The Best Space Heaters to Keep You Toasty this Winter
To offset the chill in a drafty room or warm up your garage workshop this winter, you may want to invest in a space heater. When used properly, a space heater can actually save you money and energy, because it heats only the room or space being used. There are a multitude of options when it comes to these handy devices, so first determine what your needs are.
What type of room are you trying to heat? Space heaters come in a variety of sizes for different spaces- including large room heaters, desk heaters and outdoor models. Make sure to size your unit properly so you aren't using unnecessary energy, or worse: getting one that doesn't fully heat your space!
How powerful should the heater be? Look for a heater that uses 750 to 1000 watts for maximum efficiency, and up to 1500 watts for a full-room heater. Almost all units use about the same amount of energy, so be skeptical if a model claims to be "the most efficient" one.
Do you have young children or pets in the home? Choose a ceramic space heater, which stays cool to the touch even when operating. Look for a model with a tip-over safety switch, which will automatically shut off if the unit is knocked over.
What are the different types and how do they work? At a basic level, all space heaters warm the space they are placed in. However, each type will warm the room in a different way. Check out the four basic types below.
Ceramic Space Heater
These convection heaters warm the air as it blows over a hot ceramic plate or coils inside the unit. The housing of the heater stays cool to the touch, which makes them popular for homes with kids and pets.
These convection heaters warm the air and circulate it around the room by fan, and are sometimes called fan-forced heaters. The fan allows the heat to be distributed quickly, making them popular in garages or workshops. Forced-air heaters can be electric or gas-powered.
These directional heaters warm objects nearby or in their immediate path. They tend to retain heat for longer, even after they are turned off. Propane-fueled models are ideal for camping, tailgating or as a backup for power outages.
Another type of radiant heater, infared heaters are more effective in warming a single person or small area, rather than an entire room. These are perfectly sized to place beside a reading nook or under your desk if you are always chilly at work.
Our Favorite Space Heaters for 2020
Best Overall: Vornado VH200
This ceramic space heater is a Wirecutter.com top pick for all the right reasons: super powerful and speedy performance, whisper-quiet operation and it always stays cool to the touch. It's one of the safest heaters on the market, with both overheating and tip-over protection. It's compact, portable, and packs a punch at $59.
Most Stylish: SMSJ Ceramic Electric Portable Heater
We love this mid-century modern take on the space heater. Three mode settings give you the option to turn this heater into a fan during the warmer months, and its cool design has earned it hundreds of 5-star-reviews online. At only $36, you could get one for each room.
Luxury Pick: Dyson Hot+Cool Jet Focus AM09
This bladeless heater is sleek, effective, and virtually silent. As one of the most efficient models on the market, the Dyson also doubles as a cooling fan (and dehumidifier), making it a great investment for year-round climate control. A remote lets you access features from your spot on the couch without having to pause Netflix, and you can choose between a "focused" or "dispersed" airflow to customize your exact comfort level. This heater is expensive at $249, but its impressive design and solid performance justify the price tag.
Budget Pick: Lasko 754200 Ceramic Heater
This 1500-watt heater is powerful, reliable and comes with an unbeatable $25 price tag. The Lasko gets to work in seconds and will last for years, but it does lack some important safety features and struggles to warm a whole room. Cold tile bathroom floors are no match for this little heater that could!
Best Small Footprint: Lasko FH500 All Season Comfort Control Tower
This heater and fan combination tower may have a small footprint but its performance is anything but. The high-reaching tower design is perfect for studio apartments or small offices, and can be enjoyed year-round with 4 quiet fan speeds and 3 heat settings. Eco-friendly settings allow for energy savings and a digital remote makes late-night adjustments super convenient.
Best Oil-Filled Radiator: De’Longhi TRD40615T
Most space heaters can deliver quick heat to a single person, but oil-filled radiators are better for heating a whole room for a longer duration, and this model is one of the more durable and attractive ones on the market. Like most oil-filled radiators, the De'Longhi warms up much more slowly than a ceramic heater, but it also retains its heat for longer, making it more energy-efficient. This heater is all about convection, and it should be placed towards the center of the room you want to heat, for maximum heat dispersion. Even with all-metal construction, the housing of the unit stays relatively cool to the touch, making it safe for kids rooms or homes with pets. The mechanical timer does take a little practice to master, but this heater's performance is lightyears beyond the radiator you remember from grandma's house.
Best Propane Heater: Mr. Heater Buddy Portable Propane Heater
This is America's most popular portable propane heater for a reason: this lightweight heater delivers 9,000 BTU's of efficient heat for garages, tents or workshops. Just attach a standard 1 lb. propane cylinder for indoor or outdoor usage in spaces up to 225 square feet. Super-versatile and user-friendly, this heater is clean-burning, almost 100-percent efficient and includes multiple safety features. The Mr. Heater has changed the game for both wintertime work and play: most online reviewers say they can't live without it.
Best Forced Air Heater for the Outdoor Job: DeWalt DXH1000TS
This electric heater operates with no open flame, odors or dangerous gasses. It can be adjusted to run at 10kW (50 amp) or 7kW (30 amp) depending on your needs for warmth and square footage. Equipped with a thermostat, the unit's heating element will cycle on and off to maintain the set temperature. The DeWalt is powerful, reliable and can effectively heat an area of up to 1500 square feet, making it ideal for remodeling jobs, construction sites, and large garages or workshops. This heater is expensive, but if you work long hours in the cold, it's an investment you won't regret.
If you are considering investing in a space heater, now is a great time to buy. Most models are on sale after the holidays, and you can still get a few months of use before warm spring weather appears. If you can wait, check prices in mid-summer for the best deals.
Thanks for reading! We'd love to hear from you: give us a call at 540-552-5793 with your questions or to schedule an appointment.