The Best Energy Efficient Space Heaters On The Market

The Best Energy Efficient Space Heaters On The Market

All of them. All electric heaters are energy efficient.

But that’s probably not the answer you were looking for if you’re trying to narrow down your search for the most efficient electric heater, right?

So what do I mean by all of them?

The biggest reason is that any electric heater is 100% efficient because they all convert all the electricity they use into heat. You cannot get more efficient than that.

If efficiency is all you’re concerned with, buy whichever electric heater you like the most and call it done.

But what if you’re really interested in more than efficiency? Because efficient and cheap are not synonymous, and these days, many people are looking for ways to reduce their heating costs.

Keeping in mind that every single electric heater is efficient, this article will discuss the types of electric heaters and the heaters that will cost you less to run.

They are two very different things, because — as mentioned above — efficiency simply refers to the amount of energy being used to do the job. And electric heaters use all the electricity to do one thing. Produce heat.

Types of Electric Heaters

First up, unless you’re looking at an electric furnace or built-in baseboard heaters, many electric heaters are to be used as supplemental heating, not as primary heat sources.

The following is overview the types of electric heaters found in homes. It won’t include industrial-type heating methods.

Regardless of the type of electric heater, to some extent, they all work the same way — by resistance.

Resistance is achieved when electrical line voltage passes over a heating element and heats it.

Wall heaters must be on dedicated circuits, but this may not be necessary for portable space heaters that draw fewer amps.

From the top, electric heaters are broken into two main categories. They either work by radiant or convection heat.

Convection heat warms the air, while radiant heat warms objects, including people.

Electric Wall Heaters

Wall heaters are typically built into a recessed wall cavity that sits between a pair of studs.

They usually offer convection-style heating and use a fan to move warm air.

However, if you’re looking for silent operation, you can find models that produce radiant heat by means of electric coils and reflective panels.

You should only install these on interior walls, as exterior walls will have insulation, and the heat produced could lead to fires if any combustible materials ignite.

Additionally, the combination of hot metal in a cold exterior wall can lead to condensation problems.

Electric Baseboard Heaters

Electric baseboards are similar in looks — but not function — two hydronic baseboard heaters.

However, thanks to electric heating coils, these offer non-motorized convection heating. Without motorized fans, they can’t push warmed air through the room, so this is left to natural air currents.

With the process of convection, cool air from the room is sucked into the bottom slots of the heater.

It then passes over heating coils and fins, where it is warmed. From there, it’s pulled to the top of the unit where it exits through a series of slots.

Depending on the heater, it may have its own integrated thermostat, or you may need to use a remote line voltage thermostat with it.

As far as placement goes, since heat loss through glass is often an issue, baseboard heaters are often installed beneath windows.

It’s also important to make sure sufficient space is maintained between the heater and any drapery or furniture.

Now let’s discuss the different types of portable electric heaters.

Ceramic Space Heaters

As the name suggests, these space heaters have integrated ceramic plates attached to metal coils.

The plates are heated as electricity passes over the coils, and since ceramic absorbs heat, it begins to build up until it’s eventually released into the air.

Additionally, there are two types of ceramic space heaters, one that has a fan and one that does not.

One thing that makes this type of heater more efficient — at least in the sense that you feel the benefit of the warmth quicker — is that they heat up instantly. Specifically, the models that have a fan since the process of heating air happens faster.

The fan helps first to blow air over the plates and then distribute that air into your environment. However, models without a fan take longer since the process is only aided by natural air movements.

Fan Space Heaters

This type of heater is very similar to the ceramic heater mentioned above, except it does not have a ceramic plate.

A fan space heater uses metal coils to create and absorb heat and a fan to distribute or transfer it around your room. And also like the ceramic heater, they provide instant heat.

Infrared Space Heaters

Also known as radiant space heaters, this type of heater works entirely differently from the convection type heaters mentioned above. Instead of warming the air, they warm objects, like furniture and people, by emitting electromagnetic waves into the air. We are all familiar with this process since it’s the same way the sun heats the earth and you and I.

However, in one way, they are just like convection heaters, in that they are available with or without a fan, although the fan is not necessary. It’s just that some people prefer having one.

One advantage of this type of heater is they are good at adding warmth to larger areas, but at the same time, they have a disadvantage in that they only heat in one direction. They also tend to have higher upfront costs than ceramic heaters or fan heaters.

Oil Filled Space Heaters

These heaters look like old-style radiators, and as the name suggests, they’re filled with oil. The oil takes a while to heat up, but once it does, hot oil circulates through the columns or fins of the unit, releasing heat into the air.

One of the biggest advantages of this type of heater is that even after it’s turned off, the oil retains its heat for an extended period of time. Meaning the unit continues to release heat even though it’s no longer using electricity. Money saver!

