For many homeowners, electric heating is the simplest way to warm spaces where a central heating system might not reach. After all, electricity is readily available, and many electric heaters can simply be plugged in—no hardwiring necessary. Electric heaters used only where they’re truly needed can also save users from turning up their main thermostat, a move that can translate into painful energy bills.
There are several types of electric heating, all with unique pros and cons. We tackle some of... the most common below and recommend a tried-and-true option in each category, but buyers should take pains to pick the best kind of heater or heating system for their space and personal comfort. For instance, a wall panel heater that warms a room slowly and evenly may be a great option for anyone with limited space, but other buyers who want to warm their toes in front of a unit that provides a steady stream of hot air will probably be better served by a ceramic space heater. Use this guide to the seven different types to find the best option for your home.
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Ceramic space heaters are among the most common kind of portable electric heaters. These heaters draw air over a hot ceramic plate before using a fan to blow that air back out into the room. They are typically compact enough to carry from room to room and plug into the wall. Some oscillate to send heated air in different directions. Most are meant only for supplemental heat in smaller rooms, though there are some more powerful units for larger spaces. They can heat a room quickly, but the... fans make them a bit noisy. The blowing air might also irritate allergy sufferers.
Reviewers say the Lasko 6462 Full Circle Ceramic Heater is a great choice for heating up a small living space or bedroom fast. The heater oscillates and has a remote control for easy operation. Its tall, sleek design will blend into most modern homes, and experts praise its cool-touch housing and automatic overheat protection. Owners say the 6462 is relatively quiet for a ceramic space heater, and experts agree, giving it high marks for lack of noise. Still, it’s worth noting that ceramic heaters are still louder than most other kinds of electric heaters. They also shouldn’t be used too close to curtains or other combustible materials.
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Another high-quality, affordable option when it comes to ceramic space heaters is the Lasko 755320 Ceramic Tower Heater. This product is designed with convenience in mind, as it has several features to make heating your home easier than ever.
The 1,500-watt Lasko Ceramic Tower Heater is just under 2 feet tall, and its oscillating design helps push warm air throughout your room. You can choose between high and low speeds, and reviewers say the unit is relatively quiet, even when it’s on high. This... space heater is more tech-forward than many of its competitors, as it features a digital display, a programmable thermostat, a built-in timer and a remote control. This is especially great if you’re using it in the bedroom and don’t want to get up to turn it off.
Additionally, the space heater remains cool to the touch and has built-in safety features to prevent any mishaps. The Lasko Ceramic Tower Heater’s convenient features and impressive performance make it a top pick among today’s ceramic space heaters.
03 of 07
If you’re strapped for space, a panel heater could be a more efficient option for your home, as they can be mounted on the wall. As such, they take up significantly less room than other space heaters, while still producing the supplemental warmth you need. If you’re looking for a top-rated panel heater for your home, the DeLonghi HMP1500 Mica Panel Heater has rave reviews from users, as it quietly produces 1,500 watts of heat.
The DeLonghi Panel Heater has a simple black design that will look... inconspicuous in your home. It comes with a standing base so you can put it on the floor, as well as a wall mount. The heater has an adjustable thermostat and two heat settings, and since there’s no fan involved, the unit produces heat silently — great if you’re a light sleeper!
This space heater includes Safe Heat technology, including thermal cut-off, tip-over protection and a power indication light. All these features are designed to keep your home and family safe as it warms up your space.
04 of 07
Even if you don’t have baseboard heaters built into your home, you can get the same radiant warmth from this plug-in electric space heater. The Fahrenheat BE15002 Dual Wattage Electric Baseboard Heater takes up minimal space in your home, yet still produces an impressive amount of supplemental warmth to get the chill out of any room.
This energy-efficient baseboard heater has a built-in thermostat, as well as two heat settings. It’s 45 inches long and can easily be tucked in the corner of your... room to discreetly provide extra heat. Users say it is extremely quiet, but there are hot coils exposed, so it may not be safe for a home with small children.
Further, reviewers note that when it first comes out of the box, the heater gives off a bad smell when turned on. Most people recommend running the unit outside for a few hours to burn off the smell. After that, users were pleased with the heater’s ability to warm up relatively large rooms.Continue to 5 of 7 below.
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Infrared space heaters rely on quartz bulbs to generate heat that is then dispersed via some sort of reflective metal element and a low-powered fan. These plug-in heaters mainly transfer warmth to other objects in the room rather than circulating it through the air. The result is slower, more even heat that many people compare to the sun’s rays. They are typically quieter than ceramic space heaters, but can get quite hot to the touch. Most infrared space heaters are also fairly bulky, so they... aren’t a great pick for anyone short on square footage.
The Lifesmart 6-Element Large Room Infrared Quartz Heater is a good pick for anyone who needs more even warmth in an open living room or a space with high ceilings, and reviewers love that it takes away the chill quietly. A digital thermostat, remote control and 12-hour timer make it convenient to use, too. It’s housed in a wooden cabinet that most owners find attractive, especially those with traditional décor and wood trim. At 24 pounds, it’s not the lightest heater to move around, but the heater does have casters to ease the task.
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Electric fireplace or stove heaters don’t get the best marks for efficiency, but owners still love them because they provide a pleasant focal point in any room where they can be plugged in. They’re also convenient — most can be operated with a remote control. And they generally come in a range of sizes for different spaces. Smaller units will be easier to move, while larger units with mantels or other features may be realistic enough to fool visitors into thinking that they’re real fireplaces or... stoves.
Buyers who want a robust little fireplace heater like the Duraflame DFI-5010-01 Infrared Quartz Fireplace Stove, which is roughly 24 by 23.5 by 13 inches. It’s best for rooms up to 1,000 square feet (note that reviewers say it’s more effective in smaller spaces, however) and looks like a traditional metal stove. Owners love that they can turn on the artificial glowing logs and embers separately from the heat if they want a little ambiance in a room that’s already toasty – there are five brightness settings. It also stays cool to the touch, which is important for families with pets or small children. The unit comes with a remote control.
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Considered one of the most energy-efficient ways to heat a home, in-floor radiant heating is silent and allergy-friendly since it doesn’t rely on blowers or fans to push heat around. These heating systems are available in whole-home units but can also be used for smaller projects such as bathroom floors. Installing radiant heating does require professionals to take up your floors. That means it’s easiest to put in when a home is being built or remodeled—otherwise, it might not be worth the... trouble.
The Warming Systems Electric Radiant Floor Heating System comes in 18-foot-long, 20-inch mats that can each cover 30 square feet. The mesh backing can be cut to fit different shapes to fit your floor plan. Reviewers say it’s great for making cold bathroom floors toasty, and report that installation is relatively simple. A compatible programmable thermostat comes with the system, too.
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