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Choosing the Right Space Heater For Your Home

The winter months may be behind us already, but much of the country is still experiencing freezing temperatures. To have your heating system running throughout much of the year is not only financially burdensome, but it is also a burden on the environment. Many people, though, go with a much more cost-efficient way to heat their home.

Portable space heaters have long been a popular way to heat your personal space without having to turn the heat all the way up in your home. But, there are many different types of space heaters, so how do you know which is best for your situation? Which model you choose will be determined by the size of the room, the efficiency of the heater itself, and the various safety factors – which are further defined by several factors. Using a model that is not well suited for the conditions can cause much more energy usage than if used correctly and potentially fatal conditions.

ELECTRIC BASEBOARD

Electric baseboard heaters are fairly common and an excellent option for small rooms or rooms where children are present. These heaters can be either mounted onto the wall or propped on the floor next to a wall. They require little to no maintenance over their life, which makes them the perfect option for those that are strapped for time or have small children in the house. And if it is a quiet machine that you are looking for, this is also your best electric option. While most electric heaters (and other non-electric heaters, in general) can get extremely hot to the touch, electric baseboard heaters produce a great deal of heat without getting too hot on the outer shell, so it is relatively safe for children.

PORTABLE ELECTRIC

Portable electric heaters are becoming used less and less for personal heating use. They take up quite a bit of space, which can become problematic, especially if you live in areas with cramped living quarters (read: New York City). They also become incredibly hot to the touch when left on for an extended period of time, causing potential risks for anyone in the heater’s proximity. These should also not come into contact with papers, drapes, or other flammable materials, and they should also never be left unattended, as is the case with most space heaters.

ELECTRIC FIREPLACE

If you’re looking for heat that is a little more stylish, the electric fireplace is the way to go. While it can be a little bit bulkier, its bulk does not detract from its natural spacing in the house. There is almost always a place for a nice architectural addition to the home, and this certainly fits into that category. Not only is it nice to look at, but it also heats large rooms nicely and stays relatively cool to the touch.

OIL/GAS HEATER

These and the next category, propane and kerosene, harken back to a more primitive time. That is definitely one of the appeals of these types of heaters, but ultimately, there are better options out there. Oil and gas heaters pose many problems, but the biggest issue is that they use oil and gas, which has obviously become a pretty valuable commodity in the world society. They are relatively safe, though. They’ve got safety mechanisms in place that prevent spilling and burning (so it’d be hard to start a fire) if the lamp is tipped over. They also shut down if they get too warm, as this is a fire hazard.

PROPANE/KEROSENE

Propane heaters are good with any sized room, but they should be avoided when trying to heat a small enclosed space. Also bringing them into the home isn’t the best choice either. Typically, these types of heaters are used outdoors, shops, garages, and in other places where there is plenty of ventilation.

If you’re looking to keep your home warm during these cold spells, a space heater is a great option for those not looking to spend a fortune on electricity bills. But, in order to get the most out of your space heater, you need to consider a few things. What space am I trying to heat? What are my heating needs? Which type of unit is safest for my family? There are plenty of options out there, so finding the right choice for your home is all that much more easier.

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