5 Things to Consider When Buying a Space Heater

What do you need to keep in mind when buying a space heater? We'll break it down. Read what to consider when getting a new space heater.

Buying a Space Heater: How to Get the Best One

When the winter is in full swing, sometimes central heating just isn’t enough. Many apartments and office building management teams don’t even give individuals the option to regulate the heating in their own spaces, instead controlling the temperature of the whole building. So what’s a person to do when the temperatures drop and the localized heating system just isn’t cutting it?

Enter space heaters. Space heaters, though small, are powerful machines that can instantly warm up any room when put into use. While they’re not cheap, space heaters do come in a range of prices and styles, making it easy for budget-shoppers to get their hands on one come the cooler seasons. And if you’re willing to spend a little more, you’ll see the quality reflected back to you in the product.

No matter if you’re looking for a top-of-the-line space heater or a quick, affordable buy that will keep you warm during the winter, here are five things every shopper should consider when buying a space heater.

1. Are You Choosing the Correct Size Space Heater for Your Space?

Space heaters come in an array of sizes and styles, and the best way to save energy and effectively warm a space is to use the correct size space heater within it. Small space heaters work to provide spot heating for one or two people. These are ideal for office spaces, where you’re sitting at a desk or within a cubicle or office.

Large space heaters are made to heat a whole room. If you’re using a large space heater, you want to be particularly careful not to put anything flammable or meltable in the direct line of heat being given off by the device. Large space heaters work well to heat entire rooms or open office spaces, making them ideal for parties and get-togethers.

2. What Are the Space Heater’s Safety Features?

You never want to leave a space heater unattended, as they can be major fire hazards. Your space heater should be turned off and unplugged whenever you leave your home or office space.

However, in addition to following safety protocol with your space heater, you should also be sure that you purchase a space heater with built-in safety features. These features can include having an internal switch that shuts off the space heater if it is knocked over or tipped. Another common safety feature is overheating protection, when the space heater has a sensor that turns the device off if the internal parts reach an unsafe temperature.

3. What Additional Features Does the Space Heater Have Beyond Heating?

Space heaters can be quite simple, only consisting of an on/off switch. However, many space heaters come with extra features that make using a space heater easier and more fruitful. Handles, extended power cords, timers, and remote controls are just some of the useful features that a space heater can come with.

It’s important to remember that space heaters should always be directly connected to their power source, so you should never use an extension cord with your space heater.

4. How Energy-Efficient Is the Space Heater?

Like any energy-using device, space heaters cost money to run. If you don’t want to see your energy bill skyrocket during the winter months, you’ll want to choose a space heater that is energy efficient.

While space heaters lack any standard level of measuring energy efficiency, there are some important features that space heaters can have to help you keep your energy bill low. Some space heaters will have energy-saving modes that will use less energy when in use. More commonly, you’ll see low wattage space heaters and adjustable thermostat features, each of which can assist with keeping energy use low.

5. How Noisy Is the Space Heater?

Space heaters can give off a range of sounds, and if you’re the type of person who is easily distracted by noise, you’ll want to find out how loud a space heater is before purchasing it.

You should avoid fan-driven space heaters if you want a more quiet atmosphere. Radiant space heaters have a tendency to be one of the more silent types of space heaters available on the market today, making them an ideal pick for those who want some peace and quiet with their warmth.

Resources— Consumer Reports, SF Gate, Sylvane