Big Ass Space Heater Wanted. Apply Within.
September 19, 2008 7:36 AM   Subscribe

This winter we're going to need a space heater for our apartment. Not some teeny one that will barely warm our feet, but a large one. Recommendations?

Briefly, our apartment doesn't really have heat. It gets into the low-50s/high-40s sometimes in the apartment. So, we want a nice big space heater that we can put in front of the couch to warm ourselves while we knit and watch tv.

I don't want a big industrial one like garages have, and the small ones are worthless. I envision something that looks like a tower fan or air purifier, but I haven't been able to find one online (the stores around here wouldn't have them yet, since it's not even fall).

Electric only, no gas or oil. Less than about $200. Can anyone point me in the right direction?

THINGS THAT ARE NOT HELPFUL: telling us to move; telling us to withold rent; telling us to talk to the landlord; telling us we're stupid.
posted by misanthropicsarah to Shopping (12 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
Looks like Target has a large selection.
posted by cooker girl at 7:44 AM on September 19, 2008


should i be embarassed that i didn't even consider target online since the brick and mortar didn't have any when we were there the other day?
posted by misanthropicsarah at 7:56 AM on September 19, 2008


Nah, don't be embarrassed. Target online is almost always my first go-to for random stuff.
posted by cooker girl at 7:59 AM on September 19, 2008


We have one of the ones that looks like a little woodstove, complete with fake flame motion. It works very well in the exact setting you described, keeping us warm(er) in one room, and is attractive. I believe it was in the $200-300 range, and we bought it at Lowes. Home depot has them too, but not as nice (at the time at least). The brand we bought was something like "Dimplex", can't remember right now. It's been reliable for the 3 or so years we've had it.
posted by MsElaineous at 8:00 AM on September 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


I had a small apartment that I heated solely with one of those oil filled electric radiator things. It worked fantastically, and as far as I know was less expensive to run than gas or something with a fan. You don't get the nice hot breeze you do with the others, but it will heat a room. To make matters more awesome they usually run around $50 or less.
posted by piedmont at 8:03 AM on September 19, 2008


Those electric radiators are pretty awesome, I must say. Don't be weirded out by the "oil-filled" thing -- they're sealed and don't need refilling.

This "micathermic" heater gets good reviews, too, and it's lighter.
posted by desuetude at 8:04 AM on September 19, 2008 [2 favorites]


I had good luck with the "Dimplex" can't remember either exactly. Also at Lowe's, loved the "flame". Made in Canada where they know about cold.
posted by Yimji at 8:17 AM on September 19, 2008


I have the "micathermic" one that desuetude mentioned. It works nicely, but you should know that it's slow, i.e., it's not designed to heat up the room with massive blasts of hot air, and, to work properly, you should be able to at least close the doors of the room it's in. I don't think it'd work well for large, open spaces, which your living room may be. But, for my office and the bedroom (around 10' x 15'), it works great, even on the "low" setting.
posted by chengjih at 8:18 AM on September 19, 2008


How good is the electric in the appt? Can you track down your fuse box or circuit breaker and figure out 1) which circuit(s) you want to plug the space heater into 2) the amperage of the fuse or breaker on that circuit 3)what else is on that circuit.

In my experience, places that don't have good heat often don't have very good wiring. A big space heater can suck down a lot of juice and you may have your circuits blowing constantly. It might be better to get two smaller ones if you can plug them into two different circuits.

As for what to pick electric heaters are going to be equally efficient at turning electric power into heat, but some may be more effective at getting the heat where you want it. Since the blower models have fans, they may also differ in terms of operating noise.
posted by Good Brain at 8:24 AM on September 19, 2008


I have this Vornado and I swear by it. Put it in any room with doors to shut it off and you could roast a turkey in there. (My flat has no heat, either. I had the ugly, useless baseboard units ripped out when I moved in. The Vornado is all I need, though I'll probably get another one since I just adopted a little dog who lives -- for now -- in the kitchen.)

Oh, I just noticed that particular model is sold out at the moment, but I do trust the brand and am sure the other models are serviceable.
posted by trip and a half at 8:29 AM on September 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


thanks for all the input guys. we have radiators (hot water ones?) but our building only turns them on after it's been below 40° outside for two weeks in a row. so, like, when it's 45° outside, it's in the mid-50s inside, and it gets a little chilly! and, the boiler goes out a lot in the winter, so half the time the radiators aren't working anyway.
posted by misanthropicsarah at 9:34 AM on September 19, 2008


I also have one of the oil-filled radiator style electric heaters, and it works really well. My furnace went out last winter when it was seriously cold, and it kept us pretty warm when we were in the same room with it.
posted by thejanna at 11:06 AM on September 19, 2008


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