During the coldest winter months it can be difficult to keep your home warm. This means that you might need an additional heating system to help decrease the chill in certain areas of your home. Choosing the right electric heater is not always easy, because there are a variety of option to choose from. Two of the most popular types of heaters include convection and radiant options. Before you make your final decision on a heater for your home, it is essential that you are fully aware of the differences between the two types. Convection and radiant heaters use different processes to provide warmth.

Here are some of the differences between convection versus radiant heaters:

How to Choose?

When you are choosing one heating source over the other, your decision greatly depends on what you are trying to warm. If you are looking to heat people, you should choose a radiant heater, but if you are looking to heat the space a convection heater is best. This is due to the fact that these two types of heaters function in completely different ways to provide heat.

Convection Heater Basics

Convection heaters are different from radiant heaters in the way that they work to heat the air. Most convection heaters are equipped with some type of blowing element that is designed to blow air along the heating element. Air then begins to absorb the heat and is then dispersed back into the space. If you have a small space that is prone to being chilly, a convection heater can be a great way to heat the air and remove the chill.

How Does a Convection Heater Work?

The internal fan on a convection heater moves the air from the room across the heating element. As the air begins to heat it then starts to circulate throughout the entire room. This raises the temperature of the room substantially, especially if the space is small. Most convection heaters even come equipped with a thermostat that allows you to heat the air in any space to a desired temperature. Once the desired temperature is reached the entire unit shuts off until the temperature begins to decrease within the space. The unit will then trigger on and continue to heat the air and circulate it all over again.

Types of Convection Heaters

There are a variety of models of convection heaters available for purchase on the market. You can find them in different shapes and prices depending on your preferences and budget. The older convection heaters have a completely different design than some of the newer models.

Radiant Heater Basics

Radiant heaters work differently than convection heaters, because they simply radiate heat. This means that they do not provide warmth by heating the air in a space. In contrast, they actually work to heat up objects and people within a space. In some ways a radiant heater is similar to a campfire. The temperature in a room will not be necessarily increased with the use of a radiant heater, but the people in the room will feel the heat. It is the best type of heater for areas where people require additional heat to keep warm.

Safety Hazard

The main difference between a convection heater and a radiant heater is the safety warning that comes with a radiant option. Radiant heaters often have exposed heating elements that can make them a safety hazard if they are not used with caution. It is never a good idea to keep flammable objects nearby a radiant heater because they can cause a fire. Even though radiant heaters come with more safety risks, you still have to use caution with both types of heaters.

This means that you should always make an effort to make sure that the area surrounding the heater is clean with no papers, trash, paints or cleaning supplies close by. It is also a good idea to not use an extension cord for your heater if possible. If you do require an extension cord it is recommended that you make sure it has the correct marking for electrical heater use. An automatic shutoff feature on a heater is also a great option if it were to accidently be tipped over during use. If safety concerns are important to you, a radiant heater may not be your first choice. Having an exposed heating element is not always ideal.

How Do You Want Your Heat?

Your decision on the type of heater that you want for your home basically comes down to how you want to add warmth. If you are looking to heat the air, you can go with a convection heater. However if you want a heater that actually provides instant warmth to people and the objects in a space, you might consider a radiant heater.