Ceramic Heater Buying Guide: The Basics

Ceramic Heater Buying Guide: The Basics

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Topics: Buying Guides, Electric Heaters

As winter approaches, it is wise to consider ways to cut heating bills and still be comfortable. The common solution is a space heater. Space heaters generally come in two styles: radiant (which heat objects directly) and convection (which warms the air in the room). They also can be fueled by either flammable gases (such as propane heaters or natural gas) or electric power.

Propane heaters put out a great deal of heat, but can be dangerous if one’s home is not properly ventilated. One should also be sure to have a carbon monoxide detector in good working order.

Electric heaters, on the other hand, output no dangerous gases (unlike kerosene, LP, or propane gas heaters). However, their overall heat output is generally lower. You’re also limited to using them where you have access to an electric outlet. This might not be the case on a patio, porch, or while camping.

Despite their handful of drawbacks, electric convection heaters have recently become the most popular electric heater choice since they use electricity like the radiant heaters but can warm an entire room like a propane heater without any appreciable risk.

A ceramic heater uses the technology of convection and can be quite economical. Electricity is drawn into a ceramic plate which heats up. A metal baffle, usually made of aluminum, then absorbs the heat. A fan blows air past the metal baffle and into the room. The fan assures the air will be circulated and drawn inside the front of the heater, which will allow the heat to spread and fill the room.

Once one has decided upon a ceramic heater, one has many models to choose from. The first option to investigate should be safety. Ceramic heaters are a great, safe choice, as none of them have external filaments against which flammable materials can brush. This makes them very similar in function to radiator-style oil heaters, and they share many of the same safety benefits as well.

However additional safety features to consider include an emergency cut off in case the unit is knocked over and a thermostat switch that stops electrical current when the unit reaches the set temperature. These three features together should reduce the risk of fire considerably, as compared to other heater styles.

If the room to warm is large, one should consider ceramic heaters with an oscillating fan. Oscillation can fill up to 150 square feet and have been shown to provide a comfortable even temperature in a room with a vaulted ceiling. An oscillating ceramic heater usually has a fan only setting. One need not store it but can use it all summer as well.

Smaller rooms can get by without the oscillators. Placed on a bathroom sink or under an office desk, these heaters can keep one warm during the coldest of months. In most portable models one can choose between a low or high setting of 900 or 1500 watts. These are similar to hair dryers and use about the same amount of electricity, which keeps utility bills low.

Winter need not be a choice between high prices or low temperatures. There is another option. A ceramic heater can warm any room efficiently, inexpensively and safely.

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