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The Ultimate Guide to Electrical Heater Types and Brands
With a variety of sizes, looks and function, you're sure to find one that fits your specific heating needs. Some might choose a small heater for its affordability. Others might choose one for its clean air quality. No matter what your reason is, they are a great low-hassle, low-risk investment.
Learn more about the specific types and brands of heaters out there, so when you pick your own you'll be making a well-informed decision.
Types of Electrical Heater
Most modern space heaters use a ceramic element to heat. One that uses a ceramic heating element is extremely safe. Electricity passes through ceramic plates, heating them up. The heat is then absorbed by aluminum baffles, and a fan blows the hot air into your room.
Infrared heating is increasing in popularity, and many new models are hitting the market. Infrared red rays heat objects directly, making them the quickest, most efficient way to get warm. Since no fans or blowers are involved, these heaters work silently and won't disturb your environment in any way.
Baseboard units often require some duct work to be installed, but are the perfect low-profile solutions to heating room additions and other places where you may need some extra heat. If even simple electrical work isn't for you, consider a freestanding baseboard heater, which requires no mounting at all, and is easily portable.
Fireplace mantels are a relative new type of space heater. They combine clean and safe electrical heat with the beauty and atmosphere of a traditional mantel. A mixture of lights and reflective materials give the faux fire an alluring glow - you'll want to show this off in your living room!
Garage and Shop Heater
A heater would perhaps be most useful in a chilly garage workshop, but since this area is also poorly insulated, you'll need a heater with extra strength. There are many industrial grade models for sale that can blast some much needed warm air into a large, open space.
Great for small spaces, oil filled versions have a permanently sealed oil reservoir that provides gentle heat without any fumes or odors. This extremely efficient type of heater will continue to radiate warmth after the unit is turned off.
Low Watt Heater
A low watt heating unit is great for personal warmth. These use less electricity and usually fit under a desk or on a tabletop so they're great for a home office or small bedroom. You can even bring one to work and use it at your cubicle, to help heal the chill from your early morning commute.
While summer is great for outdoor living, have you ever considered sipping hot cocoa on your patio, or celebrating Thanksgiving out on your deck? Patio heaters extend the season of your outdoor kitchen or living room into the cooler months. There are freestanding, tabletop, or wall mounting units, so you'll be sure to find one that fits your space.
Functions and Uses
Reflective vs. Convection
Infrared units are also known as reflective heaters and heat differently than convection models, which use a forced air system. Most portablespace heaters, including oil filled radiator and ceramic, are considered convection heaters.
Look for table top or floor models with an oscillation feature to get even heating. As your heater runs, you'll be able to turn down your central system and save on electricity, getting more direct and efficient warming. When looking at model specifications, check the BTU (British thermal unit), which is used to describe power of heating (and cooling) systems and tells you how much heat a model will release per hour.
Your heater probably has either a high and low setting, or an adjustable thermostat. An adjustable thermostat will regulate the temperature of the room and cycle your heater on and off to maintain that temperature; offering you more exact, customized warmth.
Plugging In and Hardwiring
Depending on the model you choose, chances are your unit won't require any installation. Many of them come ready to use out of the box.
A fireplace heater will require some building, but once you figure out where you want it to go, all you have to do is plug it into a standard household outlet! Never deal with the hassle of logs again, and have nothing to clean up after. Some garage or baseboard heaters may involve hardwiring, but they come with simple instructions that make it easy to do yourself.
If you buy a unit that needs to be wall or ceiling mounted, these will come with an kit that makes it easy for you to install. Wall and ceiling heaters offer a heating solution for small spaces with limited square footage, like a bathroom.
Portable heaters have a reputation for causing fires, but the models out nowadays are completely safe. Most have a tip-over safety switch, which will turn the unit off automatically if your electrical heater accidentally falls over. Other safety features include cool touch housing and overheat auto-off protection. For more information on how to heat your home safely read this informative article: Stay Warm and Safe with a Space Heater.
They require minimal maintenance. A quick wipe down once a season is good enough for most. Yes, it's really that easy.
Heater Brands Available
NewAir was established in 2004 and offers top products and exceptional customer service. They offer a wide array of heating and cooling products that are efficient, safe, decorative and inexpensive. NewAir offers the same quality and dependability as other brands, often at a fraction of the cost.
Dimplex North American Limited is an international world leader in electric heating. The company was founded in 1991, and as an innovator in electric heaters, Dimplex offers everything from heavy-duty utility heaters to electric fireplace heaters.
Soleus Air International has only been around since 1998, but the quality of products they provide makes it seem like they've been around forever. Soleus stays on top of the game by providing space heaters that use a combination of radiant and convection heat to create micathermic technology.
QMark offers some of the warmest heaters, with commercial-grade strength heaters you can take home. Shop QMark for wall, ceiling, baseboard or garage heaters that can warm even the draftiest spaces.
Vornado Air has unique heating technology that separates it from the rest of the pack. An inlet air accelerator increases the volume of air moved per blade rotation, heating up a room in minutes. The spiral grill on all heaters adds design and function - giving you whole room circulation. Each Vornado electrical heater also features multi-level safety.
Perfect Heating for Everyone
Electrical heaters offer extra heat anywhere, and they're ideal for apartment dwellers or college students in dorms with lackluster central systems. Portable, space saving and efficient, a small heater offers the most versatile heating solution.
So stop wearing your heavy overcoat indoors and carrying a blanket from room to room. An electric heater is a great way to get zone heating in your home!