It's winter — that means you're probably piling on your blankets and turning up the thermostat. But if you're looking to reduce energy bills and heat specific areas of your home, consider a space heater. ConsumerSearch recently complied a great space heater report — here are their tips on how to select a space heater, and their top 4 picks:ConsumerSearch pulled from great review sources like Consumer Reports, Good Housekeeping and This Old House, as well as user reviews from sites like Amazon.com — here is a summary of their findings:
Radiant Space Heaters
Advantages: Good for spot heating, quick heating; most efficient for short periods; quiet
Disadvantages: Not good at heating rooms; heat dissipates quickly; orange glow is distracting and/or annoying to some
Convection Space Heaters
Advantages: Best for heating rooms; variety of shapes and price ranges; some have fans
Disadvantages: Models without fans are slow to heat; models with fans can be noisy; can be expensive
Top 4 Models
Lasko 755320 Ceramic Tower Heater, $48: The Lasko 755320 Ceramic Tower Heater is particularly well reviewed because it is quieter than most fan-based heaters, which have a tendency to be noisy. The Lasko space heater has two power levels and an adjustable thermostat. Its oscillating fan does a good job of distributing warm air throughout a room, according to reviewers.
Lasko 754200 Ceramic Heater with Adjustable Thermostat, $22.50: If your budget is tight, reviews indicate that the Lasko 754200 Ceramic Heater with Adjustable Thermostat works just as well as the pricier Lasko 755320 Ceramic Tower Heater when it comes to heating a small room. This short and squat heater gets high marks for its compact design, and owners are impressed with the heat output. However, you will have to sacrifice some features if you opt for this budget model over the Lasko 755320 Ceramic Tower Heater.
DeLonghi TRD0715T Oil-Filled Radiator, $69: Gets the best reviews in this category for its consistent heat output and quiet operation. The DeLonghi heater performs reasonably well in comparative tests, scoring excellent ratings for temperature control and noise. Users agree, saying the DeLonghi radiator runs quietly and has a convenient programmable timer. Like most radiators, it does take awhile to heat a room. We also saw several complaints that the heater gives off an unpleasant chemical odor when it is first used.
Optimus H-5210 Infrared Quartz Heater, $25: Doesn't have a built-in fan, and it's effective only within a few feet. However, users praise this quartz heater for its silent operation, effective heating and energy efficiency, but note that the surface can become quite hot when it's in use for long periods.
• Read More: Space Heaters: Full Report at ConsumerSearch
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(Image: Apartment Therapy via DeLonghi)