Which heater is better for an apartment: selection rules and device rating

If cen­tral heat­ing is not pro­vid­ing enough heat, installing space heaters will help. These are devices designed for local heat­ing. We will fig­ure out what to look for when buy­ing and which heater is best for an apart­ment.

They told in the video how to choose the best device for heating an apartment

All about choosing the best heater

Choice check­list
— Device type
— Pow­er
— Fea­tures of oper­a­tion
— Con­trol type
Mini-rat­ing of the best mod­els

How to choose a heating device

We have pre­pared a sim­ple check­list that will help you choose the right heater.

1. Choose the type of equipment

Most equip­ment is pow­ered by elec­tric­i­ty, but the prin­ci­ple of con­vert­ing elec­tri­cal ener­gy into heat can be dif­fer­ent. The per­for­mance and pow­er of the device depends on this. Let’s briefly describe the most pop­u­lar types.

fan heater. Inside the case there is a heater and a fan. The first warms up the air enter­ing inside, the sec­ond directs it into the room. The main advan­tage of fan heaters is the rapid heat­ing of the room. There are much more dis­ad­van­tages: high pow­er con­sump­tion, oxy­gen burn­ing, noise dur­ing oper­a­tion.

Con­vec­tor. The prin­ci­ple of oper­a­tion is very sim­i­lar to that described above, but there is no fan. The heat­ed air flow ris­es by grav­i­ty, dis­plac­ing the cold air, which descends into the low­er part of the room. The con­vec­tor even­ly heats the room, it works com­plete­ly silent­ly. Of the minus­es, you need to know about the high con­sump­tion of elec­tric­i­ty, the slow heat­ing of the room, the move­ment of dust by con­vec­tive cur­rents.

Oil radi­a­tor. Its case, sim­i­lar to a sec­tion­al bat­tery, con­tains min­er­al oil. It is heat­ed by a built-in heater, after which the equip­ment starts to heat the air. But­ter­man is inert: it warms up slow­ly, but retains heat for a long time. This sig­nif­i­cant­ly reduces pow­er con­sump­tion. Cons: bulky and heavy case, overdry­ing of air, strong sur­face heat­ing.

infrared equip­ment. The built-in IR emit­ter emits infrared radi­a­tion. It accu­mu­lates in the sur­round­ings of the device and heats them up. They heat up the air in the room. Of the advan­tages of such heaters, it should be not­ed fast uni­form heat­ing of the room, effi­cien­cy. The dis­ad­van­tage is the rapid cool­ing after shut­down.

Com­pare dif­fer­ent types of heaters in the table.

fan heaters Elec­tric con­vec­tors Oil cool­ers Infrared heaters
Heat­ing speed high low low high
Noise at work there is No No No
Econ­o­my low aver­age aver­age high
Human impact con­vec­tive cur­rents car­ry dust, dry the air con­vec­tive cur­rents car­ry dust, dry the air risk of burns from a heat­ed body, dries the air unde­sir­able pro­longed expo­sure to IR rays
Instal­la­tion method floor or stand wall, floor floor floor, wall, ceil­ing

Even­tu­al­ly. For quick short-term heat­ing, fan heaters or infrared devices are best suit­ed. If long-term heat­ing of the room is expect­ed while main­tain­ing the set tem­per­a­ture, it is more prof­itable to buy oil radi­a­tors or elec­tric con­vec­tors.

2. Determine the power

For all types of heat­ing devices, a sim­ple rule for deter­min­ing pow­er applies. On aver­age, for every square meter of a room of stan­dard height, there should be 100 watts of elec­tri­cal appli­ance pow­er. If there are win­dows, anoth­er 200 watts are added to each. For exam­ple, if the room is 20 sq. m two win­dows, then the min­i­mum pow­er will be 2,400 watts. It is desir­able to add anoth­er 10–15% “in reserve” to it so that the device does not work for wear at times of peak loads.

For infrared equip­ment, things are a lit­tle dif­fer­ent. Here 100 watts per sq. meter is con­sid­ered the max­i­mum pow­er, so this fig­ure can be reduced by 10–15% to bring the aver­age.

For rooms with high ceil­ings (more than 2.8–3 m), a dif­fer­ent for­mu­la is used. The vol­ume of the room is divid­ed by 30, this is the aver­age coef­fi­cient. If there are win­dows, 200 watts are added to each of them. All these cal­cu­la­tions are aver­aged. They do not take into account the ther­mal insu­la­tion of the room, its heat loss, etc.

Even­tu­al­ly. More pow­er­ful devices will warm up the home faster. At the same time, if they work part-time, they will work much longer than those that are select­ed with­out a “reserve” and con­stant­ly work at the peak of their capa­bil­i­ties. It is best to choose devices with a pow­er reg­u­la­tor, they can be adjust­ed to dif­fer­ent con­di­tions.

3. We specify the special operating conditions

That is, we deter­mine the con­di­tions under which the device will work. For exam­ple, if the equip­ment is sup­posed to be used for addi­tion­al heat­ing of the bath­room, it must have a mois­ture-proof hous­ing. Oth­er­wise, exces­sive mois­ture will eas­i­ly pen­e­trate inside the device, which will lead to its dam­age, and in the worst case, to wiring prob­lems or fire.

For chil­dren, devices in which the case is heat­ed are strict­ly pro­hib­it­ed. So, oil cool­ers dur­ing oper­a­tion heat up sig­nif­i­cant­ly. Acci­den­tal con­tact may cause burns. There­fore, for the nurs­ery, only oil­ers with a pro­tec­tive cov­er are cho­sen. But con­vec­tors or infrared pan­els do not heat up dur­ing oper­a­tion. They can be safe­ly placed where chil­dren live.