So What’s the Most Efficient Electric Heater?

All electric heaters are 100% efficient, but what you pay in the end depends on your local electricity costs, what you pay for your heater, and how many hours a day you use it.

Now that you’re ahead of the curve—at least when it comes to what most people are thinking when they ask about electric space heater efficiency—let’s talk about some options. Because even though they all operate at 100%, there are still some ways to save money.

Smart Options When Buying an Electric Space Heater

And no, I don’t mean smart as in “smart technology.” I simply mean making wise choices.

Oil Filled Space Heaters

If your only option is to use an electric heater, your best bet is likely an oil-filled heater. They cover more area, and they still provide heat, even after they’ve been turned off.

That means you’re making the most of the electricity you do use. Even though they take a bit of time to reach your set temperature, they produce consistent, silent heat—well after they’ve stopped costing you electricity.

One tip—and this will cost you a bit more upfront—is to choose a model that offers a digital timer. This is especially helpful if you follow a set schedule. Have it start before you need it so when you get home or walk into a room, it’s already warm.

Delonghi Radia S Space Heater

Here are a few energy-saving features of our oil filled heater choice:

  • The ECO Plus sensor selects the best power setting base on the current room temps, potentially saving you 20 – 40% in electricity charges.
  • Increased fin size adds up to 35% more radiant heat—for the same amount of energy used.

Infrared Heaters

This type of heater is another heater that offers some savings. Why? They are one of the cheapest types to run—and they come in a huge variety of styles, options, and sizes.

Infrared heaters operate on a lower wattage than many other types of space heaters, meaning you could save up to 65% on your heating bill.

The best thing about these heaters is that they provide radiant heat—the same kind you get when you stand in direct sunlight. Radiant heat warms your body, not the air around you. So the quicker you get warm, the quicker you can turn down or turn off your heater.

Heat Storm Phoenix HS-1500-PHX

Here are a few features of our infrared heater choice:

  • Option to wall or surface mount
  • Heat quickly and quietly
  • Tip over protection
  • Timer function

Best Energy Efficient Space Heaters: Conclusion

In many places, until recently, using electricity to heat your home was far more expensive than gas—and frankly, that still may be the case in some places. Of course, not everyone can install a gas furnace or heater.

In the end, all electric heaters are created equal regarding efficiency. Just choose a model that best suits your needs.

RELATED POST: 6 Best Types of Space Heaters

Is It Bad To Sit In Front of A Space Heater?

Is It Bad To Sit In Front of A Space Heater_

Thanks to the energy crisis, a lot of people have turned to alternative ways of heating their homes. 

And this has led to lots of questions about the general use of space heaters—and what kind of problems they could cause.

One question asked often is is it bad to sit in front of a space heater. 

Let’s find out.

Is Sitting in Front of a Space Heater Bad for You?

Typically, yes.

It’s not going to set you on fire, and it’s not going to give you cancer. 

But it could cause other issues since excessive heat exposure does affect the body. 

So while the answer is yes, it really depends on several variables. 

Things like:

  • How long are you sitting in front of the heater?
  • How close you’re sitting
  • What setting is the heater on? Highest or lowest?
  • What type of heater it is could also come into play

Fan Powered Electric Space Heaters

Your skin could suffer most from space heaters—no matter how close you are to them. 

Space heaters are known causes of robbing their environment of humidity. 

They also increase the air’s capacity to hold moisture as they warm the air. 

But your relative humidity is decreasing if you’re not running a humidifier—or somehow adding moisture to the air.

The relative humidity is the amount of water the air is holding compared to the amount it can hold.

Low relative humidity can and does cause:

  • Dehydration
  • Flakey, itchy skin
  • Respiratory issues like a scratchy throat and itchy nose
  • Dry, irritated eyes 
  • Chapped lips
  • Nosebleeds 
  • Static electric shocks when you touch something

If you have a space heater at home and aren’t replenishing moisture, all of these things can happen, no matter how close you’re sitting to it. 

It will just happen that much faster the closer you are.

And whatever you do, don’t sit your baby too close to a space heater, sucking the humidity out of the air. 

Their skin is much more sensitive and delicate than an adult’s, so the issues mentioned above would be magnified for a baby.

Dehydration to the skin is bad, but prolonged dehydration is terrible for the whole body, making space heaters especially dangerous for people who don’t drink enough water.

Chronic dehydration can cause the following:

  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Feeling lightheaded 
  • Exhaustion—mental and physical 

Toasted Skin Syndrome

Toast should make you think of breakfast, not your skin. But toasted skin syndrome is a real thing. 

