The top five reasons are:
Cheaper to buy - In general, they are cheaper to buy than other heating options.
Easier To Install - Unlike gas heating, there is no need for complicate duct work and venting. You can simply plug them into an outlet. However, some more permanent version needs to be wired a line voltage. Although you could do-it-yourself, we recommend that you contact a certified electrician for the job.
Low Maintenance - They are quite simple. Either they work or don't. There are not that many moving parts to troubleshoot. Since there are no ducts or venting involve, you don’t need to have an annual maintenance program to ensure proper CO venting is in place. Overall, it is safer to work with electricity than natural gas which is a combustible gas.
100% Energy Efficient - As a heater, 100% of the energy from the electricity it used is converted into heat. 100% of that heat is then blown into the room directly to warm up the cold air. The main disadvantage with a central gas heater, a lot of the heat is lost in the ductwork between your furnace and the room it is heating.
Last longer - With proper maintenance, electric heaters will last you 20 to 30 years. While a gas heater has a life span between 10 and 20 years.
The best type is the one that suits you the most. Here is a quick overview on the common type of heaters you should consider:
Baseboard heater – It is often found at the base of the wall. It uses convection technology to circulate warm air around the room. It is often the cheapest option, but one of the more expensive unit to operate. It comes in 2-ft to 10-ft long.
Cove Heaters – It uses radiant technology to emit radiation energy to warm you up. It is designed to provide warmth around the unit and not heating the surrounding air.
Space Heater – AKA Ceramic Heater. These are ideal for adding incremental heat in small areas. It does not require a certified electrician to wire it to the line voltage. Quartz heater is often used as personal portable heaters.
Mini Split System – It’s a ductless heating system which requires an outdoor condenser and an air handler for each of the room. The main benefit is that it does not require complicated duct work throughout the house.
Wall Heater – Its use for supplemental heat and is often found in bathroom. It’s a self-contained unit with built in adjustable thermostat. It is recommended to consult with a certified electrician for proper wiring.
Floor Heating – It uses radiant technology through a system of wires or pipes that run beneath the flooring. This is a great solution to ensure that you will never have to walk on cold ceramic tile flooring anymore.
Kickspace Heater – Also referred to as Toe-kick Heaters. They are designed to be installed in small space, and are typically found closer to the ground under a cabinet or vanity.
Electric Fireplace – Also known as Stove Heater. It gives you the look and feel of a fireplace without the danger of an open flame. They are perfect for an apartment or where gas is not an option.
Remote control is available as an option to most units.
The amount of heat you will need depends on the size of your room and where you live. People in Southern California will not need as much heat to warm the same amount of space as the ones living in New York.
Most Electric Heaters are sold in Wattage which is how much power is the unit consuming and not how much heat it is producing.
On average, you can use 10 Watt per square foot (sf) as your constant to calculate the proper wattage needed for your room.
If your room is 10-ft X 15-ft, then you will need 10-ft X 15-ft X 10-W/sf = 1500 Watt.
If your room have lots of windows or you live in colder area (i.e. Boston,) then go up to the next heater. While if you live in warmer region (i.e. Florida,) go down one level.
Keep in mind that because a 5000-Watt heater is the same price as a 1600-Watt version, does not mean that you are getting a better deal.
Having the correct heat settings for the size of your room ensure proper operation. Most of the modern heater have overheat protection built-in which automatically shut the heater off in the event it is too hot. Over-sized heaters will constantly shut-off and will eventually quit working.
An under-sized heaters will constantly run while your room remains cold. The unit will eventually burnout and stop working.