What safety features are usually included?
Because we are dealing with items that produce heat, safety features are of the utmost importance. You want a heater that you can use without worrying that it will combust spontaneously if left plugged in. Furthermore, if you have pets or children running around, you want to ensure you don’t end up in the ER for causes that could have been prevented.
Heaters produced nowadays come with several safety features to lessen the anxiety around using heaters at home; these safety features will vary from model to model, but they usually include the following.
While there are heaters in the market whose surfaces still run hot when they have been plugged in for hours, many models are adopting cool-to-touch housing. A surface that remains cool even when the heater has been on for hours is safe for use. You will not have to deal with accidental burns or a scorched carpet/floor. If you have curious children or pets around, selecting a model with a surface that doesn’t get hot is necessary.
Another crucial safety feature is the overheat protection that prevents the heater from continuously heating even when it has attained the required temperature. A model lacking this feature should be watched closely to avoid accidents. However, most manufacturers are adhering to industry standards, so it is rare to find a heater that lacks overheat protection.
Knocking a heater over is a normal occurrence since we can all be a bit clumsy. The issue arises if you knock the heater down and it continues dispensing heat. If the heater fell on its face, the heat produced has nowhere to go; hence it will burn the surface.
To avoid any fires when the heater is knocked over, select a model with tip-over protection. This feature ensures the heater goes off when it gets knocked over; therefore, no heat is produced.
The automatic shut-off is another indispensable feature when it comes to heaters. Once your preferred temperature is attained, the safest electric space heater will shut off more heat production to prevent electrical fires. Not all heaters come with this feature, so be sure to confirm if the prospective model has one; it is a must-have for you.
Other key features of a space heater to consider
Apart from safety features, heaters possess other features that you should pay attention to. After all, you cannot enjoy the safety features alone because the heater has to function optimally regarding heat production.
So, what are these other features to consider and how do they affect the heater’s functionality? You might be thinking they are complex features, but in reality, they are not. We will answer your queries in the section below; and, without wasting any more time, let us dive in:
There are two types of space heaters that we will cover in this review, and those are oil-filled space heaters and those that rely on fans.
Oil-filled space heaters are convenient when you need high amounts of heat dispersed continuously. The oil absorbs the heat and continues distributing it, even when the heater is switched off. These models operate relatively silent, and they are not prone to electrical faults. However, they take some time to heat up compared to the fan-relying models.
Fan-based heaters need the fan to move at high speeds to disperse the heat produced. They are relatively affordable, portable and they take a short time to heat a space. Unlike the oil-filled heaters, these models quit dispersing heat the minute they are unplugged.
Both these types of heaters will possess a heating element, whether made of ceramic, mica, or natural gas. The quality of the heating element matters to facilitate long-term durability, hence, select wisely.
Some heaters feature a timer, and some don’t; it all depends on your requirements. Heaters with timers are convenient when you want the heater to run at a specific time without manually turning it off or on. Models with 24/7 timers are preferable because they do not limit the time you can set to have the machine running.
The safest, most efficient space heaters have a controllable thermostat. A thermostat is essential in raising and maintaining the user’s preferred temperature. A controlled thermostat gives you room to set the temperature to a specific digit, but some models only work with pre-set temperatures according to the available heat settings. Regardless of the type of thermostat you use, make sure that it is accurate and functions optimally.
Even the safest small space heater will feature well-placed controls that are easy to use. The controls should be located in an area that doesn’t force the user to stoop low to reach them. If the controls are too low, there should be a remote control to save you the frustration of moving up and down just to set the right temperature.
The controls should be well illustrated and of good quality so that you can enjoy a long service life.
Dimensions and weight
The larger the heater, the more likely it will be heavy. Small-sized heaters are not bulky; in fact, their size makes them easily portable. You can carry them to the office or camping with no problems as they come with handles.
Larger models need more energy to move, but some manufacturers fit wheels to make moving the heater from room to room possible.
A warranty is essential, specifically if it is your first time purchasing a heater. Most heaters come with 2- to 5-year warranties that guarantee that the product is worthwhile. The manufacturer can solve any issues that stem from production flaws if the warranty is still valid.