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How do I Choose the Best Radiant Space Heater?

Angela Crout-Mitchell
Angela Crout-Mitchell

There are several factors to consider when choosing a radiant space heater for the home, such as the type of space heater, the space the heater is able to warm, and the available safety features of the unit. Most types of space heaters are well suited for use in older homes that may have drafty windows and doors, as well as for larger homes to heat only a limited space at a time as needed. With the rising costs of gas and electric, many people are choosing to add space heaters to their homes as a more cost effective means of keeping the rooms warm and comfortable. These heaters are often easy to move, lightweight, and ideal for a variety of different spaces. Consumers should be aware that the surfaces of radiant space heaters often become hot, and children and pets must be closely monitored around them.

A homeowner can choose a radiant space heater from a variety of different types including natural gas, electric, and kerosene options. Kerosene heaters are the most cost effective, but they give off fumes that are dangerous to inhale unless the room is well-ventilated. Natural gas radiant space heaters can heat a small area and, like kerosene, must be located in well ventilated area to avoid potentially dangerous fume inhalation. Many people choose the more expensive electric radiant space heaters to avoid the dangers of fume inhalation. The surface of electric space heaters often becomes very hot, and this type of heater may not be the best option for homes with young children or pets.

Woman holding a book
Woman holding a book

It is important for consumers to understand that the radiant space heater options are not intended to heat an entire room. These units are most effective for providing heat in a limited space and often provide warmth for the immediate area surrounding the unit. Using a radiant space heater is a good way to enhance a home's heating system, but space heaters can not replace it.

When choosing any type of radiant space heater, it is vital to choose a model with the appropriate safety features. Most safe radiant space heaters are equipped with a safety mechanism that shuts off the unit if it is knocked over or becomes overheated. Consumers will also want to purchase heating units that are equipped with a grate to limit the exposed heated surface of the space heater, helping to protect people and animals from accidental burns.

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