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Many space heaters are advertised as “whole room heaters” – but just how big is actually a whole room? One possible answer can be obtained from the Vornado heater manual which describes an entire room, in accordance with the heater’s capacity, as 16′ x 16′ having an 8′ ceiling. These dimensions exercise to 256 sq. ft. and 2048 cu. ft. respectively – easily how big most family rooms, kitchens, or living/dining spaces.

During the last year an important change in space heater technology has re-shaped consumers’ taste in whole room space heaters. Among the winners are those that employ ceramic or quartz infrared heating elements.

Among whole room heater manufacturers, Lasko supports the number 2 position for bestselling heaters using its model 755320 tower heater with digital display ($45). (# 1 is Lasko’s 754200 compact heater $20).

Ceramic heaters have gained wide spread popularity for several good reasons. One is reliability. Speaking from personal experience, our Lasko 5141, not any longer available, refuses to stop the ghost after 6 or 7 birthdays – or approximately 52.4 space heater years.

A few more reasons behind the popularity of ceramics for heating are quick heat-up and safe operation. Ceramic heaters are also relatively quiet and create a much heat which is often described as “soft.”

A radiator will always be a radiator so there isn’t much you can do along with it. Despite the lack of any game changing technology, the radiator type heater remains one of many safest. Among radiator heater makers, Delonghi dominates the industry featuring its model D0715T Safe Heat Oil-Filled Radiator ($55).

Micathermic heaters are merely radiator heaters enclosed by mica panels for enhanced heat distribution. Given that they depend upon convection for heat distribution they are fan-less and noise-free. Intended for versatility, they could be attached to casters or held on a wall, and therefore are said to be an effective bathroom heater – that i don’t recommend for any portable electric heater.

Once all the rage, mica heater bands supply but fallen with the wayside. Maybe it had something connected with a customer complaining about sparks shooting from his DeLonghi HHP1500 Mica Panel Radiator. So it’s interesting to keep in mind that this Kenwood HHP 1500, also produced by Delonghi and strongly resembling the initial, is among one of Consumer Reports’ highest rated heaters.

However, all is not really lost. The Bionaire BH3950-U micathermic heater ($85) rates 4 from 5 stars by reviewing the users for silent operation, portability, and whole room, non-drying heat.

Fan-forced convection heat is the M.O. of many whole room space heaters. The best rated heater makers with this category are Lasko and Delonghi, mentioned previously, along with Holmes, Honeywell, and Vornado.

New from Vornado this heating season is the PVH, or Panel Vortex Heater ($60). This heater is really a departure in price and design from Vornado’s most favored heater, the round cornered EH1-0034-06 AVH2 Vortex Full-Room Electric Heater ($97). The latest, simple to operate flat panel design houses the same technology employed in their more pricey models.

The secret to harnessing Vornado’s vortex of warmth is always to locate the heater at one end from the room by using a clear way to the opposite wall. Once the air hits the opposing wall it splits and it is deflected back around the perimeter of your room to heat every square inch of space.

From Holmes, sold beneath the Patton manufacturer, will be the new PQH307-UM Tower Quartz Heater with Adjustable Thermostat ($45). This fan equipped unit is on the smaller end (150 sq. ft.) of whole m1caband heaters while offering two heat settings corresponding to the quantity of quartz tubes switched on.

This season Honeywell provides the distinction of any recommendation from Consumer Reports for the model HZ-817 Electric Convection Heater ($70). The 30″ long, baseboard type heater has no fan and relies solely on convection for heat distribution.

Unfortunately, this heater is a victim of their own success and is either unavailable, back ordered, or sold at highly inflated prices resulting from scarce supply. Kaz USA Inc., the producer of Honeywell, is aware of the trouble and suggests the HZ-617 Whole Room 2-in-1 Heater ($70) as a substitute. The real difference is adding a fan on the HZ-617 which may be switched on or off at your pleasure.

Undeniably, the biggest shift in consumer preferences for electric space heaters is to furniture style quartz infrared heaters. The introduction of EdenPure some time ago was then an onslaught of competing brands.