There are several different types of portable space heaters which you can buy to heat a small area of your home or take with you on a trip in a recreational vehicle. One common type of electrical space heater is a radiant heater.
What is a Radiant Heater?
These types of heaters are called “radiant” because their dishes radiate heat to their surroundings. They won’t raise the air temperature except in their immediate vicinity. Instead they will radiate heat directly at objects in the area, just as an oven or a campfire would do. If you’re standing behind this type of heater, you’ll still feel chilly. If you’re in front of it, you’ll feel warm.
These heaters come in many shapes and sizes. The older ones were usually circular and had exposed heating elements; some models resemble convection heaters, and others are flat panels which you can attach to a wall. Most units will cost you $40-$100.00. The older ones tend to be less expensive, but they are also less safe since they have exposed heating elements.
Consider safety when you purchase a heater. Does the unit have exposed heating elements? Do you have small children who might burn themselves or knock over the space heater and start a fire? If so, you may want to spend more money and buy a safer, newer heater which hangs on the wall and has no exposed heating coils. Look for a stamp of approvable from Underwriters Laboratories or a similar safety inspection committee. Some heaters also have a feature which will automatically detect if they’ve been knocked off balance and will shut them off or sound an alarm.Check the wattage of the device (volts times amps). Using this information you can check the cost tables of your power company and figure out how much it will cost you to run the unit at its highest setting for a period of time. This should give you a gauge to determine whether you can afford the unit. Since people often buy radiant heaters and other portable heaters to save money, you want to check that your savings will be enough.
Tips for Using a Radiant Heater
If you’ll be using the type of heater which sits on the floor, you need to be careful since they can cause fires quite easily. Ensure that the area around the device is clear of all flammable debris. Always turn the unit off completely when you leave the room, and when you unplug the heater to put it away, make sure it has cooled off sufficiently before placing it amid flammable objects. Save power by turning off the unit anytime you are not directly in the path of its heat.
A radiant heater can be a great way to save energy and money and keep a small area warm. You can use it in your own home to stay warm or you can take it with you in a trailer if you go stay somewhere on an electrical grid.