As winter is just around the corner, perhaps you're searching for ways to stay warm but not spend a fortune in energy costs. A common solution for this dilemma is a space heater.

According to HeaterHut, space heater styles can be divided by the type of heat they produce: Convection heaters (which warm the air in the room) and radiant heaters (which use heat energy to warm objects directly). You can also further classify heaters by the fuel that they operate on -- Electric, natural gas, or propane heaters are the most common varieties.

Propane heaters are portable and powerful, but they can be dangerous if used in an area with poor ventilation. Propane heaters should always be used in conjunction with a carbon monoxide detector.

Electric heaters, as you might expect, do not give off any dangerous exhaust gases. However, you usually won't find electric heaters that are as powerful as typical fuel-burning heaters. They're also limited in their usage, as you can only operate them with an electric outlet (or bulky generator). This makes using an electric heater on some porches, patios, or while camping or fishing very difficult, as you might expect!

Thanks to their safety, power, and smaller operating costs, electric convection heaters have become a popular option lately, even with their handful of drawbacks.

Electric ceramic heaters are a nice choice when you need to heat a room inexpensively, and they are also a very safe heater to boot. Heat is produced by warming a ceramic plate in the heater with electric current. As the plate and adjacent metal baffles are warmed, a fan draws air through the heater and then blows it out into the room. Since the fan is constantly blowing and circulating air into the room, ceramic heaters can spread heat across a moderately-sized room in a few minutes.

Even after you've choosen to purchase a ceramic heater, there are still several variations and styles to choose from. However, you'll want to place a high priority on purchasing a safe ceramic heater for the space in which it will be used. Since ceramic heaters don't use any external heating elements or filaments (like the ones found in propane heaters), they are usually one of the safer space heating options. Similar to the radiator-style oil heaters you've likely seen on store shelves, they also share many of the safety benefits as well.

Keep your eyes peeled for a ceramic space heater with a safety tip-sensor, which detects if the heater has been knocked or tipped over. In this situation, the sensor will instantly power-off the unit, reducing the risk of a fire. For these reasons, it's tough to beat ceramic heaters when it comes to safety and peace-of-mind.

When trying to warm larger rooms, a built-in oscillating fan can help a ceramic heater fill the space. A fan-assisted unit can affectively warm a larger space, and helps to even out the temperature in a room -- avoiding that stuffy feeling that some heaters can create. It's usually possible to operate these heaters as a fan only, which doesn't engage the heating elements. This lets you pull 'double-duty' with your heater / fan, as you can use it to stay cool in the summer as well.

Smaller-sized rooms probably won't require an oscillating-style ceramic heater. Smaller heaters can be placed on a desktop or in a small bathroom or kitchen, and can keep you warm all day long for very little cost. As these units use very little electricity compared to their larger counterparts, you can stay comfortable for a fraction of the cost of a propane or kerosene heater. It's tough to beat staying warm while keeping your utility bill in check during the chilly months ahead.

Winter doesn't have to mean a choice between comfort and low utility bills. There is another choice. When it comes to safety and cost efficiency, it's tough to beat an electric ceramic heater for your indoor spaces.