Please recommend me a space heater

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shortylickens

No Lifer
Jul 15, 2003
82,854
17,364
136
Wait, how have you been heating the house with no central heat? I would focus on fixing the furnace, though given it's age it's probably worth looking at replacing with a high efficiency condensing furnace. A heat pump might be worth looking at too, they've come a long way. Some can work down to -30.

If you have abundance of free or cheap electricity, baseboard rads might be worth looking into otherwise it's going to cost a lot. As far as plug in heaters the oil filled ones are probably the safest. I'd get some heat trace wire for the pipes too if you'll be without heat for long. I need to do the same actually, the texas incident a while back made me realize I'm not all that well prepared for a situation that I lose heat/power for long. The heat trace wire could run off solar at least.
Our central heat went out once, for 7 days. Guys finally fixed it and we were happy. We'd used plug in heaters during that time, and next months electricity bill was 470 dollars.
 
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Muse

Lifer
Jul 11, 2001
37,238
7,967
136
500 watts is child's play even for 16 gauge extension cords. They are indeed fire hazards if used at the full wattage(1500) on a circuit.
I think I can get by fine in my ~900 cubic foot upstairs bedroom with just that 500w heater and the overhead 250w heat lamp which points straight down. I only turn on that heat lamp when it's fairly chilly in the room. It being upstairs, it tends to be warmer than downstairs. That gets to be a problem in the warm/hottter months, but that's a different matter. I have a window AC in the bedroom but I don't think I turned it on a single time in 2021. Our autumn wasn't as challenging as typically for heat. I have a couple 200mm computer fans mounted in the same window as the AC, right next to it. The fans are powered by an AC adapter. I turn them on most nights in the warm months. They are pretty quiet, blow cool evening air into the room and, of course, are dirt cheap to run compared to the AC, which is also noisy as hell.
 
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Muse

Lifer
Jul 11, 2001
37,238
7,967
136
If you have abundance of free or cheap electricity, baseboard rads might be worth looking into otherwise it's going to cost a lot. As far as plug in heaters the oil filled ones are probably the safest.
There is a big, long baseboard heater some roommate left here. I've never plugged it in! I can't imagine using it in most rooms. Would be total overkill for my bedroom, which is small at 9' 10" x 9' 10" = 96.6 square feet, plus an average sized closet from which the door was removed. I could maybe use that long baseboard heater in my front upstairs room (where it's sitting now), which I want to make a home gym guest room combo.

The oil filled heaters linked here and that I saw poking around look to be pretty big, I think really too big for either my bedroom or the kitchen, which is not much bigger than my bedroom. Besides, seems they all top out at 1500w, and likely put out more heat than I'd want in my bedroom.
 
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lxskllr

No Lifer
Nov 30, 2004
57,279
7,428
126
There is a big, long baseboard heater some roommate left here. I've never plugged it in! I can't imagine using it in most rooms. Would be total overkill for my bedroom, which is small at 9' 10" x 9' 10" = 96.6 square feet, plus an average sized closet from which the door was removed. I could maybe use that long baseboard heater in my front upstairs room, which I want to make a home gym guest room combo.
That sounds like my oil filled baseboard. If so, it'll have a temp control, and you can move it from barely on, to inferno. It cycles on/off as necessary, so it isn't eating up electricity to make you too hot.
 
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Muse

Lifer
Jul 11, 2001
37,238
7,967
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That sounds like my oil filled baseboard. If so, it'll have a temp control, and you can move it from barely on, to inferno. It cycles on/off as necessary, so it isn't eating up electricity to make you too hot.
Thanks, I'll check it out. The room it's in gets pretty cold in the winter. I've never inspected that heater.
 

Red Squirrel

No Lifer
May 24, 2003
66,960
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www.anyf.ca
Our central heat went out once, for 7 days. Guys finally fixed it and we were happy. We'd used plug in heaters during that time, and next months electricity bill was 470 dollars.

Ouch yeah that can suck. I heard of people buying houses here that had no gas heat and their first hydro bill was over a grand in a month. They immediately bought a gas furnace. At around 6-8 grand it basically pays for itself in less than a year.

