An Energy Efficient Space Heater reduces the running cost. If it’s an electric heater, then it will consume less energy as there is a minimum loss. As a result, the cost of electricity will be low. Therefore, people opt to buy an energy-efficient heater to reduce the running cost of the heater.
If you are curious about energy-efficient heaters, and you don’t know what it is, then don’t worry; we are going to discuss energy-efficient space heaters in detail. We will also put a light on different types of space heaters and their efficiency. So, stay with us.
- How to Choose a Space Heater?
- Types of Space Heaters Based on Fuel Type
- Types of Electric Space Heaters
- Space Heater Safety
- How Much Electricity Do Space Heaters Use?
- How to Prevent a Space Heater from Blowing Fuse?
- Space Heater vs Central Heating
- Space Heater Safety Tips
- What Type of Space Heater is Most Efficient?
- How to Make Your Home More Heat Efficient?
- Final Words
How to Choose The Most Energy Efficient Space Heater?
You might have heard a lot about energy-efficient heaters. People prefer to buy an energy-efficient heater because it saves energy. Energy efficiency is related to the input and output energy. It will be an ideal case if your space heater converts 100% of the energy into output. If all input energy is converted into heat, then there is no loss, which means you will save money. But 100% efficiency is ideal, so the efficiency should be near to it in the real case.
Space heaters are easily available, but to select the best one, you need to know about its features, important terms, benefits, pros, and cons. You need to understand the features and their benefits so that you can decide which features are important for you and which are not. We are going to look at some important factors that you need to consider while buying a space heater. Let’s start the discussion without further delay.
Types of Space Heaters Based on Fuel Type
The first thing that you need to decide is the fuel type of space heater. There are various types of space heaters that use different types of fuel. You can decide the fuel type by looking at the availability and their benefits. The common types of space heaters based on fuel are:
- Electric Heaters
- Kerosene Heaters
- Natural Gas Heaters
- Propane Heaters
Electric heaters are the most commonly used space heaters, and they are suitable for homes, offices, baby rooms, garages, and many other places, depending on the size of the heater. There is a heating element in electric heaters which produces heat. Electricity passes from the heating element and generates heat. The best thing about these heaters is that you don’t need to worry about the fuel. You only need to insert the plug into the wall socket and enjoy the warm air from space heaters. You can run electric heaters anytime, but in the case of a power outage, these heaters are useless unless you have an electric power source like a generator.
Electric heaters are user-friendly and safe. They come with different safety features to prevent any accidents. Long ago, electric heaters were considered to be dangerous because of the hot heating element and fire hazards. But now, the new electric heaters are more advanced and safer. You can say, an electric heater is the safest type of space heaters among all types.
Most importantly, electric heaters do not produce harmful gases like kerosene and gas heaters. They are 100% environmentally friendly. You can also use them in a packed space without worrying about hazardous gases. They do not require any ventilation.
Kerosene heaters are preferred for outdoor use. There are powerful kerosene heaters that can even heat your garage, docks, workshops, or poorly insulated area. The best thing about these heaters is that they can be used in power outages. You can use them wherever you want; you only need kerosene. If kerosene is easily available, you can use this type of space heaters without any hassle.
Kerosene heaters are not as safe as electric heaters. The worst problem they have is the production of carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide is a dangerous gas that can kill if breathed over a limit. It produces indoor pollution; therefore, it’s not safe to use indoors. There are many kerosene heaters that produce minimum carbon monoxide, but you cannot eliminate the emission. You cannot see this gas, and it does not have any smell; thus, it’s difficult to detect the concentration of the gas. You need to keep carbon monoxide detectors in rooms or tents while using this heater. You can choose a propane tent heater for warm tents during winter camping.
