What Is a Space Heater?


Quick Answer

A space heater is a small device used to heat an enclosed area that can be powered by electricity, natural gas, propane and even wood pellets. Although, for portable use electric space heaters are the safest, as gas heating without a permanent flue can be very dangerous.

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Full Answer

Apart from the power source used, space heaters can also differ in the way that they give off heat. A space heater typically uses either convection or infrared radiation in order to generate heat. In a convection heater, heating elements either directly warm the air or heat another filler, which then transfers the heat to the surrounding air often using a fan.

An infrared heater uses halogen, which is composed of tungsten filaments in small heat-resistant quartz envelopes. These models work very similarly to a halogen light bulb, except that its primary energy is mostly in the infrared spectrum. They typically work better in warming people instead of an area, as the heat radiation produced is directly absorbed by the skin and clothing, without heating the surrounding air first. Due to this, many people also choose to use these outdoors instead of convection heaters. When using any heater, be sure to exercise caution as overexposure can cause burns, and gas and coil heaters can also be fire hazards if not used properly.

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