Tips & How To’s

How to Choose a Space Heater for the Harsh Winter

Tim Parry


how to choose space heater

A space heater is an easy way to instantly boost the temperature of a room and bring warmth to any place. This article focuses on how to choose a space heater to help you save money on your utility bills during the harsh winter months. In addition, many electric space heaters have extra features like automatic oscillation and digital controls that make them more convenient.

Fundamental concerns, such as will this space heater adequately heat my space? How much will it cost to run? Take precedence over several optional extras that come with the electric heater. Let's look at the top features of the best space heater to answer these and other questions.

How to Choose a Space Heater

1. Types of Space Heaters

a) Fan Space Heater

fan-forced space heater

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An electric coil or wire heating element heats the air, which is then dispersed with a fan in fan space heaters. They are among the most affordable versions, but they do not provide the same efficiency as other models. As a result, fan space heaters are suitable for rooms with no drafts or for fast warming in a limited space.

b) Convection Space Heater

Ceramic plates or disks circulate warm air in a convection heater, radiating warmth throughout the room. Some convection heaters incorporate fans for faster uniform heat distribution, and they function best in spaces with no drafts, just like traditional fan heaters.

Compact and tower types of convection heaters are available, with external enclosures often cooler to the touch. The wattage and additional features determine the price.

c) Infrared Space Heater

infrared space heater

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Infrared space heaters are among the quietest home heating choices. They swiftly create heat by radiating heat to the objects in front of them, including people. This sort of heater heats you rather than the air in the room, making it an ideal choice for usage in drafty spaces. Direct it to your chair and relax.

d) Oil-filled Space Heater

oil-filled space heater

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Another form of radiant heater that is silent is the oil-filled space heater. These radiant heaters are particularly suited to larger rooms since they can produce a lot of heat while using less electricity than fan-type ones.

These heaters are relatively heavy due to the weight of the oil and the steel casing. However, many come with wheels to make relocation easier. Oil-filled space heaters take a long time to heat up, but once they do, they radiate continually.

e) Micathermic Space Heater

micathermic space heater

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Micathermic space heaters combine the benefits of convection and radiant heating. They are designed as panels that may stand or hang on a wall like a piece of art. They create an inviting, warm atmosphere for the senses by simulating the sight of a real fire and radiating heat.

Some models have fans for increased efficiency and remote controls for added convenience. However, the cost of these sophisticated heaters varies greatly.

f) Natural Gas, Propane, and Kerosene

These three types of gas heaters are the most dangerous. Unvented combustion units are what they're called. It indicates that they should not be used inside your home. However, the heaters are perfect for patios, screen porches, and other outside spaces, and they can save you up to 50% on energy costs compared to electric space heaters.

The flame produced by these heaters heats the air. If used in enclosed locations, it poses a fire concern and, produces carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide and depletes oxygen levels. Therefore, only use kerosene heaters in well-ventilated spaces and never leave them unattended.

2. Heating Capacity

The wattage rating of the heater determines the amount of space the space heater will cover. On average, a room heater uses 10 watts of heating power per square foot of a room. Therefore, a standard 1,500-watt heater covers average-sized rooms of up to 150 square feet when utilized as a supplemental heat source.

It is a rule of thumb but does not apply to all models. For example, some portable heaters cover more space depending on the heating technology, home climate, and use.

3. Energy-Efficient

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Evaluate the energy efficiency before picking a space heater to keep your heating costs low. You can determine portable electric heater operating costs by choosing the proper energy-efficient space heater for the size of your entire room to keep your electric bills from rising.

Special features including low wattage, energy-saving modes, adjustable thermostats and programmable timers also help reduce power consumption. As a result, they contribute to the cost-effective operation.

4. Safety Features

A space heater's thermostat reading.

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Portable space heaters can easily become fire dangers if not properly managed. Therefore, many manufacturers fit their electric heaters with cool-to-the-touch surfaces and other modern safety features for a secure operation to considerably reduce fire risk.

A space heater may consist of an internal switch that instantly shuts off the power if it is tipped over. Most space heaters also come with overheat protection, which acts as a sensor, turning the heater off automatically if the internal components reach a dangerous temperature.

5. Noise Level

Many portable heaters make some noise when in use. However, some models create more sound than others. For quiet operation in calm locations like your bedroom or workplace, consider non-fan-forced units or an oil-filled radiator. Radiant space heaters are ideal for bedrooms and offices since they are quiet.


The heater type and the size of the room you want to heat are the most significant factors to consider when purchasing a space heater. Safety and convenience aspects are also important considerations.

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Tim Parry

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