The 10 Best Space Heaters
This wiki has been updated 22 times since it was first published in February of 2015. If you have a room in your house that never seems to get warm enough, or you want to turn down the central HVAC thermostat a notch to save on your energy bills, but still not freeze to death, one of these portable space heaters will be just the ticket. We've included efficient electric models that are easy to fit in small spaces, as well as more powerful units that can handle large rooms. When users buy our independently chosen editorial recommendations, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki. Skip to the best space heater on Amazon.
September 26, 2019:
In our most recent update to this list we replaced the Vornado Vortex Personal with the Smart Wood Color, which has a similar range of function but operates more quietly and puts out more heat.
When choosing a space heater, remember to consider a model's capacity, which will determine the size of the space it will cover. On one end of the spectrum, you have heavy-duty units like the Duraflame Cherry, which is able to warm a 1,500-square-foot room. On the other end you have the Lasko Ceramic, which is recommended for nothing more expansive than a small home office.
Buyers should also pay attention to how a space heater converts electricity into heat. Convection space heaters, like the Vornado AVH10, use a fan to circulate heated air around a room and are the most energy efficient of the bunch but also tend to be noisier.
Infrared space heaters, like the Unique Heat Next Generation, are really good at quickly heating up a person they are pointed at but are not great at raising the mercury of the surrounding air. That means that there is a palpable temperature drop soon after a unit is switched off.
The DeLonghi ComforTemp is the only oil-filled radiator on the list and has a non-intrusive design, which is good because this type of space heater needs to be on in a room long enough for the heated air to radiate throughout a space.
How Does A Space Heater Actually Heat?
You might not know if you need a convective heater or radiative heater.
They are not meant to replace a long-term heating source, and it's not recommended that you use them to heat your entire home.
Space heaters are intended to do just what their name implies: heat a small, enclosed space for a short amount of time. They are not meant to replace a long-term heating source, and it's not recommended that you use them to heat your entire home.
If you're reading this page, you might already be overwhelmed by the number of options that are out there for space heating. You might be torn between an electric or gas-powered space heater. You might not know if you need a convective heater or radiative heater.
Convective heaters heat the surrounding air and often have thermostats that shut off when the air in the room reaches the preset temperature.
Radiative heaters use infrared heating technology that heats the objects and peoples in the room. They can be more expensive but are often more efficient and effective.
All space heaters require certain safety precautions. Both convective and radiative space heaters require proper ventilation, and gas-powered space heaters can pose a risk of carbon monoxide poisoning if not properly monitored.
As long as you follow proper safety guidelines and do your product research, you can pick a space heater that will be perfect for you and your space.
How Do I Know What I Need?
The type of space heater you choose to buy depends on your specific needs. For instance, if you work in a small office and need a little extra heat to stay warm while you work, a radiant (or radiative) heater that uses infrared technology is probably your best bet. This heater is going to heat you and the surrounding objects while simultaneously conserving energy (and saving money).
Try to make sure that whatever area you plan to heat is well insulated.
If you need to heat an entire room, you're probably better off to get a traditional convection heater to heat the surrounding air. Infrared heat is great, but convection heat is going to reach farther and fill the room better if you go the space heater route.
If you are interested in saving energy and only need to heat a small space, a space heater is a good choice for you. Try to make sure that whatever area you plan to heat is well insulated. Otherwise, it won't matter what type of heat you have - you will still be paying out the nose for your heating bill.
Consider all of the available options before making your purchase. What's right for one person might not be right for you.
From The Cave to The Living Room
In 2012, two archaeologists discovered evidence of a man-made fire pit. This fire pit dates as far back as 1.2 million years and proves that man has been using heating systems for comfort since the beginning.
Neanderthal man began using open fires on hearths inside caves for heat and cooking. Koreans and Romans used radiant heating systems in homes and other buildings dating as far back as 1,000 B.C.
Koreans and Romans used radiant heating systems in homes and other buildings dating as far back as 1,000 B.C.
Until the invention of the stove in the 17th century, indoor heating was done primarily with open hearths and fireplaces. These stoves used wood or coal as fuel.
The Industrial Revolution gave rise to new heating systems including gas heat, steam heat, hydronic systems, registers, boilers, and radiators. In the early 19th century, a fan system was developed that helped to heat the surrounding air. This eventually necessitated the invention of thermostats in the late 19th century.
In the early 20th century, most homes were still using coal furnaces that had to be continually filled in order to keep the home warm. Once natural gas and electricity were harnessed as viable heat sources, home heating systems became more easily accessible.
The use of natural gas and electricity not only helped to create more efficient central home heating systems, but it made small in-home space heaters possible and available to the general public.
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