5 Factors to Consider When Purchasing a Space Heater

shutterstock_2485436Purchasing a space heater can be a great way to keep certain parts of your home warm during the winter months. Choosing a space heater, however, can be a bit overwhelming and confusing, particularly if you have never owned a space heater before. To help with the process of finding the right space heater to suit your needs, it is helpful to look at the answers to some of the most common questions about space heaters.

Should I Purchase an Electric, Propane or Kerosene Heater?

If you are planning to heat a well-vented outdoor area or a screened-in porch, you can use an electric, propane or kerosene heater. If you are heating a room inside your house, however, you will need to use an electric heater. This is because propane and kerosene heaters can release carbon monoxide. In addition, they can become so hot that they ignite fabric. On the other hand kerosene and propane heaters are cheaper to operate, so they may be a good option if your space is well-vented and properly supervised.

What Safety Features Should I Look for in a Space Heater?

Safety is a major concern when shopping for a space heater. Most modern space heaters have sensors that cause them to shut down if they become overheated. If you are purchasing a taller model, it is also a good idea to look for one that switches off it is tipped over. If you are purchasing a space heater that uses propane or kerosene, look for one with an oxygen depletion sensor or a low-oxygen shut off. In this way, you will reduce the risk of carbon dioxide build-up.

How Do Electric Space Heaters Differ?

Electric space heaters come in three basic varieties: convection models, those with a fan, and radiant versions. Convection models are typically best for heating an entire room because they are capable of spreading their heat over a wide space. Space heaters with fans are able to heat a room more quickly because they are able to distribute the heat more quickly. On the other hand, they are typically louder than convection models. Radiant versions use a quart tube or an electric-ribbon element to produce heat, which means they are a good choice for spot heating. Radiant space heaters tend to lose their heat quickly once they are turned off.

Can a Space Heater Be Moved From Room to Room?

One of the benefits to using a space heater is that it can be moved to whatever room needs heat at the time. Weight can be a factor, however, so you will want to look for a lightweight model if you anticipate moving the heater frequently. Keep in mind that electric heaters are typically far lighter than those that are fueled by propane or kerosene. It is also beneficial to purchase a heater with a handle and with a long electrical cord. Both features make it easier to move the heater and to set it where it will be of the greatest benefit to you.

How Can I Conserve Energy with a Space Heater?

Some space heaters come with an energy saver option, which will automatically make changes to your settings in order to reduce the amount of energy that is wasted. A space heater with a thermostat is also beneficial. Not only does this save you the hassle of having to turn the heater on and off, but it also ensures the heater will turn off once it has reached a particular temperature. It is also beneficial to select a heater with multiple output settings. This way, you can choose the lowest setting possible while still keeping the room comfortable.

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