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Many households purchase space heaters to supplement their existing heating systems in order to conserve energy.
The term "space heater" usually refers to a small heater that is either portable or wall-mounted. They're often used in small areas up to 150 square feet and provide warmth to an enclosed space. They also keep the air and surroundings at a comfortable temperature.
In situations where only one room is to be warmed or when supplemental heating is needed, space heaters are very cost-effective.
Although some space heaters use natural gas or propane, electric space heaters are usually the most common and safest option because they're less expensive and there's no danger of carbon monoxide poisoning.
In order to heat an area, most modern electric space heaters use ceramic heating elements and are fan-forced. This allows even distribution of heat with near elimination of the chance of fires or burns. Modern portable electric space heaters now include safety features such as tip over safety switches or thermal cutoff switches in order to decrease the risk of fire. A large number of space heaters rely on convection, or the circulation of air in a room to provide heat, but some rely on radiant heating, which refers to the emitting of infrared radiation that directly heats objects or people within their line of sight.
In terms of convection heaters, some of the best types incorporate the use of heated oil, which provides some heat storage, allows the heater to cycle less, and provides a more constant heat source. These oil-filled space heaters are also popular because they are relatively quiet when compared to heaters which utilize fans.
Still have questions? See our recommended space heaters.