Whether you like to spend time in your basement in winter or want to keep your pipes from freezing, using a space heater will get the job done!
However, it’s not easy to pick the ideal one for your needs with all the options available out there.
To help you with this daunting task, I’ve compiled a list of the best options as well as a buying guide to help you pick the best space heater for basements. Let’s dive in!
Table of Contents
Key Features To Consider When Buying a Space Heater for Basements
While shopping for a space heater for your basement, there are some specific points that you need to keep in mind.
In the following section, we’ll have a closer look at those aspects, so you can pick the space heater that suits your needs the most.
The power of the heating element used in the heater is determined by its wattage. Ideally, about 1,300 to 1,500 watts are enough to heat spaces as large as a basement.
Keep in mind that not all 1,300+ watts are directed to heating, as some inefficient models can waste up to 30% of energy due to heat transfer.
Size of the Heater
It might not have an effect on the performance of the heater, but it’ll affect your mobility inside the basement.
Make sure that you opt for a heater that provides the maximum amount of heat without eating up too much leg space in the basement. As a rule of thumb, ceramic heat towers are the most space-efficient models.
As you’ll know shortly, not all space heaters are created equal. Different types of heating sources have a different set of pros and cons and it’s extremely critical that you choose the one that suits you depending on:
- Heating power
- Acceptable noise level
- Presence of children and pets
- Energy efficiency
One thing you should know is that heaters are one of the appliances in the house that should be handled with care. They require vigilance and an observing eye, whether you have kids or not.
For that reason, having safety options make the whole thing a lot easier and more convenient. This includes overheating protection, which shuts the device off if it exceeds the maximum allowable temperature.
There’s also tipping protection, which shuts off the device instantly if it’s tipped over for any reason.
Modern technology added new features that make space heaters much easier and more intuitive. Make sure you look for these super handy features in your space heater:
- Adjustable thermostat with a wide range of temperatures
- Controllable heat levels
- Eco-mode, which turns the heater off and on to keep the temperature at a constant level and save on electricity
- Remote controls
- Timers and scheduling
Types of Space Heaters
You might think that something as simple as knowing the types of space heaters on the market would be an easy feat. However, it won’t take you long into research to find out that there are many types of space heaters.
Not only that, but there are also various ways to classify them. For instance, you can group them based on their heating mechanism, which groups them into three types:
- Convection Heaters: these heaters use heat convection currents to warm up the air in the room and not the people themselves. They’re exceptionally great for warming up entire rooms but need to operate for a long time to take action.
- Radiation Heaters: radiation heaters rely mainly on the concept of heat radiation, which works by heating up whatever is in standing in the way of the heater, whether it’s people or air. They’re preferred for heating a specific spot in record time but not ideal for larger rooms.
- Combination Heaters: also known as “micathermic heaters”, which are heaters that work using both convection and radiation (usually 80% and 20% respectively) to provide the ideal state of heating and work well just about anywhere. The catch here is that they’re extremely expensive.
Now that you know more about the heating mechanisms, here are the types of commercial space heaters you’ll find out there.
Fuel Burning Heaters
The most traditional space heaters are the fuel-burning ones. These heaters use various types of fuels, such as liquid propane to burn and emit heat.
They’re slowly disappearing in favor of electric heaters, which are quieter, safer, more convenient, and require much less maintenance.
Fan Forced Ceramic Heater
One of the most popular types of electric heaters today are the fan-forced ceramic heaters. These heaters use a simple idea for spreading the warms, which is using a fan to push out the heat output produced using the heating element inside (the ceramic plate).
They’re one of the best heaters to be used for basements because they’re able to warm up the room in a short time.
However, you should keep in mind that ceramic heaters are remarkably louder than the majority of other types of heaters. The fans also might cause some irritation because they might spread allergens.
Yet, they’re also the most versatile heaters out there and usually have the most features. So, they’re solid options for people who prefer feature-stacked products.
As the name suggests, this type of heater uses infrared rays as the heating element of the heater except that infrared rays provide direct and quick heating (spot heating) to a certain portion of the room.
What makes them special is that they use much less energy than fan-forced ceramic heaters, for example. Also, they’re much quieter than most other types.
This is why they’re becoming extremely popular nowadays and a lot of brands developed new technologies that allow them to cover larger rooms.
The only downside of the infrared heater is that they emit a bright orange glow, which might be annoying if you’re sleeping.
Oil Filled Radiator Heaters
Oil-filled radiator heaters are quite similar to the heating systems found in older houses. However, modern ones operate mainly on electricity and use a specific oil “known as diathermic oil” to produce warmth.
The heater uses electricity to heat up the oil, which retains the warmth for a long time. The oil then circulates in the columns of the heater that look like accordion sections.
They’re usually the most efficient heaters on the market in spreading the warmth, so they don’t need a fan, making them practically silent.
The main downside here is that the outer surface of the heater becomes extremely hot while it’s working and can cause serious burns if touched by the skin. But, many brands are developing new radiators that won’t get super hot and can be used around children and pets.
Advantages to Using a Space Heater for Basements
Using a space heater in your basement has a lot of benefits and purposes. Let’s have a quick look at them:
- They provide ample warmth to the entire space of the basement
- They’re highly portable when compared to static and space-inefficient heating systems
- They protect your pipes from getting frozen, so they can save you some maintenance costs indirectly
- They’re much easier to use and install when compared to the pricier and more complicated heating system
- You can adjust them to heat up the basement in a super-efficient way which can save you more money and energy
Safety Tips For Using a Space Heater for Basements
Using a space heater usually requires some responsibility because they can be dangerous if you’re not careful enough. Here are some safety tips while using them:
- Don’t use it in a closed small space for a long time, as it can deplete the oxygen in the room.
- Keep the heater away from damp areas to avoid getting electrocuted.
- Never leave the heater unattended for a long time and always check on them.
- Plug the heater directly to the wall and don’t use extension cords.
- Give the heater at least 3 feet of space in all directions and don’t stick them to the wall unless they’re wall-mounted.
- If you’re using an oil-filled radiator, keep the children and pets away from the body of the heater. (some people put a distant fence around the heater body)