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The Pros and Cons of Different Types of Space Heaters and Their Features


There are many things you need to consider when selecting a space heater.

This is because each type of space heater serves a specific purpose. There are some space heaters that work well in different surroundings, but they all have ideal working conditions. To make sure that you make the most of your space heater, be sure to analyze your requirements and get one accordingly. Let's look at the different types of space heaters and the purpose they serve.


Fuel Burning Space Heaters

Fuel burning space heaters do not use electricity for providing heat. Instead they burn fuels.

  • If you need to heat a large space, this type of heater will work best for you. Sometimes they come in the form of garage heaters.
  • Since these heaters burn fuel, they emit carbon monoxide. If the carbon monoxide accumulates within a closed space, it could cause poisoning. This is why measures need to be taken to avoid this.
  • Fuel burning space heaters are installed with flues to allow the harmful gases to escape.
  • Do keep in mind that the flue needs to be installed permanently and requires ample space. This is why fuel burning space heaters are not preferred for small spaces.

Radiative Space Heaters

Radiative space heaters are among the best options for indoor heating. You can also use this type of heater outdoors as well. Infrared and fireplace heaters, even patio heaters can fall under this category.

The reason radiative heaters are popular is because they eliminate the need for insulation. Most heaters are not able to function properly, even in closed areas, simply because the area lacks insulation. But when it comes to radiative heaters, they work seamlessly regardless of poor insulation.

Radiative heaters are exactly what their name suggests.

  • They give off radiation. This radiation is what is responsible for heating the area.
  • The radiation emitted by these heaters affects the clothes and skin as opposed to the ambient air. This is why these heaters get the job done quickly. This also happens to be the reason Radiative heaters can be used outdoors for basic heating.
  • The best part is that these heaters are small. This enables you to carry them from one place to another without any hassle.

Convective Space Heaters

If you have proper insulation in your home or workplace, convective type space heaters will be excellent for you. These heaters use a fan to distribute warm air around an enclosed area. Do keep in mind that these heaters take some time to drive up the ambient temperature as they warm up the air. Once the air warms up, that's when you will begin feeling warm. One of the biggest advantages that these heaters offer is a constant heating effect even after they have been turned off. This of course depends on the type of insulation you have.

Filler Space Heaters

Filler space heaters are efficient in heating small areas. These heaters prove effective in non-insulated areas.

  • These heaters include a filler material which is heated with electricity.
  • Generally, oil is used as filler.
  • When the filler is heated up, it provides warmth to the entire area.
  • The only problem with these heaters is that they take a long time to heat up the environment. This is because the oil some time to warm up. But once the filler material is heated up, it provides uninterrupted heating.

Radiator heaters are also a popular option nowadays. There are two types or radiator heaters: steam and electrical.

Steam Heaters

These heaters are powered by steam. The steam is generated with the help of a boiler which is located towards the bottom of the home. The boiler heats up water and sends it to the pipes. The steam then heats up the pipes and the heat is transferred to the air.

Electric Heaters

Electric heaters use an element that runs through the pipes. An electric current is run through the element which heats it up. The current turns to heat and spreads through the radiator.

Let's look at the pros and cons of different types of space heaters:



There are many types of heating elements used in heaters. Let's look at the various types of heating elements:


There are many areas you can place an electric heater. These areas should be out of the reach of children and/or away from items that can catch a fire. This is why you should purchase a heater that suits the requirements of your home.

Wall Mounted

Wall mounted heaters are generally smaller and lighter than conventional ones. This makes them easier to mount on a wall. It would be a suitable choice if you have kids and/or pets at home.


Tabletop heaters are one of the most convenient options if you have to carry your heater around. You can simply take it to another room should you need to.


Freestanding heaters can be placed anywhere in the home. They are not as light as wall mounted ones, but they are quite easy to carry from one room to another.


Portable heaters can literally be carried anywhere. Whether you are outdoors or indoors, all you need is an electrical socket and you are good to go.

Before purchasing a heater, you should consider the heating capacity you need. This will ensure that your heating requirements are fulfilled and you don't have to spend too much on energy costs. Let's look at how you can determine the heating capacity you require:

space-heater-ebook-blurb-4-300Things to Consider

The first thing you should consider is your heating requirement. Moreover, you also need to consider the heating capacity of the heater.

Determining Your Heating Requirements

There are many things to consider when determining the heating requirement, such as the size of your room. A small heater is sufficient for a small room. Another thing to keep in mind is insulation. If your room is insulated properly, you may not need a high capacity heater even if the room is large. But if your room is not insulated properly, you may require a large capacity heater, even for a smaller room.

How to Choose a Space Heater for Your Room

The heating capacity of a heater is determined by the watt rating. The higher the watt rating for a space heater, the better will be its heating capacity.

The ETL rating for a space heater shows that it is fully tested for safety. ELT compliant products are tested thoroughly to make sure they are of the highest quality. In order for a product to be approved, it needs to be sent to an ELT testing lab. There the appliance is vigorously tested for safety and ELT compliance.

When buying a space heater, there are quite a few things you should consider other than the heating capability and reliability of the unit. Let's look at a few things you should keep in mind:

Safety Features

Most space heaters incorporate top of the line safety features. The most important safety feature in a space heater is the automatic shutdown. In the event the space heater is left unattended for a while, it automatically shuts down. This feature is combined with a thermostat which tells the heater when the room is getting too warm.


You should always look for space heaters that have a built-in thermostat. If the space heater has a thermostat built in, you will not have to monitor its temperature. All you need to do is set the thermostat to a specific temperature. The thermostat will monitor the temperature and will turn off the heater once the ideal temperature is reached.

Timer Option

Another great feature found in space heaters is the timer. The timer allows you to turn on the space heater automatically when needed. The space heater will automatically turn on at the specified time.

Secondary Features

In addition to the abovementioned features, there are certain secondary features you should look for. Noisy space heaters can be a nuisance, so look for one that does not make much noise.

Adjustable Louvers

Adjustable louvers are another option you should look for. These louvers allow you to direct the warm air anywhere in your home.

Compatibility with Furniture

Also, see to it that the space heater design is compatible with the furniture in your home. Try to get a matching or contrasting color if possible.


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