Enjoy the chill of winter, but don’t shiver – bring home a room heater today.
A room heater is a home appliance that heats up a small space. In winter, or in places where the temperature is unbearably cold, this heat producing machine provides focused and localised heat and makes the room temperature warm enough for us to work and sleep comfortably for hours.
Room heaters are easy to use and once switched on they quickly make the room comfortably warm. These machines come in various sizes and styles and may have features like automatic oscillation and digital controls for better performance during operation.
We decide to buy a room heater only when we feel that our room is too cold for living comfortably as it needs some kind of heating system. Raising the room temperature is our main goal and a room heater is the best choice we have. Before we actually buy one we try to figure out if the machine will be able to heat up the space we have. The cost of running the machine is also a concern for many of us. And the fact is that although a room heater is not so pricey yet convenient, it consumes electricity like a monster. Although room heaters are rated as 100% efficient if you consider power input and heat output, running a single unit can be pretty expensive.
Therefore, before you bring home a room heater, consider the following features to ensure that you are getting the best value for money.
- Heater Type
- Safety Features
- Heating Capacity
- Noise Level
When you have already decided what you need to spend the winter comfortably, the next question crops up is what type of room heater will be suitable for your room. If you do some research on the internet you will see that there are two heating technologies available in the market – a. Radiant and b. Convection.
1. Radiant Heater or Infrared Room Heater
A radiant room heater is capable of raising the temperature of a certain area or spot quickly but it takes a lot of time to heat up the whole room. The machine comes with safety features like temperature control and automatic shut-off. Glowing quartz or hot metal and a reflective material is used to warm people and other objects rather than heating up the air.
Radiant heaters heats up the floor or the wall or ceiling of a house using radiant heat transfer technology. Heat is delivered directly from the hot surface to the people and objects in the room via infrared radiation. It is like feeling the warmth of something very hot from a distance. You can keep a radiant heater beside your bedside or sofa to keep yourself warm. People with allergies often prefer radiant heaters because it doesn’t distribute allergens by distributing air.
2. Convection Room Heater
Convection room heaters are capable of heating an entire room. There are two variants, with fan and without fan. These machines can make a room warm quickly and efficiently. This type of heater sucks in air, heats it by passing it through a hot glowing net like resistor and then throws it out using a fan.
Although not as powerful as a radiant room heater, these machines will give you better coverage as it heats the air inside your room. This kind of room heater is very convenient, safe and portable. You can also use the heater as a fan by turning off its heating function.
Although technically room heaters are energy efficient because all they do is convert electrical energy into heat energy, you will need to pay a lot of money to the power company every month. Unlike other electric appliances like fridge, TV and ACs, most portable electric heaters do not have EER ratings or Energy Efficiency Ratio. To keep your electric bill amount low you must choose the right kind of room heater for your room. Look for features like :
- Energy Saving Modes
- Adjustable Thermostat
- Low Wattage
- Programmable Timers
Any machine which generates a huge amount of heat can catch fire. To avoid fire hazard and reduce the risk, look for products that are equipped with heat insulation and other safety features. Many room heaters come with systems that automatically turn off the heater if it senses overheating or if the heater is tipped over or knocked down.
How much of a space a room heater can heat up is determined by its wattage. Generally the machine uses 10 watts of power to raise the temperature of a 1 sq. foot area. Therefore, a room of average size or a 150 sq. foot room will need a 1500 watt heater. But the capacity varies from model to model and the kind of living space you have.
What is the use of warming up your bedroom in winter if you can’t sleep because of noise the heater produces. Like many other electrical appliances, many room heaters, especially those that use fans to blow out warm air, produce some amount of noise. You may buy a non-fan forced heater or an oil-filled heater for noise free operation.
A fan-heater is the best choice for Indian homes
Gas and oil are really expensive in India and not all homeowners can afford them to warm up their rooms in winter. A fan-heater or a fan-forced heater is a great choice if you want to keep your expenditure of electricity low without shivering in winter.
A space heater or fan-heater or room heater, whatever you call it, is the most affordable way to warm up a room you use the most. You don’t waste energy because these machines are 100% efficient and are capable of heating up a large space quickly.
