Guide to Electric Heater

Electric heaters are electrical appliances designed to transform electricity into heat. Inside each electric heater is an electric resistor that acts as a heating element; energy flows through the resistor and this is how the energy-to-heat conversion occurs. Those who own older homes tend to find electric heaters quite useful if their home does not have a central heating system. In addition, small heaters are less expensive to run as opposed to steam radiators or gas. The following is a guide to electric heater purchasing.

Guide to Electric Heater Purchasing: Certification, Size and Operating Instructions

Consumers should only purchase an electric heater that is tested and certified by the Canadian Standards Association. Certified heaters meet stringent safety standards and manufacturers of these heating units must give consumers crucial information regarding use and care. Also, one should only buy a heating unit with a size that corresponds with the area of the room one intends to heat. An improperly sized heater may create too many pollutants and work inefficiently. Of course, the operating instructions provided by a unit's manufacturer should always be followed to the letter. It is recommended to read all warning labels associated with the heater and to keep the instruction manual on hand if one needs to refer to it at a later date.

Guide to Electric Heater Purchasing: BTUs and Ceramic Heaters

BTUs, or British Thermal Units, are the units used to measure the amount of heat produced by any given electric heater. Units with high BTUs are able to provide more power. Some heaters contain metal coils that become bright red when heated in order to provide warmth. However, modern heaters use either superconductors or ceramic elements. The biggest benefit of a ceramic heater is that the owner can close the unit off by using an attached mesh screen. By doing so, the heating element is protecting and the risk of fire is greatly reduced. In addition, ceramic heaters produce a lot of BTUs for their smaller size and heat is distributed by a fan; these heaters are cheaper to operate, especially if they come equipped with a timer that cuts off the unit at user specified times of day.

Guide to Electric Heater Purchasing: Safety Guidelines

The final, and most important point, in this guide to electric heater purchasing is the safety guidelines. Consumers must always put safety above all else when operating their electric heating units. Heaters should not be allowed to run while no one is in the home. Also, the heaters' power cords should be placed in such a manner where no one can trip over them. When storing a heater, the cord should not be wrapped around the unit in order to prevent fraying. Allow for plenty of surrounding space while the heater is in operation to prevent a fire from occurring. Most modern electric heaters have built-in safety features that cause the unit to immediately shut off in the event that the unit is tipped over or begins to overheat.

Guide to Electric Heater