Another problem with kerosene heaters is their hot body. The body of these heaters is very hot, and you can even see the light of the flame. It is dangerous to touch the body. Moreover, if the heater is tipped, then it can lead to a fire. Although they have tip-over safety, which can turn off the heater, their hot body is dangerous. You need to place high-temperature resistant mats under the heater. In short, you need to be very careful while using kerosene heaters. But if you are using them in a place where you can overcome these problems, then these heaters are excellent.
Natural Gas Heaters
Natural gas is mostly available at homes. Natural gas heaters have a very low running cost because natural gas is much cheaper than kerosene and propane. If natural gas is not an issue for you, you can use this type of heater at your home. Natural gas requires a plumbed line. Usually, people dedicate a line for the natural gas heater; thus, these heaters are not portable like electric heaters and kerosene heaters. You need to keep them at the place where the gas is available.
Natural gas produces harmful gases after burning; therefore, it’s not suitable for indoor use. There are some natural gas indoor heaters that produce minimum carbon monoxide. Still, you need to keep the area ventilated. Natural gas heaters are appealing in design, and you can use them in your house or outdoor space. These heaters provide excellent heat output that is enough to keep you warm. Natural gas and propane produce gases, but natural gas is safer. Natural gas has a lower level of emissions.
Propane is also used in some heaters. The best thing about propane is that it is non-toxic. It burns clean and provides more BTUs per gallon as compared to natural gas. It’s efficient than natural gas, but it’s costly. You need to buy propane tanks and fill them up to run the heater.
Propane heaters are suitable for outdoor use. You can use them during travel. You only need to carry a tank with you. It’s a flammable gas, so you need to be careful about leakage. Moreover, it’s heavier than air, so it rests at the bottom, which is more dangerous in the case of leakage.
Types of Electric Space Heaters
Electric space heaters are the most preferred heaters that people use in their homes and offices. The reason behind their excessive usage is the safety features. They are safe and environmentally friendly. These heaters can be further classified; therefore, we are going to explain each type so that you can understand which type is better for you. The common types of electric heaters are,
- Ceramic Heater
- Infrared Space Heater
- Oil-filled Space Heater
Ceramic Space Heater
A ceramic space heater is the best space heater that you can use in your home and office. No matter whether there are children or pets at your home, these heaters are safe to use. These heaters use a ceramic coated heating element, which never gets too hot from the surface. Thus, these heaters have a cool exterior, so there is no harm in touching them. They provide excellent energy efficiency, which is nearly 100% in most cases. In short, there is very minimum energy loss, so it can save a lot of energy.
The exterior of the heater remains cool, so there is no risk of fire accidents. It is safer than any other type of electric heater. These heaters are extremely portable, and you can carry them anywhere. They also have many safety features, including tip-over safety. The heater will automatically turn off in case it is tipped. Thus, you don’t need to worry about children, but it is better to keep it away. They also have a fan and oscillation feature to spread the heat in a wide area.
Ceramic heaters are easily available, and you can enjoy the warmth without any hassle. Just insert the plug in the socket, and you are ready to enjoy a comfortable environment. One more important feature of ceramic space heaters is their low noise. These heaters are very quiet; you will even notice the noise. They might have a little noise of the fan, but that is also very low.
Infrared Space Heater
Infrared heaters emit infrared radiations to provide warmth. These radiations are invisible, and they can heat anything that is in front of them. So, infrared heaters are excellent for spot heating or object heating. They heat the spot, so there is no need to heat the whole space. These heaters are known for their quick performance. You don’t need to wait for a long time; just start the heater, and it will start throwing radiations within a few seconds. On the other hand, ceramic heaters heat the whole space, so they need time to create a comfortable environment; you need to wait for a few minutes.
These heaters can also work in poorly insulated rooms and areas because they do not heat the whole air. They provide radiations to the object that is in front of them. There is no need to use insulation in your room if you have an infrared heater.
Some infrared heaters have a hot heating element at the surface, which is dangerous. Always choose those infrared heaters whose heating elements are covered with safety. They also have safety features, such as tip-over safety and overheating protection. You cannot expect an infrared heater to oscillate; they usually stand in one place and provide infrared radiation. You can safely use these heaters at your home if they have safety features. The only problem with these heaters is that you need to keep them running; they cannot provide you heat once you turn them off.
