How to Choose the Right Heater for Your Space
Safety. Always read the packaging or product specs to ensure the heater has been properly tested and meets recognized safety standards. Also, many heaters will be equipped with certain features to make them as safe as possible. Electric heaters often have safety guards to keep the heating element away from bystanders. Also, features such as an automatic shut off switch when the heater tips over and proximity sensors are available. Gas or kerosene heaters often have oxygen sensors and will shut off if the space is not properly ventilated.
Type of Heating. There are four main types of heaters available, radiant, forced air, convection, and radiators. Radiant heaters and radiators are best for heating smaller areas such as a bedroom or work area. Convection and forced air heaters are better for medium to large sized rooms, but are often very noisy.
Power Source. There isn’t one power source that is superior to another, however, there is probably an option that fits your needs best. For indoor use, electric heaters are the best choice because of the necessary electrical outlets and lack of weather guards. Propane and natural gas heaters are ideal for outdoor use because of their large size and ability to withstand a variety of weather conditions. Gas models are generally less expensive to operate than electric models.
Thermostat. Temperature control is very important, especially in enclosed spaces. If you are going to spend the money for a new space heater, find reviews to ensure the thermostat works properly. Heaters without thermostats must be turned on and off at desired or undesired temperatures, are often considered less safe than models with thermostats, and are more expensive to operate than heaters with thermostats.
Area. To determine the necessary heating output to properly heat a specific area, find the area of the space (square footage times ceiling height), multiply the area by 2, 3, or 4 depending on the insulation in the space (4 is poor insulation, 2 is good insulation). The number output you come up with will be a rough estimate of the BTU you need to heat your space. Heaters all have a BTU rating, or British Thermal Unit rating, which refers to the amount of heat it takes to heat one pound of water by 1 degree Fahrenheit.
These suggestions should help you in your initial search for a space heater. Remember, there are heaters designed for almost any purpose, from Garage and Agriculture heaters, to Patio and Tent heaters. If you have any other suggestions of things to consider while purchasing a space heater, leave a comment below!