Great Gas Space Heater Tips

A photo of a gas furnace.
Gas Furnace. Jupiterimages

Both gas and electric space heaters are a great source of additional heat in a home when you want to heat just a room or two. These heaters are great when the power is on, but when the power suddenly goes out and you don't have a backup generator, having a gas space heater with a pilot light may be the answer.

Pilot Light Space Heaters

Some gas space heaters have electronic ignitions or sparkers to light the gas heater. Pilot lights have a continuous flame burning with a thermocouple that requires no power to light the heater. This is especially nice to have when the power fails and you need heat in your home. Although the space heater cannot heat your entire home, you can shut off the room to keep it warm.

The term associated with these heaters is free standing pilot. You simply turn the gas valve to pilot, push the knob down, and light the pilot light which is next to the thermocouple. The flame then warms the thermocouple and generates a voltage to allow the gas valve to open. Then simply turn the gas valve to the "ON" position and the burner will light. The same principle applies to gas water heaters in your home.

Space heaters are an excellent way of warming up an individual room without turning up the thermostat to the entire house. These small portable heaters can be placed almost anywhere in the house that flammable materials are not present. When used as supplemental heat sources, space heaters can reduce the home's overall heating bill. This doesn't mean that the electrical bill won't increase slightly, because it will, but the trade-off most generally always results in a savings overall.

Types of Space Heaters

Space heaters come in three different types: convection, radiant, and combination heaters. These space heaters range in price from $35 to around $110. Before you rush out and purchase a space heater, you should take a minute to consider where you will use the heater and which type is the best for the cold spots in your home.

Radiant heaters are best if you want to heat an area very quickly. On the other hand, if you want to warm an entire room of your house, a convection heater is the better choice. 

Still, if you're looking for a heater that is able to stand up to everyday use and abuse, combination heaters are tough to beat.

Another thing to consider before purchasing a space heater is the amount of heat you want it to put out. Most heaters use between 600 and 1,500 watts of power. The larger the wattage, the more heat it produces and more power it uses. 

When choosing a heater, keep in mind the size of the room to be heated and the amount of work you intend to perform to add a heater. There are three distinct choices that can all add needed heat to a room or rooms. The differences may make the choice for you. Let's take a look at each of the choices and why each could be the right heater for you. and your home.