Enter the characters you see below Sorry, we just need to make sure you’re not a robot. A space heater is of portable heater device used to heat a single, small area.
In contrast, central heating is used to heat many connected areas, such as all the rooms in a house. Space heaters are powered by either electricity or the combustion of a flammable fuel. Convection heaters pass electricity through a heating element, causing the heating element to become hot. These elements are made from either metal or ceramic, and the overall process is called Joule heating. Infrared heaters also pass electricity through a conductive wire, causing the wire to become very hot.
However, most of the heat is transferred by radiant heating, and not by convection, in this type of space heater. The hot wire emits infrared rays which transfer heat directly to a solid surface, not the surrounding air. Heat pumps use the same process as refrigerators and air conditioners, but in reverse. Whereas convective and infrared heaters actually make more heat from electricity, heat pumps only move the location of heat. Combustion space heaters operate by burning a flammable fuel such as natural gas, kerosene, propane, or wood.
Many space heaters used in residential applications use convective heating. These can be divided into two categories: those with a fan to help spread the warmth, and those without a fan. Convective heaters are suitable for providing constant, diffuse heat in well-insulated rooms. Some convective heaters use a fan to help distribute hot air around the room. This is one example of a fan heater. These heaters have heating elements made from either metal or ceramic, and the elements are in direct contact with the air in the room. Convective heaters without a fan are built so that the heating element is surrounded by either oil or water.
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These heaters warm the room more slowly because the oil or water must be heated first, and then the heat can reach the surrounding air. However, these heaters also produce longer-lasting heat after being turned-off because of the hot oil inside the heater. The risk of fires and burns is sometimes less with oil-filled heaters than those with fans, but not always. Some fan-assisted heaters have a lower risk of fires and burns than some oil-filled heaters. The main advantage of radiative heaters is that the infrared radiation they produce is absorbed directly by clothing and skin, without first heating the air in the space.
This makes them suitable for warming people in poorly insulated rooms, or even outdoors. It also allows for greater distance between the people and heater. The cost was very low since nothing else, not even a switch, was needed. However the metal reflectors needed to be fairly heavy gauge, and if the size was reduced then the metal housing would get too hot to be safe. In the mid-20th century, the cheapest heaters were radiative, but with the heating wires stretched relatively closely across a larger thin metal reflector separated from a thin metal housing.
Quartz heaters are radiative heaters which were more efficient, in the amount and directionality of heating, by using coiled heating wire inside unsealed quartz tubing. The wires could thus operate at a higher temperature than practical with ceramic-supported wires or be thinner. If the heating elements were at a higher temperature, then proportionally more energy was radiated compared to open-wire heaters. Halogen heaters comprise tungsten filaments in sealed quartz envelopes, mounted in front of a metal reflector in a plastic case. They operate at a higher temperature than Nichrome wire heaters but not as high as incandescent light bulbs, radiating primarily in the infrared spectrum. Many of these space heaters, including those of oil-filled radiators and natural stone heaters, are plugged into an electric power source, most commonly a mains outlet.
Fire, burns, and carbon monoxide poisoning are the main risks of space heaters. Approximately 25,000 fires are caused by space heaters in the United States in each year, resulting in about 300 deaths. Improper use can increase the risk of fire and burns. Space heaters should either be plugged directly into the wall or into a heavy duty cord of 14-gauge wire or larger. Improper extension cords can cause fires. Plugs and cords should be periodically checked for cracks or damage, and replaced if damaged. Flammable materials such as curtains, furniture, and bedding should be kept at least 3 feet away from the heater.
Turn-off the heater when the last adult leaves the room or goes to sleep. Children or pets should be kept 3 feet away from the heater. Place the heater on a flat, hard, and nonflammable surface. Avoid using heaters near flammable materials like paint or gasoline. Smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors should be installed nearby.