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Comparing Radiant And Convection Space Heaters

by Feride Halma

Radiant and convection space heaters are two of the most common types of space heaters available on the market. While both variants work to provide heat to the room that they are installed in, they do so in different ways, and thus each possess a distinct set of advantages and drawbacks. Understanding the differences and checking out the HVAC reviews between each type of space heater can help you choose the one that best fits your heating needs.

Convection Heaters

Convection heaters work by heating an element within the heater itself, which in turn heats the air up around that element. That air will then slowly disperse throughout the room, which will bring up the overall temperature and comfort level. Convection heaters tend to be more common than their radiant counterparts, largely due to their lower price point, making them ideal for homeowners with a tight budget. Further, convection heaters are able to evenly heat an entire room, as it is the actual air that is warmed up.

However, convection heaters have a number of downsides. Because most convection heaters will have a fan that will move air throughout the room, they can be quite loud while in operation, which can make them poor choices for additional bedroom heating. Further, since the air is the medium through which heat is actually transferred to the room, convection heaters are only reliable heating options in areas that do not have excessive drafts or ventilation, and are most effective in small, enclosed rooms, limiting their applicability.

Radiant Heaters

Radiant space heaters work through UV radiation, much like a tanning lamp. This type of radiation does not warm up the air, but instead the first object that it touches. This allows for quick and immediate heating, as you do not have to wait for the average air temperature to rise. Further, the lack of reliance on air to carry the heat from radiant heaters means that radiant heaters can still provide increased comfort in drafty and wide open rooms. Finally, it's important to note that radiant heaters are extremely energy efficient, and can cut down on your energy bills when compared to convection heaters.

However, radiant heaters tend to be poor heaters over the long term, as the heater will only provide heat while the heater is on, unlike convection heaters, whose heat will be retained in the air even after the heater is turned off. This can somewhat offset the energy efficiency of radiant heaters, as in order to provide constant heat, radiant heaters must constantly be on.