Oil-filled Space Heater
Oil-filled heaters have oil in them. They are just like a radiator in which oil flows. The oil is heated by the heating element. Once the oil is heated, it radiates the energy in the air. So, it heats the whole space. You need to keep the area insulated to experience the warmth for a long time after turning the heater off. These heaters are durable, and they do not require any maintenance. Moreover, the oil does not need any replacement. They are portable, but a little heavy as compared to ceramic heaters. You can use them at home without any hassle.
The only problem with these heaters is the hot surface. Their surface remains hot even if you turn off the heater. They remain hot because of the oil. It takes some time to cool down. Although the surface is not too hot, you need to be careful. Moreover, in the case of oil leakage, you need to replace the heater.
Space Heater Safety
There is no compromise on safety. The heater should have all the safety features if you want to use it in your home or office. You can neglect a few safety features if you are using it outdoors, but for in-house use, safety is important. Electric heaters usually have the best safety features. Some of the most common safety features are,
- Tip-over Safety
- Overheating Safety
- Cool Exterior
- Tip-over Safety
Tip-safety is necessary if you want to prevent fire accidents. The heater can be tipped due to any reason, but it should automatically turn off if it is tipped. This feature is usually present in ceramic heaters, kerosene heaters, infrared heaters, and some other heaters as well. If the heater has this feature, you don’t need to worry; the heater will turn off automatically. No matter whether there are children in the room, the heater is safe enough.
For office and home use, tip-over safety is essential. You need to place the heater on a flat surface because the sensor at the base does not work properly on a non-flat surface.
- Overheating Safety
The heater can be overheated due to any problem. During overheating, it provides excessive heat, and it can damage itself if used during overheating. Therefore, there is an overheating safety switch in most heaters that turns the heater off in the case of overheating. Overheating can also be a cause of short circuit or fire, so there must be overheating safety.
- Cool Exterior
At every cost, the surface of the heater should remain cool. No matter whether you use the heater for a long or short duration, it should stay cool. You will find this feature in ceramic heaters. There is no risk of hand burns, even if you touch the surface. The surface remains cool. This feature makes the heater kid-friendly. Furthermore, if the surface of the heater gets hot after some time, then it’s a fire hazard.
You need to check the voltage level that is required by the space heater. The voltage level in the US is 120V, so the heater should be compatible with that. You need to get a space heater that could work on this voltage level. There are 220V space heaters as well, but you need to get the right one. If the defined voltage of the heater is 220V, but the voltage at your home is 120V, then you need a converter to run the heater. So, always check the voltage level before you buy any electrical appliances.
- Adjustable Thermostat
Most heaters have an adjustable thermostat to adjust the temperature. It allows you to adjust the temperature according to your needs. But some heaters only have a high or low mode, and they don’t have an adjustable thermostat, so you cannot control the temperature in them. Thus, you must select the heater that has an adjustable thermostat. Usually, all types of heaters have a thermostat to control the temperature. You will find a knob or buttons on the heater to adjust the temperature. If there is an LED display, then you will be able to set the temperature precisely.
Not all types of space heaters have a fan. Typically, you will find a fan in ceramic heaters. The fan blows the hot air in the whole area. It increases the temperature of the area quickly. Some heaters also have a fan-only mode, which allows you to use the heater round the years. You can use the fan-only mode in summer because it blows air without heating.
For control, there are buttons in most heaters. You can control the temperature, timer, heat setting, oscillation, and every feature of the heater through buttons. But you need to get up from your place to change the settings of the heater using buttons. Therefore, it’s better if the heater has a remote control. You can easily control everything through the remote, even while sitting on the sofa. It only comes with advanced heaters. If your heater has a remote control, then it’s better.
