Over the last couple of months I’ve been working in the study at the back of my house. It’s a room that is quite small, I think it is nearly 10 foot square, but it has the disadvantage of having three external walls and two windows, one of the windows is a large window in the back wall the other is a much smaller one in the side wall. This is not to give you a detailed description of my home, but that when I’ve been working there I’ve noticed that I’ve become very cold in the morning after only an hour or so. In a similar way to my water softener article I am trying to get the most out of the environment in which I both work and live.
So I thought I’d get myself a new portable space heater, and as a result I did a bit of research into what makes a good space heater, and in keeping with my intention to document some of my experiences on this blog I thought I’d share something of what I’ve learned over the last week or so about space heaters.
There are essentially two types a space heater a convection space heater and a radiant space heater.
A convection space heater works by the exchange of heat from the heater itself into the surrounding air. Warm air tends to rise so convection heater tends to be positioned in a room at a low level and as the air is heated it rises and is replaced in turn by cooler air. The whole process tends to be very passive and doesn’t require any mechanical moving parts in the particular space heater that you using.
The other type of space heater that you can get a call radiant space heaters. A radiant space heater tends to have a hot element which heats, not the air, but the objects surrounding the heater. A good analogy of what is meant by radiant heat is the heat that you feel from the sun. Although the sun doesn’t that warm the air to on a sunny day if you stand with your face up to the sun you will definitely feel warm radiating from the sun itself. This is in effect how a radiant heater works.
The most common type of heating element these days that is incorporated into radiant heaters is a ceramic heating element, although metal covered courts elements are also used quite frequently. Infrared heaters often use a heat exchanger in order to heat the air too and in order that it doesn’t get overheated they incorporate a fan to move the air away from the heater which in turn is replaced by cooler air. This tends to mean that when in operation a radiant heater is not completely silent, whereas convection heater often makes no noise at all.
At first I thought I would go for a convection heater, as I thought that that would be the best option for the room that I was in. However the convection heaters tend to be oil filled radiators, which are anywhere between 24 inches and 30 inches high and are essentially similar to wall hung radiators but are manoeuvrable because they have wheels which allows the radiator to be wheeled around. They are also reasonably large and very heavy and having examined one in the store I decided that the oil filled radiator was not for me.
Some helpful advice on safe space heating choices:
A site I found called Space Heater Pro also has some really good advice on safety too.
Not only that but I found that the oil filled radiators were actually quite a lot more expensive than many of the much smaller and equally effective ceramic space heaters.
In the end I went for a very cheap option I chose a Lasko 753200 oscillating ceramic space heater with a fan remote control as my selection. This little heater, which is able to heat my small room in less than 15 minutes as all the functionality that I wanted from heater but is contained within a box that is no more than 10 inches high. It can easily fit on my desk without taking up too much space or if I’m feeling indulgent occasionally I put it next to my feet to get my feet toasty and warm.
The best thing of all is the only cost $25. It has a thermostatic control which means that it turns off when the temperature in the room which is the level that I wanted to get to, and perhaps best of all it turns back on again when the temperature falls back below a certain threshold. Anyway I’ve been really pleased with my new portable space heater and will thoroughly recommend it to anyone.