And it’s often due to space heaters, especially when you spend too long up close and personal with one. 

Eventually, the skin changes color, becoming spotty looking.

The issue happens when the outer layer of the skin is damaged. 

The dark spots result from the tiny, superficial veins under the skin being destroyed due to overexposure.

What About Infrared Space Heaters?

Like any other heat source, sitting too close to it for indefinite periods could cause skin issues. 

While these emit radiation, it’s important to note that it is different than those used in x-rays or germicidal light bulbs.

Infrared space heaters are unique in that they do not heat the air. 

They heat objects. 

This could be any object in your home, including your furniture and, more importantly, you. 

If the heat is extreme, which could happen if you’re sitting too close to it, it could burn your skin.

Equally, if not more concern, is that although our eyes block infrared radiation, it can still cause the eye to overheat, leading to potential damage or blindness.

Do Infrared Space Heaters Cause Cancer?

No.

As mentioned in the section above, the technologies used in infrared space heaters differ from what’s used in x-rays or germicidal light bulbs. 

Infrared radiation is the same radiation the sun emits and warms your skin. 

Not to be confused with ultraviolet (UV) light, which is known to cause cancer.

As the very name implies, infrared space heaters use infrared radiation, a convection type of heating. 

Convection heat means that objects such as your body or furniture are heated, which is different from forced air heating, which warms the air itself.

So you don’t need to worry about getting cancer from your infrared heater.

But you still need to worry about the potential harm to your skin and eyes if exposed to prolonged, extreme heat.

Are Space Heaters Really Safe?

Considering some of the scary details above, some might wonder if using a space heater is safe.

To put your mind at rest, yes. 

Typically speaking, space heaters are safe as long as you’re using them the way they were intended. 

The following is a short list of general rules and guidelines to help you use your space heater properly and protect yourself from potential health and fire hazards.

Be Aware of Fuel Burning Space Heaters

Fuel-burning space heaters would include any that run on:

  • oil
  • gas
  • petroleum
  • charcoal

Granted, charcoal-burning space heaters aren’t typically found in North America. 

However, fuel-burning heaters produce carbon monoxide, so ensure that the model you use vents directly outside.

The combustion created as the fuel burns releases toxins and carbon monoxide into the air.

Never ignore warning signs on space heaters. 

If you have one that requires outdoor venting, follow the instructions.

Keep Them at a Distance

Space heaters can burn you or your surroundings.

The owner’s manual that comes with the new purchase of a space heater will indicate a safe distance to keep it away from walls and furniture. 

They generate an incredible amount of heat; if placed too close to flammable objects, they can start a fire.

They can also burn your skin. 

Not the slow build-up to a burn that can happen from sitting too close for too long, but the severe burn that can occur if you touch their hot surface. 

So don’t place them in high-traffic areas where you might trip and fall over one or somewhere where you might accidentally touch them.

Space Heaters as a Primary Heat Source

As mentioned at the outset, many people—especially in Europe—are buying space heaters this winter

Thanks to the war, they’re afraid they won’t have the necessary gas to heat their homes.

But portable space heaters were never meant to be used as primary heat sources. 

They’re marketed to those with a room or area that doesn’t get enough circulation and warm air from their main HVAC equipment. 

So think of them as supplemental heat, not primary heat.

Additionally, for the most part, portable space heaters are not economical for long-term warmth. 

They’re great for those hours you’re sitting at your desk and freezing. 

You don’t leave your office or workspace at the end of your day and leave the heater running. 

Most portable heaters can’t regulate their heat, so the surface temperature could rise to dangerous levels and create a fire risk.

So never leave a space heater unattended, and never run one overnight.

Is It Bad To Sit In Front Of A Space Heater: Conclusion

So, is it bad to sit in front of your space heater?

If you’re sitting too close and for extended periods, yes, it is. 

You run the risk of damaging the small blood vessels close to the skin and causing something called toasted skin syndrome. 

You also put yourself at risk of dehydration, which can lead to several health concerns.

However, the good news is that, in general, space heaters are typically safe to use as long as you follow the instructions in their user manuals.

RELATED POST: Are Space Heaters Bad For Your Health?

6 Best Types of Space Heaters

6 Best Types of Space Heaters

So what kind of space heater is best?

That’s a question often asked, and the short and truthful answer is that no single space heater—type or brand—is the best.

However, if you’re wondering what kind of space heater is best for your specific circumstances, that’s a different matter.

Because there’s a good chance, there might be or will be a type of space heater that’s perfect for you and your needs.

This article will take you through the different space heaters, listing their pros and cons.

Then, since you’re the one who knows your needs and circumstances, it will be up to you to decide which one suits your needs best.

What Kind of Space Heater is the Best… For You?

