As the nights get cooler we need a little help keeping warm. We have put together a list of 4 portable heaters with their pros and cons so you can choose the best type for your home.
Flued gas heaters have grown in size recently so that some of them almost qualify as central heating units, heating up to 150m2 of a well insulated home. They give off a mixture of radiant and convective heat and their efficiencies and cost vary widely. Limited ducting is possible for some units. Top of the range are 6 stars.
Pros: Can be effective; low greenhouse gas emissions; medium cost; radiant heat; some have a visible flame.
Cons: Efficiency highly dependent on initial cost so check that it has a high efficiency rating (5 or 6 stars).
Unflued gas heaters are not recommended for Canberra because they discharge large quantities of moisture and noxious combustion products into the atmosphere. This can exacerbate respiratory problems and cause substantial internal condensation problems.
Split Reverse Cycle Air Conditioners
Pros: Heat pumps are the most efficient form of heat generation costing less to run than gas space heaters with a similar installation cost.They are also one third the running cost of a portable electric heater for the same heat output.
Cons: They do not have a radiant heat source but can be used in conjunction with electric throws for the best combination of warmth and cost. Heat pumps also rely on the amount of heat in the air around them.
Electric fan forced heaters
These provide quick, even heating to small or moderate sized areas.
Pros: Effective for short periods in small spaces.
Cons: High running costs; high carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions; high air flows can cause cooling and rapid heat loss in older ‘leaky’ houses; often noisy; heat losses when mounted in an external wall.
Electric column/radiant heaters
This type of heaters provide radiant heat to small areas. When turned down very low they can provide adequate levels of comfort at low cost if the user is very close to the heater.
Pros: High radiant heat content; low initial cost; can be targeted to heat just the people by sitting close.
Cons: High running costs and high greenhouse gas emissions if they are the primary source of heat in a room