If you have reached this page, then it can be assumed that you are pondering about purchasing the best space heater for a large room. Now it may seem silly to talk elaborately about such a mundane thing as a room heater, but given various options from highly advanced to simple economical design, it might be a smart thing to gain a little insight before actual shopping which will definitely save your time and provide you the best performance you paid for.
One thing I should mention though before you proceed any further that these room heaters are not the alternatives of a central heating system because later one is cheaper to operate.
This because in some cities, the hot water municipalities supply in the central heating system is the byproduct of power plants or other industries that would be wasted otherwise.
On the other hand, these electric heaters will cost you a handsome amount of electricity bill. Say, you have a heater of 1500 watts. It will consume 1.5 units of electricity per hour. If you run this thing for 8 hours (say all night) per day, it can cost you 12 units (although, the thermostat will save energy by shutting off the heater when the room is at a set temperature of thermostat it is the worst-case scenario). Now, you can calculate a rough estimate of the electricity consumption per month of the unit and compare it with the bill of the central heating system.
But if you don’t have a central heating system or you have additional rooms out of the scope of the central system or your room is too big for the existing system, then you should consider buying an extra portable room heater.
Types of Space Heater For Large Room
Since different options are available, let’s take a look at major categories of commercially available room heaters: Convection type heater and radiation type heater.
Heat energy is transferred from hot objects in three different ways. In the convection process, when the air inside the room hits the surface of the heater it gets heated and become lighter than the surrounding air. So, it goes upward and cooler air replaces the void. Eventually, all the air inside the room become heated (You will encounter this term when buying ovens).
The main heating element of a typical synthesis type electric heater is a coil resistant wire of nickel-chromium or other alloys. As a gas heater, heat is generated by burning gas in a burner. Since the natural transmission is quite a slow process, commercial units are equipped with a fan or additional radiator with a large surface area to speed up the healing process. Some radiators are filled with oil that stores heat and distributes it in large quantities to the air (since the radiators add surface areas that come in contact with excess air) which speeds up the process and increases efficiency. You can get some units to facilitate both. An important point is that a heater with a radiator saves more energy than a heater with the help of a fan.
However, the heater with the fan is cheaper than the unit with the radiator only. You will find a combination of both fan and radiator in a few units.
Radiation Type Heater
It does not need air to spread heat since it radiates heat by infrared light and hence it heats up the object pretty quickly. Although some household brand claims that their products to be infrared type, in reality, these products are hybrid. The infrared source inside the heater heats up the outer surface of the heater which is usually ceramic or mica sheet and then heat transfers using the convection method with a fan. These units are more efficient than convection type heater alone because of the speedy warm-up of the outer shell.
These units may emit visible light which can be disturbing sometimes. Remember, infrared radiation has a health hazard. Usually, household units cover the infrared source to prevent that but if the outer shell is damaged somehow and you can see the light source inside then you should repair or replace it.
Energy Efficient Space Heater
In short, a radiation type (or infrared type) heater is more energy-efficient and quicker than a convection type heater. During long operating hours an infrared heater of rating 1500 watt will save a significant amount of energy in comparison with a convection type heater.
For example, if you keep your heater on for the whole night, an infrared heater will actually stay on for a fraction of that time. Because when room temperature reaches the setpoint, the thermostat will turn off the heater. The same thing is true for a convection type heater but since the infrared heater is quicker, it will remain off for a longer period. So, more energy is saved in this way.
Infrared Quartz Heater
I should mention some technical jargon’s to clear up the confusion. There may be terms like infrared quartz heater. Actually, the infrared source is something like incandescent light which might be found in a museum these days. The filament of infrared source uses a special alloy to emit more infrared light than visible light and it generates a great amount of heat. So, if the encapsulation is made from ordinary glass, it will shatter. To prevent this, quartz glass is used. These terms are quite obvious and moot but it impresses the customer.
PTC Heater Element
As for the PTC heater, it is a convection type heater but the material in the heating element is unique (Positive Temperature Coefficient materials). This material restricts electric current when heated and so, theoretically it can never be overheated. PTC heaters draw full power initially to quickly heat up and reach the optimum temperature. As the heat increases, the power consumption simultaneously drops.
