Home Heating Options

Home Heating Options

Fall has arrived and the time has come to begin turning on your heaters for the cold winter months. Unfortunately, not everyone has the best home furnace in the world and others may live in older homes which tend to lose heat rather quickly. This can prove to be an extremely expensive and uncomfortable predicament. In such a circumstance, you may consider purchasing a small electric space heater to lower heating costs and to make your living space comfortable and inviting.

There are basically three types of conventional space heaters available. These three types of heaters include conductive heaters, radiant heaters, and convective heaters. Scientifically speaking, heat can only transfer and move from the heat source to the targeted area in these three ways. Thus, it becomes your opportunity to decide what type of heater will be best for your home or office.

Conductive heating is the most basic type of heat transfer. Heat is transferred through direct contact of the heat source with the thing needing to be heated. Because conductive heating requires direct contact, it doesn’t prove to be the most effective form of heating a home. Thus, there aren’t too many conductive space heaters on the market, although you can feel the effects of conductive heat when you put your hands or feet directly on your radiant or convective heater (which is not a good idea, by the way).

Radiant heating transfers heat without the need of a medium such as a liquid or solid. This type of heat transfer is called radiation (not the radioactive kind, so don’t run for cover yet). Radiant space heaters simply heat the air immediately surrounding them. Once the air is heated, simple thermal dynamics take care of the rest in that the hot air rises, flows across the ceiling and lowers as it cools This continuous process heats the room quite effectively. Placement of a radiant space heater is important in order to effectively circulate the heat throughout the room. It is best to put the heater near the window, to evenly distribute the heat, and away from any draperies or other potentially flammable materials, for obvious reasons. Certain radiant heaters, such as propane or electric patio heaters, can be placed outside for outdoor parties or activities, but are only effective within a limited area.

The last type of heating, convective heating, utilizes moving air to speed the heating process. Because of this, convection space heaters, or the combination of both radiant and convection heaters, are most common. Convection space heaters have heat coils that warm up either by electricity or gas and then internal fans blow the hot air from the coils into the room, working much the same as an air conditioner. The hot, moving air improves circulation and overall effectiveness. Unfortunately, the fan used in a convection heater can often be loud and disruptive in quiet environments. They also tend to be a little more expensive than standard radiant heaters, especially when the space heater is a combination radiant and convection heater.

Either type of space heater, radiant or convection, will be able to effectively lower utility bills when used correctly. It is best to lower the thermostat in the entire house and use the space heater in the room you are reoccupying. You should also shut any windows and doors in the room to prevent the heat from escaping too easily. Be sure to research each heater’s electricity usage in comparison to its heat output to make sure you will be getting the most heat for the least amount of money. Also, read the instructions and safety precautions that come with your space heater before use. Adequate research and following these tips will ensure that you enjoy a warm, comfortable home all winter long.

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