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Learn the Parts of Your Space Heater and How it Works

There are not many heating devices that can be used in crammed spaces. If you use a fuelled heater for heating a small space, there are many challenges associated with it.

The first issue that you will come across is excessive heat. Fuelled heaters prove to be a great option for large spaces. But when it comes to smaller spaces, it is quite difficult to control the heat that fuelled heaters emit. The area may get too hot or it may not heat up adequately.

space-heater-ebook-blurb-1Another issue that is commonly associated with fuelled heaters is safety. Small spaces do not allow the carbon monoxide to escape effectively. You will require a flue installed permanently to avoid carbon monoxide buildup in a small space.

Space heaters are an effective solution for small areas. Space heaters use various mediums. There are some that burn fuels. Common space heater fuels are propane, wood and natural gas. You will need to have a flue installed if you are to use a space heater. This will prevent carbon monoxide buildup in the area the heater is installed in.

A space heater is a compact unit that heats up usually only one room at a time. These include:

Space heaters work using two types of power sources. The first and the most commonly used power source is electricity but you can also use fuel. Electrical heaters are rather convenient and safe to use. Let's look at how various types of electricity space heaters work:

Convective Heaters

There are also convective heaters that use wire elements for heating. These heaters cannot transfer the heat to the air directly. Many baseboard heaters are convective heaters.

This is why the wire element is paired with a fan. The wire element heats up and the fan helps in transferring the heat to the surroundings. These types of heaters warm up faster than oil filled ones. But there is always the risk of a fire.

There have been cases where the wire heats up extensively and the internal components of the heater melt and even catch a fire. But this is a rare occurrence. Fan heaters are popular as the heating element and fan do not take up much space.

This allows the manufacturers to make their units more compact. These units make for great compact type space heating units.

In addition, fan heaters consume less electricity. An oil heater consumes a lot of electricity as it needs to heat up the oil and then keep it steady at a certain temperature. But heating elements heat up quickly and conserve electricity.

Radiative/ Infrared Heaters

Radiative heaters require tungsten heaters to provide heating in an enclosed space. When it comes to fan type heaters, the heating is not as effective.

This is because these heaters work in a different manner. They heat the air to provide a warm effect. Heating the air requires a lot of time. Moreover, the heat released from the heater is not sufficient if the room is not insulated.

But when it comes to Radiative heaters, they release radiation, much like a halogen bulb. These heaters do not warm up the air around you. Instead, the radiation emitted by these heaters is absorbed by the clothing and skin directly. If a room is not insulated properly, a Radiative heater would work best in the situation.

Radiative heaters can be used outdoors. It will not provide the same heating effect but it can be used on camping trips and other outdoor activities. Since Radiative heaters do not waste much heat, it is also one of the most energy efficient heaters. Radiative heaters convert more than 80% of its energy into heat.

There are many parts in a space heater that contributes to its effective heating capabilities. Let's look at the various parts of a space heater:

Heating Element

The heating element is more like a thin wire.

When electricity passes through the element, it heats up.

A heating element does not generate enough heat to warm up an entire room. This is why a fan is required to distribute the heat. A fan is placed right behind the element.

space-heater-ebook-blurb-2Once the element reaches a certain temperature, the fan blows over it. This distributes the heat throughout the space and warms up the air.

The only disadvantage with using a heating element heater is that it does not produce a lot of heat. It can work in insulated areas, but not otherwise.

Tungsten Filament

The tungsten filaments are normally part of halogen type heaters.

  • The tungsten filament can get really hot and cause damage to the internal components of the heater.
  • To prevent this, the filament is placed inside a quartz tube or envelope. These quartz tubes can resist immense heat.
  • The quartz covered tungsten filaments are placed inside the heater, mostly towards the exterior.
  • The heat generated from these heaters is excessive.
  • These types of heaters do not require a fan to distribute the heat across the room.

Heat Distribution Fan

The heat distribution fan is normally part of convective space heaters. Convective space heaters use elements that are heated by electricity. These elements do not produce enough heat to distribute throughout the room. This is why a heat distribution fan is placed right behind the element. Once the element heats up the fan takes care of distributing the heat throughout the room.


This part is found in fuel burning space heaters. These heaters burn various types of fuels to provide heat. Burning these fuels emits carbon monoxide. This gas is rather poisonous and needs to be kept out of the area where the heat is required. The flue creates a path for carbon monoxide to escape. This way you get heat in the room, but there are no harmful emissions.

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