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Room Heaters: Money Saving Convenience
Here you are at home, warm, snuggly, and content with your central heating system. What more to winter warmth could there be? Actually, you may be missing out on some valuable savings to your health and happiness without a small room heater to help.
We live in harsh economic times and the high cost of natural gas, propane, or oil heating can hurt families and individuals where they need help most. Heating is essential to living well, comfortably, and healthy.
This need for energy efficient and cost effective heating leads to alternative sources of warmth. Thus, small portable heaters.
So What are Room Heaters?
These types of heaters are small and convenient making them extremely portable. At first glance, they may look rather dinky by comparison to central or baseboard heaters. After all, what's that tiny little box going to do for you, right?
How could it possibly keep your house warm with its puny stature and lightweight demeanor? Well, unlike their larger cousins, portable space heaters are not built for whole-house heating. Instead, they're literally built for single room heating. That's both good and bad.
Good in that you can heat the specific room you are in - and only that room. There's no heat loss or waste as with a central heating system. If you're bunking down to watch a Bruce Willis flick in the family room with no intention of lingering in the icy premises of the kitchen a small heater is ideal.
Less Heat Loss = Less Energy Waste = More $ in Your Pockets!
Inexpensive to Purchase
Another enlightening aspect of room warmers is that they are relatively cheap, especially compared with central heating. Sometimes you get what you pay for, but sometimes less can be more.
Good space warmers can be purchased for under $300 and many under $100. A perfect option for the frugal family or college student living on the cheap. Affordability, of course, is good for everyone in any situation of life.
The smaller size of the unit and smaller area needing to be covered also contribute to less energy expenditure. Plus, many are energy efficient with a high EER or Energy Star rating.
Uses a Cleaner Source of Energy
Unlike many other types of heating systems, such as propane and natural gas heaters - most space heaters are electric. This makes them extremely convenient to have around.
As noted earlier, the portability of electric heaters allows you to take them with you as you work around your home. Thus, you just plug the electric wall heater right in and go from there.
Electricity is also clean way to run a household system, keeping the air clean and free from gas or chemical leaks. Many electronic heaters are highly energy efficient little devils and can often lead to significantly lower costs than other forms of fuel.
Shopping for these energy efficient heaters is a bit like sneaking a peak into a United Nations meeting: they come in all shapes, sizes, colors, and styles.
You get a lot of variety with them that you don't with baseboard heaters or whole home heaters. While other types of heaters are virtually invisible (except for the grates) electronic room heaters are easily spotted.
Good and bad, right? It could be negative trait to have a tiny metal box sitting in your lounge, but thankfully, many are highly stylized. Companies seem to invest a large sum into the design aspect of their contemporary area heaters, as well as wood heaters.
That's right, wood. And not the kind you have to burn.
So rather, you can choose the best heater to fit your decor and personal style. Rather than a frumpy metal box, you can have a cozy contemporary fireplace keeping guests company!
So now that you know some key points about room heaters, how do you find the best one on the market?
The first thing to judge on is safety. After all, you're looking to bring warmth and comfort into your home, not the fire department.
Lesser heaters for rooms will offer no safety feature, making it a "at your own risk" type of deal. It is not recommended to choose a unit without integrated safety features.
According to United States Consumer Product Safety Commission, "...more than 25,000 residential fires every year are associated with the use of space heaters, causing more than 300 deaths." That's an awful lot of risk for comfort.
Fortunately, safety options prevent these unfortunate (and many times unsupervised or improperly used) accidents from occurring to you. Some key features to look for are:
- Fully-enclosed heating elements
- Automatic timed shut-off
- Overheat protection
- Tip-over safety switch
- A cool-touch grill
Heating Fast and Far
Next on the list of positive room heater qualities is the speed of heating. You want to warm up as quickly as possible so you need to look for a model with fast warm-up times.
Depending on the type of model, it could take anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes to feel warmth. So far, radiant heaters are the fastest technology on the market. They use a quartz tube or metal ribbon element to quickly generate heat in front of the unit. Flip one of these on and feel the comfort in seconds!
Fast, however, does not always mean further. Radiant heaters will heat up the area directly in front of them, but not behind or to the sides. This might not be right for you, so heaters with fans to circulate air might be better.
There are also oscillating tower heaters that actually have moving faces to evenly distribute warmth around the room. Fast or far, which is more important to you?
Elegant Fireplace Heaters
Well known brands like Dimplex and Classic Flame offer fireplace heaters in very stylish options. Many look like old-fashioned fire furnaces while others take on mod cube electric fireplace designs.
Choose a look that's just right for you home. Traditional or trendy, thick or thin, a wooden frame or dancing faux flames! These facades, like other special features, are a good place to look to customize your heating experience.
You will want to search for units with a programmable thermostat for temperature control, timers, a defrost function or frost function, as well as noise levels.
Good luck and happy heating!