They really need to bring down prices if they want people to switch off gas. I'd do it if it was affordable.
 

Muse

Lifer
Jul 11, 2001
37,238
7,967
136
Amazon's more fun than a barrel of monkeys. Sample question for the 500w heater I ordered today:

Question:
How long does it take to raise the temperature of a 10x10x8 (800 Cubic feet) room by 10F ?
Answer:
If the room is not insulated and is cold outside and the wall is 8 ft then it will not heat up the room at all. As a matter of fact the temperature will continue to fall.. If you are just a few degrees off the direction this heater blows at you you will feel cold air coming at you. It will make you feel colder... You have to be very careful to not he heater right in front of it to feel some warm air. If the room is insulated and is part of a large home then it will take a long time to raise the temperature... It's a piece of junk heater I would not get it if I were you. You will be better off with an electric blanket or get a 5000w heater. 500w won't do a thing for you. see less
By cheez on December 20, 2020

Not a clue. Honestly, I wouldn't think about this heater as a "room" heater. For me, it is a "person" heater. I keep it near me in a pretty cold larger room (quite close, in fact), and it keeps me comfortable.
By David on December 21, 2020

I would recommend a bigger heater this is barley enough to heat up a small bathroom (what I’m using it for )
By Emily on December 20, 2020

Im not sure it ever would. This is for an office cubicle, max
By Tyler Colvin on December 20, 2020

Maybe be a couple of hours.
By W. El-Ahdab on December 20, 2020
 
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Captante

Lifer
Oct 20, 2003
30,198
10,721
136
Amazon's more fun than a barrel of monkeys. Sample question for the 500w heater I ordered today:

Question:
How long does it take to raise the temperature of a 10x10x8 (800 Cubic feet) room by 10F ?
Answer:
If the room is not insulated and is cold outside and the wall is 8 ft then it will not heat up the room at all. As a matter of fact the temperature will continue to fall.. If you are just a few degrees off the direction this heater blows at you you will feel cold air coming at you. It will make you feel colder... You have to be very careful to not he heater right in front of it to feel some warm air. If the room is insulated and is part of a large home then it will take a long time to raise the temperature... It's a piece of junk heater I would not get it if I were you. You will be better off with an electric blanket or get a 5000w heater. 500w won't do a thing for you. see less
By cheez on December 20, 2020

Not a clue. Honestly, I wouldn't think about this heater as a "room" heater. For me, it is a "person" heater. I keep it near me in a pretty cold larger room (quite close, in fact), and it keeps me comfortable.
By David on December 21, 2020

I would recommend a bigger heater this is barley enough to heat up a small bathroom (what I’m using it for )
By Emily on December 20, 2020

Im not sure it ever would. This is for an office cubicle, max
By Tyler Colvin on December 20, 2020

Maybe be a couple of hours.
By W. El-Ahdab on December 20, 2020

Sorry to say but that "heater" looks like a toy.... my guess is it would have a tough time heating the foot-well underneath an office desk if the room was actually cold.
 

Red Squirrel

No Lifer
May 24, 2003
66,960
11,916
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www.anyf.ca
Yean 500w is basically a heater to put under a desk to keep your feet warm. That's what I use mine for anyway. The heat will accumulate under the desk and radiate up to rest of me eventually. It won't heat the whole room though. Maybe if my house was better insulated, but it's not. Heat loss rate is faster than it can keep up with.


I would also not buy a heater off Amazon. Something like that, buy locally at a hardware store, that way it will have safety features and what not.
 
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Scarpozzi

Lifer
Jun 13, 2000
26,385
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I picked up an oil filled electric a few years ago. Has all the bells and whistles...digital thermostat with LED display. My only gripe is that they spray the radiator with an enamel paint that wants to offgas when you turn it up to the highest heat setting.

The way this heater works is you set the thermostat to whatever air temp you want. So you can set it to 80 degrees.....but then set the element heat level to ECO, Low, Medium, or High.... If it never hits 80 degrees, it will just stay on all the time. A lot of heaters work that way, but the cheaper ones usually only have a thermostat control and then maybe a fan speed.

