Convection Heater Buying Guide

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Especially designed and engineered to provide comfortable warmth to medium sized and spacious rooms, convection heaters are definitely one of the most favored types of heaters today. They basically have a faster heating time yet features an even heat distribution which is of utmost importance.

You surely do not want your body dripping in sweat from a temperature that is too hot. Just like air conditioners, heaters also do have hot and cold spots. This makes it extremely important to choose the right heater for the designated room.

What Is A Convection Heater?

Convection heaters are among the most famous types of heaters because they usually come in a compact size yet they have this mighty capability of almost instantly warming the air in a room so efficiently and safely.

Some of the latest designs of convection heaters now even come equipped with a fan that speeds up the warming process and makes sure the warm air constantly moves within the room. As a result, people inside the heated room feel warm, cozy, and ultimately comfortable especially during crazy cold winter months.

Convection is actually a major factor in weather and determining the right temperature. Remember how you always hear experts say that hot air rises in a room while cold air stays down? Convection refers to the circular motion or movement that is caused by the hot air’s tendency to rise and the cold air’s tendency to sink. Gravity remains a factor in such condition which always results in transfer of heat.

Now, convection heaters basically works under this principle as air circulates on a constant motion which is why it is the type of heater preferred by many. It draws cold air from the environment into the convection heater’s heating element which can be electrical, hot water, steam, or ceramic with the latter one being the most popular one used today.

Once the cold air passes through this heating element, it automatically becomes warm as it is then released back to the room. Therefore, it makes the room feel warmer.

Convection heaters may or may not come with fans though fans are of great help especially if you are heating quite a spacious area as it warms the room evenly and thoroughly. Most also come with built-in thermostats just like those that are seen in air conditioners which give users more options such as setting the heater to turn off once the desired room temperature is achieved. Hence, you save more in the process.

These also usually come fitted with stabilizing feet and can be placed literally anywhere. Some prefer this on the floor at the center of the room or at corners near the wall. If space remains an issue despite its ultimately compact size, there are wall-mountable models available today.

There are different types of convection heaters as will be discussed below but to give you an idea, the oil-filled column heater remains the most popular among them all.

The Different Types of Convection Heaters

First, there are different types of heaters. This is where convection heaters are classified under. Second, convection heaters are further classified into four different types. Check them out below so that you will know which one to purchase should your need arises:

  1. Electric Convection Heaters

This is the most common type of convection heater today with the most models being made available in the market. They are extremely popular in Europe because it is the most practical source of heat that perfectly suits everyone’s comfort needs.

This type works by pulling the air from the bottom of the device and pushing it up and out through the chambers once it has passed the warming chamber. Most models of electric convention heaters today feature a beautiful cool-touch design and are portable, therefore, increasing comfort and practicality.

These usually come with heat settings and adjustable thermostat for better control of the air. The best ones are those that come with a power indicator light and a light powder coated steel housing.

  1. Thermal Mass Convection Heaters

This type incorporates some sort of thermal mass such as hot water radiators, underfloor heaters, oil column heaters, and solar hydronic heaters. This is further divided into two categories – high thermal storage and low thermal storage.

High thermal storage convection heaters are highly useful for heating spaces with constant and continuous occupancy, hence, the need for constant warm temperature. This is best in places where there is a significant distance from the heater to the room occupants.

Low thermal storage convection heater, on the other hand, provides a steadier output and suitable for any type of room where there is little to no heat losses through the walls, ceiling, or floor.

  1. Propane Convection Heaters

Camco 57331 Olympian Wave-3 3000 BTU LP Gas Catalytic Heater

Camco 57331 Olympian LP Gas Catalytic Heater

Also referred to as trash can heater, this is a compact, lightweight, and professional convection heater that can produce a maximum of 200,000 BTU which makes it highly suitable for really large areas to warm such as huge job sites, warehouses, and even barns. For small heating needs, this can be adjustable to a recommended BTU of 75,000.

This usually comes with a matchless electric pilot ignitor and uses a 100-pound propane gas cylinder with a 10-feet hose and regulator. For safety concerns, most propane convection heaters now feature a standing pilot and sturdier base to prevent tip-overs.

  1. Natural Gas Convection Heaters

This type of convection heater is the one preferred for construction projects because it does not need electricity yet it is capable of high performance and totally reliable. This simply works by heating the air near the machine continuously. As the warm air spreads, it provides a warm blanket for everyone inside the job site.

The Benefits of a Convection Heater

Convection heaters are the ones most commonly purchased whenever winter is about to come. Are you aware of its numerous benefits or do you just rely on what is the bestselling types and units at popular appliance stores?

Convection heaters generally heat up spaces from top to down which benefits those with high ceilings. They are known to provide almost instant heat because of its capability to warm air quickly. In fact, they are considered to be more efficient than radiant heaters though they are a bit more expensive.

If you need to heat a large space, a convection heater is very suitable compared to a radiant heater. A fan heater may be considered but one cannot expect the same efficiency as that of what a convection heater can deliver. However, if you have to warm up a relatively small area, this is the time when a radiant or fan heater would be more suitable if and only if you cannot find a lower BTU convection heater.

These are generally more expensive than radiant and fan heaters but they do provide the most practicality and convenience provided that you have chosen the right one that suits your heating needs the most. It is portable, quiet, and totally safe to use compared to radiant and fan heaters.

How to Efficiently Choose a Convection Heater

Once you have narrowed down your heating needs to convection heater, it becomes much easier to trim down to some of the greatest models out there. However, you still are not supposed to shop around without knowing the things that should be taken into serious consideration.

Educate yourself more as we enumerate the things everyone needs to know in order to make an informed and wise choice with regards to convection heaters.

  1. Size

Remember what we said above as to how convection heaters are supposedly designed to heat large rooms? Well, it seems that convection heater manufacturers found a way to solve this for those who have small rooms but still want the benefits of a convection heater.

There now are various sizes of convection heaters. You have to make sure to get the right size if you want to heat your room accordingly and efficiently. Keep in mind that a heater that is either too big or too small for your room will result in high energy costs that therefore leads to increased utility bills.

Are you wondering how to accurately get the right size of the heater against your room size? Rule of the thumb is that one square foot needs 10 watts of heating power. However, if the convection heater you are eyeing comes with a fan, then the more efficient it will be in distributing heat evenly.

  1. Features

The latest models of convection heaters available in the market today come with a whole load of features. These features are somehow similar to those of air-conditioning units such as oscillation, built-in thermostat, filter inclusion, humidification, and of course safety features.

Keep in mind that you are dealing with heat here which is more dangerous than cold air which is why safety features must be on top of your list. Make sure that you get a convection heater that is stable and have safety features if ever it gets tipped over like automatic shutdown.

  1. Power Consumption

Both heaters and air conditioners are known to consume quite a bit of electricity especially if you are going to compare them to ordinary electric ceiling fans. However, they are more efficient in doing their job than electric fans will ever be capable of. What you can do here is accept the fact that your utility bill will experience an increase. Whether it is a slight or a major increase depends on your chosen convection heater unit and your energy consumption.

Just like when you are choosing air conditioners, convection heaters have various energy-saving properties which are usually indicated. Ask the help of a reliable sales person or research on the internet about these.

Convection heaters are probably the most practical way to provide comfort to everyone inside your home during those cold winter days and nights where you all have no choice but to stay at home blanketed with cozy warm air. Choose your convection heater wisely and enjoy its numerous benefits for a long period of time.