Most folks have some need for portable heating in their homes this time of year. If you’re conscious of safety and efficiency, this article is for you.

Up until a few years ago, I would supplement my main house heating method using a radiant space heater. The ones I had around here were those old red-hot element types that suck up the electricity and only heat the area just in front of where they’re placed. You know the ones I’m talking about. You probably have one under your desk keeping your tootsies warm as you read this. They may look a bit like this one…

These guys are pretty safe, if proper usage and common sense are used. However, they do pull some juice out of your wall sockets. They also get HOT, very HOT. You can’t touch the fronts of these guys. Don’t drop the newspaper on this guy either. It will ignite.

I’ve also used the quartz type heaters. They’re pretty neat, but again… they do draw some serious amps; and they get hot enough to ignite paper, furniture, etc. if placed too close. Quartz space heaters come in all shapes and sizes. I had a couple of small ones that looked similar to this one…

Again, these are also relatively safe to use if you follow some common sense rules and the proper usage instructions.

Nowadays, I use a different type of space heat in my home. A few years ago, my uncle gave me an oil-filled radiator type heater. It’s a Lakewood brand. I loved this thing at first use. Not only are they the safest space heating units that you can use, but they’re also very efficient. I have two of these units in my home. They can be rolled around from on room to another as needed; very convenient. Here’s what mine look like…

These type space heaters come in different wattages and number of fins. The higher wattage and higher number fins units are for larger areas in your home. I keep one of these in my hallway, which is centrally located in my house; and another in my front room, which is the coolest room in the house because it’s on the northern side. Together these two units will keep my entire house comfortable with no other heating source. Of course, I live in Central Florida. Having just two of these guys isn’t going to help you much in Minnesota in January.

For safety and efficiency, these oil-filled radiator type space heaters are the way to go, in my opinion. They’re not that expensive either. Kmart, Walmart, or Sears usually have some good quality ones for $50-$90 dollars each. That’s well worth the little extra you’ll pay over the radiant or quartz type just for the peace of mind with regard to safety. You can set the newspaper right on top of one of these radiator units and it will NOT ignite.

For some tips on using space heaters, see this article at eHow.

That’s it for now, folks. Try to stay warm, wherever you are.



Image credits: Quartz heater courtesy of Holmes Products

About V. T. Eric Layton

vtel57, Nocturnal Slacker

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