6 Things You Should Know About a Space Heater
Discover the essential information about space heaters and make informed decisions for a cozy and efficient home heating experience.
Learn about their benefits, safety precautions, energy efficiency, and more.
What is a Space Heater?
A space heater is a portable device designed to provide localised heating in indoor spaces. It is commonly used to supplement the central heating system or provide warmth in areas that are not adequately heated.
A space heater typically consists of a heating element, such as electric coils or a ceramic element, enclosed in a protective housing. The heating element generates heat, which is then transferred to the surrounding air, raising the temperature in the immediate vicinity.
Benefits of Using Space Heaters
The purpose of a space heater is to provide localised heating in a specific area or room – living rooms, bedrooms, and confined spaces. Space heaters are designed to supplement or provide heat in spaces that are not adequately warmed by the central heating system. They offer several functions and benefits:
- Additional Heat Source: Space heaters serve as an additional source of heat when the existing heating system is insufficient or unavailable. They can help maintain a comfortable temperature in specific areas, especially during colder seasons or in regions with harsh weather conditions.
- Portability: One of the key functions of space heaters is their portability. They are typically compact and lightweight, allowing them to be easily moved from one room to another as needed. This versatility makes them convenient for providing heat in different spaces throughout a home or office.
- Quick heating: Space heaters are known for their ability to provide almost instant warmth. Unlike central heating systems, which may take very long periods of time to reach the desired temperature, space heaters start emitting heat as soon as they are turned on. This quick heating function can be particularly useful in situations where immediate warmth is desired.
- Zone heating: Space heaters enable zone heating, which means heating specific areas or small rooms rather than the entire building. By using a space heater strategically, you can focus heating on the areas where it is needed most.
- Energy efficiency: Space heaters can be more energy-efficient than relying solely on the central heating system. Instead of heating the entire building, they concentrate heat in specific areas, reducing energy consumption. Choosing energy-efficient models and utilising features such as adjustable thermostats and timers further optimise energy usage.
- Versatile applications: Space heaters find applications in various settings, including homes, offices, garages, workshops, and temporary or outdoor spaces. They provide flexibility in terms of where and when heat is needed, making them adaptable to different environments and requirements.
Types of Space Heaters
Various types of space heaters are available, each with its features and heating mechanisms. Here are some common types of space heaters:
The ceramic heater type utilises a ceramic heating element that provides quick and efficient heat distribution. These heaters are known for their energy efficiency and safety features. Infrared heaters emit infrared radiation, which directly heats objects and people in their path. They are ideal for spot heating and are often used in outdoor areas or poorly insulated rooms.
Radiant heater type emits infrared radiation to directly heat objects and people in their vicinity. They are ideal for providing localised warmth in a specific area.
Oil-filled heater types use electricity to heat oil sealed within their fins or columns. The heated oil then radiates heat into the surrounding area, providing consistent and longer-lasting warmth.
Electric Fan Heater
The electric fan heater type uses an electric heating element combined with a fan to distribute warm air. They can heat a room quickly but may produce some noise due to the fan.
The convection heater type warms the air in a room by passing it over heated elements. The warm air rises, creating a convection current that circulates the heat throughout the space.
Micathermic heater type combines elements of both convection and radiant heating. They use thin sheets of mica to transfer heat and distribute it through convection and radiation.
The propane heater type uses propane gas as a fuel source to generate heat. They are commonly used in outdoor settings or well-ventilated indoor areas where electrical power may not be available.
Pellet stoves burn wood pellets to produce heat. They often have built-in fans to distribute the warm air throughout the room.
Baseboard heater types are typically installed along the baseboards of rooms and use electric heating elements to warm the floor space with air through convection.
These are just a few examples of the different types of space heaters available. Each type of safest heater has its own advantages and considerations, so it’s important to choose one that best suits your needs and preferences.
Special Features of Space Heaters
A space heater offers plenty of special features that enhance its functionality and safety. Some of the common special features found in space heaters include:
Thermostat: Many space heaters are equipped with a built-in thermostat that allows you to set and maintain a specific temperature for your rooms. This feature ensures that the heater automatically shuts off or adjusts its heat output once the desired temperature is reached, providing efficient and controlled heating.
