Which Heater should you buy? The Betta Buying Guide

Aussie summers are a thing of beauty, but of course the tourist brochures don’t mention our chilly winters. While there’s certainly not snow blanketing much of the country at all, it can still get more than a little chilly.

Thankfully, it’s nothing a good heater can’t help. These days, it’s easy to find a heater that will suit your specific needs, even if all the different styles can be a little overwhelming at first!

 

Electric Heaters

There are many different types of heater that fall under the ‘electric heater’ title. Generally, it refers to any heater that exclusively uses electricity to create heat, though how certain models use that electricity does differ.

Overall, electric heaters work best in smaller rooms. As we see below, some models work better in large spaces than others, but overall, a smaller room will always heat better. However, electric heaters have the distinct advantage of being portable, with model units rolling about on wheels. This portability means they’re best for delivering heat in certain parts of the home, only when they’re in use.  

Electric Heaters


 

Column Heaters

One would be forgiven that an oil-heater is an old fashioned device, burning through oil to warm up a room. However, the truth is that these heaters actually have oil sealed inside them, which is heated by electricity.

These heaters are generally quiet, even with inbuilt fans. However, this comes at the expense of heat distribution, and so air will need to be kept moving in a room to ensure thorough circulation of warmth.

Column heaters tend to be more expensive to run but are a good option for heating small-to-medium-sized rooms – they are also safer than fan heaters because their surface temperatures are not as hot.

However, there are some drawbacks. Since column heaters use natural convection (a law of nature that says heat always travels from warm to cold areas, mostly upwards), they take longer to heat a room compared to fan heaters.

 

Quartz Heaters (Radiant Heaters)

The bright red heating element is what comes to mind when most people think of electric heaters. These have been a standard in the home for many years, and they are at the cheaper end of the spectrum of heaters. Radiant models can’t heat large areas, so they’re really only useful for small rooms. Additionally, the colourful nature of the exposed heating element makes it a danger for children, and so should only be used when kids aren’t around.

Quartz Heaters 


Fan Heaters

Fan heaters are best for small spaces and short bursts of usage; they heat air instantaneously but are only effective on the air immediately surrounding it. Traditionally fan heaters are infamous for the noise they make, though some newer models tackle this con. Their heat is very dry, which can be unpleasant for many people.

 Fan Heaters 


Panel Heaters

Panel heaters warm the air around them instantly, and at just the touch of a button. They are best for heating large rooms, but do take some time to fill an entire room with warm air. The main benefits of panel heaters are that they are safe and quiet, sleek, and generally cost-efficient. They can also be stand-alone or mounted on a wall.

 

Gas Heaters

These heaters use both electricity and natural gas to the heat the home. Electricity is used to power the internal fan, and gas burning generates the heat. These systems should always be used in a well-ventilated area.

 

Features to Look Out For

The Thermostat

This handy little feature doesn’t come standard in every heater, so look for it where possible. The thermostat measures the temperature of the room, heating to a specific set point, and only operating when necessary to maintain that temperature. This means the heater runs less than a standard model, and saves power in the process.

 

Overheating Protection

In the event that a thermostat fails to function, this feature will ensure the unit shuts down if it exceeds a particular temperature, helping to minimise fire risk.

 

Tilt Switch

A fail safe to shut the unit down in case it’s knocked over. This one’s incredibly useful – especially for those with kids!

 

Electric Blankets and Throws

Who doesn’t love to jump into a warm bed on a cold night?

When it comes to electric blankets, it’s all about the price and features. We have put together a comprehensive buying guide to electric blankets. A basic blanket that does the job of warming your bones can be relatively inexpensive, while a luxe electric blanket with trims such as waterproofing and dual controls will be priced accordingly.

Dual controls are a great option if there are two people sharing the bed; you’ll have one control each on your respective sides of the bed. Look for controls with LCD display so you’ll be able to see the markings when you’re fumbling with the control in the middle of the night.

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