The other space heater we have is a fan-driven infrared heater. It's definitely more directional. My wife once left it too close to another plastic appliance and it melted the back of a dehumidifier...so while there's not a lot of fire risk, they can still do serious heat-related damage to things....so be careful with ANY heating appliance and always unplug them when they're not in use.

In case anyone hasn't said it yet...a $20 heater that's rated for 1500watts will heat just the same as a $100 1500 watt heater. Doesn't matter what kind of element it has, they're all basically just as inefficient....though directional heater or those with fans that change the air pressure can make a difference on how quickly they seem to circulate heat in various spaces.
 

Muse

Lifer
Jul 11, 2001
37,238
7,967
136
Sorry to say but that "heater" looks like a toy.... my guess is it would have a tough time heating the foot-well underneath an office desk if the room was actually cold.
What the great majority of reviewers fail to note is that the situation, in particular the weather, has everything to do with how useful this thing is. I won't get it until tomorrow, but I'm well aware of my use case and figure this (assuming it isn't a lemon) will be a welcome addition here. I mean check this:

My bedroom is 96 sq ft, does OK on chilly days (mornings in particular) with the 250w heat lamp the only source of heat. Yes, it takes an hour or two to significantly heatup, so it's not for the I want it warm now effect. Add 2x that (500w) to the equation and I get 3x the heating effect of just the heat lamp = WIN!

Dig: If I could have found another heater like my Holmes I would have been all over it (1300w / 850w / 450w), including oscillation and thermostat, yeah, I'd have snapped it up. But I don't see that. I'll keep my eyes open, but I don't see them selling that now. The min output on all these SH's they're selling now is 750w, which is high for my bedroom, not what I'm looking for. As well, for those rare super cold nights here (middle to low 30's outside), I can leave this on all night and I'll be fine.
 

deadlyapp

Diamond Member
Apr 25, 2004
6,581
698
126
I can't really help you with a recommendation, however a natural gas central heat is infinitely cheaper than running multiple electric space heaters. Even in god awful expensive bay area your natural gas (and the amount required to heat the house) should be far cheaper. Now you would have to decide if you'll live there another 10+ years to make the payback of a central furnace worthwhile. I'm sure your house would already sell for 2-3X more than what you paid for it, even if it gets bulldozed and built over.

I assume you already have natural gas to the house, otherwise it's a non-starter anyways since Berkeley is no longer permitting natural gas, however you could easily do a heat pump which should still be less expensive than running space heaters for a few months a year.
 
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Muse

Lifer
Jul 11, 2001
37,238
7,967
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Have you considered propane based heaters?, I'd be leery of running electric heaters in a home with
wiring that old, https://www.lowes.com/pd/Tough-Buddy-18000-BTU-Portable-Radiant-Propane-Heater/3011768
No, I had no idea they have propane heaters. Off the top of my head I'd be concerned with unburned hydrocarbons and consumed oxygen, and would look into those issues first. And, of course, propane tanks are potential explosion/fire threats. I also wonder if at the low setting (hi/med/low) would put out too much heat for my usage. But thanks for the suggestion.

The wiring here is old knob and tube. So far so good, but yeah, I realize it's a concern. However, I have lived here with 5 other people, sometimes more if people were doubling up in their rooms or someone was sleeping on the living room couch, which happened sometimes, and AFAIK, the electricity didn't present a problem. It's just eco-friendly me now, so I figure if I'm not taxing the system with high consuming electrical equipment I'm probably good. And I figure a 500w heater's impact is nothing compared to what was required when I lived here with a bunch of other people.
 
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Muse

Lifer
Jul 11, 2001
37,238
7,967
136
Amazon Basics Portable Digital Radiator Heater with 7 Wavy Fins and Remote Control, Black, 1500W https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0828YJ33N/ref=cm_sw_r_awdo_navT_g_YZ977Y69JDSXFHCAVFY2?psc=1
That's probably good for a lot of use cases, but figure too big and powerful for mine. I like the remote aspect. The Lasko's I'm returning tomorrow have remotes, thermostats, eco-mode, 3 heat settings (the lowest ~750w), oscillation, there's a lot to like and I'd keep them if they didn't stink up the room.
 