Timer: A timer feature allows you to program the space heater to turn on or off at specific times. This feature can be beneficial for convenience, enabling you to preheat a room before you arrive or automatically turn off the heater after a set period.
Oscillation: Certain space heaters have an oscillation function that allows them to rotate or move from side to side, distributing heat more evenly across the room. This feature helps to prevent localised hotspots and ensures a more comfortable heating experience.
Remote Control: Some space heaters come with a remote control that enables you to conveniently adjust the heat settings from a distance. This feature eliminates the need to manually operate the heater and allows you to make adjustments from the comfort of your seat.
Safety Features: Space heaters often include safety features to prevent accidents and enhance user safety. These may include tip-over protection, which automatically shuts off the heater if it gets knocked over, and overheating protection, which turns off the heater if it reaches a certain temperature threshold.
Cool-to-Touch Exterior: Space heaters with a cool-to-touch exterior ensure that the outer surface remains safe to touch, even when the heater is operating at high temperatures. This feature reduces the risk of burns, especially if children or pets accidentally come into contact with the heater.
Digital Display: Some space heaters have a digital display that shows the current temperature, settings, and other relevant information. This feature allows for easy monitoring and precise control of the heater’s operation.
It’s important to note that not all space heaters will have these features, and the availability of specific features may vary depending on the model and brand. When choosing a space heater, consider the features that align with your needs and prioritize safety features, especially if you have small children or pets in the household.
Safety Considerations of a Space Heater
Space heaters are popular devices used to provide localised heating in homes, offices, and other enclosed spaces. They offer a convenient and efficient way to supplement central heating systems or provide warmth in areas where heating is not available. Safety is a critical aspect to consider when using it.
Here are some important safety considerations to keep in mind:
Ensure proper placement of the space heater. Keep it on a stable and flat surface, away from foot traffic and where it won’t be easily knocked over. Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines regarding clearance distances from walls, furniture, curtains, and other flammable materials.
If you are using a fuel-burning space heater, such as a propane or kerosene heater, ensure proper ventilation to prevent the buildup of harmful gases like carbon monoxide. Only use fuel-burning heaters in well-ventilated areas and never in enclosed spaces.
Keep Flammable Materials Away
Maintain a safe distance between the heater and any flammable materials such as curtains, furniture, bedding, papers, or clothing. Keep a minimum clearance as recommended by the manufacturer.
Never leave the heater unattended while it’s in operation. Always turn it off and unplug it when you leave the room or go to sleep.
Look for space heaters with built-in safety features. These may include tip-over protection, which automatically shuts off the heater if it is accidentally knocked over. Overheat protection is another important feature that turns off the heater if it reaches unsafe temperatures. Additionally, some heaters have cool-touch exteriors to prevent burns. Overheat protection refers to a mechanism or system designed to prevent excessive heat buildup or thermal damage in various devices, equipment, or systems. It is particularly important in electronics, machinery, and appliances that generate heat during their operation.
When using an electric space heater, ensure that the electrical circuits and outlets can handle the load. Avoid using extension cords and plug the heater directly into a grounded outlet.
Maintenance and Inspections
Regularly inspect your space heater for any signs of damage or wear. Clean the heater according to the manufacturer’s instructions and keep it well-maintained. If you notice any issues or malfunctions, discontinue use and have the heater inspected or repaired by a professional.
Children and Pets
Keep children and pets away from the space heater, as they may accidentally come into contact with hot surfaces or tip the heater over.
By following these safety considerations and the specific guidelines provided by the manufacturer of your space heater, you can ensure a safer environment while using a space heater for heating purposes.
Pros and Cons of Using Space Heaters
Pros of Using Space Heaters:
Efficient Heating: Space heaters can quickly and efficiently heat a specific area or a whole room together, allowing you to maintain a comfortable temperature without having to heat the entire house. This can help save energy and reduce heating costs.
Portability: Space heaters are typically compact and portable, allowing you to move them from one room to another as needed easily. This flexibility can be particularly useful if you spend most of your time in one area of the house or if you’re renting and can’t install a centralised heating system or smart home.
Instant Heat: Unlike central heating systems that may take time to warm up a room, space heaters provide instant heat. This can be beneficial when you need immediate warmth, especially during cold winter days or in drafty areas in winter.
