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Electric Space Heater
Space Heaters Features
Convection Space Heaters.Among cheap electric space heaters, electric coil/convection is the more common heat delivery method.
Ceramic space heaters also fall into the convection category. But instead of warming an electric coil, electricity warms ceramic components and aluminum baffles absorb the heat, then a fan pushes out the hot air. Cheap ceramic space heaters, such as the Lasko 754200 Ceramic Heater (starting at $23, Amazon) and the Honeywell HZ-315 Quick Heat Ceramic Heater (starting at $29, Amazon), stay cool to the touch and are safer and more energy-efficient than standard electric-coil convection space heaters. They are just as effective in heating up a room; as with any cheap electric space heater, a cheap ceramic space heater is best suited to small rooms.
Radiant Space Heaters.The other electric space heater option for frugal shoppers, a radiant space heater, relies on infrared energy to heat small areas and people directly in front of it. The heating element in a cheap radiant space heater, including the Optimus H-5210 Infrared Quartz Heater (starting at $29, Amazon) and the Optimus H-4110 Dish Heater (starting at $20, Amazon), is usually quartz tubing. These tubes can get very hot and may generate some light, so they aren't ideal for budget shoppers who plan to nap with a radiant space heater by their side. Radiant space heaters tend to heat up more quickly than convection models but are far less efficient for warming an entire room and can leave the back of a person sitting in front of them relatively cool.
For budget shoppers trying to decide between radiant and convection space heaters, it may be helpful to think of the former as a kind of portable fireplace or stove and the latter as a portable, single-room alternative or complement to central heating.
Space Heater Temperature.Electric space heaters with adjustable thermostats turn on and off automatically to maintain a relatively constant temperature. They save energy by not continuing to run when the desired temperature has been reached. The Lasko 754200, DeLonghi DCH1030, DeLonghi DFH132, Honeywell HZ-0360, and Honeywell HZ-315 all feature adjustable thermostats. They also have high and low settings that draw more or less power, often (but not always) 1500 watts and 900 watts, respectively; the Heat Runner 33551 features three heat settings at 500, 1000, and 1500 watts. The DeLonghi DCH1030 also has an antifreeze function that automatically turns on the unit if the temperature falls below 44 degrees. Other discount space heaters, including the Optimus H-5210, offer only high and low settings -- 800 watts and 400 watts in this example.
Some cheap electric space heaters, including the Lasko 754200, Honeywell HZ-0360 Mini Tower, DeLonghi DCH1030, DeLonghi DFH132, and Heat Runner 33551, have a fan-only setting that makes them useful year-round. This feature lets consumers use the heater as a portable fan during warmer weather or simply to circulate the air in a stuffy room.
Don't Bother Cheap Space Heaters
Heat Runner Portable Heater 33551
Users say the Heat Runner 33551 just doesn't last. Many report that, after several months or even days of use, it turns itself off and never comes back on. This convection space heater comes with four heat settings, including one fan-only setting, and the automatic-shutoff safety feature. Read more »
Honeywell Ceramic Heater HZ-315 Review
Heat Runner Portable Heater 33551 Review
DeLonghi Ceramic Heater DCH1030 Review
Honeywell HZ-0360 Review
Lasko Ceramic Heater 754200 Review
Optimus Infrared Quartz Heater H-5210 Review
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