Space heaters are an efficient way to warm up small spaces, or to add a little extra heat to a room without raising the temperature in the rest of the house. Electric and ceramic heaters both accomplish this task, but through different methods. When choosing a space heater, it is important to consider the area that the heater will be required to perform in.
Benefits of Ceramic Heaters
Ceramic heaters are made of ceramic tubes and rods, which resist corrosion. This is a benefit if the space that needs to be heated is humid. Ceramic heaters offer a clean source of heat, as they don't create any dust, fumes or smells. Ceramic space heaters warm up a room quickly, as they are able to reach full operating temperature within five minutes of being turned on, and will spread heat evenly from floor to ceiling.
Benefits of Electric Heaters
Electric space heaters use heating coils to warm up the air, while a fan blows the heated air into the room. Electric space heaters are generally used for small spaces, such as under a desk or in a bathroom. It is difficult to heat a larger area with an electric heater due to the built-in thermometer, which shuts the heating elements off once the air immediately surrounding the heater reaches the set temperature.
Disadvantages of Ceramic Heaters
Ceramic heaters operate with radiant heat, which warms the air around the heater and continues to radiate outwards. Blowers are not used to move the heat around the room. In a larger area it may take a few minutes before the overall temperature of the room rises to the desired level.
Disadvantages of Electric Heaters
Electric heaters can present a fire hazard if placed in the wrong area. The heating coil of electric heaters become very hot during operation, and if inflammable material, such as carpet, comes in contact with the coils, a fire could start. It is also important to consider children when using an electric space heater; young children are often intrigued by the glow of the heating coils and will reach out to touch them. This can cause burns as the mesh over the coils can become very warm.
Both ceramic and electric space heaters are relatively easy to maintain. Both types of heaters are self-contained units, with the heating elements enclosed inside housing. It is important to discontinue using a space heater if the power cord becomes damaged. Also, if the blower on an electric space heater stops functioning, the space heater can become dangerous to operate, as the heater is designed for the blower to move air over the heating coils. If air is not moving over the coils they could over heat and pose a fire hazard.
Ceramic heaters are enclosed in cool touch housing with vents that allow the heat to radiate out into the room. Unlike electric space heaters, ceramic space heaters don't have blower fans. This eliminates the concern of the heating elements overheating if the blower fan stops working. Electric space heaters should be used in areas where children and pets can't reach the heater to prevent accidental burns. Space heaters of any kind shouldn't be used around water.
Ceramic space heaters are usually a little more expensive than electric space heaters. However, ceramic heaters can save you money over time of operation. Both ceramic and electric heaters will have an impact on your overall utility bill if used frequently. The lack of a blower on ceramic heaters and the use of radiant heat allow ceramic space heaters to be less expensive to operate on a continual basis.