- Noise Level
The noise level of the heater should be as minimum as possible. The noise should not disturb you in any way. People also use space heaters for baby rooms and nurseries, so they should be quite enough. You can check the noise level of the heater before buying it. The noise should be less than 50dB. The lesser the noise level, the better it is.
Oscillation allows your heater to rotate left and right. It spreads the air quickly and heats up a wider area in less time. You will find an oscillation feature in ceramic heaters, especially tower type ceramic heaters. If the people are sitting on a sofa, then due to oscillation, the heater will cover the whole area from one corner to the other. The range of rotation depends on the heater, but it’s usually less than 90˚.
The timer is an excellent feature that you will find in advanced heaters. There is usually an electronic board in the heater for this feature. The timer allows you to set a time after which the heater will turn off on its own; you don’t need to turn off the heater. If you have set the timer for eight hours, then the heater will turn off after eight hours. The timer has a limit; most heaters have a 12-hour timer, but some also have a 24-hour timer. It should not be less than 12 hours.
Warranty is important, no matter what type of heater you are purchasing. The warranty for a space heater can be 1-5 years. It ensures durability and long life. Always read the terms and conditions of the warranty to know about the policies.
How Much Electricity Do Space Heaters Use?
An electric space heater requires electricity to work. The cost of electricity and energy consumption is a concern. People should understand the energy consumption of the heaters. It will help them to have an estimate, and they will be able to buy the right product. You don’t need to be an electrical engineer to estimate the energy consumption or the cost of electricity. We will show you a simple method to calculate the cost and energy consumption.
You need wattage of the space heater to estimate the cost and energy consumption. Note the watts while buying an electric space heater.
- Note the wattage of the space heater
- Multiply the watts (power) with the hours of use per day. The answer will be energy consumption in Wh.
- Divide the answer by 1000 to convert it into kWh. kWh is the energy consumption of the heater.
- Now multiply the cost per unit of electricity with kWh. The answer will be the total cost per day.
Let’s understand the method with an example.
Suppose you have a 1000-watt space heater, the cost per unit of electricity is $1, and you use the heater 8 hours per day.
Energy Consumption = Power (Watts) x Hours of use (Per day) = 1,000 x 8 = 8,000 Wh
Energy Consumption in kWh = 8,000 / 1000 = 8 kWh
Cost of Energy used = Energy used in kWh x Cost of per unit = 8 x $1 = $8
Hence, the cost of energy used per day is $8 if you use the heater for 8 hours.
It’s very easy to calculate the cost per day. You can multiply the number of days of the month to get the cost per month. You only need to replace the watts, the cost of electricity, and hours of use in the method. Moreover, it’s just an estimate; there are other factors that are responsible for your electricity bill, depending on the supplier. Some suppliers have different tariffs according to the number of units consumed. This method tells you the running cost of the heater, but your electricity bill also includes the energy consumption of other appliances, which can alter the final cost.
How to Prevent a Space Heater from Blowing Fuse?
Space heaters can blow the fuse connected in the circuit. It’s a good thing that the fuse is blown because it has saved your space heater from any damage. But there might be a big problem that has blown the fuse. Fuse blows when excess current passes through it. If the fuse is rated at 15A, then an excess current will blow the fuse. If the fuse is blown, it’s an indication that there is something wrong, and you must resolve the problem before using the heater again. We are going to give you a few preventive measures to mitigate the probability of blowing a fuse.
- Check the Wattage of Your Heater
You need to check the wattage of the heater. The wiring at your home has a maximum current carrying capacity. So, there should not be overloading. The wiring should bear the current drawn by electric heaters. If the heater is not drawing more current, then it will blow the fuse or damage the wiring in severe cases. The wiring should not be overloaded in any case. You can call an electrician to check the wiring.
- Avoid Extension Cords
Extension cords are not designed to carry high current. Electric heaters draw a huge amount of current, which is not suitable for extension cords. They can damage the cord and blow the fuse. Therefore, manufacturers never recommend using an extension cord with a space heater. You should try to insert the plug directly into the socket.
