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Portable heaters add warmth to spaces that remain chilly when furnaces or other methods don't provide enough heat. From personal options that work well for desks and other small spaces to large models that warm up entire rooms, the heater options at Staples meet the needs of most users.
Consider the Types of Portable Heaters Space heaters provide warmth using either radiant, micathermic or convective technologies. Radiant heaters provide warmth in small areas using infrared radiation. This method provides heat through a bulb, bar radiator, glowing panel or burner head that warms people and objects in close proximity, rather than the air. Convective heaters warm the air using an element that produces consistent heat paired with a fan that blows the warmth outward. As the air is heated, cooler air gathers around the element and the cycle continues until the space reaches the desired temperature.
Micathermic portable heaters use a combination of convective and radiant technologies that provide warmth quickly and efficiently. These models have a heating element that is surrounded by mica stone. When mica is heated, it emits electromagnetic waves that push the warmth into the air for consistent temperatures in the space.
Choosing the Right Size Portable Heater Heaters provide warmth based on the wattage of power they use. A model offering 300 watts of power will heat the immediate area, such as near a desk or within a cubicle. Large options with 800 to 4,000 watts generally provide enough heat for 1,024-square-foot spaces. The largest room heaters provide warmth based on British thermal units (BTUs). These options have output ranges of 30,000 to 210,000 BTUs and heat rooms up to 3,000 square feet in area.
What Types of Power Do Portable Heaters Use? Space heaters use electricity, kerosene, natural gas and propane to provide warmth. Electric models are less cost effective than kerosene and other liquid-powered options, but they don't require venting when used inside the office or home. These models don't affect air quality, making them a safer option over the other types. For open spaces with vents or garages with plenty of air movement, kerosene options provide maximum heat quickly.
Are Portable Heaters Safe? Personal and room heaters come with features that improve safety when used according to manufacturer instructions. Models with automatic shutoff mechanisms have switches inside that immediately cut the power if the unit tips or falls. Many options have exterior surfaces that remain cool to the touch to avoid damage to the surroundings, people or pets that come in contact with them. Most products have overheating protection that shuts the unit down if the temperature of the internal components reaches unsafe temperatures.
Which Portable Heaters Are Quiet? Portable heaters that don't have fans or forced-air mechanisms are the quietest options for use in bedrooms and offices. Oil-filled models or radiators that rely on electricity to heat the internal oil produce little sound. Many fan-based models have designs that promote quiet operation, making them useful in areas where a slight increase in noise isn't an issue.