Electric Heaters Buying Guide


Posted on 18/07/2013

Electric heaters can be a great way to warm up a room on cold winter nights and they are incredibly efficient. These small devices allow you to control what rooms are being warmed so that you don't have to spend as much money on heating the whole home.

Because they are electric, the heaters are extremely safe for use indoors and you don't have to worry about ventilation as you would with gas heaters. When you start shopping for the appliance, you will find that there are numerous models with a variety of different features you could choose.

It can become overwhelming especially when you are just looking for a simple way to keep the room warm. It's a good idea to start with the basics and learn about the four different main types of electric heaters from which you could pick.

The Four Types

Electric heaters will give you many options and choosing which of the four main types will get you started on the right path so that you can choose an appliance that will work best in your space. These four types are convection, fan forced ceramic, radiant and panel.

Convection heaters

Convection heaters are extremely energy efficient, these models are used to temporarily heat up a small space like a room. They use a heat transfer liquid that is stored in coils to create warmth and circulate it into the air.

Fan-forced ceramic heaters

Fan-forced ceramic heaters allow the warmth to be directed. They make ideal options when you need a specific area of the room warmed up and they are ideal for smaller offices and bedrooms.

Radiant heaters

Radiant heaters use infrared rays to provide warmth. A good way to understand this is if you stand out in the sun for very long, your skin will heat up. These heaters work in much the same way. They are silent and energy efficient, but they won't move heat around the room.

Panel heaters

Panel heaters use a combination process with elements from both radiant and convection models. They provide even heat throughout the room and begin working at full power within minutes of when they were first turned on.

Once you determine which of these four types of electric heaters will work best in your home, you will be able to move on and pick a specific model with features that appeal to you the most.

Consider Your Room

To choose the right sized heater, you must determine how big of a space you want to keep warm. Remember that these models aren't designed to heat up a whole house.

They are best suited for one specific room, so take the time to scout out the space, determine where you will put the heater, and how much square footage needs to be warmed. This will better help you choose the right sized model. Remember that options like the radiant heater only offer warmth in a close proximity and are better suited for small spaces. If you have a large, cavernous room, then you need a model that will move heat along with the air.

The wattage of heaters depends greatly on the model, so you have to consider each type before you determine the right strength. For example, it is not unusual for a panel heater to use 1000 to 1500 watts while convection heaters can use 1-4 kilowatts. Don't base your decision on the wattage specifically. Instead, consider the model and the size of your room to choose the right power.


Any heater that you have in your home could pose a threat if you have animals or small children. There is a chance the device could get knocked over, and the first feature you should look for in an electric heater is an emergency shutoff switch. This should activate if the appliance has been turned over.

Additionally, the appliance shoot offers heating cycles so that it can be left on for an extended period without creating a fire hazard.

There are numerous features available on electric heaters and you will need to choose the ones that you think would be most useful. Additionally, keep in mind that the more bells and whistles included on the appliance, the more it will cost overall. Some features include:

  • Programmable thermostat
  • Wheels for easy placement about the room
  • Touchpad controls
  • Programmable on and off times
  • Moveable vents for directional heating
  • Oscillation for more air circulation

What about Prices?

Electric heater prices will depend on different factors, like make, model, style, and brand. If you want the best in home heating, popular brands like Kent, Evantair, and Goldair make a variety of models that are efficient, easy to use, and safe.

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