Space heater recommendation?
January 17, 2006 12:54 PM   Subscribe

Space heater recommendation?

Electric vs. oil-filled? Heating power vs. utility bill? Big and clunky vs. aesthetically pleasing?

These two caught my eye (links to amazon):

Vornado EH1-0028-06 DVH Digital Vortex Heater
DeLonghi EW0507 SafeHeat Electric Energy-Saving Oil-Filled Radiator

Thanks, MeFi...I'm hoping you know the perfect one (not limited to those two)..
posted by cgs to Home & Garden (14 answers total)
We use an oil-filled radiator in our unheated laundry room. It seems to be the best option for stationary, consistent heat. It wouldn't be as good for occasional heat, I think.
posted by MrMoonPie at 1:02 PM on January 17, 2006

If you're willing to sift through it, an AskMe thread I posted turned up a bunch of space heater recommendations which weren't much use to me but mgiht be to you.
posted by luftmensch at 1:06 PM on January 17, 2006

I have three of those DeLonghi's. They are really great. They won't heat a room quickly, but if you put them in a small-ish room, set them to low, and dial the thermostat to 2 or 3, the room will be quite nice after an hour or so. It helps immensely to close the door, if you can. Last year, I froze my butt off in my office, to avoid a high heating bill. This year I'm comfortable, and the heat is set lower on the main furnace.

We have a regular heater in the bathroom, for a quick warm up in the morning. We use these so that we can turn them on in the room in which we occupy, and leave our furnace set ridiculously low. It works OK. (the DeLonghi's are not very portable, though, particularly up and down stairs).

They also seem much safer than the regular, heating element type of heaters.
posted by teece at 1:06 PM on January 17, 2006

Yeah I think you need to explain your usage. I have a tiny electric forced-air one the size of a toaster I keep on my bathroom counter. In the winter I turn it on when I go in for my shower and by the time I get out the room's not unpleasantly cold. But then the room is 8x5 and since I'm under the shower I don't mind the fairly loud whirrrrrrrr.

$100 seems steep to me; I see little heaters in Home Depot and WalMart for under $50 all the time.
posted by phearlez at 1:10 PM on January 17, 2006

Way under $50! I almost bought one for $20 CAD in december at Canadian Tire (the Walmart of hardware stores).
posted by Chuckles at 1:47 PM on January 17, 2006

Vornado EH1-0028-06 DVH Digital Vortex Heater

I have one of these, it like it. It will warm a 15x15' room with very high ceilings, no problem. The fan is a good idea, it does heat up a room much quicker than my conventional radiant heater. It sucks some juice though. If I have it on the same circuit as my toaster it will blow the circuit (my house has pretty crappy electrical so YMMV).
posted by doctor_negative at 1:49 PM on January 17, 2006

I have two $45-50 (retail) DeLonghi's, which are fantastic. I was going through the same thing, looking at different space heaters a month or two ago, and I finally settled on the DeLonghi. I was also on the fence between the one I bought, and the Vornado, but I heard tell that while Vornado makes a fantastic fan, their heaters aren't terribly efficient. Then hearing a story about a Vornado blowing sparks around a room clinched it.

Incidentally, I have a Vornado fan which I use in my bedroom to keep the air moving, and for white noise when I sleep. It's been running pretty much nonstop (save for power outages and the occasional move) for eight years without problems. I turn on my DeLonghi heater, and keep the fan running next to it to blow and circulate the heat around the room, and it gets toasty warm in no time, to the point where I have to turn the heater down.

Of course, this is in my office, or my bedroom, which are manageable sizes, and have doors that close to keep the heat in. I don't know how well it would work in a large room with air-flow coming in from other parts of the house.
posted by scallion at 1:50 PM on January 17, 2006

The fan-type heat units are more for directional heat than anything else. I have never had any luck with those things keeping a room warm -- rather, they just seem to keep anyone in front of the fan at the time warm.

I've had better luck with the oil-filled radiator type units.

One thing you will want to note: these things pull down a LOT of juice. Be real careful. Everytime I unplug one of these that has been running for awhile, the plug is burning hot. In fact, one of the ones I purchased used has actually half-melted sockets in my (admittedly, real cheap) power strip. I'm still unsure whether this is because something is wrong with the unit, or if these things just need to be plugged directly into the wall or a heavy duty extension.
posted by fishfucker at 2:51 PM on January 17, 2006

(when I'm talking about "these things" I mean the oil-filled radiators. I haven't had the same problem with the heat fans -- although I don't doubt they run hot too).
posted by fishfucker at 2:52 PM on January 17, 2006

Response by poster: i'm going to use this primarily in my (small) bedroom, and next to my desk when i am working.

so it is looking like the delonghi is the way to go.

does anyone know of one that also has a humidifier component?
posted by cgs at 3:03 PM on January 17, 2006

Keep in mind that aside from being able to direct the heat with a fan or reflector that all electric heaters are nearly 100% efficient, so that shouldn't enter into your choice.
posted by jefftang at 4:17 PM on January 17, 2006

My parents used this in a cold basement room downstairs whenever I'd visit, and it always kept me nice and toasty warm.
posted by WCityMike at 7:51 PM on January 17, 2006

I have a Lasko heater that I LOVE. I've had it for a couple years now and it still works great. Comes with a remote so you dont even have to get out of bed to turn on the heat, you can set it for intervals of 30 minutes if you want, and is (as far as I can tell), pet safe too. I was worried my cats would knock it over or burn themselves but the heat outlet is fairly cool to the touch and the second it goes off balance the unit turns off. I highly reccomend it. Plus, you can get it for 40 bucks!
posted by gilsonal at 8:22 PM on January 17, 2006

or if these things just need to be plugged directly into the wall or a heavy duty extension.

Mine specifically says not to use an extension cord. I started plugging it directly into the wall when I noticed the cord was getting hot. BTW, if it's melting stuff, I'd be real careful, because it sounds like you're pretty close to starting a fire.

By the way, I just stopped using the electric heaters in two rooms of my house. I thought I'd save money by using the heaters at night and keeping the main heat off, but the bill was actually higher.
posted by exhilaration at 8:45 AM on January 18, 2006

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