How to Select Space Heaters and Room Heaters
Space heaters and room heaters are designed for use in confined areas or spaces. They do not emit hazardous pollutants or noxious fumes, and are generally portable.
The most important specification to consider when selecting space heaters and room heaters is the primary fuel source. Choices include electricity, liquid fuels, gaseous fuels, wood, and solar hot water. Diesel, fuel oil, gasoline, kerosene, and waste oil are examples of liquid fuels. Gaseous fuels include both natural gas and propane. Wood-burning space heaters and room heaters may use pellets, logs, and other combustible solid products.
Selecting space heaters and room heaters requires an analysis of product specifications. There are two parameters for maximum temperature: maximum operating temperature and maximum air temperature. Product specifications for space heaters and room heaters also include heating capacity and power requirement.
- Maximum operating temperature is the top temperature that a heater’s protective cover or sheath may reach.
- Maximum air temperature is, as its name suggests, the maximum temperature of the air exiting from the heater.
- Heating capacity is the wattage or watt density that a heater can deliver.
- There are three choices for power requirements: single-phase, three-phase, and AC voltage.
Space heaters and room heaters may be insulated with ceramic material, magnesium oxide, mica, minerals, fluoropolymers, or fiberglass.
When selecting individual products, the length or height, width or diameter, and depth or thickness are important parameters to consider.
There are two main approvals or certifications, RoHS and WEEE, for space heaters and room heaters destined for sale in Europe. Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) and Waste Electrical and Electronics Equipment (WEEE) are both European Union (EU) directives.
There are many optional features for space heaters and room heaters. Some products are corrosion resistant, explosion-proof, finned, indirect-fired, or microprocessor controlled. Others are designed for cryogenic applications, feature custom designs, provide dynamic power regulation, or have an encased coil to maximum heat transfer. Space heaters and room heaters may also be equipped with a grounding wire, internal temperature detector, and multiple / independent timing controls. Additional features may include overheat protection, portability, thermostat control, and approval by Underwriters Laboratories (UL). Typically, documentation of UL certification is available from the manufacturer.