Space heating today is used primarily to add supplemental heat in areas of our home that are under served. This could be a cold basement or if you conserve energy you may find heating just a couple rooms can save you money. However space heating can also be used in areas that are not normally heated like your garage or an out building such as a small barn.
Where ever you are you want to be comfortable and adding the right space heater can improve your life dramatically.
When installing any heating device it is important to read all the directions and precautions that come with your particular model. Although sales people may be helpful you should always defer to manufacturer’s recommendations and your local building and fire codes.
Remember always ask a professional to install your heater if needed and permanent heaters will probably require notification of your insurance company to comply with fire coverage.
If you are renting never use any heating device without permission of the building owner it may void your lease and endanger other occupants even if you take all precautions available to you.
Space heaters are implicated in about 25,000 residential fires every year. No matter what type of space heater you install you should never run it unattended.
All portable space heaters should have a tip sensor to shut the device off if it falls over. All fixed space heater should be installed by a professional.
So, how do you chose the right heater?
First you have to decide how often and how much heat will be needed.
If you will be heating a garage or out building constantly over the winter month you may want to install a permanent heater. If you just need some extra heat while you watch tv on really cold nights then a portable heater may fit your needs best.
What are the different types of space heaters?
- Radiant heaters emit infrared radiation that directly warms the objects in front of the heaters (rather than the surrounding air). If you only need heat by a desk or in a small section of a room, a radiant heater is quiet and will use very little power.
- Forced-air heaters use a fan to blow air that has been warmed by metal or ceramic heating elements. A forced-air heater is appropriate for quickly heating up a small- to medium-sized room, but can be noisy.
- Convection heaters draw cold air from the floor; the air is warmed by heating coils and emitted from the top of the heater. A convection heater is appropriate for quickly heating up a small- to medium-sized room, but also can be noisy.
- Radiators work by heating oil enclosed in a reservoir, gradually heating the surrounding air. If heating speed isn’t an issue, you might want to opt for a radiator. These are extremely quiet and effective–perfect for bedrooms.
What type of fuel sources are available?
Most small space heaters run on electricity however you will find models that run on LP and Natural Gas and some that run on fuels like Kerosene (many areas have outlawed kerosene heaters)
How Strong does my heater need to be?
Heaters are rated in BTU’s this is a constant measurement that allows you to compare the strength of any heater, you will also see this rating used for air conditioning.
Width x Length = Square Feet of the room
For electric heaters multiply the square feet by 10 watts for an average insulated home.
For gas heaters multiply the cubic feet by 10 to get the BTU’s
Width x Length x Height = Cubic Feet of the room
So, a 10×10 room would need at minimum a 1,000 watt electric or a 8,000 BTU fueled heater.
Important Differences between Electric and Fuel Heaters
Fuel run heaters have special needs. For combustion to happen the heater needs to use Oxygen. It will also give off toxic carbon monoxide and possibly other gasses.
Many heaters will require installation of intake and exhaust tubes however portable devices do not. If you are running a portable fuel run heater you will need to make sure that fresh air is always present in the room. You should also have a CO2 alarm that will warn you of high CO2 levels.
If your electric is off and you can not use a CO2 Alarm you should keep a window partly open or not use the device inside.
Never run a space heater in your garage if you have volatile chemicals such as gasoline or solvents present. If you are in an emergency situation remove all products and your vehicles before starting the heater.
REMEMBER Ignition does not require a Spark. Hot coils can also ignite materials like paper, plastic, cloth and chemicals.
The YouRepair Store sells a variety of Space Heaters to fit your needs