Winter heating guide
by Paul Johnson
It is finally that time of the year; the air is crisp and tiles are ice cold. Finding the right heater can be a rather confusing process. Confusion regarding the different styles of heaters and their effectiveness abounds. With this in mind I have decided to forgo the usual DIY tips in lieu of a guide to finding the perfect heater for your needs.
With no further adieu, here is a list of different heating needs and their corresponding heaters.
Short time use with immediate impact (Low efficiency)
If you are only using your heater for short periods of time with the intention of heating your immediate person then the radiant heater is perfect for you. “Radiant”, or “bar” heaters, use a glowing halogen element with reflectors to provide intense localized heat. These are perfect for a small lounge room or outdoor patio where the intention is to provide intense heat to a direct area.
Similar to radiant heaters are fan heaters. They use an electronic element and a fan that immediately transfers the heat into the air. These heaters are capable of heating a small room. The main problem with these two heaters is the energy cost. Since they need a constant source of electricity to maintain heat in the element they are expensive to run over long periods of time, but great for an immediate burst of heat.
Extended time use with a low heating time lag (medium efficiency)
If you are looking to provide an extended and even temperature to you home without forgoing the time needed to warm the room, then a convection heater is perfect for your needs. These heaters use a radiator whereby a number of tubes are heated and the air within them rises out under the increased air pressure. Due to the fact that they heat the air via an element in this way they are very quick to produce heat and are capable of heating an entire room.
The downside is their efficiency. As with the fan and bar heaters, convection heaters require constant electricity. The element requires less energy however it does use a constant supply.
Extended time use with an extended heating time lag (maximum efficiency)
If your goal is to provide a constant warmth at low cost then a panel heater an oil heater are ideal. Oil heaters come in a range of sizes with greater numbers of “fins” providing a greater overall heat to a room. These heaters heat oil within a radiator to provide convection of heat into the air. Panel heaters work the same via a large “mica” element. This element has great thermal capacity and uses low amounts of energy to provide a constant temperature that transfers into the surrounding air.
Panel heaters are the most energy efficient and also the safest since they are not hot to touch. The downside of these heaters is that they take longer provide a noticeable change in temperature.
I hope this has helped you decide what type of heater best suits your needs this winter. If you need anymore information please drop into one of our stores and seek the guidance of our helpful staff.