Many space heaters are advertised as “whole room heaters” – but precisely how big is actually a whole room? One possible answer may be found in the Vornado heater manual which describes a huge room, relative to the heater’s capacity, as 16′ x 16′ by having an 8′ ceiling. These dimensions workout to 256 sq. ft. and 2048 cu. ft. respectively – easily the actual size of most family rooms, kitchens, or living/dining spaces.
During the last year an important shift in space heater technology has re-shaped consumers’ taste in whole room space heaters. On the list of winners are the ones that employ ceramic or quartz infrared heating elements.
Among whole room heater manufacturers, Lasko supports the second destination for bestselling heaters using its model 755320 tower heater with digital display ($45). (# 1 is Lasko’s 754200 compact heater $20).
Ceramic heaters have gained wide spread popularity for many good reasons. The first is reliability. Speaking from personal experience, our Lasko 5141, no more available, refuses to give up the ghost after 6 or 7 birthdays – or approximately 52.4 space heater years.
Some more factors behind the popularity of ceramics for heating are quick heat-up and safe operation. Ceramic heaters may also be relatively quiet and create a level heat which happens to be often identified as “soft.”
A radiator will be a radiator so there isn’t much that can be done by using it. Despite lacking any game changing technology, the radiator type heater remains one of many safest. Among radiator heater makers, Delonghi dominates the marketplace featuring its model D0715T Safe Heat Oil-Filled Radiator ($55).
Micathermic heaters are basically radiator heaters enclosed by mica panels for enhanced heat distribution. Simply because they depend upon convection for heat distribution these are fan-less and noise-free. Made for versatility, they are often installed on casters or held on a wall, and therefore are reported to be a great bathroom heater – which I don’t recommend for almost any portable electric heater.
Once all the rage, the heaters band have but fallen by the wayside. Maybe it had something related to a customer complaining about sparks shooting from his DeLonghi HHP1500 Mica Panel Radiator. So it’s interesting to note that this Kenwood HHP 1500, also produced by Delonghi and strongly resembling the very first, is just one of Consumer Reports’ highest rated heaters.
However, all is not lost. The Bionaire BH3950-U micathermic heater ($85) rates 4 from 5 stars from its users for silent operation, portability, and whole room, non-drying heat.
Fan-forced convection heat will be the M.O. on most whole room space heaters. The best rated heater makers in this category are Lasko and Delonghi, mentioned previously, in addition to Holmes, Honeywell, and Vornado.
New from Vornado this heating months are the PVH, or Panel Vortex Heater ($60). This heater can be a departure both in price and design from Vornado’s most popular heater, the round cornered EH1-0034-06 AVH2 Vortex Full-Room Electric Heater ($97). The latest, an easy task to operate flat panel design houses the identical technology found in their more costly models.
The key to harnessing Vornado’s vortex of heat would be to locate the heater at one end from the room with a clear route to the contrary wall. If the air hits the opposing wall it splits which is deflected back across the perimeter of the room to heat every square inch of space.
From Holmes, sold beneath the Patton name brand, is definitely the new PQH307-UM Tower Quartz Heater with Adjustable Thermostat ($45). This fan equipped unit is about the smaller end (150 sq. ft.) of whole m1caband heaters and gives two heat settings corresponding to the number of quartz tubes excited.
This season Honeywell has the distinction of a recommendation from Consumer Reports for its model HZ-817 Electric Convection Heater ($70). The 30″ long, baseboard type heater has no fan and relies solely on convection for heat distribution.
Unfortunately, this heater is a victim of their own success and is either unavailable, back ordered, or sold at highly inflated prices due to scarce supply. Kaz USA Inc., the maker of Honeywell, understands the issue and suggests the HZ-617 Whole Room 2-in-1 Heater ($70) as a replacement. The main difference is adding a fan for the HZ-617 which is often turned on or off on your pleasure.
Certainly, the most significant change in consumer preferences for electric space heaters continues to be to furniture style quartz infrared heaters. The development of EdenPure a few years ago was followed by an onslaught of competing brands.