Another thing is a ceramic heater. As mentioned earlier, an infrared heater has an outer shell and it can be of ceramic or mica. So, it’s obviously an infrared heater.
Factors to Consider When Buying Heaters for Large Rooms
Now, even if you buy the most efficient room heater on the market, the end result can be frustrating. Because there are few factors yet to be considered before choosing the right product.
The dimension of the heating space is of primary importance. In HVAC terms, it requires roughly 10 watt of electric power or 34 BTU of heat to heat up per square foot area. So, a heater of 1,500 watts will suffice for a bedroom of 15 by 10 feet. If you have a large space then I would suggest multiple units rather than a large single unit because you will have more flexibility and control if you positioned them carefully.
Apart from that insulation of the wall of the room is also important. Thermal insulation of the wall will definitely save a lot of energy.
In both types of heaters, hot air will come out from the heater’s fan. So, a clear airway between the unit and the furthest wall of the room will ensure better performance and comfort. If the room is clogged up with a lot of furniture, you should buy a wall mount heater and place it in a high position.
The north-facing room with a wide window or odd-shaped room will impede the performance of the heater.
House is Dry Even with Humidifier
When cold air is heated it loses moisture and becomes dry. It might cause dry and irritated skin, nasal congestion, itchy eyes, and overall uneasiness for the user. The heaters with built-in humidifiers are available but they won’t come cheap. If you are out of budget another low-cost solution is also available. You can hang soaked cloth inside the room at multiple points. This will do the trick. But the built-in humidity controller is better if you can manage. For better comfort, experts recommend 40 to 60 percent relative humidity inside the room.
While turning on for the first time, some units may give up foul odor because the paint might not be cured fully. All you have to do is turn it on and crank up the thermostat maximum position. Put it outside for several hours and check the plug and power cord for over temperature.
In a nutshell, you must consider:
- What type of heater you want(pure convection or infrared)
- The dimension, positioning, and insulation of the space
- Operating temperature and temperature level of the surface
- Control options (don’t forget the humidity)
- Noise level
- Protection devices like fuse, thermostat etc.
- Operating cost
- Electric current and voltage level
Nowadays living spaces are rather costly in big cities and metropolitans. So, if you live in a cramped space, the physical dimension of the heater is vital. Plenty of options are available from different brands and each has a unique design.
Brands of Space Heaters
Top and trusted brands leading the market right now are De’Longhi, Lasko, Dyson, Vornado, Mill, Lifesmart, and Duraflame. There are other competitors too. If you know what you are looking for then you need not be worried much about brands.
Ease of Setup
Since numerous options are available, you can save a lot of effort if you carefully choose your heater. Most of the commercial units are “plug and play” type and equipped with wheels and handles for better portability. So, before buying, plan ahead where you want to position your unit inside the room and choose your heater accordingly. Remember, the heater needs to be placed in an open space.
Ability To Heat Up Quickly
As mentioned earlier, some heaters deliver the heat more quickly than the others. Those units will save your utility bill. But they won’t come cheap.
Temperature Controls and Thermostat
One of the basic control elements is the thermostat. It ensures the safe temperature level for the heating element as well as the exterior of the heater. The most common type of thermostat is bimetallic. But hi-tech options like programmable and wi-fi controlled thermostat are also available.
In some units, the thermostat has this anti-freeze option. If the room temperature drops below the set temperature, the unit is turned on automatically. You may find multiple thermostats in a single unit for more customized control.
Some cheap room heaters don’t have a thermostat. Since, these units pose a fire risk and waste lots of energy, be sure to look for a thermostat. Advanced technology thermostats reduce fire hazard and you will be tension free.
Heat Level of Casing (relatively cool exterior)
I want to reiterate this issue because of its importance. Some popular heaters on the market suffer from this issue despite having all the protection devices. If you have a child or pet, specifically ask the vendor for the temperature level of the exterior.
The timer is a nice and handy option to have in your heater. If you forget to turn off the heater timer will save the day. A 24-hour programmable timer is available in some heaters.
All most all heaters have a built-in fan. Since the heater will literally live with you inside the room, the noise of the fan can be rather disturbing. So, give it a trial run and check the sound level before buying it.
In the middle of the night, you may want on/off the heater. In that case, the remote control is a nice option. If you are not on a budget, you will find multiple heaters with remote control in the market.