The following is a list of the different types of space heaters, plus their benefits, pros, and cons.

If you go through each of them and match them to your specific requirements, you’ll be able to determine what kind of space heater is the best for you and your home.

There are several types of space heaters.

Some are portable, some not.

And there is some crossover in the following categories.

  • Baseboard heaters
  • Ceramic
  • Fan
  • Fireplaces
  • Gas / Kerosine
  • Gas stoves
  • Infrared / Radiant
  • Oil filled
  • Wall-mounted space heater
  • Wood-burning stoves

Let’s dig a little deeper into some of the more popular options.

Baseboard Heaters

There are three main types of baseboard heaters.

  • Electric
  • Hydronic
  • Hybrid

As the name suggests, baseboard heaters are situated horizontally along baseboards.

They are sized to heat the area of the room they are in.

Electric Baseboard Heaters

Of the three types, electric baseboard heaters are the most simplistic.

However, they should be installed by an electrician since they are typically hard-wired into your home—meaning you don’t manually plug them in.

They’re attached directly to your electrical panel.

These heaters operate using convection, which is a form of heat transfer.

Convection heaters work much like a convection oven—surrounding air is heated by circulating convection currents.

Cool air is pulled into the heater through a vent and passes over a heating element.

Once warm, it’s released and rises into the room.

Pros

Since they have so few moving parts, electric baseboard heaters have fewer things to break down. This means they can last for decades, and maintenance costs are low.

  • They have few moving parts so there are fewer things to break down
  • Can last for decades
  • Low maintenance costs

Cons

  • Due to electricity costs, they can be very expensive to run, especially if you live somewhere with long cold winters and you’re hoping to heat your whole home or large room

Will This Space Heater be the Best Choice for You?

Electric baseboard heaters aren’t a good idea if you need to heat a huge area.

Unless energy costs are incredibly low where you live.

Hydronic Baseboard Heaters

These are a bit more complex than an electric baseboard heater since they require a boiler to heat the water that runs through the unit.

Hydronic systems are typically more energy efficient despite the energy required to keep the water hot.

This is because the water running through them holds onto its heat even after it shuts off.

Pros

  • Since water retains heat, hydronic heaters are more energy efficient and cheaper to run

Cons

  • More complex, meaning more difficult to install and more parts that could potentially break down
  • If you don’t have a boiler already, you will need to purchase and install one
  • It will be necessary to install piping as well

Will Baseboard Space Heaters be the Best Choice for You?

If you’re not building new or doing a significant renovation, hydronic baseboard heating likely won’t be the best space heater for you.

Ceramic Heaters

As the name suggests, these heaters have a ceramic element—not the type of ceramic you might have sitting around your home.

This is PTC or positive temperature coefficient ceramic that heats the air that passes over it.

There are two types of ceramic heaters:

  • Convective
  • Radiant
  •  

Convective heaters are the most popular.

They use a fan to circulate heat, unlike the radiant type, which has no fan.

Convective heaters heat the surrounding air and, ultimately you.

Radiant heaters heat close objects—including you—not the air.

Ceramic heaters have several safety measures—most importantly, a sensor that monitors the temperature of the ceramic plate.

If heat rises above a safe zone, the unit is automatically shut off.

Pros:

  • They’re easy to relocate to wherever you need heat
  • They don’t take up a lot of room
  • Most models have adjustable fan speeds
  • The ceramic plate retains heat for a while after shutting down
  • Pricier models often include a thermostat
  • Convective models heat a room quickly

Cons:

  • You can only heat small to medium-sized areas
  • They use a lot of electricity while on high settings
  • Radiant units won’t heat up an area as quickly as convective models. However, the heat lasts as long as objects in the room retain heat.

Will a Ceramic Space Heater be the Best Choice for You?

Ceramic space heaters are an excellent choice for small areas.

However, they use a lot of electricity and are not suitable for larger areas.

Fan Space Heaters

It’s tough to tell the difference between a ceramic heater and a fan space heater by simply looking at them.

The difference between the two is hidden beneath the fan—they have different heating elements.

Fan space heaters use a metal coil instead of a ceramic plate to create and transfer heat.

As the metal coil and electricity generate heat, the fan blows warm air into your room.

Pros:

  • They’re inexpensive
  • Lightweight and easy to move around
  • They provide instant heat
  • Most models have cool-to-touch housing

Cons:

  • You’ll lose heat as soon as you turn them off
  • The fan needs to run constantly
  • They’re only appropriate in small areas or rooms
  • Many models don’t have a thermostat for precise temperature settings

Is a Fan Space Heater the Best Choice for You?

Like ceramic heaters, portable fan heaters are best for smaller applications—small rooms or areas.

