Is your basement a bit on the chilly side during cold winter days? It’s no surprise if it is: the basement is the area of any house most likely to be cold. You’ll want the best electric heater for your basement so you can keep warm.
If you are considering the purchase of a portable electric heater to make it more comfortable, especially in the fall and winter seasons, this article is for you. We will go over the different kinds of electric heaters that are available and discover which options are likely the best for your basement.
What are the different kinds of electric heaters?
Electric space heaters use electrical energy to create heat. They can vary quite a bit in both efficacy and price. Portable electric heaters come in 120-volt and 240-volt designs. 120-volt heaters are more common and practical, as you will need a special circuit and receptacle to run a 240-volt machine.
There are several basic categories of portable electric heater. You should keep in mind that many heaters are combinations of two or more categories.
Fan-forced: Fan-forced portable electric heaters are among the most popular. The fan helps to make sure that the heat generated is properly and efficiently distributed in the room. You might even find an electric heater that oscillates. You can find fan-forced heaters in both small and large sizes, including tower models. If you buy a model that can run without the heating on, you will be able to use it as a simple fan when the weather is warm, or simply to circulate the air in musty areas. With a fan-forced heater, the air moves over coil heating elements. After that, the fan projects the heat into the room. Fan heaters are generally considered a good choice for efficient and even heating.
Ceramic: The ceramic electric heater is another popular type of portable heating device. A ceramic heater that is also fan-forced will be even more efficient at spreading warmth throughout a room. With a ceramic heater, coil ceramic and aluminum elements warm the air. The fan housing stays cool while the unit provides heat. These units are known for being powerful and efficient. Ceramic heaters are especially popular for use in bedrooms, kitchens, and small offices.
Oil-filled radiant: Oil-filled radiant electric heaters use oil that conserves heat and does not require replacement. These units are generally relatively inexpensive to run. Oil-filled radiant electric heaters are especially popular for dens, bedrooms, and living rooms.
Infrared/reflective: Infrared/reflective electric heaters are best for situations when you primarily desire is to heat small areas or specific people or objects. This type of space heater does not heat the air, but rather the people and objects in the room. Powerful infrared heaters with a fan can heat larger spaces.
What features should you look for in any electric heater?
Protect your home and family from the hazard of a possible fire by choosing a heater with enhanced safety features. Some of these include:
- Automatic shut-off if the machine tips over or overheats.
- Timer and automatic shut-off after the machine has been on for a certain amount of time.
- Thermostat and precision heating. This will help ensure that the heater does not make the room hotter than you desire.
Heaters with cool-touch housing are an especially good choice if you have young kids who might touch the heater.
Ensure that the heater has been tested by a recognized testing laboratory. Examples include ETL (Intertek), UL (Underwriters Laboratory), and CSA (Canadian Standards Association). Never use a heater that has a damaged cord. There should be some sort of label (a symbol) on the packaging indicating that this testing has taken place.
What are some other safety precautions that I should keep in mind while using an electric space heater?
Read the instructions that come with the heater very carefully. Following these instructions is an important component of fire prevention. Remember that you should never plug an electric space heater into an extension cord. Doing so would cause too much risk of overheating. You must plug it directly into a wall socket.
You should never leave an electric space heater unattended. With many types of electric heaters (except perhaps some of those that have special cool-touch housing), it is best to keep the heater at a respectable distance away from other objects. The instructions that come with your heater will give you the exact safety precautions needed in this respect. You should always keep your electric heater a minimum of three feet from furniture, bedding, and drapes to prevent those objects from potentially overheating and catching fire.
Generally, what is the best type of electric heater for use in your basement?
Depending on the size of your basement and its degree of chilliness, you will probably need one of the larger and relatively more powerful and efficient models of electric heater. Fan-forced electric heaters tend to be good options, because they efficiently and evenly spread heat. An oscillating model would be especially useful in this respect. In many cases, though, models in the other categories (especially oil-filled radiant and infrared/reflective) can be excellent choices. A number of these have fans, too.
A Few of Our Favorites
Let’s go over several of the best electric heater options currently available.
The DR968 Original Space Heater from Dr. Infrared Heater is an infrared heater with a fan. It has automatic energy-saving features and offers accurate temperature control. This space heater can heat an area of up to 1,000 square feet. On average somewhere between $140 and $190, this heater is reasonably priced when you consider its quality.
Things We Like
- It has an electric thermostat. This gives you much greater control over the temperature in the room than you would without this feature.
- It features overheat protection. This means that you won’t have to worry about the product overheating and potentially causing a fire in this way.
- It has tip-over protection. This means that if the heater tips over, it will turn off. This is an essential feature if you have kids or pets.
- It features a quiet fan.
