Kerosene And Gas Space Heaters Vs. Electric Space Heaters: Which Provides More Heat At Lower Cost?

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Space heaters are convenient home appliances that are used to heat a confined area such as a room. This heating system is usually small in size and can thus be conveniently transported. Space heaters come in several types - portable, ceramic, electric, kerosene, wood, and natural gas space heaters. Each type has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Read space heater reviews to find out which are the best space heaters.

Conventional Fuel-based Space Heaters: These are the space heaters based on conventional sources of energy such as kerosene, natural gas, and wood. They are named after the fuel they make use of. The biggest advantage of kerosene, natural gas and wood space heaters is that they can easily warm up a large area. They need not be used in an enclosed space or a room. In fact, they are meant to be used only outside a room or a house as they give out carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide. These gases, in large quantities, are detrimental to human health. They are also unclean to use. Another big drawback is fuel inefficiency .

Electric Space Heaters: Electric space heaters are safe and clean to use. This makes them the most popular choice among consumers. They are 100% efficient in converting electricity to heat, but the money spent on generating a unit of heat is relatively high. This makes them quite expensive. Take care of where you place the space heater, as there are different heaters for large and small rooms. It is advisable to have them facing a wide area. This would ensure maximum heat distribution. Placing them near furniture and electric appliances should always be avoided. They should never be placed in a bathroom, as the space there is little and there is water nearby. They are made of heat-resistant materials and are equipped with safety tip-over switches to prevent any heat- or fire-related mishap. The electric space heaters are also equipped with an automatic shut-off feature. The shut-off feature has proved to be highly efficient in preventing over-heating problems.

The two types of electric heaters available in the market are convective space heaters and radiant space heaters. A convective heater will heat the air in a room only if the windows and doors are shut. The radiant heaters do not heat the air, they heat the people and objects in a room. Radiant space heaters are better energy-savers than convective space heaters. If you usually remain in one room and need a heater only to warm yourself, make use of a radiant heater and save both electricity and money. The convective heaters are more efficient in heating larger areas and bigger rooms than radiant heaters, which heat only the part that they face. This is certainly a drawback of radiant space heaters as they create warm-side/cool-side problems. In contrast, convective heaters provide heating satisfaction, with the cold air pushed to the floor and the warm air to the ceiling. Convective heaters with a fan heat faster, but those without one provide better comfort.

Electric space heaters have knobs for maintaining a particular temperature, which you set according to your comfort. The biggest disadvantage of electric heaters is that they are fire hazards. They are also at risk for other electrical problems such as short-circuiting and sparking.

Portable Space Heaters: As the name suggests, the advantage of portable space heaters is that they can be carried from one place to another. They are equipped with wheels. They run on electricity. Portable space heaters are always a fire hazard risk. Therefore, it is always advisable to avoid using them for permanent heating. The same reason makes them unsuitable for use in laboratories and other workplaces where many other electrical equipments are also present. There is a common problem with all portable space heaters - the problem of storage in the summer seasons. You have to arrange for space to keep them safe for the next winter.

Oil-filled Radiant Heaters: These heaters look like radiators. They are permanently oil-filled and run on electricity. They consume less electricity than the coil type of heaters. They are also portable as they are fitted with wheels. They are quite cheap, but take a little longer to heat up a room.

Ceramic Space Heaters: Ceramic space heaters are electric heaters which deliver heat from a little box. They are also portable. Their biggest advantage is their low-temperature. This makes them much safer to use. Also, if the temperature rises to 380 Fahrenheit, these heaters will decrease the electric current. Because of this particular feature, they pose a relatively lower risk of fire. Ceramic heaters are the most economical ones. They heat only a small area. This could be advantageous as well as disadvantageous. The advantage is that they heat only a small part, so they are energy- and cost-efficient, as you would be paying to heat only a small area. This would be a disadvantage as they would not be suitable for newly built houses which have strong insulation. Central heating would prove to be more cost-efficient in new homes. Ceramic heaters are equipped with rheostat that sends full electricity when the room is cold but slows down the supply to the fan when the room is hot. This is definitely a nice feature but overrides your choice of desired temperature. Though ceramic heaters are good at saving money, they themselves are quite expensive.

Considering the pros and cons of each type, the electric heaters stand out to be the best space heater, in all aspects. However, the best space heater would depend upon your space (open or closed), availability of an energy source, and your budget. Let's hope these space heater reviews have given you a headstart.

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Posted on Apr 19, 2012