For middle class Indian homeowners, a fan heater is the best choice when it comes to saving money. Here is a list of reasons why you should use a fan heater in India:
They are not very expensive.
These heaters use a combination of heat generating resistors like a ceramic plate or an aluminium net and a fan. These components are easy to integrate, not very expensive and do not need much electricity to run. When electricity passes through the resistor, heat is produced and the heat warms up the air inside the machine. The warm air is blown out by a fan. The design is simple but very effective in heating up an average sized room quickly. The price of this kind of fan based room heater can be as low as INR 999 /-.
They are safe to use.
Safety is a priority when it comes to using any electrical appliance. Room heaters are electrical appliances that use electricity to produce heat. Any machine that uses electricity and produces heat can catch fire and give electric shock. But ceramic heaters are safer than other types of heaters because of a built-in mechanism that doesn’t let the room heater cross a certain level of unsafe temperature. Many models will have automatic shut-off feature that takes over if the heater overheats. An insulating coating prevents electric shock and heat burn.
Fan forced heaters are very popular in India because of their portability. You can carry these compact machines wherever you go. They work with any standard electric outlet or power socket and can be customized according to your need. After using the room heater in your living room in the evening, you can easily carry it to your bedroom to sleep comfortably all night. Look for a room heater that comes with some kind of handle to carry them.
Lower Noise Level
Anything with a moving part like a fan will make some level of noise – it’s unavoidable. Room heaters do make noise but they are well within limit and not irritating at all. A room heater may sound like a low level hum and if you consider the other benefits it provides, you will ignore the hum you will hear. Moreover, the hum that you can hear may work like a steady and soothing white noise that helps you concentrate by reducing all other distracting noise around.
Fan-forced room heaters effectively warms the air.
A fan helps the heater warm the entire room effectively and quickly. The warm air spreads quickly and the heat can be left from a distance. You don’t need to keep the heater focussed at a particular spot to wam it up and you can feel the warmth even if you move around the room. When the warm air is distributed evenly by the fan, you can feel the warmth even if you turn the heater off. Most models operate on a maximum of 2500 watts and so you will be able to keep a track of your expenditure on electricity.Look for a model that has inbuilt thermostat to control the temperature of the room.
You can use it as a fan as well.
Most room heaters can work as a portable fan so that you can use them during hot summer days. They let you enjoy warmth during winter and cool breeze during summer. When you plan to buy a room heater look for the fan-only feature and enjoy cool air on hot summer days. This feature is ideal for hot Indian summers.
They are feature packed.
There are many models that let you save energy and have functions that you can’t imagine possible in such a small device.
Here are some cool features you can look out for:
- A remote control to control the heater from a distance.
- Digital, dial or button styles are trendy.
- A timer automatically shuts off the heater when you want too.
- Oscillation distributes hot air quickly throughout the room.
- A carrying handle will help you carry it easily.
Some important safety tips:
While using a room heater in rooms where your toddlers are, there are a few important things that must do to ensure their safety.
- Switch off the heater when the room is warm enough.
- Do not keep the heater on for hours.
- Keep windows open to maintain normal oxygen level in the room.
- Do not touch the heater when it is on.
- Keep the heater out of your baby’s reach.
- Maintain a safe distance between your bed and the heater.
- To avoid shock, keep the heater on a wooden surface or something that work as an insulator.
A room heater is not good for babies.
When you want buy a room heater for your baby or children, you must keep in mind the following disadvantages:
- Room heaters blow away the moisture of your room.
- Oxygen level of the room decreases.
- If it runs for too long, overheating happens.
- There is always the possibility of electrical shock.
- Warm air and excessive heat may suffocate babies and children.
Get your heater checked and serviced by the manufacturers at least twice a year. This will ensure that the parts like tubes, coils and the bands are functioning optimally and not polluting the air inside your room.
Closing the doors and windows may help you heat up the room faster but will make the air inside unhealthy and dry. Ensure that you open the doors and windows of your room to after the temperature reaches a comfortable level. Let the fresh air come in and pollutants go out.
Wear warm clothes to beat the winter chills and never depend on a heater solely. Help your body to adjust to the season and your immunity become stronger. This will help your body deal with seasonal bouts of cold and flu in a better way even in places where there is no room heating facility.