Hot air heater for a cold damp bathroom?
September 29, 2012 11:18 AM   Subscribe

Can anyone recommend a sub $100 heater for a bathroom?

My primary "need" for this heater is to warm up the bathroom.

My secondary need for this heater is to blow hot air at / dry my towel after I get out of the shower to prevent my towel from getting moldy (happens after about a week, unless I put it in the dryer after each shower, which is inconvenient).

I would like if the heater has an auto-shut off timer so I can turn it on when I get out of the shower, leave the bathroom, and not have to worry about checking that it's off before I leave the house.

I have a standard 120v plug (with a built in bathroom fuse (aka Test and Reset buttons on it) available to plug in the heater).

I don't have windows in this room (not sure if that matters).
posted by thankyoumuchly to Home & Garden (14 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
you know, it might be easier (and cheaper) to just get a separate timer for the outlet and plug the heater into it.
posted by HuronBob at 11:40 AM on September 29, 2012

@HuronBob - Sounds good. Any suggestions for an actual heater?
posted by thankyoumuchly at 12:17 PM on September 29, 2012

I walked past this dude the other day at Costco and was really impressed. I haven't purchased or used it, though.
posted by thirteenkiller at 12:21 PM on September 29, 2012

I would just go to someplace like home depot and pick up something like this one (you can also pick up a timer there as well, I'm sure)
posted by HuronBob at 12:41 PM on September 29, 2012

Something like this might be better, lower center of gravity. I've a similar heater in my small downstairs bathroom, heats up the room in about 30 seconds when the rest of the house is very cool.
posted by HuronBob at 12:43 PM on September 29, 2012

I have a "bit over $100 but you might already have it" suggestion...

I use a dehumidifier in my basement all summer long. In the winter, I move it to my bathroom to keep the steam from condensing on the cold windows (I have a skylight in my bathroom, and in the winter, condensation will just pour off it after a shower). It doesn't even use much power, it only runs for about a half hour a day.

Alternatively, I also use a small 1500W space heater (the kind that looks like a cross between a small fan and a toaster) in various rooms around the house during the winter... Five minutes of that sucker with the door closed will raise a 12x12 room by 10-20F (meaning I can keep the rest of the house that much colder). I think it cost me a whopping $10, and "efficiency" really doesn't have any meaning when talking about purely resistive electric heat.
posted by pla at 12:45 PM on September 29, 2012 [1 favorite]

Oh, one more aside - Have you considered hanging your towels outside the bathroom? Toss the damp towels and bath-mats on one of those cheap folding wooden drying-racks outside the bathroom during the day, and when you come home you can hang your dry and mold-free towel back in the bathroom.
posted by pla at 12:49 PM on September 29, 2012

I have used one of the parabolic heaters thirteen killer linked to. They're really warm for use a small bathroom (which is where I used mine). There's no auto-off, though, so you'd need to use a timer, and they don't blow air, just radiate.
posted by charmedimsure at 1:32 PM on September 29, 2012

to prevent my towel from getting moldy (happens after about a week, unless I put it in the dryer after each shower, which is inconvenient).

That seems normal to me for a towel dried in a bathroom. It's a damp atmosphere, you have no ventilation, and if you want to avoid the moldy smell you should hang the towel in your bedroom or something.
posted by DarlingBri at 1:34 PM on September 29, 2012

My solution to your problem would be to just get a $20 space heater which I could run while I was actually using the bathroom and then just turn off after I'm done in there, plus I would hang my towel outside in my bedroom or something. Then I would take the remaining $80 in the budget and use it to buy some really good beer.
posted by Scientist at 2:04 PM on September 29, 2012

Oh, and I would leave the door to the bathroom open after I showered so that it could dry out some in there. Running a heater in a closed bathroom wouldn't really dry it out all that much I don't think.
posted by Scientist at 2:05 PM on September 29, 2012

I've had good luck with little electric Holmes brand heaters - this one has a bathroom safe plug and a timer.

I'd also get an over-the-door hook and hang my towel either in my bedroom or on the outside of the bathroom door. But I agree - open the door during/after the shower.
posted by lemniskate at 3:42 PM on September 29, 2012

You can mount this heater on the wall.
posted by barnone at 4:11 PM on September 29, 2012

I live on a sailboat, so it's important to circulate the warm air around; convection and radiation won't do it. Our principal heater for the winter months is the Vornado PVH.

They're compact, quiet, forceful, effective, and have a good tipover-protection mechanism.

Be aware that most appliance timers specifically warn against using them on heaters; you can imagine why. What you want is an "Auto shutoff safety outlet".
posted by Kakkerlak at 7:04 PM on September 29, 2012

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