- Use Circuit Breakers
A circuit breaker is the best way to prevent fuse blowing. You can install an appropriate circuit breaker on your mainboard, which will trip in case of any problem. It will prevent the fuse from blowing up. You need an expert for the installation and selection of a circuit breaker.
- Inspect the House Wiring and Heater Wire
Your house wiring should be up to the mark. It should not be frayed. The same is the case with heater wire; you should check it before inserting the plug into the socket. If the cord is frayed, you need to replace it. Otherwise, it could give an electric shock or blow its fuse.
- Allow Your Heater to Cool Down
Never use the heater continuously for a long time. Allow it to cool down a little. Sometimes, overheating blows the fuse, so you should turn the heater off after using it for a few hours. Moreover, it’s better to unplug the heater when not in use.
Space Heater vs Central Heating. Which One Energy-efficient And Best Heating Solution For Home?
It’s a very long debate, some people prefer central heating, while some like space heating. Both have their pros and cons. It totally depends on your requirements, which would be better for you. Let’s discuss both separately.
Many people prefer a space heater over central heating. Let’s discuss the pros and cons in detail.
Low Running Cost
The cost of running a space heater is low because it’s just a small heater that covers a room or small area. In the case of central heating, your entire house is heated. It’s not possible for you or your family to be everywhere in the house; therefore, it’s not a wise idea to use central heating if you are in a room because the other parts of the house will be heated for no reason. It’s just the wastage of electricity, which results in a high running cost.
On the other hand, you can use the space heater in any room you want. The heater will cover your desired area only. So, you will save your money by selecting only the required space for heating. The running cost of the space heater is much lower than central heating. You can get a portable space heater and use it in any room you want. It would be a cost-effective solution.
Low Upfront Cost
A small space heater is a cheaper option as compared to central heating. You can buy an excellent space heater in the range of $50-$200, depending on the size and features. Some heaters are also available under $50. So, they have a very low upfront cost, and you can easily replace the space heater with a new one without worrying about it. In contrast, central heating costs a lot. It could be around $5,000-15,000. So, its maintenance and replacement are very expensive. Not everyone can afford central heating, so the affordable option is a space heater.
A space heater is just a temporary solution for a single room. It has a shorter life compared to central heating. But if you often move your house, then this temporary solution is the best option for you.
Central heating is the preferred solution for large families and commercial properties. Let’s see its pros and cons.
Covers a Large Area
Central heating covers a large area as compared to a space heater. You can cover your entire house, including the kitchen, bathrooms, living room, bedroom, and everything you want. You can control the temperature of your entire house. If you don’t live alone, and you need heating in more than one room at a time, then it’s the best solution. It could be a cost-effective solution if you utilize a large portion of your house while using central heating. In contrast, if you use space heaters in different rooms, then it would be more costly.
Central heating is a long-term investment. Although it’s expensive, it has a very long life. It requires maintenance over time, but it works in the long run. If you are sure of spending at least 10-20 years in a house, then you should go with a central heating system.
We have already discussed that the cost of central heating is very high as compared to a space heater. But if you utilize it fully, then it’s better than space heaters. It is worth it.
Space Heater Safety Tips
You must be careful while using a space heater. There are some safety tips that you must keep in mind. We would like to give tips for different types of heaters separately.
- Never use extension cords because they get too hot. It’s dangerous and can lead to a fire or electric shock.
- Turn off the heater when not in use. It’s better to remove the plug from the wall socket. Turning it off from the remote is not enough.
- Check the wiring before using the heater. It should not be frayed.
- Before using the heater for the first time, you must call an expert to check the wiring.
- Use an appropriate circuit breaker to prevent any accident.
- Fill kerosene properly. There should not be a fuel or water spill near the heater.
- Use the recommended fuel only; otherwise, it will damage the heater.
