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Everyone wants a cosy home for Christmas, and portable electric heaters are brilliant for boosting the heat levels in your home. Offering no-fuss, no-frills heating, portable electric heaters allow you to warm up draughty areas of the house in an instant.

What types are available?

There are many different types of portable electric heaters. Depending on the size of the area you wish to heat and the speed at which you require it, your choice of portable heater will vary greatly. For example, a small heater is sufficient for a small room. Another thing to consider is insulation. If your room is insulated properly, you may not need a high capacity heater even if the room is large. If your room is not insulated properly, then you may require a large capacity heater, even for a smaller room. Take a look at the options available below:

Portable Fan Heater

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Domestic fan heaters range from 1kWh to 2kWh heating capacity.

Portable fan heaters are the lightest and most portable type of heater. They are an ideal option if you want to heat a room quickly – simply plug it in and you’re ready to go! Fan heaters utilise a fan that passes air over a heating element and this heated air rises in the room where the heater sits. They can be plugged into any wall sockets – providing users with flexibility to move the heater into colder rooms. Fan heaters usually cost between 15p to 30p an hour to use. They are ideal for use in short, sharp bursts to keep the running costs down.

Oil filled radiator

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Oil filled portable radiators range from 0.75kWh to 2.5kWh heating capacity.

Oil filled radiators are compact and mobile heating devices that emanate heat silently. Despite taking longer to heat up than fan heaters do, they are cheaper to run and are designed to work for hours on end. Oil filled radiators can be plugged into the electricity in any room and are 100% energy efficient – meaning all energy that is used is converted directly into heat. They may be heavy and larger in size, so look out for models with wheels for greater mobility. Oil filled radiators are constructed as single flat panels or designed in a similar way to column radiators with short, tubular columns.

Portable convection heater

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Portable Electric convection heaters range from below 1kWh to 3kWh heating capacity.

Convection heaters are brilliant solutions for the home as they heat up the whole room and not just the air immediately around the unit. The science behind a normal radiator and an electric convection heater is all the same; air convection currents circulate through the body of the appliance and across its heating element.  This heats up the air, causing it to increase in volume and rise to warm up the room evenly.

Like fan heaters, convection heaters heat up quickly – but are quieter. Portable convector heaters have ‘feet’ which allow them to stand independently on the floor without wall brackets. This allows you to place it anywhere in the room where it can reach the plug socket for mains electricity. Most convector heaters remain cool to the touch – perfect for family environments with young children.

How much do electric heaters cost to run?

Running costs for portable heaters are generally low when they are used as a supplementary heat source. As a standard rule, the higher the heat output, the more expensive the heater costs to run. However, even a large 3kW heater operating at maximum power for one hour will cost you just up to 49p an hour to run.

The cost of an electric heater depends greatly on how and where it is being used.  A high-powered heater that warms your room up quickly and auto-switches off will use less electricity than a smaller heater that takes much longer to heat up a larger room. For small rooms, it’s generally best to use a heater that will use less power.

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Can an electric heater reduce your energy bills?

Portable heaters let you heat just the space you need to be warm, and not your entire home. Instead of cranking up the central heating, it works out cheaper to use a portable heater as an additional heat source in particular rooms.

Most portable heaters also have thermostatic control. This means that the heater will turn itself on and off when it hits a pre-set temperature, keeping the room nice and warm without running constantly. This reduces running costs significantly.

Where to position your electric heater

Fan heaters need an inflow of air in order to create warm air. You will find inflow vents on the top, bottom or back of the fan heater. If the vent is at the back, avoid placing the heater against a wall. Convectors can be used anywhere in the room.

Oil-filled heaters work best when positioned in the middle of a room. This allows an even distribution of hot air throughout the space and avoids over-heating a wall or furniture instead. When the room is warm enough, you can move it out of the way by moving it closer to a wall.

Safety Advice

As long as you use electric heaters according to their instructions, they are safe appliances. However, portable electric heaters get hot. Never place anything on, or cover up a portable heater as it massively increases the risk of fire.

To protect yourself from scalding, always use the carry handle to move a portable heater about, or handle the heater before it has been turned on.

Many heaters have a safety cut-out feature - which will switch off the heater if it gets dangerously hot. Others also have a ‘tilt protection’ feature - if the heater is knocked over, it will automatically switch itself off. This feature is great if you have young children or an over-enthusiastic dog!

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So why not turn your home into a cosy sanctuary with an electric portable heater from PlumbNation today.