portable heating

Portable heaters provide a quick and efficient way to create a comfortable ambient temperature in individual rooms throughout the home, office and in workshops and garages. With the cost of living rising, many people are looking for ways that they can reduce their energy bills and choosing to heat a room individually rather than turning on the central heating may be a suitable money saving option for your household.

The space heaters of today are much safer, more energy efficient and benefit from more attractive designs than the type you may remember and they can prove to be a very worthwhile purchase throughout the winter months. 

What is the Best Portable Electric Heater?

The answer to this question depends on what you are looking for from a heater and where it is going to be used. In this guide, we will cover how different portable electric heaters work, what the benefits to each type of heater are and which product best suits your requirements.

The main types of portable heating can be broken down into the following categories:

Each of these heaters produces and distributes heat differently and some will work better in certain environments than others.

What is a Convector Heater?

Convector heaters draw air from the room across the internal heating element and push the heated air out through the top grill of the heater, thus heating the air in the room. 

Most modern convector heaters now come with timers and adjustable thermostats to help you to control the temperature in the room and have more control over when and for how long the heater runs.

What is an Oil Filled Radiator?

Oil filled radiators work by using an electrical element to heat the oil stored inside. The heating element is fully submerged in the oil so that all of the heat it generates is transferred straight into the liquid. This type of heater continues to emit heat even after the power is turned off as the oil retains heat well which makes them a very energy efficient heating option.

Oil filled radiators are just as safe as other portable heaters. The oil is sealed in the heaters to prevent leakages and there is no need to top up the oil levels. Dimplex oil filled radiators also benefit from tilt switches which automatically turn the heater off if it gets knocked over. This type of heating does not dry out the air in the room which is ideal for asthma or allergy sufferers. 

Modern oil-filled heaters feature a range of heat settings or thermostats offering users greater control over their energy use and they also run virtually silently as there are no internal moving parts.

What is an Oil Free Radiator?

Oil free radiators utilise thermal components, like aluminium, to create heat. They still generate heat through convection and radiation like oil-filled radiators do which means that they heat rooms efficiently. 

Oil free heaters are lighter than oil filled radiators which makes them a little easier to move around. They also generate heat quicker than their oil filled counterparts but they do not benefit from the same level of heat retention and cool down much quicker after they are turned off.

What is a Fan Heater?

A fan heater works by drawing air over an internal heat source and blowing the hot air back out into the room. 

One of the lightest types of portable heaters, fan heaters are generally small but still create a lot of heat, making them ideal for use in small rooms and home offices. 

Most models, such as the Dimplex DXFF20TSN, come with a range of built-in heat settings to allow for better control over temperature and energy use. Most fan heaters can also be used as standard cooling fans when required which enhances their usability throughout the year. 

How Much Does it Cost to Run a Portable Heater?

For a general idea of the running costs of a portable heater use this calculator:

Energy input (kW) x pence per kWh= running cost

So, simply multiply the wattage of your heater by the amount you are charged per kWh on your current tariff 

(Please check your most current electricity bill for an accurate electricity price. Running costs also vary due to a number of factors including number of doors, windows, type of insulation etc.)

What is the Most Efficient Portable Heater?

All types of electric heaters are energy efficient, converting most, if not all, of the energy that they use into heat. Heaters with thermostats and timers are even more efficient as they stop the heater from creating an unwanted amount of heat or staying on too long.

Oil filled radiators are extremely efficient as all the energy used by the heating element is transferred into heating the oil. They also continue to emit heat even without a power source as the liquid inside retains the heat very well.

Oil free radiators offer rapid warm up times and heat the room uniformly making them ideal for use throughout the home. 

Fan heaters are fast heating and are very efficient for heating small, targeted areas such as under desks. 

Convector heaters warm the air in a room evenly, meaning you will not encounter cold patches and are great for heating a room with multiple occupants such as a living room. 

Are portable heaters safe?

As long as they are used correctly, electric heaters are one of the safest ways to heat a room. Electric heaters do not rely on burning fuel internally, so there is no naked flame, fumes or risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. 

You should be sure that you are purchasing a safe heater. One of the best ways to do this is to look for the BEAB approved mark. The BEAB mark is a European Safety Mark which demonstrates that the product’s safety has been verified by Interek, an independent third party.

The BEAB mark is the highest safety standard on the UK market and ensures the production of high quality goods that are manufactured in an inspected factory, as well as a commitment to best practice and consumer safety. 

Other safety considerations for portable heaters include:

  • Keeping the heater on a level surface ensuring it remains unobstructed
  • Do not power a heater from an extension lead as these can be easily overloaded causing fires
  • Do not cover electric heaters and do not use them to dry clothes
  • Ensure the heater is kept at least a metre from curtains and furniture
  • Regularly check the heater for any damage and deterioration. Do not continue use if there is any apparent damage
  • Do not purchase second hand heaters, buy from recognised retailers

We hope that you have found our portable heating guide useful. We have stock a wide range of heaters and are happy to help if you have any further questions. Please give us a call on 0203 994 5470, drop us an email at sales@electricpoint.com or use our Contact Form.