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All About Electric Heaters

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Most heaters are powered by either electricity or fuel.  While both types have their own individual benefits, electric units seem to be the most popular option because they're often inexpensive to purchase and easy to maintain.

Electric heaters work by converting electricity into heat via an electric resistor within the unit.  An electric current flowing through the resistor then coverts this electric energy into heat energy.


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Some of the benefits of an electric heater are obvious - electricity is available anywhere, and they do not require any fuel to be stored.

 

It's important to understand safety issues when purchasing an electric heater. New models are required to pass rigid safety tests in order to ensure safe operation. Wire grills, tilt switches, automatic shut off controls, and thermostat controls are all safety features to look for when choosing an option.

Although all electric heaters use the same basic principle to generate heat, there are variations in how they provide warmth to the environment. Take a look at the table below to learn more about the different electric heating methods available. 

 

Different Electric Heating Methods:

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Convection Heaters

These electric heaters are great for providing background warmth to closed spaces. Convection heaters warm the air near the element or body by using air convection currents to generate heat. These currents circulate throughout the appliance and across the heating element.

Examples of convection heating systems are oil-filled radiators, which are perfect for personal spaces like under desks, and electric baseboard heaters, which are great for warming rooms like bedrooms or lounge areas.

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Infrared or Radiant Heaters

Infrared heaters transfer thermal energy through electromagnetic waves.  All infrared models share one common characteristic: the heated object or substance emits or radiates heat and only the objects are warmed, as opposed to entire areas.

In general, this heating system is energy-efficient and great for multi-purpose use, but it's especially effective for industrial use like warehouses and even greenhouses where high temperatures are required to be quickly reached.

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Fan Heaters

A fan heater is a type of convection heating system that uses a fan to move air over a heating element to speed up airflow. The heating element warms the air, the air leaves the heater, and the surrounding area feels warmed. The result is extremely rapid heating.

Fan heaters a great for those areas where installing other kinds of heating devices is impractical like a garage or warehouse. These models may not be the best choice if sound is a concern too. They can sometimes be noisy.

Examples of fan heaters would be portable fan garage heaters, which are placed on the floor to provide blasts of warm air.

 

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