When winter is just around the corner, it means every homeowner will start preparing appropriately to combat the chilly weather. There are two options during the preparation process; either you turn on the thermostat of the central heating system or use a space heater. As much as you want to warm up a small space in your house, it is more reasonable to use a space heater rather than heating the entire house.
A space heater can be used efficiently by heating a single space and leave the rest of the rooms cooler. Even though they are so worthwhile during the winter, space heaters can be disastrous if safety measures are not put into consideration throughout. That is why National Fire Protection Association has been in the forefront encouraging homeowners to pay close attention to safety before anything else.
Alright, space heaters are the best alternative supplementary heat for warming a house or office. Since it uses energy, efficiency should be an important aspect to keep in mind when purchasing a space heater. You need to find out whether or not the unit is energy efficient because it makes little sense to waste money while trying to create a warmer environment in your house. Poor quality heaters will not only waste energy but also may run for a long period of time and fail to heat your space as required. On the other hand, the heater should not be too powerful such that you will open windows to let in cooler air.
How Space Heaters Work
The space heater heats a space through two ways; convection and radiant heat. The latter is usually the warmth a room occupier feels in the skin. This means that the occupier will feel warmer and warmer as he or she goes closer to the heater. On the other hand, convection occurs when the surrounding air is heated up. The heated air rises up towards the ceiling while the cooler air (denser air) moves downwards to the heater. The cooler air is heated and starts to rise up towards the ceiling, thus creating a cycle known as convection loop. Through this circulation of warm air, the entire room is eventually heated.
However, some space heaters come with an integrated fan to enhance circulation of heat around the house. This eliminates over-dependence of the convection loop for distributing heat in a room. The fan also speeds up the warming process.
Types of Space Heaters Explained
Gas-and-oil-burning space heaters use natural gas, kerosene, or propane to heat a space. Even though they perform well in heating, they produce dangerous carbon gases. That is why they should be used in well-ventilated rooms or in open outdoors. Those planning to have outdoor parties during the winter, gas-and-oil-burning space heaters can provide excellent climate within your tents.
The modern models come with low-oxygen depletion sensors as safety features. They can detect when the oxygen level is getting too low in a space, and then shut off the fuel flow. The output is measured in BTUs (British Thermal Units). The smaller units usually have outputs ranging from 4,000 to 9,000, medium units have 12,000 to 30,000, while the largest units have 150,000 to 200,000 BTUs. The smallest models can heat a space equivalent to 200 sq. foot tent while the largest can heat a space area more than 3,000 sq. feet.
The electric space heaters are normally used for indoor heating. They come in different sizes and shapes but they have same performance capabilities. A poor conductor is used to pass electricity, causing high resistance to produces heat. Some models have an intensive reflective backing to focus radiant heat in a single direction. The high-quality models have safety features such as a tip-over switch, touch sensor, and overheat sensor that shuts the heater off to prevent the occurrence of burns. It also recommended having a heater with a long, heavy-duty power cord, which eliminates the need for an extension cord.
The output of an electric heater is measured in watts. Most of the outputs range from 400 to 1,500 watts. The modern units come with adjustable output feature, meaning that you can change the output over a certain range. Another important feature in electric heaters is the built-in fan, which spreads heat by circulating air through the heater and space. Additionally, the fan ensures a faster heating. There are electric heaters that use a thermostat to enable automated control of the heating. This means you can operate the heater remotely.
During the winter, perhaps you will need to heat a room constantly. This means you may end up spending more money on heating energy. According to research on heating energy consumption, use of gas or pump furnace is more efficient than electric heaters in the long run.