Room Heater Buying Guide: Don’t overlook these points before buying one

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You go shopping, offline-online doesn’t matter, there are a ton of options when you look for a heating appliance in the market. All of them seems promising but which one to go with? The ever plummeting temperatures, winters in India especially north of India can be really cruel. A room heater is no escape from winters but without a doubt, it can make your surroundings cosier and comfortable. Do go through this room heater buying guide at-least once so that you buy the best.

Room heaters come in many variants based on their power ratings, build quality and safety features and of course their design and practicality in use. Broadly room heaters can be put in either of these three categories based on their heating method.

Here are the 3 major types of room heaters you can buy this winter:
1. Radiant heaters
2. Convectional heaters
3. Oil-filled room heaters

1. Radiant heaters

Radiant heaters don’t cost much they’re cheap and practical, however, they are effective in smaller spaces or you may need to sit closer to the heater to feel the heat. There aren’t any moving parts in such heaters making them noiseless and less susceptible to mechanical failure. Radiant heaters consume less power in fact least power consumption among all three types. Since they heat the air directly without any medium in between as a result they burn oxygen and reduce the humidity in the air. For such heaters, you need to keep the windows open or some source of fresh air else they could be life-threatening.

They come in 3 variants based on heating elements:-

  1. Quartz heating element (☆☆)
  2. Halogen Heating element (☆☆☆)
  3. Carbon alloy heating element (☆☆☆☆☆)

2. Convectional heaters

These heaters are basically radiant heaters with an added fan to circulate air. They have the same advantages and disadvantages that a radiant heater comes with, besides these convectional heaters can circulate hot & dry air. They can be an ideal pick to heat a little small space within a shorter time, these are costlier than radiant heaters but much cheaper when compared to oil heaters. Larger spaces require a higher wattage room heater.
For a 150 square feet room, a heater of 1250watt or more would be sufficient.
These fan-based heaters consume marginally more energy than radiant heaters, as far as power consumption is concerned both radiant and convectional heater consumes almost the same power. These heaters also burn oxygen however some variants with ceramic PTC heating elements are oxygen safe on lower wattage.

3. Oil Filled Room Heaters

Oil-filled radiator heaters are the costliest among the three. To get a basic oil-based heater you need to shell out at least 8 thousand rupees and the range goes to 30 thousand based on their features. These heaters are not as repairable as the other two are. Though the best heater you can buy, only they can heat a room equally in all areas and tends to remain warmer for a longer period of time even after being switched off, something you cannot achieve with a radiant or convectional heater. The price is based on the number of fins, higher fins higher will be the price.

Oil-filled room heaters consume almost the same energy as the other too and are not at all loud. They have a smaller fan for air circulation. As oil is used as a heat reservoir, even you switch off the heater still room remain warm. Oil-filled room heaters neither burn oxygen nor reduce humidity making them the safest option, the best choice for newborn babies. In this regard, they are healthy options as they won’t cause any suffocation or dry eyes, skin rashes.

While you’re going to make a decision, do check these features. Room Heater Buying Guide

Humidity and Oxygen levels: Radiant and convectional heaters reduce humidity levels in a room which may lead to dryness in the eyes and nose. To overcome this keep pot of water in the room. If the problem continues you can get a humidifier to maintain moisture levels in the air. Do note that oil-based heaters can also reduce humidity levels when left running continuously however they never burn oxygen which means they can be used in a closed room.

• Timers: Timer comes in handy in a heater as it helps you save on electricity bills. Unlike a summer cooler, a heater should not run for straight 8-10 hours unattended unless it is an oil-based heater or the manufacturer has tested and recommended them for continuous use.

• Multiple Heat Setting: A must-have feature in heaters it lets you keep a comfortable warm temperature without worrying about overheating when left switched on for multiple hours.

• Safety Settings: Overheat protection switch is a must-have feature to keep the internal components at a safe temperature. The heater automatically trips the power off when the temperature reaches a predetermined temperature. Modern heaters come with a thermostat to achieve extra safety. Even entry-level heaters have a minimum of 2-3 safety features to ensure safety.

• Safety Mesh: There should be a mesh in front of the heating element in radiant and convectional heaters to avoid burns. Oil-filled heaters don’t come with mesh since the temperature of heater fins never reaches dangerously high levels, even in switched on position it is warm to touch.

• Type of Plug: Check whether the heater uses a standard or power plug. Since heating appliances use rated for high wattage consumption it is advised to go for a 16Ampere rated power plug.

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