NTMBK

Lifer
Nov 14, 2011
10,201
4,927
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In all seriousness, if you're using electricity to heat your home, maybe do something useful with it? Contribute to a distributed computing project, or mine some crypto if that's your thing.
 
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Muse

Lifer
Jul 11, 2001
37,238
7,967
136
I can't really help you with a recommendation, however a natural gas central heat is infinitely cheaper than running multiple electric space heaters. Even in god awful expensive bay area your natural gas (and the amount required to heat the house) should be far cheaper. Now you would have to decide if you'll live there another 10+ years to make the payback of a central furnace worthwhile. I'm sure your house would already sell for 2-3X more than what you paid for it, even if it gets bulldozed and built over.

I assume you already have natural gas to the house, otherwise it's a non-starter anyways since Berkeley is no longer permitting natural gas, however you could easily do a heat pump which should still be less expensive than running space heaters for a few months a year.
The thing is, I'm not heating the whole house. It's 1925 sq feet, and I assume that central heating of the whole house is going to cost me a LOT more than just heating my bedroom and kitchen, and fact is I can't be in both places at once. I won't be keeping both heated with space heaters at the same time. If you think I'm wrong just say so. A couple years ago I asked my neighbor how much they paid for gas and it was pretty high compared to me, I pay very little. It's just the stove and tankless water heater. Well, I have a gas dryer but 95+% of the time I dry my wash outside on lines, my dryer runs maybe 2-3 hours/year, I'm guessing.

If/when I install central heating here I'll be thinking of how I might heat just part of the house with it instead of the whole thing. Don't know how doable it is, but right now I sometimes shut doors etc. in an effort to keep certain parts warmer than others.

Gotta look into heat pumps. They don't use gas? Berkeley has put restrictions on gas but don't know that they exactly prohibit it. I believe in new construction they've banned having a gas range in the kitchen. My range is gas and I prefer that to electric. I figure I could buy another gas range, a new one. If my house was destroyed, etc. and I rebuild maybe I'd need electric range. Heating? I don't know what the regulations are but figure gas heating is permitted still... AFAIK. Being Berkeley, the city council figures it needs to be ahead of everybody else's curve, so who knows what they've been cooking up. They love making news.
 
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Muse

Lifer
Jul 11, 2001
37,238
7,967
136
In all seriousness, if you're using electricity to heat your home, maybe do something useful with it? Contribute to a distributed computing project, or mine some crypto if that's your thing.
Seti? Don't know much about crypto.
 

Red Squirrel

No Lifer
May 24, 2003
66,960
11,916
126
www.anyf.ca
Wait, knob and tube? Yeah I would really reconsider running electric heaters off that lol. Or at least run a few dedicated circuits from the panel using some 14/2 romex. I don't think knob and tube was designed to be carrying 15a loads.

I would not run propane heaters either unless they use fresh air intake and exhaust fully outside. The best bet really is just a normal 90% efficiency condensing furnace. Should be under 10k to get fully installed and will pay for itself in less than a year compared to running electric heaters.

Heat pump is another option worth looking into. They are not as complicated as they used to be, they're basically just an AC unit now. No need to drill deep wells or anything.
 
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Muse

Lifer
Jul 11, 2001
37,238
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A reviewer of the Amazon Basics 500w heater I ordered said they had real bad luck with it and said they were going back to this 400w offering they like:


400w is getting kind of weak. Someone said the 500w is actually 450w. Will see. Anyway, the Holmes' low setting is 450w, according to my Kasa 115P energy monitoring smart plug.

