When it's cold outside, it can often be more energy efficient to turn down your central heating system and heat just the room you are in with a space heater. Electric convection heaters function by running an electrical current through a wire that provides resistance. This resistance turns energy into heat. Quartz heaters are a type of electric heater that warms an area via infrared heat.

Quartz Heater

Infrared heaters like a quartz heater use direct infrared radiation to warm up the objects it is pointed at. They warm only what they are pointed at, not the air, and have a range of 10 to 15 feet. The heating element is encased in quartz and uses a reflector panel to direct heat. Quartz heaters do not use thermostats.

Electric Heater

Electric convection heaters work by heating the air, causing the warmed air to rise and draw cold air in from underneath. These currents keep the air moving and evenly distribute heat. These versatile heaters are available with thermostats, fans and timers.

Comparison

All electric heaters, including quartz, are close to 100 percent energy efficient. Quartz heaters will only heat one side of the object they are pointed at, while electric convection heaters will heat the air itself, and thus the whole room. Quartz heaters are more likely to cause fires if they are placed too close to an object, while electric convection heaters are the safest to use around children since they are mostly enclosed.