Space Heaters: Everything You Need to Know

Published:

1/12/2022

Space heaters are an ideal solution for anyone looking to heat up a space in their home or workshop. With so many options available though, it can be overwhelming to try and narrow down what kind and size would be best for your specific needs. This helpful guide will cover everything you need to know about space heaters from the different types, to sizes and even which ones are best suited for heating specific spaces. Keep reading to learn more. 

Space Heaters: Everything You Need to Know

types of space heaters


Space heaters are a convenient way to heat up spaces during colder months. However, with so many types of heaters on the market, it can be difficult to narrow down which one will work best for you and your needs. 


What Are Space Heaters


A space heater is a unit designed to warm a space when central heating is unavailable, too expensive, or just generally inadequate. They utilize either radiation or convection and can be powered by electricity or fuel. 


Space heaters can be handy to have in case of an emergency. For example, in February 2021 a winter storm swept through Texas causing many residents to lose power. During this time, the only way they could keep homes warm was with gas-powered space heaters. 


Types of Space Heaters


There are four main types of space heaters available, each with its own benefits and weaknesses. 


1. Convection Space Heaters


Convection heaters rely on the movement of air to heat a space. This type of heating causes the warm air to rise and cold air to fall, therefore evenly heating the space. However, convection heaters are unable to heat large spaces. 


2. Radiant Space Heaters


Radiant heaters utilize radiation to heat spaces. Similar to how the sun heats the earth, these heaters will heat people and objects directly rather than the air around them. This makes them more efficient than other types of heaters. 


3. Micathermic Panel Space Heaters


Micathermic heaters utilize both convection and radiation to heat a space. The heating element heats mica stones which then emits electromagnetic rays which heat all objects in a room. This is the fastest type of heating unit because it utilizes convection and radiation. 


4. Ceramic Space Heaters


Ceramic heaters are made from plastic, metal, and ceramic in the central heating system. Ceramic is extremely durable, allowing these types of heaters to last for a very long time. There are both radiant ceramic heaters and convection ceramic heaters depending on the type of heating you would like to utilize. 


To learn more about the different types of space heaters on the market, check out this helpful blog.


What is radiant heat


Radiant heat, also known as infrared heat, warms objects and people directly rather than the air in a space. This is the same type of heat that the sun casts which is why you can remain warm even on a cold day. These heaters work by turning electrical energy into radiant heat by emitting radiation waves. When those waves hit something or someone, they release energy which in turn warms up that object. 


Why is Radiant Heat Better Than Forced Air?


Radiant heaters are ideal for a number of reasons. 


1. Energy Efficient


Radiant heaters are the most energy-efficient heaters available because they heat objects directly rather than heating an entire room. 


2. Immediate Results


Because they heat objects directly, these things and people warm up much more quickly than with a convection heater. 


3. Allergy-Friendly


Forced air heaters utilize fans to blow warm air into a room. However, this fan also kicks up dust and other particles which can negatively affect anyone with allergies. Radiant heaters don’t have fans which makes them quieter and better for those with allergies. 


Where are Radiant Heaters Most Useful


Radiant heaters can be useful in any space that needs to be warmed up. However, they become especially useful in areas such as workshops or garages that have cold concrete floors, high ceilings, and little to no insulation. 


For more information about radiant heaters, their benefits, and where to purchase them, read this article. 


most energy efficient space heaters


Cold temperatures tend to slow down productivity and can even make active workshops less safe. Expecting your employees to work in cold temperatures can also lead to decreased employee satisfaction and rushed tasks, leaving a dent in your business. Space heaters are mobile units that can be used to heat up one room or even a workspace so you can keep employees warm and happy even in the dead of winter. 


A common complaint with space heaters is that they aren’t always exactly energy efficient. Compared to a centralized system, space heaters tend to cost more per square footage. However, there are several options for companies looking to invest in energy-efficient space heaters.


