If you live in a home with no central heating system or one that doesn’t work very effectively, you quickly learn about the variety of electric heater brands and types. I’ve tried them all, it seems, but when I tried my first Bionaire heater, I knew I was onto a brand that I can trust to keep my home warm no matter how cold it gets outside.

There are five basic types of electric space heaters, and Bionaire offers them all. Each type has its advantages and disadvantages of course, but some clearly perform better than others. Circumstances also dictate which heater type is best for you.

Here’s some information about the five types of Bionaire heaters along with my comments about each type:

Oil-Filled Heaters

Perhaps the most common type of space heater, these units look like old-fashioned radiators. An element heats up oil sealed inside the unit, then the heat radiates into the room. These units are almost completely silent except for gurgling when they’re first tuned on. While they can warm even the largest rooms, they don’t have an appealing look and the entire unit gets hot to the touch. Still, they tend to last longer than just about any other type of electric heater.

Fan-Forced Heaters

Fan heaters often have a plastic housing that stays cool to the touch and a metal coil inside that’s the only part that gets hot. A fan forces the heat from the coil into the room. Because the fan helps move the heated air quickly, a Bionaire heater with a fan can warm a room quicker than a radiator-style unit. Fan-forced heaters are also available in a small size that’s perfect for use in spaces where there’s no room for a larger unit.

Ceramic Heaters

Ceramic heaters work by sending electricity through ceramic plates, causing aluminum elements to get hot. Then, a fan pushes the heat into the room. Since they provide immediate warmth and can be placed either on the floor or on a table, these units are a great choice for an office with too little heat or a room with a northern exposure that won’t stay warm. They’re also among the most portable full-power heaters since some units of other types can be unwieldy.

Radiant or Quartz Heaters

A bit different that other space heaters, quartz heaters heat only what’s in front of them. That makes them perfect for feet-warming or standing in front of. When everyone else is happy with the temperature of the room but you need more heat, aiming a quartz heater like the ones Bionaire offers at yourself is a great idea that doesn’t upset everyone else.

Micathermic Convection Heaters

When you need heat for hours at a time, a micathermic convection heater with fan could be the best choice. An element heats the air near the unit -- making it great for those who like to stand in front of the unit -- and a small fan pushes the air out and up, gently and consistently warming the whole room. My first Bionaire heater, a Bionaire BH1551, is one of these, and it’s still my favorite. My home has large rooms and high ceilings, and a micathermic heater simply works better in that situation than any other type.

Closing Comments

If you have as much experience with electric heaters as I do, you’ve probably been disappointed by the performance of a heater many times. That could be because you bought the wrong heater for the job, however.

If you choose carefully and understand the difference between heater types, you can save yourself from disappointment -- and from wasting your money.

A Bioanire heater is a great choice, but whatever brand you buy, get the right unit for the job if you want to be satisfied.