Radiant or Convection Heat?
Convection models include oil-filled radiators, electric baseboard and toe-kick heaters, and flat panel wall-mounted units that warm the air around the heater and rely on the room's air circulation to heat the room. Fan-forced convection models are the most popular type of supplemental heater. They have a heating element and a fan that blows the warm air around the room. These heat a room more quickly than a unit without a fan; however, when the fan shuts off, the room cools down quickly. The fans can be quite noisy and are a serious concern for people affected by allergens blowing around the room. Convection models are best for: rooms with doors so you can contain the warm air, whole-room heating, constant operation, rooms where you move around instead of sitting in one spot.
When you're shopping for a portable electric space heater, look for models that offer advanced safety features like child-resistant controls, an overheat shutoff, and a tip-over safety alarm and shutoff. Also consider models with energy-efficient options such as thermostats, occupancy sensors, automatic timers and multiple power settings.
Solution 6: Ceiling Fan Heater
The Reiker Room Conditioner installs just like a regular ceiling fan and provides fast, even heat over a large area. This combination light, ceiling fan and space heater pumps out warm air through the ceiling-mounted heater, and the fan blades circulate it throughout the room. During the summer, the unit functions as a conventional ceiling fan.
It's available in manual and remote control units, and can be wired to an existing circuit. The unit is available in a variety of finishes. Manual models cost $269, and remote-controlled units cost $339 to $369, depending on the finish.
Solution 7: Room-to-Room Ventilators
Here's an economical approach to warming up a cold room: Instead of paying to generate more heat, move existing warm air from one room to another. Room-to-room ventilators circulate air from a warm room to a cold one. This is a great solution if you have a stove or fireplace that generates a lot of heat but doesn't circulate it evenly through your house.
Through-the-wall ventilator fans use the space between stud walls to move warm (or cool) air from one room to another. The Aireshare ventilator (shown) uses an intake blower that draws air into an open stud cavity and a diffuser that mounts either high or low on the opposite side of the wall to distribute the air. There's also a level-to-level Aireshare ventilator that moves air between floors.
Ventilator fans can be installed with simple hand tools within any unobstructed interior wall. Most come in two versions: a plug-in type with the power switch on the unit itself and a hard-wired type controlled by a wall switch or thermostat. These fans can also move cool air through the living space during the warmer months; they range from $50 to $200 depending on the model.