Which portable heater should you buy?

Picture Credit: Calor

With temperatures promised for minus ten at the weekend, and fuel prices soaring, many households are looking to alterative ways of heating their homes. And some are even going back to the old fashioned way of keeping warm by only keeping one or two rooms warm, leaving the rest of the house unheated. If you are thinking about choosing an additional source of heating for your home, here is some advice on choosing the most appropriate heater for your needs.

Portable heaters can use different ways to provide heat, either by electricity or having a fuel such as gas to burn. So which is best for your household?

Gas heaters

A gas heater can heat up any room in just minutes and is an extremely versatile way to keep the cold out. Energy efficient, cost effective and practical, they are the perfect way to provide your home with all the warmth and comfort you’ll need during the cold spells.

Gas heaters require a butane gas cylinder, which is concealed in the body of the heater. They can heat up a room almost immediately and as they are portable this means that they can be moved around to heat any part of a room in your home. Best of all, it means no hunting around for a socket or enduring unsightly cables lying across your room which can be a real danger.

The problems with using a portable gas heater is that you have to go out and purchase the butane cylinder when the old one runs out, or you have to get the old one refilled. The cylinders themselves are heavy and cumbersome and therefore so are the heaters, although they will typically move on casters, they will still not be as mobile as an electric heater. There is the additional cost of having to replace the butane cylinder every time it runs out. See below for an example of a gas heater:

Calor Heat Portable Heater With Gas – £109.99

Delivery in: 2 – 3 Working Days Delivery Charge: £9.99
Features include: 3 Heat Settings, Piezo Ignition, Heat Output: 4.1kW, Flame Failure Device, Oxygen Depletion System
Dimensions: (cm) 73x42x40, Approx Burn Time: 137hrs Based on the lowest setting using a 15kg Cylinder
Supplied with Hose & Regulator, Weight: 9.6kg,Gas Package (Butane Gas 15kg)
This package comes with a 15kg Butane Cylinder and Cylinder Refill Agreement.

From www.calor.co.uk

Electric heaters

Electric heaters include any portable heater that plugs into a mains socket, so this could be a radiant heater, a fan heater or an oil radiator. Electric heaters are convenient as you will always have a ‘fuel’ source, so long as you have an electricity switch nearby.

Radiant heaters work by heating infrared rays, which are then radiated out and absorbed by surrounding objects like, for example, floors, furniture or people. The increased temperature of these objects then heats the air surrounding them – and as floors absorb the heat, you’ll find these kinds of heaters create warmer floor-level temperatures than many others.

Radiant portable heaters are efficient and quiet – so no noisy blowers or fans are required to distribute the heat.

Coopers 1200w Radiant Oscillating Halogen Heater – Buy 1 Get 1 Free – £39.99

Safe, energy efficient oscillating Halogen Heater – perfect for cold, miserable days and nights! With adjustable heat settings of 400w, 800w or 1200w you can target the heat to a specific area or it has the added option of setting it to sweep the room with a 70° oscillation setting. Measuring (including base) 56cm x 40cm x 31.5cm (22ins x 15 3/4ins x 12 1/2ins) it is mains powered and has a safety cut out switch if knocked over. 230v.

From Coopers of Stortford

Fan heaters are extremely efficient at heating up a large area or room quickly, so if you have a large room and you need it to be warm in a hurry they are very good. They are typically very expensive to run however, as they require a lot of electricity.

Argos Value Range 2kW Flat Fan Heater – £17.99  

Keep your home nice and toasty throughout the winter months with this flat fan heater from the Argos Value Range. Featuring a variable thermostat with a frost guard, this heater has two heat settings and a cool air blow feature.

From www.argos.co.uk

Oil radiators are a good way to maintain a steady temperature for long periods of time, as once the oil in the radiator has reached an optimum temperature it stays there for little energy expenditure.

DeLonghi G011230RTW 3kW Instant Heat Oil Filled Radiator – £138.99

This DeLonghi G011230RTW 3kW oil-filled radiator can provide instant heat for a fast warm up. This white radiator has 7 flexible heat settings with an adjustable thermostat. It features a power modification function, an adjustable thermostat, frost protection and has a 24-hour timer. For added safety it has overheat protection.

From Tescos

So when choosing a portable heater, you should think about whether you want the additional expense of the extra fuel of a butane cylinder, or more money added to your electricity bill.


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