When winter comes around, it becomes essential to get all the necessary accessories in your home and offices so that you can keep up with a warm and relaxing environment without getting the chills. And just like air conditioners that are designed to keep the indoor environment clean and cool, you will also find dedicated space heaters that are designed to offer a warm indoor experience. Space heaters are basically portable heating devices that are designed to provide warmth to a small area or room. They are commonly used as a supplementary heating source to add warmth to a particular room without needing to invest in an overly expensive HVAC system.
Space heaters are available in many different sizes and heating capacities. The heating capacity of a space heater is usually measured in British Thermal Units (BTUs). A higher BTU rating means the heater can cover a larger area, thus maintaining its temperature at the desired level. However, it is important to note that the size of the room, insulation, outdoor temperatures, and a few other factors have a considerable effect on how well a space heater can perform.
When you are using a space heater, it is important to follow proper safety guidelines to ensure the device’s safety as well as its users. This includes basic practices such as keeping the heater away from flammable materials, keeping it on a balanced surface, or never leaving it unattended like other room heating appliances. It is also recommended to use a heater with safety features such as automatic shut-off in case of overheating or tip-over.
Today, we are going to talk about these space heaters and try to find out which of these options is the safest choice available out there. In this guide, we will cover some of the most important aspects of a space heater and also recommend a couple of great choices that are highly popular right now.
What Are The Different Types of Space Heaters?
Before we talk about the safety regulations of a space regulator or the best options available on the market right now, let us first try to understand the types of space heaters that you can find right now. As you may already know, each type of space heater is designed to offer a certain level of performance in different situations based on its design and specifications. So, it is crucial to know how many different types of space heaters are available out there and which of these heaters are a perfect fit for your needs.
1. Electric Space Heaters
These are the most common type of space heaters that you will see around the market. These space heaters operate by converting electricity into heat, keeping the overall functioning of the heater very straightforward. With that, these space heaters become easy to install and use. Electrical space heaters usually require no venting or fuel storage and are available in a variety of sizes and styles. Electric space heaters can also be further subdivided into several subtypes, such as:
- Fan-Forced Heaters: These heaters operate on forced heat exchangers powered by using a fan to blow air over a heating element. So, the performance of these heaters is very fast and makes it possible to quickly and evenly distribute heat throughout the room. They are often highly compact and lightweight, making them easy to move from room to room.
- Ceramic Heaters: Ceramic heaters, unlike other space heaters, use a heating element made of ceramic plates to generate heat. So, these heaters are extremely quiet, energy-efficient, and provide a steady heat distribution. However, some ceramic space heaters are very expensive, and usually not a perfect fit for smaller applications.
- Radiant Heaters: Radiant heaters are highly advanced units that use infrared radiation to warm up the area and occupants in the room. So, these heaters do not heat the air directly. They are ideal for small spaces or for people who want to warm up quickly. But again, these heaters are also very expensive and don’t turn out to be economical for smaller applications.
2. Flat Panel Heaters
Flat panel heaters are a type of electric space heater that uses convection to heat the air. However, these heaters are designed with a thin and flat panel that is mounted on a wall or placed on a stand. So ultimately, flat panel space heaters are low-profile units and unobtrusive to other electrical appliances in your home. Flat panel heaters are often used in bedrooms, living rooms, and other areas where people want to avoid bulky or noisy heaters.
3. Quartz Infrared Heaters
Quartz infrared heaters, just like most other infrared heaters, are highly advanced options and use quartz heating elements to produce heat, which is then distributed by a fan for better coverage. They are designed to be highly energy-efficient and provide a comfortable, steady heat output. Some models also have extensive safety features such as automatic shut-off.
4. Oil Filled Heaters
Lastly, there are oil-filled heaters that use electricity to heat up a special oil inside their columns, which then radiates heat into the surrounding area. They are quite energy-efficient options and provide a long-lasting heat output. And since the oil never needs to be replaced, oil-filled heaters require very little maintenance over their lifespan. They are also quiet and can be used in bedrooms and other quiet spaces without disturbing sleep or work.
What Are The Safety Features In The Space Heaters?
Now coming to the most important aspect of space heaters, the safety features. Unlike most other electrical appliances, there are a lot more components inside a space heater that can quickly turn into a hazardous setup if not handled with care. Therefore, you will find a lot of safety features available on room heaters that ensure the safety of the users in almost all possible conditions. Now that you are looking to buy a space heater, you should check out some of the most important safety features available on a space heater and try to find an option that covers most of these safety features, if not all.
1. Tip Over Switch : This safety feature is designed to automatically turn off the heater if it’s accidentally knocked over. While it may seem a little far-fetched, anyone who has been using a space heater or similar appliance in their homes can confirm that it is a very real possibility. The switch is typically located on the bottom of the unit and will trigger if the heater is tilted beyond a certain angle, pushing in the switch. This is an important safety feature as it can prevent fires if the heater falls onto a flammable surface.