- It has a remote control. This is useful if you want to control the heater from a distance.
- It can heat up to 1,000 square feet. This is one of the features that makes it especially useful for rooms that tend to be larger and colder, like basements.
- Its electrical cord is 72 inches (six feet) long, giving you a reasonable amount of flexibility in where you plug it in and place it in your basement.
- The company offers a 3-year warranty.
- It features a lifetime filter, meaning that the filter will never have to be replaced for as long as you have the heater.
- It is engineered and designed in the United States.
- It features an attractive wood cabinet finish that allows it to blend easily and seamlessly into any room’s decor.
- It feels only warm (rather than hot) when you touch it.
Things We Don’t Like:
- The heater is relatively heavy and large at 25 pounds and a height of 17 inches, width of 12.5 inches, and depth of 13 inches.
This electric space heater from Broan is a small but surprisingly powerful heater that is considered especially useful for spaces like basements and even garages. This ceramic heater with a fan is reliable and rugged, and features steel construction. With an average price of between about $45 and $65, this heater is a great value.
Things We Like:
- Having a fan means that it heats up very quickly and efficiently emits the heat into the air.
- It is very compact in size, at 5.25 inches in height, 6 inches in width, and 5.88 inches in depth.
- It will shut off automatically if it is tipped over on its back or front.
- It has overheat protection that activates a caution light and shuts off if overheated.
- It features a convenient carrying handle.
- It has not only high and low settings, but a fan-only mode, as well.
- It features a 72-inch (six-foot) cord, giving some flexibility in where you plug it in and place it in your basement.
- It has thermostat control, making it easy for you to regulate the temperature.
Things We Don’t Like:
- Despite its small dimensions, the heater’s steel construction makes it heavy (32 pounds).
- It might emit an unpleasant smell, especially at first.
- Its appearance is not as pleasant as many other electronic heater options.
The De Longhi TRD40615T Full Room Radiant Heater is an oil-filled radiant electric heater. It is highly valued by customers for its quiet operation as well as its ability to quickly heat large spaces. It can be purchased for the very reasonable price of $90–$100.
Things We Like About the De Longhi TRD40615T Full Room Radiant Heater:
- It is able to provide powerful heating with very quiet operation.
- It features a sturdy steel assembly.
- The heater’s pipes (where the oil is housed) will never freeze.
- Its oil-reservoir is permanently sealed. This means that it will never need to be refilled and will never leak.
- It has a timer that you can use to ensure that the machine turns off when you desire.
- It has a thermostat that you can adjust to your preference, as well as three heat settings.
- It has cord storage, making it easier to store the machine neatly when not in use.
- It has dial controls that are easy to use.
- It has wheels so that you can glide the machine from room to room if you wish.
- It features thermal cut-off. This means that the machine will automatically turn off if it overheats.
- The oil can stay warm for quite a while after the machine turns off, meaning that it might still give off heat for a limited period when not in operation.
Things We Don’t Like About the De Longhi TRD40615T Full Room Radiant Heater:
- It is quite heavy at 24 pounds.
- It smells a bit for the first day or so of operation.
- It is hot to the touch when in operation, so you will need to supervise if kids or pets will be near it.
- It is rather large at 25 inches in height, 6.5 inches in width, and 16 inches in length.
This Lasko ceramic tower heater is an electric heater with a ceramic heating element. It has a fan and excellent oscillation feature that quickly pushes warmth into the room. This heater is very reasonably priced and is usually found between $50–$55.
Things We Like About the Lasko 755320 Ceramic Tower Heater with Digital Display:
- It is easy to use, and can be used via remote control or the push buttons found on the top of the machine.
- It has digital display.
- It features low, high, and auto settings.
- It has a thermostat that you can program to control temperature. The thermostat governs the machine when you have it on the auto setting.
- It boasts excellent oscillation, allowing the fan to more efficiently push heat into every area of the room.
- It has a timer that you can use to program the heater to turn off at your desired time.
- Its carry handle and weight (only about nine pounds) make it easy to move from room to room.
- It has a quiet fan.
- It features a 72-inch (six-foot) cord.
- It is 23 inches in height, 7.25 inches in width, and 8.5 inches in depth.
- It can be purchased for between $50–$55, making it a good bargain.
Things We Don’t Like About the Lasko 755320 Ceramic Tower Heater with Digital Display:
· It is a bit lacking in enhanced safety features, as it does not have an automatic shut-off feature to kick in if, for example, the heater tips over. This means that it shouldn’t be left unattended, and requires supervision if you have kids or pets.
Our Top Choice?
Our top choice overall is the Dr. Infrared DR968 Original Space Heater. This heater features the best combination of appearance and superior functionality. It has excellent safety features, and the company provides a three-year warranty.