My requirements in a space heater are very modest. You guys in harsher climates look at the 500w heater as something to warm your toes. I saw the news last night about I95. 27 hours stuck on a frozen highway. o_O :eek::confused:
 

deadlyapp

Diamond Member
Apr 25, 2004
6,581
698
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The thing is, I'm not heating the whole house. It's 1925 sq feet, and I assume that central heating of the whole house is going to cost me a LOT more than just heating my bedroom and kitchen, and fact is I can't be in both places at once. I won't be keeping both heated with space heaters at the same time. If you think I'm wrong just say so. A couple years ago I asked my neighbor how much they paid for gas and it was pretty high compared to me, I pay very little. It's just the stove and tankless water heater. Well, I have a gas dryer but 95+% of the time I dry my wash outside on lines, my dryer runs maybe 2-3 hours/year, I'm guessing.

If/when I install central heating here I'll be thinking of how I might heat just part of the house with it instead of the whole thing. Don't know how doable it is, but right now I sometimes shut doors etc. in an effort to keep certain parts warmer than others.

Gotta look into heat pumps. They don't use gas? Berkeley has put restrictions on gas but don't know that they exactly prohibit it. I believe in new construction they've banned having a gas range in the kitchen. My range is gas and I prefer that to electric. I figure I could buy another gas range, a new one. If my house was destroyed, etc. and I rebuild maybe I'd need electric range. Heating? I don't know what the regulations are but figure gas heating is permitted still... AFAIK. Being Berkeley, the city council figures it needs to be ahead of everybody else's curve, so who knows what they've been cooking up. They love making news.
They do make split systems which would allow you to control dampers in individual rooms with multiple thermostats, but they are quite expensive and for most people not that useful.

Central heating is very efficient and you have to realize that conditioning a single room vs the entire house doesn't make a big difference based on how the heat convects out of the room. For you, you'd have a bit more challenge since I'm sure you still have the single pane windows, your walls probably are not insulated (or poorly insulated), and the entire house is drafty, so you'd be moderately worse off, but conditioning the entire space is not that challenging, it's the losses through the walls/windows/doors, and the rate of which it leaves your single room to the cold rest of your house isn't a heck of a lot different than the rest of the house.
 

sdifox

No Lifer
Sep 30, 2005
94,329
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That's probably good for a lot of use cases, but figure too big and powerful for mine. I like the remote aspect. The Lasko's I'm returning tomorrow have remotes, thermostats, eco-mode, 3 heat settings (the lowest ~750w), oscillation, there's a lot to like and I'd keep them if they didn't stink up the room.

Use it on the lowest setting then. Oversizing on heater means you are safer on lowest setting xd
 
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Muse

Lifer
Jul 11, 2001
37,238
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They do make split systems which would allow you to control dampers in individual rooms with multiple thermostats, but they are quite expensive and for most people not that useful.

Central heating is very efficient and you have to realize that conditioning a single room vs the entire house doesn't make a big difference based on how the heat convects out of the room. For you, you'd have a bit more challenge since I'm sure you still have the single pane windows, your walls probably are not insulated (or poorly insulated), and the entire house is drafty, so you'd be moderately worse off, but conditioning the entire space is not that challenging, it's the losses through the walls/windows/doors, and the rate of which it leaves your single room to the cold rest of your house isn't a heck of a lot different than the rest of the house.
I do notice big temp changes when leaving my kitchen or bedroom. Swings of 5F or more. I have air buffers on the kitchen, a pull-screen on one door, a cloth affair I have attached on another, they really help keep the kitchen warmer, which is always warmer even if I don't use that stuff. The stove has pilots and I figure the fridge gives off heat too.
 

Ken g6

Programming Moderator, Elite Member
Moderator
Dec 11, 1999
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Seti? Don't know much about crypto.
SETI@Home is dead. :( They're processing locally now, and besides, the main telescope they were using collapsed! World Community Grid is good. Folding@home is good too. ;)

I don't know a lot about crypto either. I've been trying to do a little this year. If you use Windows, NiceHash seems to be the way to go. If you use Linux I'm not sure what to do. Paging @VirtualLarry! ;)

In a warm climate you should look into installing a ductless mini-split heat pump. It does require installation, but it's much more efficient.
 
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