What Types of Electric Heaters Are Best for You?
If you are looking for a safe, cost-effective and efficient heating system, look no further than electric heating. Whether it is used to compliment another heating system or is the primary system in your home in every room, electric heat is a great option. Now that we have convinced you to consider electric heating, let’s explore what kind of electric heater is best for your home.
Baseboard heaters are one of the simplest, most economical forms of electric heat. They are usually hardwired to an electrical circuit. The baseboard element generates heat, which warms the air around it. The natural convection process of taking in cold air, and warming it up circulates the warm air throughout the room. Baseboards are the least expensive type of electric heat to install but they also take longer to warm a room, which means they can lead to higher power bills. Baseboards must be installed with at least 1 foot clearance in front of other objects. This means that in addition to the wall space they require to be installed, they also need additional unobstructed space, creating a constraint. That means any furniture, drapes or other objects would have to be away from the heater.
Radiant floor heaters usually come in the form of electric cables, tubes of heated water or electric mats installed just below the floor's surface that heat the floor. These systems work particularly well with concrete floors because the heat absorbed by the concrete can keep a room warm for several hours without the heater being on. The Department of Energy points out that this can be beneficial when electric companies use time-of-use rates. That means you can heat the floor when rates are cheapest and enjoy that heat throughout the rest of the day.
Radiant floor heaters also provide warmth from the floor up ensuring that there are no cold spots. However, this is an expensive system to install and takes a long time to do so. Furthermore, they decrease the height of the room as there is additional insulation that needs to be installed on the floor for safety.
Radiant Panels & Cove Heaters
Radiant heat can be compared to how it feels to be under the hot sun. For example, when you are in direct sunlight you can feel the rays on your skin, but as soon as you go under the shade of a tree, you no longer feel that direct heat from the sunlight. Radiant panels are installed in the walls or ceiling, and cove heaters are installed in the corner where the wall and ceiling come together. Cadet’s Radiant Cove Heater uses a wall thermostat makes control easy and precise and is specifically designed to make no noise while operating
The idea is that these sources of heat emit radiation energy to keep you warm without heating up the air inside a room. Some of these heaters offer more radiant heat than others.
Unlike the other types of electric heat which are hardwired into your home, space heaters (also called portable heaters) are plugged into power outlets allowing you to take the heater with you from room to room. Space heaters provide the added flexibility of being able to bring warmth with where you need it, when you need it. However, for safety, you would want to note that the cords can be tripped on. You cannot plug these heaters into extension cords or surge protectors. Space heaters can max out a typical residential circuit, meaning if you have any other electronics plugged into outlets on the same line, your circuit breaker would trip and turn off power to your house.
Heat pumps are part of your heating and cooling systems and are installed outside your home. They are one of the most energy efficient heating options you can buy. Although all electric heat is 100 percent efficient, these heaters can actually use heat from the environment to provide warmth to your home, which in some cases means you get more heat output than you put into the system. Unlike other electric heaters, these can also provide cooling when necessary. Here's what the Department of Energy says about ductless, mini-split heat pumps: "If you are building an addition or doing a major remodel and your home does not have heating and cooling ducts, a ductless mini-split heat pump may be a cost-effective, energy-efficient choice." Although heat pumps are more expensive to install, they are cheaper to operate and some places offer rebates for those who install them. Heat pumps operate best when the temperature does not fall below freezing. So, if your home needs more heat than one mini-split can provide, adding other types of electric heat to complement it can be a cost-effective and comfortable alternative to installing more than one. When you get down to it, that is one of the biggest advantages of electric heat: flexibility.
Wall heaters, also referred to as fan forced heaters, combine a heating element and a fan to circulate heated air throughout a room. These heaters are also hardwired to your electrical circuit. The heating element works just like one in a baseboard heater, but unlike baseboards, wall heaters have a fan that helps push warm air throughout the room. That means your room will heat up faster and the heater would be more cost-effective for you. Unlike baseboard heaters, you can get different amounts of heat in the same size unit as wall heaters have a fan that can be controlled. Wall heaters are also much smaller than baseboards, which frees up space in your room for your furniture. We think that wall heaters are one of the best choices for people who need a steady source of heat in a cold room. They are easy to install, don't take up a lot of space, have relatively low cost of ownership com
At a glance
When shopping for an electric heater, the key considerations are around cost effectiveness, heating efficiency and heating experience. If you find a heater that can check all of these boxes and has optimal installation, you know you’ve found the one! Want to learn more about our heaters? Check out our post on the differences between baseboard and wall heaters. Also check out our full line of electric heaters and explore our extensive options!