With the onset of the cold season, many are concerned about the acquisition of a high-quality and economical heating device. There are many options for heating a room, but the most affordable and fastest way to achieve your goal is to purchase and install an electric space heater.
To choose the right electric heater, it is necessary to identify the needs clearly and then from a diverse range to determine the best one in terms of price, technical characteristics, and design. We present to your attention useful tips for choosing and a brief overview of the different types of heat sources.
How to Choose an Electric Home Heater?
If you do not have time to delve into the nuances, watch our video guide to the types of heaters.
Principles of Operation of Electric Heaters
How can a household or industrial heater transfer heat into a room? Let’s figure it out. In nature, there are three ways to transfer heat, namely:
- Heat transfer: with direct contact between objects, one heats the other;
- Convection is a continuous cyclic process common in space when heated air rises and cold air descends. It is a comfortable, silent, and inconspicuous way of heating a room. It is used as the main one in most heaters and central heating systems. Economically impractical in rooms with high ceilings and frequently opening doors, such as shops and other public institutions;
- Radiation: heat is transferred over a distance by the propagation of electromagnetic waves. For example, in the same way (and not only), but our planet Earth also receives heat from the Sun. Depending on the temperature of the heater itself and its design, the radiation can be long- or short-wavelength. Such heat is felt at a distance from the device, is comfortable, with the right choice, and moderately heats objects, walls, and floors. Some models allow you to create local heating on verandas and open areas inside a large room. Such devices are widely used in industrial enterprises and warehouses.
Steps for Choosing an Electric Heater:
First, you need to choose the required power. For classic living spaces with a ceiling height of up to 2.5 m, there is a simple rule for choosing a heater: 100 W × m² (40 W × m³).
Secondly, the most suitable type of electric heater should be determined from a wide range. Read more about each of them below.
A fan heater or in the people heats the room as quickly as possible by ventilating warm air, which is heated by a heating element. The following common models exist:
- spiral: characterized by low cost. The heating element of such devices is very hot and quickly gives off heat. However, when it gets on the heating element, fine dust and lint can provoke the appearance of extraneous odors. And constant ventilation leads to the fact that the air becomes too dry. To avoid such problems, you need to carefully maintain the fan heater, clean it from dirt and use humidifiers ;
- Ceramic-metal models: they are equipped with a low-temperature heating element that does not overheat the air, does not emit foreign odors during operation, is quieter and more comfortable to use.
Leading models of fan heaters have functions of rotation, humidification, shutdown when tilted, electronic thermostat, timer, metal case, wall mounting, and more.
The disadvantages of such heat sources: are noise during operation, noticeable air flow, and relatively short service life. Well, the main advantage is an efficient heater for little money.
A convector is the most common and versatile type of comfort heater for apartments, houses, and offices. It is a device with a metal case with a hidden heating element located below. The air is heated from below, and warm comes out from above. The device is lightweight and can be wall mounted or stand on legs for maximum portability.
It is worth highlighting two categories of convectors:
- With an open heating element – the most budgetary models, quickly and at the same time strongly heat the air. It may feel drier, dust and lint from the air can lead to off-flavors. They should not be used in areas with high humidity, such as bathrooms. Also, this is not the best choice for living rooms, but for common areas, garages – that’s it;
- With a closed heating element: the heating element is “dressed” in an aluminum case, the air does not overheat, the heating is very comfortable. Such convectors can also be equipped with an accurate electronic thermostat, a weekly timer, a human presence or open window sensor, a Wi-Fi module, and an inverter energy-saving control. Such devices are suitable for use in bathrooms and other areas with high humidity, protected even from direct splashes. They are comfortable and economical to use.
An oil heater in the form of a classic battery (radiator) on legs/wheels is a device with an oil-filled metal case and a heating element inside. It takes quite a long time to heat up while retaining heat for a long time. It provides comfortable air convection heating and emits part of the power as long-wave radiation, heating objects at a distance. Among the minuses, a lot of weight can be noted, and in inexpensive models, there is also a possible “crackling” of oil when heated.
Thermal panels are innovative devices that simultaneously combine comfortable infrared radiation and convection. There are several types of devices:
- Ceramic thermal panel – a monolithic heater in which a ceramic plate acts as a heat accumulator and emitter of infrared waves. Thus, when placed on the wall, the device heats objects in front of it. A convection flow of warm air is formed between the wall and the ceramic heater. In addition, such a device also serves as an element of decor. The service life is about 30 years. This thermal panel is safe to use even in bathrooms;
- Metal thermal panel – a thin metal heater to be placed on the wall or on the floor using supports. Inside it has a heating cable and a heat-accumulating element. Provides infrared radiation and convection heating.
An infrared heater emits infrared waves, thereby heating objects in front of it. There are two technologies on the market:
- Shortwave heaters, that is, those in which the heating element is located in a glass/quartz tube. When heated, the heating element emits infrared waves. Such devices are often called “UFO” (the name comes from the manufacturer UFO – the market leader). They can qualitatively heat both living and working premises and can be used as a heat source for the veranda and fresh air, manufactured in a floor-mounted enclosure or with a universal ceiling/wall bracket. Due to the high thermal power of the waves, care must be taken that objects, curtains, and other obstacles are not directly in front of the heating element. It is also not the best choice for bathrooms or areas where water splashes are possible. Although, for example, for drying walls, this option is just right;
- Long-wave heaters do not have a visible glow. The heating element is usually hidden behind a special radiator. These devices are simple in design. Choice of rectangular or spherical shape. They reach operating temperature in about 20 minutes after switching on. Long-wave infrared models are better suited for heating retail or commercial premises, warehouses and workshops, gyms, and game rooms. It should be placed exclusively under the ceiling. Form factor 600 × 600 mm – ideal for suspended ceilings. The heat from such heaters is natural and comfortable. With the right choice and location, they provide the most economical heating.
Micathermal heater is a bright representative of electrical devices that equally effectively combine radiation and convection. The heating element is based on multilayer mica, which, when heated, quickly and powerfully radiates heat and heats objects and air. The device can radiate heat from only one side, and all 360 ° for maximum comfort. An additional advantage of the device is its lightweight.
An infrared convector is an innovative, economical heater, which is both a full-fledged convector and a thermal panel. Quickly and comfortably heats the room, weighs little, can be mobile on wheels or mounted on the wall. You feel a pleasant warmth if you put such a device close to you. The Electrolux brand has proven itself well in the production of such heat sources.
Thermal or Air Curtains
The devices provide reliable protection of the premises from heat/cold loss when doors are opened at any time of the year. They are powerful horizontal fan heaters that are placed on top of the door unit. When choosing, it is important to pay attention to the following parameters:
- Voltage (220 or 380 V);
- the area of the heated room;
- Case material: more often, devices are made of stainless steel, less often of durable plastic;
- Control type: there are models with a display and a remote control;
- Design: thermal or air curtains in white and black look concise and stylish in the interior.
We looked at popular and affordable examples of efficient heating appliances for domestic and commercial use.
When buying, be sure to pay attention to the warranty period, equipment, functionality and design. You can choose a device and make a purchase even before the start of the heating season. Don’t worry if you don’t have savings.
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