You might find space heaters to be a practical heating solution in your home or business for several reasons, including providing warmth in areas that have inadequate heating, heating areas where central heat can’t be installed, like basements or three-season porches, and reducing heating bills by delivering supplemental heat to a targeted area instead of turning up the thermostat for the entire house. Like the reverse of a window air conditioner during the summer months, portable heaters provide focused “bonus” heat when the weather cools down.
Selecting the best space heater for you can be a bit complicated since you want to pick one that won’t balloon your energy costs, and one that is safe. There are two primary types of electric space heaters. To target heat to a specific area of a room, you’ll likely want to select a radiant space heater which emits radiation waves to heat up the space closest to it, like around a desk or sitting area. It doesn’t blow hot air, making it a good choice for allergy sufferers, and it has no moving parts, so it tends to be a quiet, low-maintenance, and energy-efficient space heater. If you’re looking to heat up an entire room quickly, you’ll likely want a ceramic space heater which uses a convection process to forcefully blow air across a heating element. Convection-style room heaters are best if your goal is to make the entire room feel toasty in a short period of time. Both types of space heaters come in several shapes, sizes and styles to best fit your specific needs, including a floor heater design, wall heater, baseboard heater, patio heater or tower heater.
When you’re considering which small space heater to get, you’ll want to assess the size of the area you want it to cover, then look at the heater wattage rating. The rule-of-thumb guideline suggests that a portable electric heater uses 10 watts of heating power for each square foot of space, so 1500 watts will heat an average room of 150 square feet. You can find the wattage for each space heater available at Best Buy in the specifications section on the product page. Next, you’ll want to be sure you’re selecting the safest space heater for you and your family by determining which safety features you value, like auto shut-off, a tip-over safety switch, overheat protection, and a cool-to-the-touch design, to name a few. Other available features you might find convenient include a programmable thermostat, a programmable timer, an oscillating design, sleep mode, control via app, or a remote control, which may lead you to also pick up some extra alkaline batteries so you’ll always be prepared.
Getting the most from your electric space heater.
In most areas of the country, dry air is an inescapable aspect of winter, and heating your home can make the air drier. That’s why you might want to pair your space heater with a humidifier to keep healthy levels of moisture in the air during colder months so as to better fight off the dehydration, respiratory conditions and eye, nose, throat and skin irritations that can be caused by dry air. You may also want to use your space heater in conjunction with a ceiling fan to help facilitate warming up the room. During the summer, your fan runs in a counter-clockwise direction to provide a cooling wind-chill effect, but during the winter months, running it in a clockwise direction will help push warmer air near ceiling down into the room. Winter air has low humidity and heating the room can result in even lower humidity, triggering allergies and worsening symptoms, so during the colder months, you might want to use an air purifier to boost the purity of your indoor air.