Which space heater is right for you?

They can be great in a pinch if your heating system goes out or want to warm up a small area. Question is, which is right for you?
November 13, 2013 8:28:15 PM PST
Winter's not here yet, but we're starting to feel the cold weather blast now. That means many are running out to purchase space heaters. But what safety issues should you be aware of?

They can be great in a pinch if your heating system goes out or want to warm up a small area. Question is, which one is right for you?

Arcadio Saenz with Home Depot says choosing a heaters depends on the space size you're trying to heat up.

"A $20 one, you'll get one that will heat your little office area," Saenz said.

For larger areas...

"Oil-filled heaters that will heat up the oil tend to be for larger rooms," he said.

Saenz says tall heaters like this one will heat up a small room, but probably won't go past that.

According to Consumer Reports, the Holmes HFH-436 averages around $40 and scored high marks for its low surface temperature and ability to heat the area quickly.

Making the bottom of the list was the Sunbeam SQH-310 model for around $50, citing poor marks for its hot surface temperature, and fire safety issues.

"We're always concerned about people starting up their heating systems," said. Captain Ruy Lozano with the Houston Fire Department.

Lozano recommends keeping heaters away from combustibles by at least 3 feet.

"There could be a spark that could light a curtain, sofa, blanket, or a Christmas decoration that are highly flammable," Lozano said.

And according to Bill Clayton with Reliant Energy, electric space heaters can be costly.

"The small space heaters can cost anywhere between 10 cents to 15 cents per hour," Clayton said.

If you buy a space heater, make sure it turns off if tipped over, and for those who use an oven for heat, that is costing you a dollar an hour.

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