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How to Choose a Safe Space Heater

Updated on January 29, 2009

One of the best ways to cut down on home heating costs is to heat only heat the rooms that you’re actually using. Think about all the times there are only one or two people at home. It’s silly to heat up all that space. Or there might be areas of your home that seem to stay chilly no matter what you do. The most convenient way to heat one room is with a portable electric space heater.   

Why Use a Space Heater?

An electric space heater is a very efficient way to heat a small area. A lot of people are concerned that space heaters are unsafe. While they can be dangerous if used improperly, or around small children, modern space heaters are equipped with a variety of safety features.

Radiant vs. Convection Heaters

The two main types of space heaters are radiant and convection. Radiant heaters heat the objects they are pointed at. (I use one under my desk that’s pointed at my feet!) They don’t heat the air in the room, and so don’t heat up the room overall. Convection heaters actually heat up the air in the room, which makes them better for heating an entire room, versus a smaller area.

Heated Footrests

A new product that is wonderful for us desk dwellers is the ergonomically correct heated footrest! This adjustable footrest sits under the desk and serves the double purpose of keeping your feet warm and providing additional support for your back.

Shopping Resources

It’s important to compare the safety features and price of various space heaters. One great resource is the page for space heater reviews. This site posts review the reviews that are published in magazines like Consumer Reports and Good Housekeeping. They also consolidate information from the online review pages like Amazon and Epinions. alone has over 1,000 reviews of space heaters. And the benefit there is that once you find one you like, it’s only a matter of a few clicks before it’s on the way to your home.

Top Safety Feature

Life gets busy and things get forgotten. One of the most important safety features on a space heater is the automatic switch off. It the heater gets too hot, or if it gets knocked over, you want it to turn off. This one feature can prevent a lot of house fires.

As long as you buy the right space heater for your particular needs, they can be a safe and inexpensive way to keep warm in cold times.

Image Credit: Collin Anderson, Flickr




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  • Don Simkovich profile image

    Don Simkovich 7 years ago from Pasadena, CA

    I've been wanting to write a Hub on space heaters. I may still. I have one we really like and they are a useful tool around the house. Well organized Hub.

  • profile image

    Edenpure heater review 8 years ago

    Read reviews of the edenpure heater and other quartz infrared heaters before making a purchasing decision. Even though quartz infrared technology is a wonderful advancement in heating, many companies still have some bugs to work out of their heaters. You can read reviews and/or write reviews of your favorite heaters at