Ways to get electric heat to a room include fixed and portable electric heaters. In homes with forced air electric furnaces, adding a duct that connects the room to the system provides heat. Fixed electric heat is generally safer to operate but requires more planning.
Types of fixed electrical heat include radiant panels in the floor, ceilings or walls, baseboard heaters or forced fan units. Radiant heat is quiet with no moving parts, although room occupants occasionally hear clicking noises as baseboard heating elements warm or cool. In new construction, the installer may place forced fan units inside the wall cavity, but there are units for mounting directly to the surface of the wall for retrofitting or new installation. These units usually depend on a thermostat for controlling the temperature in the room and connect directly to the electrical system.
Portable electric heaters plug into standard electrical outlets and provide up to 1,500 watts of heating capacity. Personal electric heaters usually have a fan that directs the heat from the heating element toward the user. For larger rooms, heaters are available with the heating element submersed in oil that retains the heat and radiates it into the room, reducing the cycling of the heating element and reducing operational costs. With portable heaters, users must avoid overloading electrical circuits.