When winter comes its time to break out those space heaters. My old space heater always smells like burnt hair and dust when I first plug it in. This year I broke it out from its summer time slumber from deep within the shed and plugged it in. Instead of smelling that old familiar stink, it made a strange humming noise, then a pop! It was dead and I was cold. What to do? Time for a trip to my local home improvement center!
I was amazed at all the different types and designs of space heaters that were out this year. It had been quite awhile since I had last bought one. I was in shock! Not only were some of them very cheap, some were really cheap to run! From economical to eccentric, there were many space heaters to choose from. I made a list of the top three space heaters I found on the internet, home improvement centers, and hardware stores, so you don’t have to do all the searching that I did.
Electric space heaters and oil filled heaters
I had used an old space heater that looked almost like a giant toaster. While I didn’t use it for much other than heating my little office, it was very inefficient. I browsed a few web sites and shopping aisles and this is what I found out about these types of electric heaters. Small compact space heaters are great for small spaces and warm up very quickly. However, they don’t heat larger areas efficiently. I did find a larger space heater that could heat big rooms very efficiently. The radiant oil filled electric space heater heats a larger room very efficiently, but it does take a lot longer to heat up. The oil inside the radiant heater stays hot for long periods of time, which makes the heating coil inside the heater cycle on less frequently than a conventional electric space heater.
As I strolled the aisles of my local home improvement center, my eyes caught the wood burning heaters. This appealed to me, since I have lots of good oak scraps lying about my workshop. I also found several small heaters that burned wood pellets. This was new to me, so I decided to investigate. I found that these “pellets” are specially made from various hardwoods and compressed together in a machine to produce hard, slow burning pellets. They are virtually ash free when burnt. They are a neat and clean but they did lack the luster of a glass front wood stove that shows the exposed flames flicker in front of your eyes. Wood heaters, whether they are for logs or pellets are only economical if you have spare wood lying about or a cheap supply. They sure look cool though!
Gas heaters are usually fixed against a wall and run on either LP or propane. Depending upon the cost of these gases in your area will tell you how efficient it will be to run. I know for me it was out of the question because of the price of propane and the lack of a good LP supply. However, it may be different for you in your location. If you like the fireplace look without all the ashes and messy wood, then this is the space heater for you.