2. Overheating Protection : Space heaters can generate a lot of heat, and if they’re left unattended for a long time. It can also cause overheating of the unit and can potentially become a fire hazard. To prevent this, all modern heaters have an overheat protection feature. This feature will automatically shut off the heater if the internal temperature exceeds the design limit.
3. Heat-Proof Surface : Many space heaters now come with a heat-proof exterior that stays cool, or at least at room temperature even when the heater is in use. This is important because it reduces the risk of burns if someone accidentally touches the heater while it’s ON. It also makes it safer to use in homes around children or pets.
4. Auto Shut Off : Almost all space heaters have an automatic shut-off timer that will turn off the heater after a certain amount of time has passed. This feature is useful for people who like to fall asleep with the heater on, as it reduces the risk of overheating or causing a fire.
5. Safety Grids : Along with a heat-proof surface, some heaters also have grilles or guards around the heating element to prevent accidental contact with the hot surface as an added protective layer. These grilles also prevent foreign objects from getting inside the heater which can cause a lot of problems.
What Is The Safest Type Of Space Heater?
Irrespective of the type of space heater you are going for, you should always prefer the one that comes with the most safety features, since these options are usually the safest option for the long term. With an increasing set of safety features, you will have a reliable space heating unit that is ensured to operate safely under a variety of conditions and is also safe from almost all types of external damage and foreign contact.
But, if you still wish to go with the safest type of space heater, we will suggest going with an oil-filled space heater since these units are comparatively safer than other units. If we keep all the safety features apart, oil-filled heaters are also least likely to undergo a hazardous scenario such as a fire caused by overheating.
But, oil-filled heaters already operate at a lower internal temperature and are safe from fire as oil does not ignite easily. Another major factor that makes oil-filled heaters a safer choice is that these options have an even heat distribution system. Although, it is still recommended to always keep a safe distance from an oil-filled space heater as it could still cause harm due to prolonged exposure to high temperatures.
How To Use A Space Heater Safely?
Apart from finding a space heater that is equipped with all of the necessary safety features, there are a few tips and guidelines that you can follow which will make these units even safer for you. There are basically general guidelines on how to use a space heater properly which can be applied to any type of space heater you are going to get.
1. Choosing the Ideal Location : The first thing that you should do is choose an ideal location for space heater installation which is perfectly level to avoid imbalance after installation. Ideally, you should keep the space heater away from cloth such as curtains and wooden furniture. Ultimately, there should be nothing in the 3 meters vicinity of the space heater.
2. Avoid Using Extension Cords : Extension cords are usually the root cause of almost all electrical incidents, especially the ones that are not rated by renowned safety standards. So, it is always better to avoid the extension cord and plug the unit directly into the wall outlet. And even if you are using an extension cord, you should pick up a reliable choice and ensure the proper fit of the power cable into the extension box before turning ON the space heater.
3. Timely Maintenance : Just like every other appliance in your home, space heaters also require timely maintenance and you should keep an eye on the performance of the heater and check if there are chances of internal damage. It would be perfect if you perform a visual inspection of the space heater at least once a week, just to be on the safe side.
4. Keep An Eye On The Usage : You should always prevent over usage of a space heater, which is usually the case on cold winter nights. Once the space heater has brought the temperature of your room to a desired level, you should turn OFF the heater until it’s necessary to turn it back ON again. Not only will this extend the lifespan of the heater, but also reduce energy expenses significantly.
5. Check The Wattage Rating : It is crucial to check the capacity of the space heater so that you don’t accidentally end up with an overly powerful space heater compared to your room’s size. It is only possible if you pick up a space heater by checking its wattage rating which basically tells you about its overall power capacity. So, you should pick up an option that not only suits your room’s size but is also an affordable and safe choice for the long term.
What Are The Best Safest Space Heaters?
Now that you are fully aware of the safety considerations of a space heater along with a detailed analysis of different types of space heaters and their functionality, let us move on to our top picks for the best space heaters available out there right now. These options are not only the most popular choices on the market but also some of the safest options that you can find right now.
Here are our few suggestions for Safest Space Heaters :
The GiveBest Electric Space Heater is one of the portable options present on our list today and also one of the most compact options having a very small footprint. Still, this is a 2-in-1 space heater that operates on 2 different levels. So, you can choose to use the device at 750 Watts or 1500 Watts, based on your needs. It also has a built-in thermostat which offers the automated operation of the heater based on surrounding temperature levels.
