A space heater is a device used to heat a single, small to medium sized area. It is a great way to help warm up an area, whether a living room or an office, during cold weather or season.
Space heaters are powered by electricity or the combustion of flammable fuel. Combustion space heaters burn flammable fuel, such as natural gas, kerosene, propane, or wood.
Electric space heaters fall into three main categories.
Convection heaters pass electricity through a heating element, causing the element to become hot. The elements are either metal or ceramic, and the process is known as joule heating. Heat is transferred to the air in the room by convection. Some heaters have a fan to increase air circulation, but oil-filled space heaters do not have fans.
Infrared heaters also pass electricity through a conductive wire, heating it. Most of the heat is radiant heating, rather than convection. The hot wire emits Infrared rays, which transfer heat to a solid surface rather than the surrounding air.
Heat pumps use the same process as refrigerators and air conditioners, but in reverse. While convective and infrared heaters make heat from electricity, heat pumps move the location of heat. Heat pumps move heat from outside a room to inside, warming it. Many are reversible, able to cool the room by pumping heat out.