And since the fan needs to run consistently, they’re not energy efficient.

However, a fan heater is an excellent choice if you want to heat a small room or your desk area for short bursts of time.

Fueled Space Heaters

This would include gas, kerosene, propane, or oil space heaters.

Gas heaters will warm your room faster since they don’t need additional time to power up and warm the heating element.

And while you can find many non-vented gas appliances on the market, it’s recommended that you only use vented models.

Combustible fuels release toxins and carbon monoxide.

Gas-powered heaters typically cost you more upfront but are cheaper to run.

Pros:

  • Better efficiency
  • They warm up quicker
  • You can use them in larger areas

Cons:

  • Potential health hazards
  • You should only use vented models
  • Higher upfront costs

Are Fueled Space Heaters the Best Choice for you?

If you’re concerned about maintaining a healthy environment, any non-vented heater that produces pollutants is not your choice.

Fuel is combustible and produces carbon monoxide and a variety of other airborne pollutants.

Infrared / Radiant Space Heaters

Infrared space heaters, also known as radiant space heaters, may be more energy efficient, primarily when used for shorter periods— like a few hours.

This type of heat, similar to the sun’s heat, does not heat up the air. Instead, it heats objects—your body, furniture, and other items in your home.

As long as you’re in the direct path of the heater, you begin to feel warmer immediately.

The difference is like the difference between standing in direct sunlight or standing in a shady spot.

Infrared heaters can be powered in various ways, including electric, natural gas, or propane.

And like every other type of heater, they have pros and cons.

Pros:

  • Since they don’t have a fan, they operate silently
  • They immediately begin to heat anyone in their direct path
  • They have no carbon combustion, so they do not release any pollutants into the air

Cons:

  • They’re not an excellent option to run for long periods, for example, overnight
  • You must always be close to them to benefit from the heat

Is a Radiant Space Heater the Best Choice for You?

If you like to cozy up to your space heater and looking for immediate warmth, this might be your best choice.

Conclusion

So, have you concluded what kind of space heater is best for you? Clearly, there are a lot of things to consider.

Before buying something based on reviews, understand all the pros and cons and what features best suit your lifestyle.

Do Electric Space Heaters Produce Carbon Monoxide?

Do Electric Space Heaters Produce Carbon Monoxide?

There’s a lot of confusion these days about whether electric space heaters produce carbon monoxide. 

And if some don’t, which ones do?

The quick answer is no. 

Electric space heaters do not produce carbon monoxide.

Want proof?

Read more

Should You Use a Surge Protector With A Space Heater?

Growing up in a warmer climate, I never needed a space heater or any similar appliance to keep myself warm.

This was even the case during the winter when the temperatures were still high enough not to need heating in my childhood home.

Since moving up north a couple of years ago, the dramatic temperature difference practically forced me to buy a space heater.

My apartment was small, and I didn’t need to use central heating since it would cost me more.

And I can say with confidence that I don’t regret it one bit as the space heater is a compact and economical tool that can easily do the job when I’m at home.

Read more

Why Do Space Heaters Trip Breakers?

If you live in a colder climate, space heaters are a common addition to your home. 

Unfortunately, they lead to something else that’s fairly common, something that prompts people to ask why do space heaters trip breakers.

Is your space heater constantly tripping a breaker or blowing a fuse?

There are several reasons why this could be happening. 

The following will take you through probable causes and what you can do to fix the problem.

Check Your Space Heater for Damage

If your space heater is tripping your breaker, take a look at the power cord.

What is the condition of the cord? Is it:

  • Broken
  • Burned 
  • Chewed
  • Frayed 

If there’s any damage to the cord at all, stop using your space heater.

Of the four listed above, a burned cord is the most dangerous, since it means there’s an electrical problem. 

And there’s the potential to burn more than the cord.

If you’re handy, it is possible to replace appliance cords, however, you need to be sure to choose a replacement wire and plug that have the same gauge or carry the same current as your original. 

If you’re not comfortable doing this, it may be time to buy a new space heater.

Do Your Space Heaters Trip Breakers Randomly or Consistently?

Does this happen consistently or does your space heater trip your breakers randomly and occasionally?

Having your circuit breakers trip randomly or occasionally typically isn’t a cause for concern. 

However, if you always run your space heater from the same outlet and it trips every time you use it, there’s a good chance the issue isn’t your space heater.

What happens if you plug something else into that outlet? 

Especially something that doesn’t use the amount of wattage that your space heater has. 

If something like a small hand blender works without stopping, it could simply be that the circuit you’re running your space heater on doesn’t have the capacity for your space heater.

It’s never a good idea to ignore a circuit breaker that’s constantly tripping. 

It’s often an indication that there’s something wrong, somewhere.