Most Energy Efficient Space Heater


Radiant space heaters are the most energy-efficient heaters on the market. Performing especially well in workshop environments where insulation may be subpar or nonexistent, radiant heaters heat objects directly rather than the air. This means you can use them in drafty, cold shops without fear of losing the heat to dissipation. 


Top Energy Efficient Heaters


This heater has an enclosed flame, making it safe for both indoor and outdoor use. It was created specifically for warming human bodies and offers state-of-the-art safety features, making it ideal for busy workshops. 



The MPX unit utilizes both radiant and convection heat so it can effectively heat large commercial spaces. It is more efficient than any of its competitors and also offers safety features making it a great option for bustling spaces. 



The Hotgun space heater runs off diesel or kerosene and can run for up to 15 hours uninterrupted. Its fuel to energy ratio is one of the best on the markets, making it extremely efficient. 


For more energy-efficient space heater options, read this guide.

What is btu rating?


British Thermal Units (BTU) are the most common method of measuring energy. One BTU is equivalent to the amount of heat energy required to make one pound of water increase its temperature by one degree Fahrenheit. The comparable SI unit for BTUs is joules, which 1,055 joules being equal to one BTU. In terms of space heaters, BTU establishes both how much heat the heater can put out and how much energy it requires in order to provide that heat. 


Understanding BTUs will in turn help you understand how effective a heater will be in a specific space, and how expensive that heat will be in terms of energy consumption. The higher the BTU rating, the more heat energy it can provide. Units with higher BTU can heat up large spaces, or small spaces faster. 


BTUs and Efficiency


BTUs measure power, but you need a separate efficiency percentage to know how efficient a heating unit is as a whole. Calculate the efficiency percentages by dividing the hourly output BTUs by the input BTUs and then multiplying the total by 100.


Find out more about BTUs and how they are used with space heaters by checking out this blog. 


what size space heater do i need?


When shopping for a space heater, it is essential to know what kind of heater and what size is best for you. Without this information, you may get one that is too small and therefore doesn’t adequately heat a space, or you may get one that is too large therefore causing you to spend more money purchasing and running it. 


What Type of Space Heater Do I Need


The first question to answer is what kind of space heater is best for you. A few options include the few we have already discussed. Here are where they are most useful:


Radiant Heaters

  • Workshops
  • Garages
  • Offices
  • Spaces with little to no insulation


Convection Heaters

  • Spaces that don't need to be warmed quickly
  • Spaces without pets or children as they can be hot to the touch
  • Bedrooms
  • Basement


Micathermic Heaters

  • Spaces without pets or children as they can be hot to the touch
  • Bathrooms
  • Bedrooms
  • Offices


Ceramic Heaters

  • Offices
  • Living Room
  • Bedrooms

How to Determine What Size Space Heater is Best


Now that you know what kind of space heater is best for you, it is time to determine what size you need. 


1. Measure the Size of the Room


To measure the size of the room, you’ll need to measure the length and width then multiply by two to get the square footage. 


2. Determine the Wattage of the Heater


A general rule of thumb is that each square foot needs 10 watts.


3. Convert Watts to BTU


British Thermal Unit (BTU) is the standard measurement used to measure energy. One watt is equivalent to 3.41 BTUs so therefore, you’ll need to multiply your needed wattage by 3.41 to determine how many BTUs you need to look for. 


4. Take Notes of Room Features


Additional features that can affect how well a room warms up includes:


  • Insulation - the less insulation, the more powerful a space heater you’ll need. 
  • Floors - cemented or tiled floors may take longer to heat up.
  • Traffic - room with more people will warm up quicker. 
  • Windows - a room will fewer windows will warm up quicker and will require fewer BTUs. 


There is a lot to consider when looking to purchase a space heater. For more examples and information about what size and type of space heater you need, read this blog. 

val6 heater characteristics


Val6 space heaters are portable, energy-efficient, and come in different sizes, making it easy to choose the right one for your needs. Some of their characteristics include:


Radiant Heat


Val6 space heaters utilize radiant heat to heat objects directly. As we have already mentioned, because radiant heat targets people and objects rather than heating the air in a room, they are more efficient and can provide warmth quicker.


