Choosing a Portable Heater in 3 Easy Steps
You may think that picking a heater is a no brainer. But once you start looking at what's available, you'll probably get confused. It'll become much more difficult to make a decision.
Life is full of difficult decisions, but picking a heater shouldn't be one of them.
There are a lot of heaters to choose from, each offer its own unique benefits.
Here, we'll help you figure out what to look for in a heater, and explain the different types available. This straightforward and simple guide is designed to make purchasing a heating unit easy.
The best way to choose a portable heating system is to first consider the following:
1. Choose a fuel type
2. Select a heater type
3. Choose the controls
There are two basic types of fuel: electric and gas. In most cases, electric units are preferred, but both are effective and valued for different reasons.
Portable gas heaters are ideal for the outdoor use. They're inexpensive and don't require a plug. They're a great emergency resource, heat spaces quickly and generally cost effective. Gas heaters run on external fuel, like propane or oil. Because they emit carbon monoxide, dioxide, and other gases, they can only be used in a well-ventilated area.
Electric heaters can be used in enclosed areas and require no ventilation. They're inexpensive, safe, and eco-friendly and emit no green house gases. These units require an electrical outlet so they can't operate during power outages, but in general they are great for warming indoor areas like homes, offices, and garages.
There are 2 kinds of heating systems indoor and outdoor. Know where you want to use the heater and make a selection accordingly. Below is a brief breakdown designed to help you recognize the difference and how they're used.
Indoor: There are a number of indoor heating units to choose from. Many operate differently, and therefore, warm the room differently too.
- Portable ceramic heaters are one of the most progressive indoor heaters. They feature a ceramic heat element, aluminum baffles, and a fan that work together to distribute warmth. Fan-forced ceramic portable heaters are ideal for warming sunrooms, bedrooms and small offices.
- If you don't want to sacrifice design for comfort, try an electric fireplace! These amazing units plug into a standard outlet and provide a charming faux fire along with their radiating heat. It's a great way to add instant ambiance, and since the heat is all electric, you'll get the look and feel of a fire without the soot and smoke.
- Oil filled heating units use very little energy and spread warmth evenly. They're safer than traditional fan-forced space heaters since they maintain a low surface temperature. The heat element is permanently sealed and never needs to be replaced. They're quiet and provide gentle, consistent heat and because they include casters for mobility it's easy to move it from room to room.
- Reflective heaters use infrared technology to radiate warmth. These portable space heaters provide heat that is similar to the sun's healthy rays, and they warm objects directly instead of trying to warm the air. As a result, you benefit from powerful and efficient heating instantly. Reflective heaters are silent, produce clean heat, save a lot of energy, and require minimal upkeep. They're ideal for quiet home environments.
Outdoor: Outdoor heaters are great for warming backyards and patios. They can also be used to warm worksites and supplement heat during an emergency situation.
- Patio heaters are either freestanding or designed to sit on an outdoor patio table. Typically, they're either electric or gas. Most operate on propane gas as ventilating the heater isn't a problem. They're cost effective and efficient and allow you to create a warm and comfortable environment for family and guests. With a patio heater you can enjoy outdoor entertaining all year long.
- Torches are a great outdoor accessory. Placed along walkways, these handy little heaters warm a 20 ft. radius and add a little decorative flair to your outdoor setting. Most use propane as a fuel source but some operate on ethanol. These outdoor heaters are perfect for creating an inviting outdoor setting.
- Fire pits can be either wood burning or propane operated and provide a great setting for backyard cookouts. Roast marsh mellows or hotdogs. Pits are perfect for creating an outdoor setting that brings people together. Smaller types are also great at warming personal spaces and make a great centerpiece for any table.
- Gas fired heaters are perfect for worksites like construction areas and can also be used in an emergency situations. Most models offer enough BTUs to warm a large area. One of these heaters can warm up to 450 sq. ft. of space. These handy little heaters are also great for outdoor activities like backpacking. Don't have to worry about finding dry kindle to build a fire when none is available. These heaters are small and lightweight so you can take it with you and stay warm.
Manual: Heaters with manual controls are simple and easy to use.
Digital: Digital controls usually feature LCD display and push buttons.
Most people have a preference. Consider how much you plan to spend on the heater and then determine which controls are best. Heaters with digital controls can get quite expensive.
Other factors to consider:
- Coverage area: Consider watts for electric models and BTUs for gas. The higher the number the more heat offered.
- Thermostat: This is important if you're using an indoor electric heater. Choose an option with a programmable thermostat or an automatic thermostat that shuts the unit off when the temperature is met this is a feature designed to keep energy use down.
- Safety: Always select a model with overheat protection and tip over safety so you don't have to worry about accident fires or burns.
Once you've made the decision to buy a heating system then following, these 3 simple steps will make selecting an option easy. You're guaranteed to find the perfect heater if you do.