First, what are portable heaters?
Portable heaters are appliances that help provide warmth to a certain area indoors. These portable equipment are ideal for rooms that are cold due to inadequate heating. Unlike heating units made for the whole house, portable heaters provide warmth to a specific without overheating the entire home.
Factors that goes into buying/choosing:
- Cost & Energy Savings
- Safety Features
There are two basic types of portable heaters to choose from.
- Electric heaters – converts electrical energy into heat creating warmth
- Gas heaters – burning fuel like propane or kerosene to produce heat
There are 4 different types of heaters; Convection, fan-forced ceramic, radiant, and panel.
- Convection heaters are the best choice for providing warmth to large, frequently used areas. In convection heaters, there is a permanently sealed liquid that is used for heat transfer. The liquid circulates, never needing a refill. This type of portable heater is best for enclosed areas.
- Fan-forced ceramic heaters are used for warmth where it needs to be specifically directed. Most are self-regulating and will turn off as soon as the inake or output is blocked. These vary in sizes and are commonly used in rooms and offices.
- Radiant heaters, or reflective heaters, direct infrared rays to warm up objects. These are mainly used for one or two people seeking warmth for a couple of hours. Majority of these units are silent, does not have any moving parts, and are lower in energy cost.
- Panel heaters combines both the convection and radiant heat. Within minutes, it is at full power releasing heat evenly through out the room without fans.
Portable heaters that are gas powered are best used for large, well-ventilated areas like an area outside the house or a garage. There are two basic types:
- Unvented gas heaters should not be used indoors as they will produce harmful gases like carbon monoxide and reduce the amount of oxygen in the area operated. Strictly of this reason, some states have banned the use of these indoors.
- Vented gas heaters are made to be used near an exhaust point. For example, near a vent or a ceiling that direct exhaust gases outside. Find units that have “100% outdoor air”, which are the safest.
There are variety of fuels that is useable with gas heaters.
- Propane – might require electricity for ignition while some are matches-based, provide heat for hours with 20, 40 or 100 pounds of fuel, and ideal for large areas.
- Natural gas – require gas hookup when in use, and often does not need to be vented.
- Kerosene – uses a kerosene-soaked wick to start, ideal for large areas, and can be reliable in the event of power loss.
- Kerosene forced air – require electricity to run, able to provide tens of thousands of BTUs of heat, ideal for construction or outdoor events, and some can even operate for up to 12 hours.
- Baseboard electric heaters are placed along the wall. Provide a steady heat, low-cost installation, and quiet operation. ideal for recreation rooms and basements.
- Tower heaters are placed in a thin and tall case. This provides a directional heat and are best for living spaces.
- Radiator electric heaters are ideal for long periods of time and provides steady warmth. Best for heating bedrooms.
- Panel heaters provides silent heat, are lightweight, and have the option to be mounted to walls. Popular choice for large space and living rooms.
- Patio heaters, can be either electric or gas. Electric models can be wall mounted heat lamps that provides warmth in a certain direction. Gas models normally provides warmth in a certain diameter using kerosene. These are umbrella shaped lamp on poles that are adjustable to more than 7 feet.
- Table top are like table lamps that provides heat. These can be used for both indoor and outdoor. Great choice for decks and patios.
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