Space Saving Heaters
If you are going to install a heater, you obviously need to obtain the best one for the job. Generally, a heater’s effectiveness tends to be reduced in an open plan home or where a room is open with access to a stairway. Other reasons for a heater not working to its optimum efficiency would be large window recesses and other sources of drafts or insulation that is not adequate in terms of thickness and area it is intended for. However, if all these things are accounted for and the heater is working efficiently, you can expect a 1500 watt heater to provide sufficient heat for as much as 144 square feet: put another way, to heat every square foot, you need a heater to supply 10 watts.
If you do need to increase the amount of wattage for any reason, it is essential that you use an additional circuit to prevent overload: in any household a single circuit is only designed to carry 15 amps. If a heater is throwing out 150watts of heat then it will be drawing 12.5amps. That means there will not even be enough power left over to power three 100 watt light bulbs! Since space saving heaters account for up to 300 deaths a year and around 28,000 house fires in the US, according to the Consumer Products Safety Commission, while on the subject of safety, you do need to ensure your space saving heaters each conform to UL standard [i.e. Underwriter’s Laboratory]. Also make sure your heaters have a tip-over safety feature and protection from overheating.
There are many different kinds of space saving heater, including convection, halogen, radiant, micathermic and, while all of them are 100% efficient, some are more efficient at converting electricity into radiant heat – the kind of heat that warms you up. Fan heaters, however, tend to provide heat from fire to you, as quickly as possible as the heat is blown out into the room and away from the source of the heat. Despite the efficacy of the fan, users of space saving heaters often complain about the noise being generated from the motor as the fan rotates and, while some fans are quieter than others, it is impossible to provide such efficient heating at minimum cost without the fan – for which a noisy motor is required!
Space saving heaters generally tends to refer to portable electric heaters that are either convection heaters or radiant heaters and which provide a maximum of 1500 watts output of heat. Universal favorites tend to be the Lasko 5141 and the DeLonghi oil-filled radiator, although other favorites include the Soleus Air and the Optimus 5210 – the latter two running at either 400 watts or 800 watts and, due to the absence of a fan, able to run quietly with no interference from noise. If you are not thinking about trying to heat a whole room but just feel the need for quick heat for an immediate warm-up when you have just come in from the cold, you couldn’t go far wrong with one of the electric radiant space saving heaters that runs on 800 watts with no fan. Apart from instance warmth – as long as you practically sit on top of them – these heaters are super-silent due to the absence of a fan motor to shatter your peace.
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