Coming to the safety of the heater, the GiveBest Electric Space Heater comes with a multi-protection safety system. It is completely made up of a completely flame-resistant material to avoid fire hazards. Since this is a compact option, this unit measures about 7.9 x 6.2 x 10.2 inches in size. And with the 6 feet long power cord, you can always install the unit at a safe distance for added safety.
In the 2nd position, we are putting the PELONIS PTH15A4BGB Ceramic Tower space heater. This is also one of the highly powerful options on the market with 1500 Watts power capacity and built-in oscillation and can be controlled with the included remote controller. Since this is such a powerful space heater, it is capable of warming up the room temperature to up to 70°F within just 3 seconds.
The programmable thermostat of the space heater also offers 3 heating options which are high, low, and eco mode that allows you to get a fully customized experience. PELONIS has also kept the UI of the space heater quite user-friendly and you can access the heater directly as well thanks to the touchscreen controls. Also, this is one of the quietest space heaters you can find right now as it operates under just a 50 dB noise rating.
While there are a lot of choices on the market for a space heater, a lot of these units tend to be very expensive. So, for a compact space, the best option would be an affordable option like the one presented by Dreo.
The Dreo Indoor Space Heater is yet another highly powerful space heater that we have chosen for our picks today which offers 1500 Watts power capacity and 70 degrees oscillation for a better coverage area. The Shield360° protection is one of the prime features of this space heater as it allows you to use the heater at any time of the day without any worries. And to ensure safety, this system is ETL-listed.
As fire hazard is usually one of the biggest concerns around space heaters, this space heater is designed with UL94 V-0 flame-retardant materials to completely avoid this problem. The digital thermostat of the space heater can be adjusted between 41 to 95 ℉ for precise temperature control. It also houses a brushless motor with 9 aerodynamic blades for smooth airflow without any excessive noise.
The Vornado MVH Vortex Heater is a medium-sized space heater that manages to control the temperature of a compact space without creating any excess heat. The operation of this space heater is quite similar to that of a forced air furnace. However, there are a couple of highly advanced safety features available on this space heater such as a cool exterior, tip-over protection, and automatic shut-off which makes it a great device to use for the long term.
There are 3 heating modes present on the space heater that vary on the power rating. So, the machine will operate at 750 Watts, 1125 Watts, and 1500 Watts on low, medium, and high settings respectively. This is also one of the highly reliable choices on the market since it is backed by a 5-year long warranty period.
The De’Longhi Comfort Temp is yet another budget option for a space heater that is nearly 20% more efficient than the majority of commercial space heaters available right now. And to manage that, it comes with an exclusive thermal slot design to maximize the airflow. It also has an integrated handle and control panel so that you can operate the heater easily, and also relocate it if needed.
If the surrounding temperature drops below 5℃, there is always a risk of internal freezing for a space heater. To avoid that, it comes with an anti-freeze setting that can automatically switch on the heater to avoid internal freezing. Since this is a portable device, there is no need to make any additional adjustments in your room to install the heater. All you need to do is plug in the space heater, and that’s pretty much it.
What Makes Space Heaters Unsafe?
As we mentioned before, the safety and reliability of a space heater are not only dependent on the safety features of the unit but also on a lot of external factors which can interfere with its functionality. So, let us discuss a few of the factors which can make space heaters unsafe for you so that you can avoid these factors for reliable space heater use.
1. High Electrical Load : As we mentioned before, the safety and reliability of a space heater are not only dependent on the safety features of the unit but also on a lot of external factors which can interfere with its functionality. So, let us discuss a few of the factors which can make space heaters unsafe for you so that you can avoid these factors for reliable space heater use.
2. Damaged Heating Elements : The internal heating element of a space heater can also get damaged due to external factors, which is a cause for concern. Damaged internal heating elements can lead to uneven heat distribution and can also cause damage to other crucial components of the heater, compromising its safety features. So if you are noticing bent or out-of-shape heating elements, you should get these components repaired as soon as possible.
3. Dust and Dirt : Dust and dirt have always been one of the prime culprits behind the damage to electrical appliances. Unusual dust and dirt inside electrical appliances hampers the functioning of the device, and may also burn on the inside, making it a potential fire hazard. So, you will have to make sure that you keep the heater away from dust and clean it frequently.
4. Improper Venting : While a lot of space heater models these days do not require venting, there are a few options out there that need to be installed with a proper venting setup for efficient performance. This is important for such models otherwise excessive heat may cause damage to the internal circuitry.
Getting a space heater is one of the most important tasks, especially before winter arrives if you want to maintain the perfect environment inside your home. For that, we have created this helpful guide revolving around space heaters. Apart from getting the best-performing space heater, you also need to ensure that the model you are getting is also a safer choice for the long term. Therefore, we have also included some of the safest space heater models from the market on our list. But if you are still not sure, we will recommend going with one of our top picks.