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small electric and gas space heaters guidelines

In cold climates, small space heaters are often used to supplement the main heating system. They may help reduce the temperature settings of heating systems by some degrees, in some rooms. Or can be used to keep a small room or a person warm.

But they may have a larger role, in other climates.

Space heaters vs. Central Heating
Very high levels of insulation and sealing, high-performance windows and a good home design will keep the heat inside the house and reduce the home heating needs to low levels, that can be met by smaller systems or even by small space heaters; if you are in new construction or planning a major renovation, consider this strategy.

Clip space heaterCeramic, Quartz and electric oil Filled heater

Most portable heaters – called radiant heaters - are designed to heat people in their line of sight. 

Most small heaters - ceramic and quartz heaters, for instance - are radiant heaters.

But there are also convector heaters, designed to heat the air in the room. This last category includes the electric oil-filled heaters and baseboard electric heaters.

And that raises a question? Which type of small heaters should we choose? Radiant or convective?

Convective vs. Radiant Small Heaters

Best small electric space heaters this season
Quartz vs. Metal Sheath vs. Ceramic Heaters

Heaters gas clipGas Small Heaters

Gas is cheaper than electricity. The price of gas can be 1/2 or 1/3 of electricity, per unit of heat. Why then not use small gas heaters instead of portable electric heaters?

One of the reasons is that unvented gas heaters are unsafe. On the other hand, electric heaters are cheaper to buy and to install, and safer.

That explains a lot. But vented wall gas heaters can be a good alternative to electric heaters, and since they have a larger capacity they can be used in other more ambitious heating strategies.

Electric vs. Gas Small Space Heaters

Wall Gas Heaters

clip oil-filled heaterWhen to Consider Electric Heating and Small Electric Heaters

Electric heating is safe and inexpensive to buy, install and maintain, but expensive to run.

For extensive use, only electric heat pumps are competitive with gas. They are the “new electric furnaces".

Heat pumps, baseboard electric heating and ceiling and wall electric panels may have a key role in passive houses and other energy efficient homes, even in cold climates.

Best heating solutions with space heatersFan and Fanless Heaters

Fans can help to distribute heat more evenly and efficiently, but they... make noise. Another possible disadvantage is that they may re-circulate dust or allergens throughout the room.

See:  Fan vs. Fanless Small Space Heaters

Electric Baseboard Heaters and Oil-Filled Heaters Take Longer to Heat Up

Electric baseboard heaters and oil-filled portable heaters are quieter than other small heaters, and can provide steady temperatures. But they also take longer to heat up, and they consume more energy..

See: Baseboard Electric Heaters: Types and Uses

Clip electric ceiling panelAre Electric Ceiling and Wall Panels Worthwhile?

Electric ceiling and electric wall panels have an extremely quick response time. They are relatively inexpensive and can heat almost instantaneously the people in their line of sight - as long as they are turned off as people leave rooms.

See, about their advantages and disadvantages: Ceiling and Wall Electric Radiant Panels

heater storageElectric Storage Heaters: Benefiting From Lower Rates

Electric thermal storage heaters are designed to take advantage of off-peak electricity rates.

They only are cost-effective in areas where utilities have off-peak electricity rates and as long as the heat losses – to which they are prone and that can go up to 50% or more - are minimized.

Electric storage Heaters

Small Space Heaters Manufacturers
Space Heaters: Online Resources


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