• FREE Delivery Mainland UK
  • NO Hidden Fees / All Prices include VAT
  • Expert Advice & After Sales

Space Heater Buying Guide: Everything You Need to Know

Whether you’re looking to warm up a cold office or workshop, supplement your home heating system, or create a cosy atmosphere in a poorly insulated room, space heaters are the perfect heating solution.

With their compact size and portability, space heaters offer targeted warmth exactly where and when you need it most. And with so many types on the market, we guarantee there is a space heater to suit every space and preference.

However, with such a multitude of options available, selecting the right one can often seem daunting.

This is why we have created this comprehensive buying guide to equip you with all the information necessary to select the perfect space heater for you, covering the different types of space heaters, what they’re used for and how to choose the right size heater for your specific needs

What Are Space Heaters and What Are They Used For?

To put it simply – space heaters are portable heating devices designed to generate heat for small to medium-sized spaces. Whether it be heating individual rooms or enclosed areas within a building, space heaters offer a reliable source of additional heat, instead of relying on central heating systems to heat an entire structure.

Space heaters can be used for a variety of purposes:

  • Emergency heating: In case of an emergency, for example a heating system failure or power outage, space heaters can provide reliable temporary heating to ensure occupants’ comfort and prevent freezing pipes or other cold-related issues.
  • Outdoor heating: Some types of space heaters, such as propane heaters or electric patio heaters, are specially designed for outdoor use, for example patios or decks.
  • Spot heating: If there are specific areas or rooms within a building that need concentrated warmth, space heaters are super effective as they provide direct heat without having to heat the entire building. This can help save energy and costs by only heating occupied spaces.
  • Industrial and Commercial Applications: Space heaters are also commonly used in various industrial and commercial settings, such as large warehouses, workshops, construction sites, and temporary shelters, to provide localised heating for workers.
  • Recreational Heating: Space heaters can be used to provide warmth during outdoor recreational activities like camping, tailgating, or outdoor events, especially in the cooler months.

The Different Types of Space Heaters

There are several different types of space heater available, from electric and propane heaters to oil-filled and quartz heaters, each with their own method of generating heat and unique features.

5 common types of space heaters include, but are not limited to:

1. Electric Space Heaters

Electric space heaters are a popular type of space heater that operates using electricity as the power source to generate heat. They come in a variety of designs and styles, offering different features and heating methods, for example:

  • Fan-forced Heaters: These heaters use a fan to blow air over a heated element and distribute warmth throughout the room quickly.
  • Ceramic Heaters: Ceramic heaters contain ceramic plates or coils that heat up when electricity passes through them. They are known for their energy efficiency and safety features.
  • Infrared Heaters: Infrared heaters emit infrared radiation that directly heats objects and people in their path, rather than heating the air. They provide a more focused and efficient form of heating.

That said, it’s essential that they’re used safely and users follow manufacturer instructions to prevent accidents and ensure efficient operation. Safety features such as tip-over switches, overheat protection, and cool-to-the-touch exteriors are common in modern electric space heaters.

Clarke Devil 2850 Electric Fan Heater

Constructed with a sturdy steel frame with tough powder coated finish, the Devil 2850 2.8kW electric fan heater by Clarke is ideal for heating your workshop or garage.

Weighing in at just over 2.5kg with a convenient carry handle this heater is lightweight and portable enough to be easily transported. And for additional safety, the heater benefits from a tip-over cut-off switch which will trigger in the unlikely event of the heater being knocked either forwards or backwards.

Shop our wide collection of electric heaters here.

2. Oil-Filled Space Heaters

Oil filled heaters work by using an electrical heating element to heat a pool of thermal oil inside the unit. Once the oil is heated, it transfers heat to the metal wall and then to the surrounding air.

One of the best things about oil filled heaters is that they are up to 99% energy efficient as they directly convert the oil to heat without any energy loss.

They are also fantastic at retaining heat, even after they’ve stopped drawing power from the wall, as the fluid cools down slowly.

Oil-filled heaters are especially suitable for spaces where quiet operation is desired, and they are often chosen for their energy efficiency and safety features.

3. Quartz Space Heaters

Quartz heaters, also known as quartz infrared heaters or quartz radiant heaters, are a type of space heater that uses quartz heating elements to produce heat. These heaters operate by emitting infrared radiation, which directly heats objects and people in the vicinity

So, what’s the difference between a quartz heater and a standard infrared heater? Well, normal infrared heaters don’t use the quartz material and instead use carbon wires. Infrared heaters generally have a longer life expectancy than quartz heaters.

As quartz heaters provide focused heating, they are ideal for spot heating or heating specific areas within a room. For example, they can be used to warm up individuals or zones without having to waste energy and money on heating the entire space.

