Some of our readers almost never encountered those cases when the temperature in their apartments was too low. However, many people live in private homes that are familiar with this problem. At least partly it is solved by buying a heater. You just need to correctly approach the choice of such a device.
Purpose of the heater and its varieties
First of all, you need to decide where exactly the item you bought will stand most of the time. It depends on what kind of heater design you need. The most popular devices now are the following types::
Oil heater– it has a metal body consisting of several ribs. Inside there is not only a heating element, but also a large volume of oil. The caster legs allow you to move the heater to another room, but it is almost impossible to take it with you, for example, to the garage. Such a heater shows itself best in an apartment, as it takes a long time to reach the desired temperature, but then it retains heat for a long time. It will also please you with its quiet operation.
Fan heater— the most compact heater. Inside such a device hides a heating element made in the form of a spiral, and a fan. At the same time, the air heating can be turned off — this allows you to use such a device even in summer, blowing yourself with cool air. However, it blows weakly, so it’s better to get a real fan. As for winter use, the fan heater is characterized by rapid heating after switching on. Well, the main disadvantages of such a device are the high noise level and very noticeable appetites for electricity. And the fan heater constantly burns dust, which is why a person feels an unpleasant smell. Only models with a ceramic heating element do not suffer from this. As a result, this is a good option for a garage, but not for residential premises.
Heat gun— the same fan heater, but much larger. It is mainly used for installation on construction sites. The power of the device can reach 5 kW, and therefore it imposes increased requirements on electrical wiring. Particularly powerful models can work with gasoline or diesel fuel. They are bought for use inside and even outside houses under construction.
Convector– it has a very large heating element, which makes the dimensions of the device comparable to an oil heater. At the same time, the convector has a very small depth, so it can be fixed to the wall. A good option for those who do not have Central heating in their home! The heated air in the case of this device rises up naturally, you will not hear any noise. But the operation of the device does not become noticeable immediately after connecting to the power grid.
Infrared heating system— it has a completely different principle of operation. Its infrared radiation heats not the air, but the surrounding objects, which then raise the air temperature by themselves. The device uses lamps or quartz tubes. The absence of a fan allows the device to make no noise. At home, you can only use such a heater in the bathroom. Much more often it is bought for outdoor use — for example, for heating a gazebo or veranda.
It should be noted that there are infrared-convective models. In their composition, there is still a heating element. At the same time, the infrared radiation did not go anywhere. The combined method of operation allows you to recommend such a heater, including for use, for example, in an apartment.
Even in stores, they often sell infrared film heaters. They have a very small thickness, since their heating element is a film of foil. Often, such heaters look like a picture, which allows you to fit them into the design of any room. Also, some models are used as “Underfloor heating”.
Heat curtain — the device looks similar to the indoor unit of an air conditioner. It is installed in rooms where doors often open and there is a risk of draughts. The appliance must be installed in a door or window opening. Serious hopes for heating with its help should not be pinned.
By the way, in many cases it is better to buy an air conditioner instead of a heater. Modern models can not only reduce the air temperature in the room, but also increase it. However, this purchase will have a much stronger impact on your budget, you can not argue with this.
The performance of the heater
In the technical characteristics of the device, you will definitely see an item that indicates the maximum area of the room that can be heated. This is what allows you to understand whether the device will cope with its task.
If you don’t know the area of your room, just measure its length and width with a tape measure. Then all that remains is to multiply one parameter by another.
The performance of the device is measured in watts. Do not confuse this parameter with the electricity consumed. Heaters of different types with the same performance will perform almost equally in the same room, and they can spend completely different amounts of electricity for this purpose. Let’s check it out. Yes, they will heat the air in the same room to the same temperature. But they will do it in different times — the performance in any case does not indicate how quickly the device copes with its task.
Efficiency indicates the amount of electricity that goes to waste. Ideally, I would like to get a heater with an efficiency of 99-100%. But such an efficiency factor is not yet feasible. However, this parameter is not always specified in the specifications, so let’s not focus on it.
If your choice is not a diesel heat gun, then the device will work from the mains. The technical specifications will indicate how much power is consumed by the heater. Sometimes this is a very serious figure. If you live in a five-story “Khrushchev” or a very old wooden house, then for sure aluminum wiring is hidden in the walls. In this case, it is not recommended to take a device with a power of more than 2.5-3 kW. Well, in a room with copper wiring, you can not be afraid to use a heater, the power consumption of which is even 5 kW.
Don’t forget that the higher the number, the more the device will affect your “light bill”. However, there is a twofold situation here. In most cases, a particularly powerful device will turn off faster than a less powerful one. As a result, they will spend approximately equal amounts of electricity.
