The best electric heater to buy
An electric heater buying guide
When looking for a new electric heater, there are a number of points you will want to consider when thinking about how to buy an electric heater to suit your needs.
>> Consider different needs and uses
Electric heater uses will be the main factor to consider when figuring out the best electric heater to buy. The insulation quality and the number of windows and walls in your home will influence the loss of heat and help give you an idea about which electric heater to buy. Heaters have various sizes, usually calculated by how much energy they use and the amount of heat produced as measured in watts or BTUs. As a general rule, your heater should have 10 watts (34 BTUs) for every square foot being heated, so consider the length and width of the room and multiply the figure by 10. This will give you an approximate indication of the wattage or heater size you need.
>> What features do you need?
As a modern day consumer, you have the advantage of different types of electric heaters that determine how much warmth will be distributed in any given space. So when considering the best electric heater to buy, look for features that are both functional and those bound to make your desired room cozy.
For smaller rooms, consider heaters with a built-in fan. They are best suited for warming up select cold spots in a room and are generally light and compact. They provide immediate bursts of heat exactly where you need it. For utmost efficiency, look for fan heaters with an oscillating feature as they uniformly spread heat over a larger area, allowing you to save energy and effortlessly add the comfort level in the room. When considering how to choose an electric heater, consider that most fan heater models come with a cold blow feature that distributes cold air in the room after the heater has been turned off.
The heat production is calculated in watts. When it comes to electric heater uses, more watts indicate more energy it consumes, which corresponds with the power of the heater.
When it comes to heating, cooling and air quality, consider that humidifiers will keep the air from becoming too dry or drying out and air filters or heaters with purifiers prevent dust being spread through your room. Heaters with this feature are important to consider if you or anyone in your family has any allergies.
You should also consider how much heat you would like in a particular room, and especially, if you would like to have greater or less control over the appliance. Variable thermostats allow you flexibility, making it easier for you to program your preferred temperature. This will save energy as the heater will automatically regulate itself when it attains the set temperature. When considering how to choose an electric heater, keep in mind that the more settings your heater has, the greater control you will have. One of the advantages provided by timers is being able to decide when and how often you would like your room warmed up.
If you plan to use your heater in the garden shed or garage, the frost protection feature will automatically turn itself on whenever the temperature in the room drops below 45º F.
A recent, popular choice is to look for the Energy Star label as it provides guidance on products that satisfy energy efficiency requirements.
>> Consider safety features
The best electric heater to buy will offer you safety features for maximum enjoyment of your heater and greater peace of mind. The safety cut-out mechanism is user friendly and will prevent your heater from overheating or malfunctioning. When using your heater in a small space, the oxygen depletion safety device ensures the continuation of oxygen circulation. Heaters with a buzzer alarm feature will give you peace of mind as they sound whenever the heater is knocked over.
For added safety and convenience, look for heaters with an Electronic Climate Control (ECC) feature as they are considered energy-saving heaters and guarantee that your room is kept at a selected temperature.
>> Consider the types of electric heaters
As you think about how to buy an electric heater, consider the following to find which types are the best match for you:
- Column heaters: Column heaters or radiators generally come in the form of oil-filled or oil-free models. This type of electric heater is most suitable in rooms that you would like kept warm for longer periods. There are models with a built-in fan to improve air circulation and ensure even heat distribution. If your immediate activity is sleep, work or any other activity that requires silence, you will find this type of electric heater desirable since it's quiet.
- Portable heaters: Radiant or space models, such as room heaters, provide instant, directional heat through 240-volt heat output. They are most ideal for smaller rooms, such as studies. Additionally, portable heaters are environmentally friendly and durable.
- Convection and panel heaters: In determining the best electric heater to buy, keep in mind that convection heaters are suitable for more medium-sized or spacious rooms. They are designed to create a faster heating time and even heat distribution. Most convector heaters, like ceramic heaters, have a fan feature that provides immediate heat circulation. Unlike convection heaters, infrared panel heaters have a flat design and take up very little room, so you can mount them on walls, or have them free-standing while enjoying continuous low-level background heat.
>> Maintenance of your electric heater
The basic guidelines below will keep your energy bill low and ensure a longer lifespan to your electric heater. Think about the following few points and how they might pertain to specific electric heaters you are considering.
- When not in use, unplug your electric heater from the power source.
- Clean your electric heating system or fan regularly.
- Keep your heater away from liquids and store it in a cool, dry place when not in use.