Heater Buying Guide

The very best area heaters can quickly heat you and a typical sized space for as little as $40. Electric heaters such as those we test consist of an array of security functions that minimize the danger of fire. However that does not mean all of them are safe. Lots of we tested got hot adequate to trigger the equivalent of a bad sunburn within a second of contact.

All the space heating systems in Customer Reports tests will easily warm a chilly room. But bear in mind, the only method to possibly conserve cash is to make use of a heating system in one room and leave the remainder of the home chillier.

When you purchase an electrical area heater, look for a label from a recognized screening laboratory such as UL (Underwriters Lab), ETL (Intertek), or CSA (Canadian Standards Association) validating that the heating unit’s building and efficiency fulfill voluntary U.S. security levels.

Likewise, fuel-burning area heaters are more unsafe than electrics. We recommend that you consider them just for emergency use, say, during a winter power failure.

Our experts and the National Fire Security Association offer the following security recommendations:
Do not leave an electrical heating system unattended while it’s plugged in. Location the heating unit on a level, flat surface where kids and pets cannot reach it and never in a child’s space. Use a heating unit on a tabletop only when defined by the producer. If you position it on furnishings, it could fall and be damaged.
Don’t utilize a space heater in a wet or wet location unless it’s developed for outside use or in bathrooms. Moisture could damage it.
Keep combustible materials such as furnishings, bed linen, and drapes at least three feet from the front of the heating system and away from its sides and back. Do not make use of a heating system near paint, gas cans, or matches. Keep the air consumption and outlet clear.
Run the electric cord on top of location rugs or carpeting so that you can step over it and not abrade it underfoot. Plugging another electrical gadget into the same outlet or extension cord as the heater could cause getting too hot.
Ways to choose
We think all manufacturers must keep hot surfaces totally out of reach. Designs that scored excellent or greater in our hot-surface tests make minor burns unlikely, if not difficult. Here’s what else to think about while shopping.

Pick the right type. Try to find quick area heating if you care more about quickly heating up a couple of individuals than heating up a roomful of guests. Consider bigger heating systems if you like the lookout of wood and an electronic flame display. And think about gas or kerosene heating units strictly for screened-in porches and other well-vented outdoor areas. Both types present a carbon monoxide gas threat inside and typically get hot adequate to ignite fabrics.

Try to find safety features. All the heating systems we tested consist of a sensor that shuts them off if they get too hot. A switch that does the very same if they tip over is a welcome plus for taller models, especially with kids and animals close by. Guidelines for all the designs we checked likewise caution consumers to keep them away from water. One design has a plug that’s ground-fault protected, though household kitchens, restrooms, and other moist locations ought to already have protected outlets.

Demand a fan. It assists disperse heat faster, and it reveals: The three slowest heaters in our tests are the only ones without fans. Some designs can oscillate for more even heating. Don’t expect cost savings. More than 60 percent of homeowners we polled just recently thought that area heating units might trim their energy expenses. Yet the only method you can save is if you much lower heat in other spaces, given that electrical energy is the most costly way to heat. So consider an area heating unit strictly for convenience. And consider putting insulation to attics, basements, crawl spaces, and other vital locations for savings.


Space heating systems that burn fuel are hazardous, and even electric area heating systems pose considerable dangers of fire and electrical shocks if you don’t utilize them safely. Right here are the types of area heating units to consider.

Electric heating units
Convection models are great for heating up a whole room because they spread their heat over a broad location. Those with a fan spread warmed air quicker, however they also putting noise. Glowing versions, which make use of an electric-ribbon aspect or a quartz tube, are ideal for spot heating, however their heat dissipates swiftly when they’re switched off.

Propane and kerosene heating systems
These produce vast heat. But since of their open flame, the risk of carbon monoxide gas poisoning, and the threats associated with handling the fuel, we recommend versus their use inside except throughout emergencies, and after that only in locations with excellent ventilation.


Security is vital when using an area heater. Look for functions that make the systems simpler and much safer to utilize. Here are the vital safety-related area heating unit includes to think about.

If you’ll be moving the heater from space to space, try to find a light-weight design with a deal with that offers a safe grip. Most electrical models are lighter than fuel-operated ones.

Oxygen deficiency sensor or Low-oxygen shutoff
For fuel-fired models, this function turns off the heating system’s fuel flow when it senses a decrease in the quantity of oxygen in the air due to the accumulation of carbon dioxide.

Power cord
Those on the electric models we checked were at least 70 inches long, providing more positioning options. If you need to use an extension cord, select a 12- or 14-gauge design. Overloaded, small, or frayed power cords are a significant cause of fires, injuries, and deaths associated with space heating systems. Examine electrical space heater cords for damage frequently.

A thermostat maintains the temperature level you set, saving you the hassle of turning the heater off and on as the room temperature level differs. Heaters with multiple output settings save energy by letting you select the lowest setting that keeps a space comfy.

Tip-over switch, touch sensor, get too hot protection
As their names imply, these functions immediately switch off the heater if it’s overturned, if the grille is touched, or if the device overheats.


There are a couple of familiar brands in the space-heater market. While one company has about 40 percent of the marketplace, others will certainly be familiar to consumers. Make use of these profiles to compare space heaters by brand name.

DeLonghi sells mostly convection heating systems within the ceramic classification, with designs covering most types but mainly oil-filled and micathermic. The products are sold at Sears, Target, Best Buy, Amazon, and numerous other online sellers. Rates range from $30 to $200.

The parent company of Holmes, Jarden, also owns Sunbeam, Patton, Coleman, and Bionaire, providing it about 40 percent of the U.S. space-heater market. Jarden makes convection and glowing items, and its primary types are quartz and ceramic. The products are extensively offered at Walmart, Target, House Depot, and regional home appliance dealerships. Costs vary from $20 to $70.

Honeywell belongs to the Helen of Troy group of products. HOT makes various little device products including hair clothes dryers. Honeywell brand name area heating systems are primarily ceramic type with fan. Honeywell products are sold at Walmart, Target, and Best Buy. Costs range from $25 to $80.

Lasko’s main type of space heater is ceramic with fan. The heating units are available in numerous configurations, such as tower and pedestal. You’ll find Lasko heaters at Home Depot, Target, Lowe’s, and Walmart. Costs range from $20 to $100.

This brand name belongs to Midea Group, a worldwide home appliance maker. Pelonis provides all kinds of heating systems. You’ll find the heating units at hardware shops such as Real Value and Ace, through online merchants, and at specialized shops and local home appliance dealers. Rate stove from $15 to $100.