Space Heaters Regain Popularity

Space Heaters Regain Popularity

Why Demand Has Surged for Space or Portable Heaters?

For many seniors, the phrase ‘space heaters’ will likely invoke visions of family members huddled around a space heater trying to keep warm. A space heater was commonplace in those days and might have been the only source of home heating for some.

Over the years, we eventually transitioned away from space heaters and embraced more modern forms of home heating, including wall-mounted baseboard radiant or convection heaters or fan-forced ducted gas, oil or electric furnaces.

These were deemed the safest and most advanced efficient forms of heating options.

As we’ve become more energy conscious, spurred both by a desire to be kinder to our environment and a need to stem the flow of energy dollars, we have embraced newer energy-saving heating technologies, including green heating sources such as solar, wind and thermal energy. We’ve also been more diligent to upgrade older, inefficient heating appliances, with more efficient units.

But even with the latest high-efficiency whole-home heating appliances, came the need to further conserve energy and money (Find whole house cooling appliances) Homeowners generally have responded well to encouragements to conserve further by looking at ways to reduce the loss of heat by upgrading their insulation and blocking out drafts. Indeed, there are many ways to reduce energy use and better circulate heat throughout the home.

All of these endeavors are worthy, but unfortunately, we still tend to heat areas that do not need to be maintained at comfortable temperature levels.

That includes storage or utility areas, unused guest rooms or basements, hallways, laundry rooms and such. That’s where a space heater comes in and yes, this portable form of heating has come full circle in its lifetime.

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About Today’s Spaces Heaters

Today’s space heaters are mainly portable heating appliances that provide supplemental heat to the room or area where you spend the most time. That allows you to turn down your central heating and rely more on this portable source of heat to make the room more comfortable. You don’t have to turn down your central system a lot; just a few degrees can make a huge difference in your heating bills. Note that if you add a portable heater without adjusting your central heat, you will be increasing energy use.

There are also wall-mounted heaters that require installation and some are also often referred to as zone (room) heaters. Note that this article refers to residential (portable) heaters and not larger professionally-installed fuel-operated units designed for home use, nor propane heaters for outdoor entertainment or the job site.

Why Portable Heaters?

You might be asking yourself why should we go back to using space or portable heaters, which were deemed inefficient way back when. Isn’t that regressing somewhat? Not really. While they vary in efficiency and some may miss the boat on some level, today’s heaters are more efficient by design and safer than those used decades ago. And using one to make your favorite area cozy, does generally result in overall heating savings in the long term.

Portable (home) heaters are mostly electric and come in many forms including compact personal models, which are handy in the office cubicle or a small area, room-sized ceramic oscillating towers and larger wheeled infrared heaters. Prices tend to vary considerably and are influenced by output, heating system, thermostatic controls and oscillating features.

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The type that is best for your space depends of course on your need, but also on physical size, recommended coverage area and personal preferences with regard to the heating technology. You’ll also want to consider how well the heater will circulate that warm air around your space.

Some things to keep in mind when using a space or portable heater is to operate it safely. Portable heaters should be plugged directly into a wall receptacle. Use of an extension cord is not recommended. The unit should also be UL listed for use in your area. Heaters with a 1500-watt rating should have a designated circuit and should not be sharing that receptacle with other appliances. And always ensure that portable heaters do not come into contact with clothing, draperies or other flammables. You should also review the manufacturer’s use and care tips for your particular heater.

The Bottom Lines

So, embrace the portable heater that’s warming up your favorite reading corner, because this heating appliance is back by popular demand and above all, need. And remember grandma telling you to put on a sweater? Well, that still holds today. To complete your cozy corner, add a nice little fleece throw. Now that’s comfort.

The space heater featured is a Lasko Infrared Quartz Heater with remote, model 6101. This heater has some nice features that include a stay cool exterior, tip-over protection, Save-Smart™ Technology, thermostat, timer and multiple settings.

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