This important feature refers to the size of space that the heater can work in. If you are using an infrared heater, it might not come with a lot of power and might be better as a supplementary means of heating the space.
Propane heaters, on the other hand, can heat up much larger spaces.
Some models can heat up large spaces, like the AmazonBasics Portable Eco-Smart Space Heater.
The first thing to look out for when buying a heater is the type of heater. There are several types of heaters on the market right now. Knowing how these work to distribute heat will help you to decide which of them to buy.
Radiator Space Heater
This type of heater is the simplest type of heater. It is dependent on the heating element. The heating element heats up and the heat radiates from the element. It often runs on electricity and this is what generates the heat.
The electricity runs through it, and the resistance to the electricity is what increases the heat of the element. The heat then moves out of the element to the air and warms you.
In this category, there are still some types.
This heater has the elements immersed in an oil tank. Due to the heating mechanism, it will still give off heat even when the power is off. It can continue heating the space for up to forty minutes.
In this type of space heater, the bare metal element is what radiates the heat.
Some of the best radiator space heaters come as ceramic options. They have their elements covered in ceramic. Due to the material of construction, they are more expensive than your typical heater. However, they hold heat better and are more efficient. Lasko 755320 Ceramic Space Heater is an example of this.
The fan option works by expelling the heat from the heated element into the room. Because of the fan, hot air reaches most parts of the space.
While you might be put off by the ‘infrared’ moniker, there really isn’t anything to be scared off here. This type of heater gives off heat in a way that will gently heat up the objects in the space. The radiation is weak and will not penetrate your skin. Unlike the others, infrared radiation will heat up objects and not the air. An example is Duraflame 3D Infrared Electric Fireplace.
Convection Space Heaters
Another type of space heater is the convection space heater. This is a hybrid heater that might use different heating elements and technology to create and disperse heat. Therefore, you can find convective space heaters that use metal, infrared, or ceramic to disperse heat. One example is Cadet 67527.
Another type of heater is the propane heater. As the name implies, this runs on natural gas instead of electricity. The heater will completely burn the fuel, thus giving you plenty of heat without the creation of dangerous gases.
This type of heater is excellent if your space is poorly insulated. An example here is Mr. Heater F274830
Electric vs Gas Heater
So, which is better between these two types of heaters? Let us consider the advantages and cons of each type.
Pros of Electric Heaters
- It is often easy to use
- Compact, portable, and easy to move
- Usually have precise temperature control
- Safer to use
Cons of Electric Heaters
- Electricity is more expensive than gas
Pros of Propane Heaters
- Higher heat production
- Lower operational costs
- More affordable than large electric heaters
Cons of Propane Heaters
- Risk of carbon monoxide production
- Cumbersome to move
Overall, you should choose an electric heater in most cases. The only exceptions are when you need plenty of heat for the space.
Heat Settings and Wattage
Another important thing to consider when choosing a space heater is the heat setting of the heater. The wattage is an important consideration that will determine the cost and power of the infrared heater.
Several of the infrared heaters that we have found on the market come with 1000 to 1800 watts of power. The heat settings offered are another important consideration.
The timer feature is exactly what it sounds like. The heater should have a timer option. While this is not absolutely necessary, it is a useful and important feature. It comes in very handy and allows you to switch off the heater or turn it on at a set time. Some of the options that we have reviewed come with 12-hour timers.