. The key is to find one that suits your needs and fits in with your house. Knowing the difference between the various types of space heaters is important. Radiant heat is different from convection heat and they operate in different ways. Not only does convection heat change the humidity in your room by warming the air, it can also make you feel more comfortable indirectly.
There are other types of heaters available, from space heaters that use natural gas, to oil filled radiator models that all operate on these same principles. A radiator space heater is a radiant heater, obviously. A heater that relies on combustion by burning fuel, such as one that operates on propane or natural gas will be a convection heater. Learning to identify which type of heater is which will help you make smart and informed decisions on how best to save money and get the most out of your energy efficient space heaters. If you’d like to read more in depth reviews on space heaters, we have an entire listing here.