Since you can shove up your heater in a corner of your room and cover-up, a hideous looking heater can be an eyesore. Don’t worry, plenty of smart-looking units are available. Most of the outer casing is made of metal. You should ask for rust-free material. Some units are made of fiberglass.
Now, there are lots of options with different price tags ranging from $ 250 to $60 (Or even cheaper) are available.
The 8 Best Space Heater For Large Room
Let me introduce you to some top room heater trending in the market right now:
1. Duraflame 3D Portable Indoor Space Heater For Large Room
Now space heater is an underestimate for this thing. It’s a portable fireplace with all the fancy vibes! The heart of the heater is an infrared unit.
- It’s definitely a crowd-pleaser. To give the realistic vibe of an actual fireplace, it has lcd panel with a 3D flame effect with five color settings.
- Adjustable digital thermostat.
- Over heat protection.
- Because of the glass door, it’s not 100% child or pet proof.
- A little bit noisy.
2. Dr. Infrared Portable Space Heater For Large Room
According to the manufacturer’s literature, this is pretty high-tech. it combines both a PTC heater and infrared heater to save up energy.
Built-in timer and remote control are handy features to have. The noise level is also optimum. The most attractive element is the built-in ultrasonic humidifier which can operate with or without the heating element. Some complaints about the poor design of the humidifier and water getting inside the electronics. Despite that, it has plenty of good reviews.
- Because of PTC unit, small chance of hot spot and hence burning.
- Built-in humidifier.
- Built-in timer.
- Remote control.
- Water entering inside the electronics.
3. Unique Heat 1500-Watt PTC Space Heater For Large Room
Here is another smart looking infrared heater with remote control. But on the amazon site, there is some confusing information like in other heaters, heating elements react with the oxygen. It’s not true for an electric heater and if you can’t smell anything when you turn on the heater, you shouldn’t be worried.
Another claim is air moisture is preserved because of its design which also wrong. When air is heated up, no matter how the relative humidity goes down, it’s the characteristics of air. So, you might need an extra humidifier.
The body of this unit is safe to touch while operating and it has a tip-over mechanism if the airflow is blocked accidentally in the front. It also has an overheat protection system.
Don’t forget to clean the built in air filter.
- Tip over mechanism for blocked air way. (Extra safety!).
- Cool exterior.
- Built-in air filter.
- No built-in humidifier.
4. Lasko 755320 Ceramic Space Heater For Large Room
It is an impressive looking infrared heater with a rather competitive price. This is a ceramic tower heater with a tough fiberglass casing so don’t worry about accidental tripping.
It’s silent and has a remote control, built-in timer, and adjustable thermostat, and overheat protection. One other impressive feature is the oscillating front screen which evenly distributes the warm air. It’s a great choice for the budget.
- Fiber glass exterior ensures rust free tough casing.
- Oscillating front screen.
- Remote control.
- Since it’s tall, chance of accidental trip is more. But tough outer casing ensures the safety.
5. De’Longhi Mica Thermic Panel Space Heater For Large Room
This is a rather pretty and sleek-looking infrared heater but performance might be frustrating.
To provide a sleek appearance, it seems that the designer let go of the fan. So it works well in a confined space like under the table. It has all the basic safety features like a tip-over switch, thermal cut-off, and adjustable thermostat.
So, if you have a narrow and well-insulated space and you prefer aesthetics then this is a nice choice.
- Sleek design. It can be mount on a wall.
- In fact, almost no noise at all.
- Customized control.
- Tip-over switch.
- No built-in fan. So, can’t perform in a wide space.
- Less efficient.
6. DeLonghi Oil-Filled Radiator Space Heater For Large Room
This new design of DeLonghi’s oil radiator convection heater features a thermal chimney and 25% more surface area than its predecessors. So there is better efficiency and lower surface temperature.
The body is made of rust-free metal and the oil reservoir is sealed permanently and hence maintenance free. It has all the advanced control features like the adjustable thermostat, 24-hour timer, and anti-freeze setting which will turn on the heater automatically if the room temperature is below 7º Celsius. For the protection scheme, it has a thermal shut-off which turns off the unit if it starts to overheat.