When choosing a heater, you can pay attention to what controls it uses. But it is unlikely that something unexpected is waiting for you. Normally, the temperature is controlled, if possible, by means of conventional mechanical switches. A standard toggle switch is most often used as the power button.
Please note that heaters do not provide temperature control in degrees. Instead, they suggest choosing one of three or four operating modes. In this regard, such devices are much inferior to air conditioners. You will have to choose the mode based on your own feelings.
Some models of heaters are equipped with several buttons and even an LCD display. Usually, those of them that have additional functionality can boast of this. And now heaters are increasingly getting a remote control. It allows you to control the device from a distance.
The most expensive air heaters have a wireless module. It can support Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. In this case, it is recommended to download the app from the device manufacturer on your smartphone — it will serve for transmitting various commands.
The cheapest heaters have only one mode of operation. In the case of heat guns, a fan mode is added. And that’s it! But if you do not save too much, you can get a device that provides at least several levels of heating. Also, the auto-off function will not be superfluous, otherwise you will then go broke on electricity bills. In particular, almost all oil heaters have this function — they usually turn off after heating to a certain temperature.
Some devices include a remote temperature sensor. It lets the electronics know how much the air has warmed up. If its temperature has reached the user-defined value, the device is temporarily turned off. But before buying such a device, be sure to read the reviews! Often, the sensor does not work in the best way, which the unfortunate buyer will definitely mention.
If the heater has an electronic control system, it will probably get a delayed start function. This will allow you to program it to turn on in the early morning. And if the device supports communication with your smartphone, you can even work on a schedule! And if it has a built-in Wi-Fi module, then you can give commands from any distance. This is very convenient, because you can turn on the heater at the moment when you went home from your work.
Usually, the technical characteristics of the device indicate the noise level that this model emits. Be sure to check this option if the device will be installed in a bedroom or guest room. Just do not forget that some manufacturers try to deceive, underestimating the value. So, again, read reviews and reviews.
As mentioned above, infrared heaters behave most quietly. But their use is often not as convenient as we would like, especially in some of their varieties. Therefore, for residential premises, an oil heater is usually bought — it also behaves very quietly, giving out only soft clicks when turned on and off. Convectors can also boast a low noise level.
Fan heaters and heat guns make the most noise. It is recommended to use them in a garage or a house under construction.
Some modules may emit certain sounds when the operating mode is changed automatically. If the heater is placed in the bedroom, then such sounds can interfere. This point should be clarified immediately. Also pay attention to the display. Again, when installing the device in the bedroom, you need to take a model whose screen backlight can go out.
Modern heaters are usually equipped with a large number of protective equipment. But you can still specify their presence, because exceptions to the rule still happen.
The device must have an overheating sensor or at least a fuse. This will prevent the heating element from failing, which could cause a fire. And if the device turns off in time, it will reduce the load on the power grid.
Some models can also switch off automatically when you fall. This will also save you from a fire.
The problem with many heaters is that you can get burned on them. Do not forget that some of their elements are heated to a very high temperature, especially if the room is very cold. But some models can still be called safe. And it is in their direction that you should look if you have at least one child in your family.
Finally, sometimes heaters get a water-proof enclosure. At first, it may seem that it doesn’t make any sense. But let’s remember that sometimes the device is bought for its use in the open air — for example, this applies to heat guns. And on the street it can suddenly snow or rain. Also, water is a threat to the heater, if it is in the bathroom. By the way, its installation in such a place will guarantee the absence of fungus!
The choice of a specific heater model also depends on where it is located. For example, mounting to the wall means basically only convectors. And they can also be ceiling-mounted! You can also hide the heater behind a suspended ceiling — this method of installation is also supported by some models. However, such a complex type of installation makes you seriously think about whether it is better to take a full-fledged split system?
It should be noted that fixing the air heater to the wall or ceiling will require special tools and appropriate skills. Or call a person who knows how to do it. That’s why many people prefer to buy a device that is placed on the floor or windowsill. For example, a fan heater can be placed almost anywhere. Well, the oil heater will stand quietly on the floor — after buying it, you just need to assemble the legs with wheels, which anyone who has held a screwdriver in their hands at least once in their life can handle.
From now on, you will know how different heaters differ from each other. We hope that now you will not have any problems with choosing this device. Finally, we note that a simple heater for use somewhere in the garage will cost you significantly less than, say, an oil model for a large room. Well, the most expensive are industrial heat guns that run on diesel fuel or gasoline.