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    Electric Heaters

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    Electric Heater Buyer's Guide

    Mother Nature moves at her own pace. One day it's hot; the next it's cool. You find yourself flicking the thermostat from heat to A/C because the kids are hot, the spouse is cold, and you can't feel a thing. What do you do? Look at electric heaters; that's what you do. Give your significant other a blanket and an electric heater, and the problem solves itself.

    Bromic electric pole-mounted heater

    Electric heaters are perfect supplementary heating solutions. There's a specific moment in which the electric heater serves its purpose in life. You know those chilly days, between the warm days when your A/C kicks off, but it's not worth heating the whole house? Right there. That is when an electric heater is perfect. The spring and fall are when it's cool, not cold, warm, but not hot. Those are electric heater months. And lucky for the electric heater, that's half of all seasons.

    The electric heater also has the right person who needs it. The one you know that's always cold. The person who needs a blanket on the couch. The one who has a drawer full of fuzzy socks and hogs the blankets at bedtime. A portable electric heater ends the fights over the thermostat.

    In this article, we will tell you all about electric heaters. What to look for when buying one, the best brands, and how to take care of your heater to keep it running year after year.

    What are Electric Heaters?

    Electric heaters, like the namesake implies, use electricity to create heat. The electrical current heats up material within the appliance (what material is changed from brand and type) and outputs heat. These heaters are fast, efficient ways to get yourself some extra warmth. Electric heaters come in different types that work well in different applications.

    Bromic electric wall-mounted heater

    Electric heaters are popular heating appliances. Many are convenient, portable, and can be controlled via remote. Electric heaters come in many sizes and styles, meaning there a ton of options. You'll find that many electric heaters let you plug them in, and you're ready to heat.

    Things to Consider When Buying an Electric Heater

    While the electric heater may seem like a perfect fit for your home, there are some things to keep in mind when buying one.

    The heat output of most electric heaters is not as robust as gas or wood-burning appliances. Electric heaters are for supplemental heat. That means they are your secondary heat source, not your primary heat source.

    Think about the energy demand of an electric heater as well. Electric heating appliances should use a dedicated outlet because of the voltage demand. If you share an outlet with another product, you may trip a breaker. In most cases, be sure the circuit you plug your electric appliance into is at least 120 volts.

    Power outlet on white painted brick

    Some electric heaters are more robust than others. When searching for the right one, always inquire about its durability. Wood-burning appliances are famous for how long they last. There are wood-burning stoves decades and decades-old still in use today. A wood-burning appliance requires no electric current, it's basically a metal box.

    There are electric heaters that can stand the test of time. But, the material make-up and inherent nature of needing an electric current mean most electric heaters won't exactly be family heirlooms. We all know electronic appliances are finicky. A drop down a flight of stairs and that toaster is still good as new, but a small fall on its back and somehow that stereo is broken forever. That's something you have to keep in mind when searching for the right electric heater.

    This might be obvious, but one more thing you should keep in mind is power. Wood and gas heaters need no power. If the lights go out, you can still keep warm. That's not the case with an electric heater. If a storm knocks out your electricity, expect no heat until the power comes back.

    Types of Electric Heaters

    You'll find many types of electric heaters. There are enough options to suit your home, no matter what you've got going on inside. There are also a ton of outdoor choices.

    Portable

    Portable tabletop heater

    Bring them here or there, portable electric heaters are a great way to provide supplemental heating to any room in the house. Some portable heaters can work outdoors or indoors as well. A portable heater is a great appliance to add to any home because its uses are so varied. Installation is plug-and-play. For portable heaters, if you have an outlet, you're good to go.

    Wall-mounted

    Bromic wall-mounted heater with heat shield

    Most wall-mounted heaters come with a wide viewing area, and some models can get pretty big, especially if you look into electric fireplaces. Unlike portable, the installation can get a little tricky if you're inexperienced. It's always best to get a professional when it comes to installation.

    Many wall-mounted heaters, like Infratech, come with a huge variety of control options. There are remotes, switches, dials, dimmers, and more. Once the installation is complete, the control you will have over your wall-mounted heater is amazing.

    Ceiling-mounted

    Bromic ceiling-mounted electric heaters

    You'll see a lot of ceiling-mounted heaters in outdoor spaces. Places like restaurants, bars, and patios love the ceiling mounted heater. They sit up high, out of the way, and provide a lot of heat. The installation can be tricky, depending on your outdoor space. But, once the heater is installed, you're in for an excellent warm time. Much like wall-mounted, you'll find a bunch of control options.

