Three Questions To Ask When Shopping For A Space Heater

A good space heater can keep you toasty in situations where you would be uncomfortably chilly without one.

Close up of space heater
Which kind of space heater is right for you?Achudh Krishna via Unsplash

A good space heater will help keep you warm when the weather around you isn’t. Whether you need to warm up your dairy barn for milking time or just want to raise the temperature a few degrees in your bedroom on a frigid January evening, there’s a space heater that will fit your needs. The problem is figuring out which one is the right one for you. To make a good selection when shopping for a space heater, ask yourself three important questions—how much space you need to heat, what power source you prefer and what safety features you need in your space heater.

Size

mini space heater
This mini space heater is quite compact and works fine for heating small areas.Amazon

If your feet get a little cold at the office, a space heater placed under your desk might be the perfect tool for keeping you toasty while you work. Likewise, if you are freezing while cleaning a large warehouse in winter, you would also benefit from a space heater. Obviously, the space heater you need in the former situation is a lot different than the one you would need in the latter. The size of the space you intend to heat is one of the most important factors in choosing a space heater. Big spaces take a more powerful heater. Advertisements for most heaters will tell you the amount of space the heater is designed to heat efficiently. Find that information and choose accordingly.

Power Source

mr hero space heater
This large unit runs on natural gas and can heat up to 850 square feet.Amazon

Space heaters can run on a variety of power sources. Most small and mid-sized space heaters are powered by electricity, and most are designed for indoor use. Some heaters operate using propane, so a propane bottle is needed. Other heaters are powered by natural gas and can be hooked into your home's natural gas supply. Gas heaters are not made for use inside the home, although most have essential safety features to make them appropriate for using in barns and warehouses. If you're looking for a small personal space heater, electric is the way to go. But if you want to heat very large areas efficiently, gas is the better bet.

Safety Features

Andily space heater
For safety, this small space heater has an automatic overheat shutoff and a tip-over switch.Amazon

Big or small, gas or electric, the space heater you choose needs to be safe above all else. Fortunately, most feature a wide range of safety features. Accidental tip-over shutoff is one of the most important, as a space heater lying on its side or face can easily start a fire. When choosing your space heater, absolutely make sure that safety feature is present before you buy. Other safety features to look for are automatic overheat systems and power indicator lights so you'll know at a glance whether the unit is on or off. Regardless of what space heater you use, picking the right location for it is a critical safety consideration. Whether your space heater is large or small, be sure it is placed on a hard, level surface with plenty of clearance between it and furniture, walls and other objects.