How do I Choose the Best Portable Space Heater?

Dan Cavallari

Consider the size of the room you need to heat with a portable space heater to begin choosing the best portable space heater for you. Different portable space heater designs will be made for different situations, such as use in outdoor settings, large indoor spaces, smaller rooms, homes with children and/or pets, and so on. When researching heaters, be sure to consider the power source, the safety features, and the cost of the unit, and remember that some heaters will cost you more to run than others. An electric heater will suck a lot of power, but some newer models are energy-saving models that can cut down on consumption.

A portable space heater.
A portable space heater.

If you will not be using the portable space heater for indoor purposes, consider a propane powered heater. This heater unit mounts to a propane tank, such as the ones used for powering a cooking grill, and it can warm up an outdoor location such as a patio or a campsite. Choose one that is easy to attach to the propane tank securely, and one that features a regulator to adjust the level of the heat produced by the heater. Make sure the heating element is adequately protected to prevent people and objects from coming in contact with it, and make sure the unit is light enough to be sturdy when mounted to the top of the tank without tipping it over.

A halogen space heater.
A halogen space heater.

Indoor heaters come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and power levels. For small rooms, choose a smaller heater that features an automatic shut-off that will engage when the temperature of the heater reaches a certain point. This can be an important feature to prevent fires or burns. Look for a heater that also features an automatic shut-off when the portable space heater tips over. This, too, can prevent fires and burns in the house. Larger units for larger spaces will produce a significant amount of heat, so be sure to choose a heater that offers some protection from burns in the form of screens or other barriers.

Try to find a portable space heater that is energy efficient. Electric heaters tend to use a significant amount of power, leading to expensive electricity bills and excess energy waste. Many models now have energy-saving features and designs to prevent such a power drain, and most manufacturers will advertise how energy-efficient the model is right on the packaging. Some energy-efficient models tend to be more expensive to purchase, but the price difference may be made up in lower energy bills.

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