Simply running to your breaker box and re-engaging the breaker every time it trips is not the answer. 

Your breaker is designed to trip as a safety feature—it can save you from an electrical fire starting in your home. 

So it’s important to find out why your breaker is stripping.

Circuit Overload

Most space heaters use 1,500 watts of electricity, which isn’t insignificant. 

A 1,500-watt space heater, used at a high setting, will draw 12.5 amps. 

In North America, 20 amp circuits are commonly used for general-purpose receptacles—meaning most of the outlets you’ll find around your home.

What else do you have running on that circuit? 

If, for example, you had your space heater plus another appliance that draws the same number of amps, your circuit would be overloaded, and your breaker would trip.

And it isn’t always obvious what outlets are on the same circuit. 

While they’re often clustered fairly close together, perhaps in the same or adjoining rooms, they could be on separate floors.

Does your space heater trip the breaker when nothing else is running or does the breaker trip when there’s something else drawing electricity from the same circuit?

Solution. Try running your space heater using a different outlet—preferably one that has nothing else running on. 

If your breaker doesn’t trip, it means the issue is not with your space heater. 

You’re either overloading the previous outlet and circuit or there’s a problem with the circuit. 

If there’s a problem with the circuit, that will require an electrician.

Space Heater Trips Breaker Because of a Short Circuit

Short circuits or potentially dangerous, so identifying the problem is critical. 

At the very least, they can give you a shock or damage your space heater. 

At the very worst, they can cause a fire in your home.

When wires become loose and come in contact with each other, this can cause a short circuit, which in turn causes a surge of electricity. 

This overloads the circuit and causes your breaker to trip. 

This is a required safety measure.

Additionally, if there are any wires or electrical connections within your space heater, they may be the cause of the problem.

There’s also the chance that the problem does not originate with your space heater but with the outlet or switch your heater is on. 

This could be because of faulty or old wiring at the outlet or switch, or even nails or screws that have damaged the wire.

Solutions. First, and if you haven’t already, check the wiring on your space heater. 

If you have a pet or rodents that are chewing on your wires or perhaps a wire that is old and frayed, it needs to be replaced. 

Either the cord or the entire space heater.

You can also do a short-circuit test. 

Here are the steps:

  1. Switch off the breaker
  2. Unplug everything on the circuit
  3. Wait a few minutes
  4. Switch the breaker back on
  5. One at a time, plug in and turn on each device or appliance, waiting a few seconds in between to see if and when a circuit breaker trips

If your breaker consistently trips at a specific outlet—for example, the one your space heater is plugged into—there’s a good chance you have a short.

Discontinue using that outlet or switch until you have it repaired by an electrician.

Extension Cord Use

It’s very common for space heaters to trip breakers when you’re using an extension cord. 

It’s also hazardous to plug a space heater into an extension cord.

If you must plug your heater into an extension cord, a 12-gauge cord is your best option. 

A typical indoor 16-gauge cord, especially one that’s very long, will not only cause your breaker trip, but it could also burn down your home.

Regular extension cords can typically only handle about 750 watts, but most space heaters use 1,500 watts.

Circuit Breaker Failure

Another thing to consider if your space heater trips your breaker is that the problem is with your breaker or breaker box.

A breaker consistently tripping may indicate that the box itself is failing or that you have an improperly sized breaker.

There are a few signs to look for when pinpointing a bad breaker.

  • A breaker that refuses to reset
  • a burning odor on the panel
  • Any sign of damage on the breaker, such as scorch marks
  • Frequently tripping breakers
  • Lamps or lights that constantly flicker 

Problems with circuit breakers and breaker boxes aren’t that common in newer homes. 

Still, if you have an older home and haven’t had work done on your electrical panel for years, you may need to replace some of your breakers.

Stop Your Space Heater from Tripping Your Breaker

Here are several tips to help you deal with space heaters that trip breakers.

  • Before purchasing and plugging in a new space heater, check the amperage rating on the outlet you plan to use it on. Compare that to the number of watts to amps your new space heater will use in a high setting.
  • If your space heater only trips your breaker when operating on high, test to see how it works on lower settings.
  • Remember that each circuit only supplies a limited number of amps. Many space heaters use 12.5 amps, and older homes may only have circuits rated at 15 amps. Keep this in mind when selecting which outlet to plug your heater into.
  • Don’t plug your space heater into an extension cord. If you must use an extension cord, use a 16-gauge cord. 
  • Place your heater somewhere where it won’t overheat. Your manual should tell you the minimum distance to place your heater away from furniture and walls. In many cases, this is anywhere from 24 to 36 inches.
  • Never place anything on your space heater—wet towels, mittens, hats, or socks. This is a fire hazard. 
  • Always put your heater on a stable surface. Some newer heaters have trip-over protection, meaning they will shut themselves off if they fall.