Lower Installation Costs: Space heaters are generally less expensive to purchase and install compared to central heating systems. They don’t require any ductwork or complex installation procedures, making them a more cost-effective option.
Cons of Using Space Heaters:
Limited Coverage: Space heaters are designed to heat small areas, so they may not be suitable for heating larger spaces or multiple rooms. If you have a larger house or need consistent heating throughout, a space heater may not be sufficient.
Fire and Safety Hazards: Space heaters can pose fire risks if not used properly. They generate heat and can potentially come into contact with flammable objects, leading to accidents. It’s crucial to follow safety precautions, such as keeping flammable materials away, using heaters with safety features (e.g., tip-over protection, overheating protection), and never leaving them unattended.
Energy Consumption: While space heaters can be energy-efficient when used in moderation, they can consume a significant amount of electricity if used extensively. This can result in higher energy bills, particularly if you’re relying solely on space heaters to heat your home.
Dry Air and Health Concerns: Space heaters can reduce humidity levels in the air, leading to dryness. This can cause discomfort, especially for those with respiratory issues or sensitive skin.
Noise and Air Quality: Some heaters can produce noise during operation, which can be distracting or disruptive in quiet environments. Additionally, if the heater is not properly maintained or ventilated, it may release odours or decrease indoor air quality.
It’s important to carefully consider these pros and cons when deciding whether to use a space heater. Always follow safety guidelines, use them in moderation, and consider alternative heating options if necessary.
Proper Placement of a Space Heater
A space heater is a popular device used to provide warmth and comfort in your rooms, homes and offices during cold weather. While space heaters can be effective in heating small areas, it is essential to consider their proper placement to ensure safety and optimise their heating capabilities.
This guide will explore the importance of correct heater placement and provide useful tips to help you maximise your efficiency while minimising potential hazards. By following these guidelines, you can enjoy the benefits of a heater while maintaining a safe and cozy environment.
Here are some guidelines for placing a space heater:
Place the heater on a stable and level surface that can support its weight. Avoid placing it on uneven or wobbly surfaces that may cause the heater to tip over.
Maintain adequate clearance around the heater. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for the minimum clearance distance from walls, furniture, curtains, bedding, and other combustible materials. This helps prevent the risk of fire and allows proper airflow around the heater.
It is generally recommended to place the heater on the floor. This ensures the stability of surface temperature and minimises the risk of it being knocked over. However, if you need to place it on a raised surface, such as a table or desk, ensure that the surface is sturdy and heat-resistant.
Keep Away from Obstructions
Avoid placing the heater near any obstructions that could impede airflow. Keep it away from curtains, rugs, furniture, or any other objects that may obstruct the intake or exhaust vents. Blocked airflow can reduce the heater’s efficiency and potentially lead to overheating.
Do not place the heater in high-traffic areas where it can be easily bumped into or tripped over. This helps prevent accidents and ensures the heater remains stable and secure.
Child and Pet Safety
Consider the safety of children and pets when placing the heater. Keep it out of reach of children and ensure they are supervised around the heater. Pets should also be kept away from other heaters and the heater to prevent accidental contact or tipping over.
If you are using a fuel-burning space heater, such as a propane or kerosene heater, ensure proper ventilation. These heaters require sufficient airflow to prevent the buildup of potentially harmful gases like carbon monoxide. Only use them in well-ventilated areas and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
Always refer to the specific guidelines provided by the manufacturer of your space heater for proper placement and clearance requirements. Following these guidelines helps ensure the safe and effective operation of the space heater while providing efficient heating in the intended living space.
Book a Space Heater Specialist Today
Understanding space heaters is essential to make informed decisions for your heating needs. By considering factors such as the types of space heaters, their benefits, safety features, and energy efficiency, you can select the right space heater for your specific requirements.
Remember to follow proper usage guidelines and safety precautions to ensure a cosy and secure home heating experience and ask a specialist if you are unsure. Stay warm and enjoy the comfort and convenience that space heaters provide.
Please note: This information is provided for advice purposes only. Regulations differ from state to state, so please consult your local authorities or an industry professional before proceeding with any work. See After Hours Air Conditioning’s Terms & Conditions here.