Most Efficient Space Heater

A compact electric heater with a fan on the floor in the room.

What’s the most efficient space heater?

What are the safety precautions to keep in mind for space heaters?

What’s the best way to heat a garage workshop?

What’s the best heater for small room?

What’s the best outdoor propane heater?

What’s the best heater for large room?

What is the most efficient electric heater?

Why use a battery power space heater?

What is the best heater for bedroom?

Best electric heater for home?

Is it safe to use a kerosene space heater indoors?

The space heater is typically used as a supplemental heating source, not as the main heating device. For example, if you are currently occupying just one room in your house or apartment, you may want to turn down the main heating source that heats the entire space and turning on the space heater to be warm and comfortable in just one room. It is also beneficial is situations where one person using the home or apartment needs more heat than others occupying the space such as older people or people who might be ill.
The typical space heat runs on electricity, propane, natural gas, kerosene, wood logs or wood pellets. The typical heater will produce between 10,000 and 40,000 btus an hour. What is a btu or British thermal Unit? It is the amount of energy need to raise the temperature of a pound of water one degree Fahrenheit [equivalent to 1.055 × 103 joules]. Fireplaces and wod burning or pellet-burning stoves are quite different from the typical space heater so we will treat them separately.
Space heaters work through convection (circulating heat through the air)or by radiation—radiant heat. An example of radiant heat is standing in front of a blazing fire in a fireplace and feeling the heat on your skin. Radiant or infrared heating will heat people within the line of sight of the heating system. It is a good choice in space heaters if you will be in a room for only a few hours.
Although this website is a big believer is using second-hand or used items whenever possible to save money, when it comes to space heating and space heating equipment, throw the old stuff out and buy new. Why? The newer equipment is safer and more energy efficient. You do not want old equipment in use if you have small children, pets or elderly people living with you or if you are old yourself.
Here are key tips for buying a new space heater:
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Get a heater with a thermostat that will shut off the heater when the temperature reaches a certain temperature. If you do not have a thermostatically controlled heater and you for get to turn off the heater when you leave the room, it will continue to kick out heat and waste a lot of energy and money.
Get a heater properly sized for a room. If you intend on buying just one heater and using it in different rooms, then the heater needs to be sized for the largest room in which it will be used For efficiency sake if you find you are using this large heater often in a small room, you might consider buying a second heater.
Buy heater with as many safety features as possible.
Another issue you need to look at are vented and unvented space heaters. This is a concern with combustion heaters. An electric heater is not a combustion heater, but a natural gas, kerosene or propane heater are. If these heaters malfunction in any way, they could produce carbon monoxide gas, which is colorless, odorless and deadly. Don’t use a combustion heater around children, the elderly or infirmed. In these situations, use an electric, not combustion heater. If a combustion heater is used, it must be vented through a wall to the outside. There is a type of unit called a “sealed combustion heater,” which uses a duct to bring in outside air for combustion and then vents it to the outside. This type of heater takes more labor and expense to install over and above an electric heater. These types of heaters are safer than the combustion heaters that simply vents through the ceiling or wall to the outside by reducing the threat of backdraft.
Any combustion heater that uses a liquid gas, such as a kerosene heater, requires additional safety efforts. First, they MUST be installed consistent with manufacturer’s instructions. The long and short of it is that if you do not know what you are doing…don’t do it! If you cannot afford a professional installer, go with a safer electric heater.
Any time you are going to refill a liquid combustion space heater, that heater must be completely cool. If the heater is warm or hot at the time that you refill it, the liquid could spill and cause a fire. Do not fill it to the top because liquid expands when it get warm or hot and liquid fuel acts the same way. If the heater is overfilled and spills out of the top, it once again could cause a fire.
In addition to be vented to the outside, this type of heater must be inspected every year by a pro to ensure that the venting is effective and functioning. Vent pipes can corrode or rust or rodents or birds can nest in the pipe. In that event what happens is that the level of carbon monoxide could go up.
Electric heaters do not create the type of potential dangers with the air in the room that combustion type heaters do, but there are also some issues with them as well. For one thing, they are more expensive to operate than combustion heaters: a gallon of kerosene costs remarkably less money than the amount of electricity needed to heat the room to the same levels. As mentioned, the electric space heater does not cause air quality problems in a room, but there are still fire hazard issues. If the electric heater should be tipped over by a clumsy adult, a child or a pet, it could potentially cause a heater.
For safety, we like the convection space heater that incorporate a heat transfer liquid, the type of heater that looks more like the old radiator looking heater. The liquid in the heater allows the liquid to heat up and provide heat storage and be a more constant form of heat, as opposed to the typical electric space heater that cycles on, cycles off and then cycles on again. Like the combustion type space heater, there are safety precautions to installing and using an electric space heater: the electric heater needs to be connected right into the wall outlet, not to an extension cord. If you must use an extension cord, that extension cord must be at least a 14-gauge wire. What is wire gauge and what does that mean? Gauge is the size of a wire from the American Wire (AWG) system. The 10-gauge, 12-gauge and 14-gauge wires are the most common for home use. The larger the number that you see, the smaller the gauge. That is, a 14-gauge wire carries less wattage than the 10 gauge wire. The 14 gauge wire that is recommended for an extension cord to attach to an electric space heater carries 15 amps and 1440 watts. The 12-gauge wire will carry 20 amps or about 19s watts safely. The 10-gauge wire will carry 30 amps or about 2880 watts. The 8-gauge wire will carry 40 amps and 7680 watts. Here is what you need to know about these terms: amps is the current that a wire can safely handle; wattage is the electrical energy used by an appliance; thus, amps x voltage – watts.
Using Space Heaters Efficiently
Here are tips to so that you can use your space heater efficiently:
During sunny days in the autumn, winter and early spring when the air is still cool, open the curtains in your home or apartment that face south to let the sun’s rays into your space. This is a way to heat your home naturally. Close the curtains at night to retain the heat you have and not lose the heat to the outside through radiation.
To cut down on air infiltration in the home, tape or staple heavy plastic sheets to the frames of your windows during the coldest part of the winter. The plastic needs to be sealed tightly to the frames to eliminate air infiltration into the space.
Use insulating drapes on the windows to reduce heat loss in the winter and heat gain during the summer.
Tune up your heating systems every year.
Clean all wood burning and wood pellet burning heating systems.
Turn down your water heater from 140 degrees to 120 degrees to save energy.

