It comes to us as no surprise that space heaters offer a convenient method of heating up small-sized rooms and also providing instant heat in outdoor areas.
These units are highly effective in reducing heating costs as it heats up the room you are in only. However, this also makes people question how efficient are space heaters.
When it comes to the efficiency of space heaters, there is quite a bit to unpack. Its efficiency also depends on the type. Thus, we decided to talk about space heaters’ efficiency and listed all the top factors to consider when you purchase a space heater.
How Efficient Are Space Heaters?
To begin with, there are two common and basic types of space heater that you will find on the market. These include petroleum-based space heaters and electric space heaters.
1. Petroleum-Based Space Heaters
With petroleum-based space heaters, they typically rely on propane, oil, kerosene, natural gas, or gasoline to power them. It goes without saying that these are pretty efficient as they tend to burn fairly completely. This is also why you will notice that this is frequently used whenever possible for central heating systems.
There is a downside to this though. Petroleum-based space heaters need very good ventilation. They must either tap into a direct vent that will connect to exhaust or else, they have to be used outdoors.
2. Electric Space Heaters
Electric heaters are not as efficient as their petroleum-based counterpart. That said, they tend to be safer and more versatile.
Electric space heaters can be further subdivided. You have convection heaters which tend to be highly energy efficient. These are typically used for larger and enclosed areas.
Convection heaters work by heating up the surrounding air. While they do take some time to heat up a room, their warmth will continue to linger for quite a while even after the device is switched off.
The second subtype is infrared or radiant heaters, which will direct heat at specific objects or people. They tend to warm up quite quickly but their warm air will dissipate almost the same minute you switch off the heater.
Ceramic heaters are also quite a popular option. This type of heater has the ability to circulate air around while keeping the main focus of the heat only where it is mostly required. Best of all, they remain cool to the touch.
Lastly, you can also opt to purchase panel or micathermic heaters. This heater will combine both convection and radiant technology. This will heat up rapidly and will distribute the hot air across the whole room.
What Are the Factors to Consider When Buying a Space Heater?
Now that you have a basic understanding of the efficiency of space heaters, it is time we talk about the top factors you need to consider when you purchase a space heater.
1. Energy Efficiency
If you want to be careful about conserving the energy and have low heating costs, then you should always pay close attention to the efficiency of a space heater. Portable electric heaters don’t have a standard efficiency level like EER rating, which you typically find on portable AC systems.
Keep a close eye at some special features such as adjustable thermostats, energy saving modes, programmable timers, and low wattage that can help in minimizing power usage.
2. Distribution of Heat
Only the highly efficient space heaters come with the ability not just to heat quickly but also distribute the warm air across the room evenly. This means it does not just provide hot air to people or objects in front of the heater. These devices are designed to have a significantly wider distribution which ultimately pushes the air farther away.
A space heater that comes with oscillation systems is most adept at doing that job. Since they heat rooms quickly, you do not need to use them for longer periods.
One of the best ways to conserve energy is by using timers. Having a timer will allow you to turn the heater on and off automatically. This prevents you from using the heater unnecessarily.
Through such, it is not just cost-effective but also provides you with a layer of safety. This is a popular feature that people tend to use especially when they go to sleep as it will automatically switch off once the time is up.
4. Auto or Eco-Mode
Having an auto or eco mode on your space heater will help you select an appropriate level of heating. It fluctuates between high or low fan speeds so that it can maintain the set temperature.
In certain space heaters, it will kick off once the designated temperature is reached. This is done so that there isn’t any wastage of energy when the room is properly heated.
5. Noise Level
Noise is a factor you must consider before purchasing a space heater. Typically, most space heaters have a relatively quiet operation, but there definitely is a range.
Some of them tend to click or whirl or even hum. Find a space heater that makes little to no noise or even emits a white noise which you very well know you will be able to tolerate.
6. Fan-Only Mode
While a lot of people don’t realize this, but having a fan-only mode can have quite a bit of benefit. As the season becomes slightly warmer, you can use your heater as a fan as well. Thus, making it versatile.
7. Size of the Room
One thing people don’t tend to factor in is the size of the room they will place the space heater. You will need a space heater with appropriate power for your room. Do note that higher power output means there will be more energy used.
Typically, you will need a space heater with only 750W of power for a small sized room. For a larger sized room, you can opt for a 1500W space heater. Choose one on the basis of the square footage and nothing else.
We are certain we have answered how efficient are space heaters. Petroleum-based space heaters are more efficient than electric space heaters but have several downsides.
We recommend sticking to electric space heaters. Use our guide to help you find the best electric space heater.