- Always check the fuel before use. It should not run out of fuel during the use.
- Keep the heater in a ventilated area and install a carbon monoxide detector.
- Adjust the wick properly; it should not produce soot.
- Never touch the body of the heater. It can burn your skin.
Natural Gas and Propane Heaters
- Before using the heater, check for any leakage. If there is any leakage, then repair it first.
- Install a carbon monoxide detector.
- Shut-off the valve after using the heater.
- Maintain the heater and clean it before use.
- The propane tank should be serviced properly.
- Keep the area ventilated.
Common Safety Tips for All Types of Heaters
- Place the heater on a flat surface so that its tip-over feature can work properly.
- Keep the combustible materials away from the heater.
- Never cover the heater with any cloth or other material.
- Allow the heater to cool down after using it.
- Keep the heater away from the walls.
- Avoid running the heater overnight.
What Type of Space Heater is Most Energy Efficient?
Efficiency is the ratio of output and input. The efficiency will be 100% if both the input and output are equal. 100% efficiency is the ideal case. If the efficiency is lower than 100%, then it means some of the input is wasted. In the case of space heaters, there are chances of the wastage of input. If the wastage is minimum, then the running cost will also be the minimum; thus, everyone wants excellent efficiency to save energy.
The most efficient space heaters are electric space heaters. There is a minimum loss in electric space heaters as there is no emission. These heaters convert electrical energy into heat. There is a minimum energy loss. Almost all energy is converted into heat. Among all electric space heaters, ceramic heaters are the most efficient. Ceramic heaters have a heating element that is coated with a ceramic material. It has excellent heat emission and absorption; therefore, there is almost no loss. The efficiency of ceramic heaters is almost 100%. If you want an energy-efficient heater, then a ceramic heater would be the best choice.
How to Make Your Home More Heat Efficient?
You must make your house heat efficient. This will keep the warmth for a long time and improve efficiency. There will be fewer energy losses. There are a few easy ways to make your house heat-efficient; let’s look at them.
Insulate Windows and Doors
First, you need to look at the drafty window and doors. Windows usually have gaps that are responsible for the heat escape. You can check the draughts by a candle. Take a candle near the window, and you will notice where the air is coming. You need to close that leakage by applying sealants. If there are any draughts in the floor or walls, then you must seal them.
There is usually a gap under the door, which is worse than drafty windows. The gap is the biggest reason for the escape of warm air. You need to purchase a draught excluder to solve this problem.
A curtain is an excellent way to keep your house warmer. They prevent the draughts up to some extent and retain heat. Use thick and warm curtains to keep your room warm.
Insulate the Attic, Walls, and Floors
You can insulate the attic with ease. It also prevents any escape of the warm air. You can lay an insulation layer.
If you are planning for a renovation, then never forget to insulate the floor and wall. You can fill the vacant space with foam boards or any insulating material that is preferable.
The heat can escape from the windows. So, it’s better to install double glazing. It prevents the heat from escaping as there is an inert gas or vacuum between the glass that does not allow the heat to pass through it. You can also go for triple glazing if you want to make your room more heat efficient.
Use Thermostat and Timers
A thermostat can help you set the desired temperature of the area. Many people underestimate the use of a thermostat, but a single degree change can drastically change the cost of heating. You can also control the modern thermostats through your mobile. Furthermore, if your house is perfectly insulated, then you can also turn off the heating system. The insulation will retain the heat. You can set a timer for that, and this will save you money.
Indeed, everyone needs a space heater to keep the room warm in harsh winters. A space heater is necessary, and you should use it with all safety measures. We have provided you a detailed guide on space heaters. We have discussed how to buy a space heater, safety tips, energy efficiency, heat retention, pros and cons of the space heater and central heating, and a lot more. You might have learned a lot about space heaters from this article. We hope this guide will help you in selecting the Most Energy Efficient Space Heater, and you will be able to use it properly.