It is fully portable and has 3 years warranty. Although, it’s a little costly, it’s a good choice.
- Its thermal chimney and large surface area ensures even and better distribution of heat.
- Maintenance free oil radiator.
- Rust proof and sleek exterior.
- Adjustable thermostat.
- Anti-freeze setting.
- Thermal shut-off.
7. DeLonghi Oil-Filled Radiator Space Heater For Large Room
This is another of DeLonghi’s oil type convection heater. It’s a cheaper alternative to the previous one and has almost all the features like an adjustable thermostat, anti-freeze setting, and thermal cut-off.
It has a tough body, a maintenance-free oil radiator, and portability, too. One downside is that it smells for the first time you turned it on. Once it cools down, you shouldn’t have this problem the second time.
- Maintenance free oil radiator.
- Anti-freeze setting.
- Affordable costing.
- The first time, it gives up fume.
8. Vornado MVH Vortex Space Heater For Large Room
It’s the cheapest option for a convection type heater and not very efficient (fan-only). So, if the budget is a serious issue then this is the thing. It has all the basic safety system like tip-over shut off and electric circuit overload protection. The front screen creates a vortex of hot air that envelops the room. The outer surface temperature stays within the safe limit and operates quietly.
But it’s not very efficient as it has no radiator and so, extended use may cost rather large utility bill.
- Specially designed front side for better distribution of hot air.
- Cool exterior.
- Tip over shut off.
- Affordable costing.
- Automatic safety shut off.
- Poor efficiency.
- No temperature control feature.
Apart from these units, there are other heaters to choose from. But be aware of the cheap heater with just a fan and heating element only. They might get you warm but there is always a risk if the heater doesn’t have a thermostat in it.
Care, Maintenance, and Safety
The safety features must be taken into account. A room heater can cause burn injury or even worse, fire incident. The outer surface, even the power cable can be too hot to handle. If someone accidentally comes very close to the hot airflow of the heater, the same thing could happen. So, you must consult the manufacturer’s literature for these issues. Remember any hot object of 70º Celsius will cause a blister on your skin. If you have a pet or small child, be extra cautious about this issue.
Some advanced units are fashioned with sensors that can detect the obstacle in front of the heater’s fan and shut off the unit to prevent injury. It’s a nice thing to have in your home.
You should also be concerned about the electric voltage and current level of the heater. It is important because different countries have different voltage levels supplied by their utility services (for example, North American cities have 120 volts where European cities have 250 volts on their wall outlet in an ordinary household.
Heavy Duty Extension Cord
The current level is important if you want to use an extension cord. If the heater current consumption is say 10 ampere and your extension cord’s current rating is say 5 amperes, the cord may get damaged. So, make sure your extension cord always has a higher current rating.
Again, it is advised not to use an extension cord with a high current device. It is because if the plug is not properly connected to the socket (it might be loose or get loose accidentally) then there will be a lot of heat at the joining and it can cause a fire. This phenomenon is also true for wall mount sockets but the extension cord is more accident-prone. A loose connection is a silent killer!!
Frequently Ask Questions (FAQ)
Roughly 150 square feet
If the size exceeds the wattage of the unit, (see the estimate above) it would be a smart thing to use multiple small units rather than one large unit. This is more efficient. Besides, there is a limit to the electric capacity of commercially available units.
If you have built-in thermostat, sure you can
The central heating system is more economical to operate. A portable heater may be cheap to buy but a utility bill mill hurt. So, in the long run, central heating is beneficial.
Obviously the efficient one. Now infrared heater is more efficient than convection type. But most of the time you will find the combination of both and pure infrared units may not be that efficient. Take De’Longhi Mica Thermic Panel Heater for instance. Since it doesn’t have a fan, it does not perform well in a large room despite being an infrared unit. Always consult the manufacturer’s literature.
If you have to buy a convection-type heater then look for the one with a radiator and fan. Thermal chimneys are also a good choice.
Besides, an interior condition also affects performance. Thermal insulation on the wall will definitely save money.
An oil-filled convection type heater is more efficient than a fan-only convection type heater. Oil reservoirs conserve heat. So, the heating element gets more rest than a fan-only unit. Besides. It distributes heat more evenly and avoids the hot spot.
That’s pretty much all of it. Happy Shopping…….!