Decide on the type of heater

Each of them has its own advantages and disadvantages. After reviewing them, you will understand which device is best suited for your needs.

1. Oil heater

Oil cooler Electrolux EOH/M‑9157 for rooms up to 20 m²

Inside heaters of this type is mineral oil, which is heated by an electric coil and gives off heat to the body. Such a device consists of uniform sections and outwardly resembles a classic apartment battery.

Of two oil heaters of equal power, the one with fewer sections is heated more strongly. Therefore, it is more practical to take a model with a large number of sections in order to reduce the likelihood of accidental burns. Some models are supplemented with a small fan heater for accelerated heat distribution.

  • pros. Oil heaters operate without noise, retain heat for a long time after being turned off and are considered environmentally friendly.
  • Minuses. Due to the extreme heat of the case, such devices can be dangerous for pets and small children. In addition, oil devices slowly warm up the room.

Which heater to buy

2. Convector

Convector Ballu BEC/ETER‑1000 for rooms up to 15 m²

The convector looks like a battery without sections. Heaters of this type let in cold air through the lower holes in the body and warm it up. As a result, it becomes lighter and comes out on its own through the top of the appliance. Thus, natural air circulation occurs.

  • pros. Convectors are silent. They do not get very hot, so they are safe for animals and children. These devices are often used as the main source of heating for summer cottages: they can be easily combined into a single heating network.
  • Minuses. Heating is slow, and the efficiency of the convector is highly dependent on its location: the lower, the better.

Which heater to buy

3. Fan heater

RESANTA TVK‑3 fan heater for rooms up to 20 m²

Such heaters distribute warm air by rotating the blades. Their cases are often equipped with an automatic rotary mechanism, which ensures uniform heating of the surrounding area.

  • pros. Fan heaters are the leaders in the rate of space heating. They consume relatively little energy and, thanks to the variety of available sizes and shapes, can easily fit into any interior.
  • Minuses. The main disadvantage of fan heaters is noise. And if the dust gets on the thermal coil, then an unpleasant smell of burning is added to it.

Which heater to buy

4. Infrared heater

Infrared heater Ballu BIH‑L‑2.0

Devices of this type use harmless infrared radiation. Therefore, they, like the sun, do not heat the air, but objects that fall under the rays: furniture, walls, floors, people. Some infrared heaters do not require electricity and run on gas.

  • pros. Such devices do not make noise and are suitable for heating not only rooms, but also gazebos, summer cottages and other open areas. In addition, infrared heaters are the most economical. Especially gas models that do not work from a cylinder, but from a natural gas pipeline.
  • Minuses. These devices are not suitable for heating large rooms with many rooms. Areas where infrared rays do not reach remain cold.

Which heater to buy

5. Electric fireplace

Electric fireplace Royal Flame Majestic FX with imitation of the sound of a flame

An electric fireplace is a stand-alone or built-in unit that follows the design of a traditional fireplace. Through special illumination or other technologies, this device creates a convincing imitation of a flame.

  • pros. An electric fireplace is primarily a stylish element of decor. You get the very comfort for which everyone loves fireplaces, but at the same time, you save yourself from the hassle of firewood, smoke and coal.
  • Minuses. Such devices heat up quite weakly. Therefore, you should not rely on them in very cold weather.

Which heater to buy

6. Thermal curtain

Thermal curtain Ballu BHC‑L08‑S05 with a power of 5 kW and an air exchange of 450 m³/h

This type of heater stands apart. Thermal curtains not only heat the room, but maintain its temperature. Attached above doors and windows, they create downward air currents. Such invisible barriers prevent heat transfer between the room and the street.

When choosing thermal curtains, pay special attention to their dimensions. The width of the devices should not be inferior to the width of the door or window openings. Otherwise, the air barrier area may be too small.

  • pros. Thermal curtains keep the temperature of the room at any time of the year and even prevent insects from getting inside.
  • Minuses. These devices almost do not heat the room, they only maintain the current temperature.

Which heater to buy

Find out about the heating area

Before buying, make sure that the power of the heater is enough for your room. To do this, look at the website of the store or manufacturer for the heating area provided by the device. It is better to buy a model with too much coverage than one with too little coverage. But the increased power will cost you more.

You can also determine for yourself what value of this indicator will be optimal for you. It is believed that at least 100 W of device power is required to heat one square meter of an unheated room.

If the heater serves as an additional source of heat, then 60-80 watts will be enough for one square meter.

Get to know the type of control

Mechanically controlled heaters usually only allow you to select power levels and temperatures. Models with electronic control are more expensive, but offer more settings and different modes of operation. In addition, they have a display that displays the temperature and other indicators, and it is convenient to interact with them from a distance using the remote control.

Check out more features

When choosing a heater, it is worth remembering additional functions and characteristics. Some of them can play a decisive role for you when choosing a device.

For example, if you want to buy a device for a bath or sauna, make sure that it is protected from moisture. And in order for the heater to strictly maintain the temperature you set, choose a model with a thermostat. Other useful features that you may be interested in include a timer, automatic shutdown when dropped and overheated, a humidifier, and so on.

Consider the dimensions and do not forget about the fasteners

In order for the heater to be convenient and optimally suited for your room, pay attention to the dimensions and available mounting methods. So, some devices are sold with mounts for walls or ceilings, others are compact enough to work on a table, others even have wheels for easy transportation across the floor. There are also those that are suitable for different conditions of use.

Remember these moments

  1. For full-fledged space heating, choose fan heaters, oil heaters or converters. The first ones are the best option for those who are not afraid of noise. If it is unacceptable and there are no children in the room, oil apparatuses are suitable for you. If you are afraid of burns or want to arrange heating for your summer house, buy convectors.
  2. For economical local heating, such as a workplace, bathroom, garage or gazebo, choose infrared heaters. The most mobile will be a model with a gas cylinder.
  3. If aesthetics are more important to you than heat, take a closer look at electric fireplaces.
  4. Buy air curtains if you want to keep the heat provided by your main heating system.
  5. Be sure to check that the heating area matches the size of your room.
  6. If you value convenience, choose an electronically controlled device.
  7. Pay attention to the list of additional functions, dimensions and ways of fixing the heater.

This article was first published in November 2017. In September 2022, we updated the text.

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