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Types of Heaters


Types of Heaters

Space heaters are ideal for adding extra warmth to a room without having to adjust the thermostat for the entire house. This can help save on energy and utility costs and also serves as a way to warm areas that cannot be centrally heated—like a garage or patio.

Convection Space Heater

Convection Space Heater

  • Convection currents move across an electric coil or wire to emit a steady stream of warm air into your space.
  • Fans can be incorporated to spread the air across the room.
Radiant Space Heater

Radiant Space Heater

  • Radiant space heaters deliver focused, warm air streams directly in front of the heater.
Ceramic Space Heater

Ceramic Space Heater

  • Ceramic space heaters are convection heaters that feature ceramic discs and a fan to evenly disperse warm air.
  • The heating discs are typically located inside the item, making them safer and cooler to the touch than other varieties of space heaters.
Type of Space Heater
Power Source
Recommended Room Size
Medium to Large
Provide heat for long periods of time
Gas or Electric
Direct air stream in front of the heater
Medium to Large
Cool to the touch for safer use

Outdoor Heaters

Patio Heaters

Patio Heaters

  • Patio heaters are ideal for warming large spaces using radiant heat.
  • Gas- and electric-powered units
  • Most models recommended for heating areas 6-20 ft. in diameter
  • Full-sized models sit on the ground, but most are portable
Tabletop Heaters

Tabletop Heaters

  • Tabletop heaters are small patio heaters that are ideal for warming a concentrated outdoor space.
  • Gas- and electric-powered units
  • A wide base helps to stabilize the unit on flat surfaces

Size & Power

Standard Power Supply Recommendation

  • To determine the amount of watts or BTU's required to heat your room, you'll first need the square footage. Multiply the length of the room by the width of the room.
  • To determine wattage: Multiply the square footage of your space by 10 (the average wattage necessary to heat one square foot). This is the recommended wattage.
  • To determine BTU output: Multiply the wattage by 3.41 to determine the recommended BTU output for your space.

Features to Consider

  • Programmable Thermostat: This feature allows you to set the heater to turn off/on or maintain the desired temperature.
  • Built-in Fan: Heaters with fans help disperse warm air throughout a room. However, these are also noisier than heaters without a fan.
  • Automatic Oscillation: Heater moves from left to right to distribute warmth.
  • Multiple Heat Settings: Low and high heat settings allow you to warm different sized spaces to a comfortable level.
  • Energy-saving modes: Useful for reducing energy usage and cost.
  • AC and Fan-only Modes: Available features that enable year-round use.
  • Tip-over Protection Switch: This safety feature automatically turns the unit off if it is accidentally knocked over.
  • Cool-to-the-Touch: A heat-resistant exterior can eliminate accidental burns or injuries.
  • Overheat Protection Switch: This safety feature detects when the heater's internal temperature reaches an unsafe level. When this is reached, the unit will automatically shut off.


  • Power Sources: Always plug electric units directly into a 120V wall outlet and never into an extension cord or power strip.
  • Placement: Always keep the heater at least 3-ft. away from combustible surfaces and items.
  • Damp areas: Do not use a space heater in a wet or damp area, unless it is designed for outdoor use and specifies on the product information.


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  • British Thermal Units (BTU's) Used to measure the amount of heat an item puts out. This rating determines the amount of space recommended for each item to safely and effectively heat. It is important to match the size of the room to the appropriate number of BTU's to be able to efficiently heat a room.

  • E

  • Energy Efficiency Rating (EER) This is calculated by dividing the unit's BTU's by the number of watts. The higher the number, the more efficient the unit. A higher EER will not only save you money in your monthly electric bill. It will also help reduce the amount of greenhouse emissions.

  • T

  • Thermostat This adjusts the temperature of the air coming out of your unit. It could be programmable or manually operated.

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