A portable space heater is a great thing to have when you need to warm up a room where the central heating system is insufficient, or even just to provide additional warmth to somebody who may be sensitive to the cold. There are many types of heaters out there and choosing the right one takes more than just looking at the price and wattage. Here are some important things to consider when your in the market for a new space heater.
Decide on the type of portable space heater you need
Type? Yes, there are two main types of portable space heater out there; convection and radiant.
- A convection space heater simply warms the air around the heater, a fan can be used to direct the warm air. The convection type of portable space heater is well suited to heating an entire room.
- The next type of heater is the radiant variety. This type uses infrared radiation to directly heat the person (or object) that is in front of it. This type of portable space heater is better suited to heating a person directly as opposed to warming the entire room. A good choice if the room is large and it would be inefficient to heat it all, or if you'll only be in the room for a short period of time.
So you see, how you will use the portable space heater will determine the best type to get.
Additional considerations for a convection style portable space heater
A convection portable space heater, as we've covered already, simply heats the air around it and may, or may not be fan forced.
A non-fan forced portable space heater is more of a baseboard style, and is great for a room that will need to be heated for long periods of time. This type will take longer to heat the room, but is silent, and uses less power. This type of portable space heater is great for the living room or family room for example.
The fan forced convection portable space heater is best used for situations where the room needs to be heated much quicker, I use one of these in the bathroom on cold winter mornings.
Some different situations and the best heater to use
Here's some different heating situations and an explanation of the best type of portable space heater to use.
For my bedroom a baseboard style non-fan forced portable space heater is best, it's silent and will heat the room efficiently for many hours.
In the morning, before work, I like to sit in my porch and enjoy a coffee. A radiant portable space heater is best here since I don't need the whole room to be heated, just me.
My bathroom can get quite cold in the winter. A fan forced convection space heater is best here as I will not be in direct line of sight of the heater, but the room needs to be warmed quickly.
Here's an example of an amazingly good convection style portable space heater, available on Amazon.
Here's a great article that goes in depth on the different features you'll find on an electric space heater, very informative.
You may have noticed I have excluded propane heaters here, why? they're not electric first of all and between the fire hazard and carbon monoxide danger I feel they just aren't worth the risk.
How much does a good portable space heater cost?
Well, that depends on the type as well as the features, not too mention if it's on sale or not. I suggest reading space heater reviews on sites like ConsumerSearch and ConsumerReports. These sites feature unbiased space heater reviews written by people just like yourself. You will, of course, also find many useful links on this page too.