    Pole-mounted

    Bromic pole-mounted heater on a restaurant patio

    These heaters can be portable or static, depending on the brand and installation. Pole-mounted heaters sit atop a pole. Some people move them from place to place; others stay in position. Pole-mounted heaters are great on patios and restaurants. The portable options are great too because you can put them up at the end of the season to make room on those warmer months.

    Again, if you opt for static pole-mounted electric heaters, opt for professional installation. Static pole-mounted heaters can have controls on the pole, on a nearby wall, or work via remote. You can get the same control options as the ceiling or wall-mounted heaters.

    Leading Brands

    No doubt, you'll see a ton of electric heaters out there that look great. A bunch of companies make heaters, but you need one that is safe and will last. Below, we've put together a few brands to get you started. These brands craft top quality electric heaters; you can't go wrong with either one.

    White electric pole-mounted heater
    • Infratech - This company has products in many different colors and volt ranges. You can find an Infratech appliance at 120 volts for home use or a dual element 480 volts for restaurants. Infratech is also ready for a smart home; some of the company's heaters can be used with home automation systems.
    • Bromic - With Bromic, you can find ceiling, wall, and free-standing heaters. This versatile application has kept them a top choice in the industry for years. Bromic sports tungsten heating elements. Tungsten makes these Bromic heaters long-lived and highly valued.
    • Broan - Trusted and well known, Broan heaters give you a space-saving option for those interested in electric zone heaters. Broan indoor electric appliances are energy efficient, work great in small spaces, and blend well with any decor.
    • Dimplex - Dimplex is at the cutting edge of electric heater technology. You'll find a full range of appliances from baseboard, convection, and industrial electric heaters. One look at the Dimplex line, and you'll see traditional and modern style heaters. You'll be able to find a heater that will fit your home.

    Shipping

    Most electric heaters 30 inches or smaller will ship via parcel. The fragile heaters will ship in a double-walled carton. Large linear heaters, like the Infratech infrared series, will ship via freight.

    Care and Maintenance

    Luckily, the maintenance of an electric heater is a breeze compared to other heating appliances on this website. No doubt the largest problem you'll face with an electric heater is dust. Dust will gather inside the heater, and it will need cleaning every few months.

    Accumulated dust

    Convection heaters build dust quickly, with the dust acting like an insulator cutting the size of the internal air channels. It's essential to open the casing and clear out that dust to keep the heater running it's best.

    Infrared heaters that are wall or ceiling mounted often collect spider-webs or cobwebs. This can happen if they do not see regular use.

    Regular dusting should take care of all your maintenance problems.

    The last issue you should be on the lookout for is cord fraying. Portable electric heaters have a cord that provides the current from the outlet. Eventually, that cord may see some wear and tear. If that's the case check your manual for the best advice on how to handle it.

    Frayed electrical wire

    Any other problems, you should contact the manufacturer.

    Summary

    Electric heaters are great appliances to have. They supplement your heat to give that little extra something on those cool days. They can provide your outdoor space some extra life at the start of the colder months. And, they are easy to care for. Electric heaters work well in the house or outdoors. They are ubiquitous in outdoor restaurant seating along with homes that need to warm up those cold toes.

    Ceiling-mounted electric heater at a commercial establishment

    Be sure to check out our selection of electric heaters, and if you have any questions, our NFI certified specialists have all the answers you need. Call us at 1-800-203-1642 or email us by submitting an inquiry. For more articles check out the full list of guides and expand your knowledge on everything heating related.

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    Electric Heaters Q&A with the NFI Certified Specialists

    * Please Note: All customer questions are answered by our NFI Certified Specialists free of charge!
    2 Questions & 2 Answers
    Michael E.
    from Oconomowoc, WI asked:
    April 9, 2020
    Is there an electric heater that would heat a 20 x 24 room with a blower?
    1 Answer
    The most heating that any electric heater will provide is roughly 10,000 Btus with 240v supplied and you would need approximately 16,800 Btus to adequately heat the space described with standard 8' ceiling height. 
    Submitted by: Will M. on April 9, 2020

    Cliff W.
    from Indiana asked:
    February 5, 2020
    How many watts would it take to heat a room 20' x 35'?
    1 Answer
    The most common 5,000 BTU output electric fireplace will heat approximately 150 square feet of area. They are not designed to heat a room of that size. Just basic supplemental zone heating only.
    Submitted by: Kathy O. on February 6, 2020

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