Conclusion

Most heaters draw a lot of power, which is potentially dangerous if not used properly.

If you have a space heater continually tripping your breaker, don’t ignore it. 

A tripping breaker is a warning sign that there is something wrong with your heater or with the outlet you have it plugged into.

Read the heater’s manual, paying attention to the manufacturer’s safety measures.

Are Ceramic Space Heaters Better?

One of the ways I made sure that my house was ready for winter was by buying a space heater.

That way, I won’t have to worry about feeling cold and uncomfortable in my home.

But when I went on the market to buy a space heater, I was quickly confused by all the options available.

And when researching which space heater was the best, I found that most people recommended I get a ceramic space heater.

With all these people recommending ceramic space heaters, I started to wonder if they really were the best space heaters available.

Having owned a ceramic space heater for over two years now, in this article, I’ll tell you everything you need to know about them.

I’ll detail how it compares to other types of space heaters and whether I recommend getting one for yourself.

But before I do any of that, let’s first look at what a ceramic space heater is.

What Is a Ceramic Space Heater?

Ceramic space heaters are one of the most common types of space heaters on the market today.

This might not sound very clear, but ceramic space heaters aren’t actually made from ceramic.

Most of the components in these heaters are made of plastic, which is strange considering it’s a heater, after all.

However, the actual heating element of these heaters is made of ceramic and is called a positive temperature coefficient (PTC) ceramic heating element.

These heaters use electricity to heat the PTC heating element, which then conducts heat, warming up any air that flows through the heater.

Since the heating element is made of ceramic, it’s very durable and built to last the test of time.

So, you can expect ceramic space heaters to last a long time and efficiently heat your home for years.

That said, are these space heaters really the best option for shoppers?

To figure that out, you first need to understand the different types of space heaters available on the market.

I’ll get into that in the next section.

The Different Types of Space Heaters

You’ll be surprised by the sheer variety of space heater products available to customers.

Aside from ceramic heaters, there are five other space heaters you might encounter when shopping.

So, let’s look at these heaters to understand why most recommend getting a ceramic space heater over other options.

Fan Heater

This is probably the second-most popular space heater you’ll find.

These heaters work very similarly to ceramic space heaters, the only difference being that these heaters don’t use a ceramic heating element.

Instead, the heaters use metal coils, which heat up through electricity.

Then, the heater will use a fan to blow air over the hot coils, which raises the temperature.

These heaters are great for small spaces and for people on a budget.

I own an all-in-one heater, dehumidifier, and air purifier, which works the same way.

However, these heaters aren’t the most efficient and are only suitable for heating up small areas.

On top of that, these heaters don’t give you that much temperature control.

So, if you want to heat a larger space more efficiently, avoid fan heaters.

Infrared Space Heaters

Infrared space heaters are unique.

Instead of using a fan and heating up the air, these heaters send electromagnetic waves.

These waves will then heat up objects in the room, raising the temperature indoors.

That said, some infrared heaters also come with a fan.

That way, the room will be heated at a much faster pace.

While these heaters are great, they do come with a downside.

Most of the time, these heaters are heavy and only send heat in one direction.

Oil-Filled Space Heaters

As you can tell by the name, these space heaters are filled with oil, which the heaters use to raise the room’s temperature.

These heaters are sometimes called radiator heaters as they bare a resemblance to the old-school radiator heaters you can find in some homes.

These heaters are filled with oil, which they heat up using electricity.

The heater then pushes the heated oil through the fins of the heater, and when the fins get hot, they release heat into the air.

So, this is another type of heater that doesn’t blow hot air but instead radiates heat.

The heaters cannot use fans to raise the room’s temperature and only rely on heat radiation.

The most significant benefit of these heaters is that they stay hot even when turned off, so you don’t have to constantly keep them on to produce heat.

Additionally, most modern oil-filled space heaters come with a digital thermostat, which gives you complete control over the temperature.

These reasonably heavy heaters get very hot, so you may have difficulty moving them around.

But it’s a great option if you don’t want to use a ceramic or a fan heater.

Panel Space Heaters

Panel space heaters are a relatively new invention starting to gain traction amongst customers.

These heaters are similar to oil-filled heaters as they don’t require or use a fan to raise the temperature indoors.

As you might guess, these heaters have panels that heat up through electricity.

From there, the panels radiate heat to warm up the room.

Panel space heaters are so popular because of their modern look.

On top of that, you can mount the space heater on the wall or make it stand on its own, giving you a lot of flexibility.

These are one of the safest heaters available as they don’t have as high a risk of fires as oil-filled space heaters.

