Choosing The Right Indoor Space Heater:
Are you searching for the perfect space heater but feel a little lost? When it comes to buying an electric space heater, fundamental questions — like will this heater adequately heat my space? And how much will it cost to operate? — take precedence over a number of bonus features included with the unit. To get to the bottom of these questions and more, let’s examine a few things to consider in a space heater.
The first factor to determine before selecting a space heater is what type of heater you need. While there are numerous heater styles, there are essentially three heating technologies under which every electric heater falls: radiant, convection, and fan-forced. Convection heaters typically provide even, whole-room heating; radiant heaters deliver quick, spot heating in small spaces; fan-forced heaters use an internal fan that blows across a heating element; and micathermic heaters offer fast, widespread heat while saving space. Selecting the appropriate type of heater for your application is the best way to ensure effective performance.
You also may want to consider a wall heater. Some models are simply hung on a wall with brackets, and others, like QMark heaters, are actually recessed into the wall. These are commonly used in hotels, bathrooms, and rooms with limited space. Typically hard-wired into new construction, they’re powerful and quiet heating options that Sylvane customers rave about.
When looking for a personal space heater, one of the most important things to look for in a space heater is the size of space the heater will cover. This is determined by the heater wattage rating. Generally, a room heater uses 10 watts of heating power to heat each square foot of your space. So a typical 1,500-watt heater will cover average-sized rooms as large as 150 square feet when used as a supplementary source of heat. This guideline, however, is a general rule of thumb that does not apply to every model. Depending on the heating technology, your indoor environment, and the application, some portable heaters may cover more space.
If you are concerned about conserving energy and want to maintain low heating costs, it is a good idea to compare efficiency before choosing a space heater. Although portable electric heaters currently lack a standard level of efficiency like the EER ratings found on portable AC systems, heater operating costs are easy to calculate using a simple formula. To keep your electric bills from skyrocketing, it is necessary to choose the right energy-efficient space heater for your environment and the size of your space. Additionally, special features such as energy-saving modes, adjustable thermostats, low wattage, and programmable timers help minimize power usage and contribute to economic operation.
If not monitored properly, portable heaters can easily become fire hazards. Therefore, it is essential to consider safety. To significantly reduce the risk of fires, many manufacturers equip their electric heaters with cool-to-the-touch surfaces and other advanced safety features for secure operation. Some space heaters feature an internal switch that automatically shuts off the power of the heater is accidentally tipped over or knocked down. Overheat protection, another invaluable safety function, is also included with most space heater units. This switch serves as a sensor that automatically turns the heater off if the internal components reach an unsafe temperature.
Choosing The Right Outdoor Heater:
The advent of cooler weather often means we abandon our patios and other outdoor living spaces in favor of cozy indoor spaces. But with an outdoor patio heater, you can turn your spring and summer entertainment areas into year-round outdoor venues for dining, socializing, and family fun.
Types of Patio Heaters
All patio heaters produce radiant heat, which directly heats the objects — or people and pets — seated near them, rather than heating the air. If you’ve ever used an infrared sauna, the effect is similar. Patio heaters are either gas-powered or electric and come in several styles, including:
- Tall, portable, freestanding models typically outfitted with a propane tank, like this 88-inch heater with wheels;
- Small, portable tabletop models that are electric or propane-fueled, like this stainless steel heater;
- Portable floor models running on propane or electricity, like this indoor/outdoor heater;
- Fixed, wall-mounted models using natural gas or electricity, like this infrared electric heater;.
- Fixed, overhead models using natural gas or electricity, like this heater with LED lighting and remote control.
How Well Do Patio Heaters Work?
That depends on how much space you need to heat, and to what temperature. Heater strength is measured in BTUs (British Thermal Units). The higher the BTUs, the larger space the heater will heat.
To determine how many BTUs or how many patio heaters you need, measure the cubic footage (length x width x height) of your patio or covered porch. (If your patio is uncovered, you’ll want to heat to a height of about seven feet.) Then consider how cold it gets where you live versus your desired temperature for the patio. For example, if it’s 45 degrees F and you want to heat the patio to 75 F, your desired temperature increase is 30 degrees. Multiply the cubic feet total x 30, and that’s the number of BTUs you need to increase your patio temperature from 45 to 75 degrees.
To put it another way: A 20 x 20-foot patio, heated to seven feet off the ground, is 2,800 cubic feet. Times 30 degrees, it requires 84,000 BTUs, or roughly two of these propane patio heaters to heat the entire area.