Clarke Quartz Halogen Heater With Floor Stand

This Clarke Quartz Halogen heater provides energy efficient heat with minimal initial warm up time, ideal for domestic or trade applications.

Being IP24 rated it can also be used outside as a patio heater if protected from direct exposure to rain by placing it under a roof or awning. More key benefits include:

  • 230V-50Hz
  • Max. Output: 2kW
  • Simple pull cord control
  • Includes a floor stand, extendable from 1.4-1.7m

4. Kerosene Heaters

Kerosene heaters are portable space heaters that use kerosene as a fuel source to generate heat, and consist of a fuel tank, a burner unit, and a combustion chamber, typically enclosed in a metal housing.

While kerosene heaters can be used indoors, they require proper ventilation to prevent carbon monoxide buildup, which is why they are most popular for providing supplemental heat in homes, garages, workshops, outdoor spaces, and emergency situations.

Discover our extensive range of kerosene heaters on our website.

5. Propane Heaters

Propane heaters are another type of portable heating device that use propane gas as their fuel source, and commonly used for outdoor heating or in areas where other heating options are impractical or unavailable.

Propane heaters are often equipped with weatherproof enclosures, designed to withstand outdoor conditions, including wind, rain, and cold temperatures. Browse our collection of quality propane heaters here.

Another great thing about propane heaters is that they are equipped with safety features such as automatic shutoff valves, tip-over switches, and low-oxygen sensors to ensure safe operation.

If you need a bit of help choosing the right type of heater, please don’t hesitate to get in contact with us using this form or giving us a call on tel:+441639849847.

What Size Space Heater Do I Need?

Determining the ideal size of space heater you need depends on several factors, including the size of the room or area you want to heat, the current insulation of the space, the desired temperature, and of course, the heater’s power output.

The best way to find your ideal heater starts with the space you want to heat. Begin by measuring the length and width of the room in feet and multiply them to find the square footage.

As a general rule of thumb, you’ll need around 10 watts of heating power for every square foot of space. So, multiply the square footage of your room by 10 to get an estimate of the wattage required. For example, a 1,500-watt heater can be the primary heat source for an area measuring up to 150 square feet. However, if used as a supplemental heating source, it will cover a much larger area.

What About Efficiency?

While higher wattage heaters may be capable of heating larger spaces more quickly, they may also consume more energy. On the other hand, lower wattage heaters may take longer to heat a room but can be more energy-efficient, especially in well-insulated spaces. It all comes down to your preferences and priorities.

It’s also important to consider insulation levels when choosing the size of your space heater, as the level of insulation in a room directly affects how efficiently heat is retained within that space.

For example, If your room has poor insulation, lots of windows, or high ceilings, you’re likely to need a more powerful heater. In such cases, you can increase the wattage per square foot accordingly. On the other hand, well-insulated rooms may need smaller heaters to maintain the same level of warmth.

As we touched on previously, there are many different types of space heaters on the market, each with different efficiency levels. For example, infrared heaters are more efficient at heating people and objects directly, while ceramic heaters are better for heating whole rooms.

Safety Features of a Space Heater

As touched on above, many space heaters on the market will come equipped with safety features to minimise the risk of accidents and ensure safe operation.

As a guide, here are some of the main features to look out for when choosing a space heater:

  • Overheat protection sensors – This feature detects when the heater’s internal components reach an unsafe temperature and will automatically turn off the heater to prevent overheating and potential fire hazards.
  • Child lock – As with many dangerous items, a child lock feature prevents children from tampering with the heater’s controls, reducing the risk of accidental burns or other harmful injuries to a child.
  • Proper ventilation – If you’re using a fuel-burning space heater, ensure that it has proper ventilation to prevent the buildup of carbon monoxide and other harmful gases that can be harmful and even life threatening.
  • Tip-over protection – This tip-over feature will automatically shut off the heater if it is accidentally tipped over, reducing the risk of fire or burns. Ensuring that your chosen heater has a stable base will also help to prevent tipping.
  • Cool-touch exterior – Many space heaters also come with cool-touch exteriors that remain cool to the touch even when in operation, reducing the risk of burns if accidentally touched or fallen into.

It’s also important to go for space heaters that are certified by recognized safety organisations, such as UL (Underwriters Laboratories) or ETL (Intertek), indicating that they have undergone safety testing and meet specific safety standards.

Looking For The Perfect Space Heater?

At Generators Direct, we offer a range of different space heaters for your specific needs, from powerful propane heaters to smaller electric fan heaters and everything in between. All of our products are manufactured, tested and certified to industry standards, and come with a price promise – you won’t find prices cheaper anywhere on the web, but if you do, we’ll match them. 

In addition to this, all orders come with free mainland UK shipping and after sales support from our experts.

If you’d like to speak to a friendly member of our team, please don’t hesitate to get in contact with us using this form or via telephone at +441639849847.

Related Products