Fuel-Efficient


Val6 heaters come in a variety of sizes which means you can find the perfect one for any room size. They also utilize ⅓ of the fuel compared to conventional heaters which makes them more fuel-efficient. Val6 has also optimized its space heaters to have a 100% fuel to energy ratio. 


Quiet & Clean


Because these heaters don’t utilize fans to blow heat, they are completely silent and don’t stir up dust and particles making them very clean. 


Portable


Some Val6 models are portable and can even be powered by a vehicle which means you can bring them to a job site to keep warm when out in the field. 


Safe


These heaters offer top of the line safety features including:

  • Automatically shutting off if it falls over
  • Electric overload system 
  • Temperature sensors
  • Flame monitor 

The Val6 space heaters offer many more beneficial features as well. To learn more, read this blog. 

Keep workspaces warm with a val6 epx heater


The Val6 EPX heater is one of the most popular space heaters on the market and for good reasons. This heater is a top-selling radiant heater that many organizations use to keep workshops and garages warm in the winter. It offers state of the art features such as:


British Thermal Unit (BTU) is the standard measurement used to measure energy. One watt is equivalent to 3.41 BTUs so therefore, you’ll need to multiply your needed wattage by 3.41 to determine how many BTUs you need to look for. 


  • A larger combustion chamber, improved atomization, and a 20% larger radiation disk allowing it to be more powerful while remaining energy efficient. 
  • A 15-gallon fuel tank, allowing it to run for up to 20 hours on a low output and 15 hours on a high output level. 
  • Safety features to prevent overheating, automatically shut off if it tips over, and flame monitoring


For a deeper look into the characteristics of the Val6 EPX space heater, find our deep dive here.


Clean Burn Waste Oil Heater CB-1500
Clean Burn Waste Oil Heater CB-2500


Prepare for Cold Weather with a Clean Burn Waste Oil Heater


A clean burn waste oil heater is a space heater that runs on used motor oil. These heaters are not only highly economical but also fully compliant with EPA emissions regulations. True to their name, they offer a clean, comfortable heat that won’t cost you a dime on your energy bills. Waste oil is considered any petroleum-based or synthetic oil that has become unusable because of impurities or loss of original properties. For companies that produce waste oil, disposing of it can be costly and time-consuming which is why if there is an option to reuse it, companies will often go that route. 


Where are Clean Burn Waste Oil Heaters Most Effective


These types of heaters are most commonly used in workshop and garage spaces including:


  • Shops that produce a large amount of waste oil
  • Shops that produce a small amount of waste oil


For heaters that are perfect for each kind of shop, take a look at this helpful guide. 

best portable garage heater


For those who work in an office environment, the temperature is rarely a cause for concern within the workplace. However, those who work in garages and workshops understand that in the colder months, these worksites can become extremely cold and make it difficult to get work done. Portable space heaters can be a beneficial feature for these garage worksites to implement to keep your employees warm and comfortable. 


Why Garages are Difficult to Heat


Garages are very difficult to heat and keep warm for many reasons including:


  • No central heating
  • Lack of insulation
  • Concrete floors
  • Drafty doors
  • High ceilings


The Best Portable Garage Heaters


To solve the problem of cold, drafty garages and workshops, space heaters can be a huge component. However, purchasing the wrong heater can cost you more money and fail to get the job done. The best heaters to utilize for warming garages are:

Radiant Heaters


Radiant heaters heat objects rather than the air making them just as effective in cold drafty garages as in an enclosed living room. They warm people up quickly and efficiently and are built specifically for large spaces making them a perfect option. 

Clean Burn Waste Oil Heaters


Clean Burn Waste Oil heaters are also a great option for any garages that have waste oil. Not only do they save you the time, money, and hassle of disposing of your used oil, they use that oil to warm up the workspace. 

To learn more about which space heaters are best for garages and workshops, check out this guide.

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