What is the most efficient space heater?

Gas space heaters are cheaper by as much as 50 percent to operate over electric space heaters. But “cheaper to operate” may be only part of the equation for you. Let’s compare the two types of heaters:

Electric heaters offer high energy efficiency, while gas heaters cost less to operate.

Electric heaters can be used in areas that are enclosed, like small rooms, while gas heaters should be used in open spaces or the gas heater needs to be vented to the outside of the space into open air.

Electric heaters are safer than gas heaters, but the electric heater can have its own safety issues.

Electric heaters get shut down during power outages when you need heat the most! Gas heaters can be used in power outages, with one caveat. If the gas heater is connected to a propane tank, it can be operated at any point during a power outage. But if the heater is connected to a natural gas line, if the authorities shut off all natural gas coming into homes, as they did on the East Coast during Superstorm Sandy because of flooding, you will be without any heat.

Gas heaters require more investment to begin with because in addition to buying the unit, the heater needs to have venting installed to the outside of the space.

Gas heaters can function during power outages.

Electric space heaters come in 120-volt and 240-volt configurations. The 240-volt heaters can kick out a lot of heat, but require a special receptacle to plug the unit into. The 120-volt unit plugs into a standard home electrical recept

What are the safety precautions to keep in mind for space heaters?

A Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory (NRTL) label should be on all space heaters you buy.

All electric space heaters should be plugged directly into a wall outlet. Do not use extension cord or a power strip or surge protector.

Electric heaters should have a shut off tip over switch. It reduces one of the biggest safety threats of electric heaters.

Buy a heater with an overheat shut off switch. If the heater then overheats, the heater will shut off. A great safety feature.

Heaters with cases that are flame resistant are another good safety feature to look for in space heaters.

Liquid filled heaters are inherently safer than electric space heaters with heating coils.

Turn the heater off and unplug it when you leave the home. We like to unplug the heater in the unlikely event that a pet will knock over the heater and switch it on.

Don’t use heaters in wet or damp areas, unless especially designed for that use.

Do not use space heaters in bathrooms. Water and electricity don’t mix!

In the front, back and sides of heaters, keep them away from combustible surfaces…always.

If you decide to go with a gas heater, only set them up in well vented areas.

If you are using an unvented gas heater, use it only in open areas like construction sites or open garages because these heaters do produce CO.

Use electric heaters that offer a grill so that hands cannot reach the heating coils.

Any time that you buy and set up a space heater, you need to purchase fire, smoke and CO detectors for the spaces in which you will use the heaters.

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