With that being said, these heaters aren’t the best at warming up the room.

Most people say that these heaters don’t exactly warm the room, but they remove the chilly feeling that comes with cool air.

So, these heaters are the most effective when used as a supplemental heating unit and not the central heater in the home.

On top of that, these heaters are relatively expensive since the technology is new.

So, waiting for the technology to evolve might be best before spending your hard-earned money on a panel space heater.

Propane Space Heaters

The propane space heater is the last heater I chose to feature in this list, as it’s still prevalent today.

This is the only type of space heater on this list that doesn’t use electricity.

Instead, these heaters use propane as their fuel to warm up the heating unit.

These heaters are similar to infrared heaters as they emit electromagnetic waves that heat up objects within your room.

Since they don’t use electricity, these heaters are portable, so you can bring them when camping or going on long trips.

There are some propane heaters with a fan and others without, so they are very similar to infrared heaters.

These are also some of the most affordable heaters on the market, making them great for people on a budget.

These heaters have a higher risk of fire since they use propane as their fuel source.

Additionally, some of these heaters can’t be used indoors and are only for outdoor use, so they aren’t the most practical options.

But this could be the best option if you need a convenient portable heater.

What Are the Benefits of Using a Ceramic Space Heater?

So, if there are so many different space heaters available, why would you pick a ceramic space heater in the first place?

The first advantage of using a space heater is that it runs on electricity.

Since it uses electricity to warm the heating unit, you produce clean heat with a lower risk of fires.

I personally love that because I live in an apartment.

If the heater catches fire, I risk not only my life but also the life of my immediate neighbors.

And with the price of gasoline on a steady rise, ceramic space heaters might be the more affordable option in the long run.

Another benefit of ceramic space heaters is durability.

Ceramic is a rigid material, so you can trust a ceramic space heater to keep you warm for a long time.

Additionally, ceramic space heaters are easy to use.

These modern devices come with precise thermostats that allow you to control the indoor temperature completely.

On top of that, you can quickly move a ceramic heater from room to room, so you won’t have to worry about feeling cold no matter where you are in the house.

Even if ceramic heaters are small, they pack a punch.

They can easily compete with the heat of infrared, fan, and propane space heaters.

And since they use electricity, you won’t have to worry about proper ventilation to operate the heater safely.

While shopping for heaters, you won’t find many models that can compete with ceramic space heaters.

Aside from being convenient, they are affordable.

That means that you no longer have to wonder how to DIY heat your home or try to reduce your energy bills when using a gas furnace.

That said, while ceramic space heaters are great options, they come with their own downsides.

And to give you the complete picture, I’ll discuss the downsides to space heaters in the next section.

What’s the Downside to Ceramic Space Heaters?

The biggest downside to ceramic space heaters is their lack of power when distributing heat.

Even if they’re stronger than most space heaters on the market, ceramic space heaters have the same cons as other space heaters.

As the name suggests, these heaters are designed to heat up a specific space or zone within your home.

In fact, most ceramic space heaters don’t even heat up a whole room and only work in the direction they are facing.

Another downside is that if you get a ceramic heater that uses radiation and doesn’t have a fan, you might have to wait a while to heat up the room.

So, this means you won’t feel warm immediately, which can be very frustrating, especially if your home is freezing cold.

Aside from that, you must keep ceramic space heaters running around the clock if you want them to work and keep your home warm.

Once you turn the heater off, it stops radiating heat immediately.

For example, oil-filled space heaters continue radiating heat for a while after the device is turned off.

As lovely as it would be, ceramic space heaters don’t work that way.

As a result, your electricity bill can slowly increase as you have to keep it on for longer.

And lastly, you have to make sure you set up your ceramic space heater correctly.

If there’s anything in the way of the space heater, it could prevent heat from flowing through the room.

So, just like any space heater, ceramic space heaters have their own benefits and drawbacks.

While the drawbacks don’t mean the heater isn’t worth your money, it’s still worth considering.

But if you have a small space and are looking for a small and efficient heater to use at home, ceramic space heaters could be the best option.

Are Ceramic Space Heaters Better? Conclusion

I won’t say ceramic space heaters are better than any other type of heater.

However, I can confidently say that ceramic space heaters offer many benefits you won’t find from other space heaters.

To start, you can find ceramic space heaters with or without fans, so you’ll easily be able to find one that fits your needs.

On top of that, these heaters are very efficient and do a great job of heating small spaces.

That said, ceramic space heaters aren’t ideal for large rooms and those needing the heater to work fast.

So, before buying yourself a ceramic space heater, look at your space and needs.

From there, it will be much easier to determine whether or not a ceramic space heater is the right option for you.