Even­tu­al­ly. For chil­dren, it is bet­ter to choose elec­tric con­vec­tors. For damp and damp rooms, devices in a mois­ture-proof hous­ing are select­ed.

4. Choosing a control system and additional features

The sim­plest and most bud­getary sys­tem is mechan­i­cal. This is, per­haps, all its virtues. At the same time, it is less func­tion­al and gives large errors when set­ting the desired tem­per­a­ture. The mechan­ics are more prone to wear, and when auto­mat­i­cal­ly turned off or on, it makes a rather loud click. Giv­en that click­ing can be repeat­ed at inter­vals of 15–25 min­utes, not every­one likes it.

Elec­tron­ic sys­tems are more pre­cise in set­tings. You can set the tem­per­a­ture to tenths of a degree. In addi­tion, with them you can pro­gram the oper­at­ing mode. Some mod­els are able to remem­ber one or more tem­per­a­ture modes and run them at the request of the own­er. The elec­tron­ics work absolute­ly silent­ly. The only way it can inter­fere with the user is that the dis­play is too bright. Anoth­er dis­ad­van­tage is the high price.

The equip­ment may have addi­tion­al func­tions, which is very con­ve­nient. The sim­plest of them is self-shut­down when the set tem­per­a­ture is reached. The pres­ence of a ther­mo­stat and tem­per­a­ture sen­sors also expands the func­tion­al­i­ty of the device. It will be able to turn off when the room is heat­ed to a tem­per­a­ture deter­mined by the own­er, and then turn on when the tem­per­a­ture drops below the set val­ue. And the built-in wi-fi mod­ule will pro­vide com­mu­ni­ca­tion with the user, who will be able to set up the heater while away from home.

Even­tu­al­ly. More pre­cise set­tings and wide func­tion­al­i­ty for heaters with auto­mat­ic con­trol. They are also more con­ve­nient to use, because they give the user more addi­tion­al options.

Mini-rating of heaters for an apartment

We have com­piled a rat­ing of the best devices of var­i­ous types for home heat­ing.

Thermex Frame 2000E

Pow­er­ful con­vec­tor designed to heat rooms up to 25 sq. m. Can be installed on the floor or mount­ed on the wall. The case is water­proof, which makes it pos­si­ble to put the device in a place with high humid­i­ty, for exam­ple, in a bath­room. The mod­el is equipped with an elec­tron­ic type con­trol sys­tem, there are two oper­at­ing modes. There is a built-in pro­tec­tion against pos­si­ble over­heat­ing, shut­down in the event of a rollover. All infor­ma­tion nec­es­sary for the user is dis­played on the LCD dis­play, there is a timer and a remote con­trol.

Polaris PMH 1584

The infrared-con­vec­tive type mod­el is able to effec­tive­ly heat up to 24 sq. meters of area. Wall or floor instal­la­tion is pos­si­ble. The device uses a mikather­mic heater, which makes its oper­a­tion eco­nom­i­cal. Two-sided heat­ing is pro­vid­ed, mechan­i­cal con­trol. Works silent­ly. There are two oper­at­ing modes, a timer and ther­mo­stat are installed, a built-in shut­down sys­tem is pro­vid­ed for tip­ping over and over­heat­ing.

Ballu Classic BOH/CL-09

Oil cool­er, avail­able in two col­ors: white and black. It is intend­ed only for floor instal­la­tion, it is equipped with wheels that sim­pli­fies its move­ment. Heats a room up to 25 sq. m. The build­ing is divid­ed into nine sec­tions. Mechan­i­cal type con­trol sys­tem with one mode of oper­a­tion. There is a ther­mo­stat and the abil­i­ty to con­trol the degree of heat­ing. When over­heat­ed, it auto­mat­i­cal­ly turns off.

First Austria 5565–1

Com­pact yet pow­er­ful fan heater. Able to heat up to 320 sq. m area. Mount­ed on the floor, on a table or any oth­er stand. The device uses a ceram­ic heat­ing ele­ment, so the amount of oxy­gen in the air is not reduced. Man­age­ment — elec­tron­ic type with remote con­trol. It is pos­si­ble to reg­u­late the tem­per­a­ture, a ther­mo­stat, a timer are installed. In case of tip­ping or over­heat­ing, the pro­tec­tion is acti­vat­ed and the device auto­mat­i­cal­ly turns off.

Zanussi ZOH/CS-11W

Pow­er­ful 11-sec­tion oil-type radi­a­tor. Designed for heat­ing areas up to 27 sq. meters. Only floor instal­la­tion is pos­si­ble. For ease of move­ment, the equip­ment has wheels and a han­dle. Mechan­i­cal type con­trol with the abil­i­ty to adjust pow­er and tem­per­a­ture. One work­ing mode. In case of over­heat­ing, an auto­mat­ic shut­down is acti­vat­ed. The spe­cial shape of the body gives a fire­place effect, that is, increased air cir­cu­la­tion around the device. So it heats up the room faster.


To sum­ma­rize, which heater is bet­ter to choose for an apart­ment. The best option is an oil cool­er. It is envi­ron­men­tal­ly friend­ly, works silent­ly, retains heat for a long time. Many mod­els are equipped with a timer, which makes it pos­si­ble to pro­gram the inclu­sion, for exam­ple, when the own­er returns from work. For chil­dren’s rooms, the best choice is an elec­tric con­vec­tor. It does not heat up, so there is no risk of get­ting burned by touch­ing the red-hot body.

Con­vec­tors are also good for apart­ments with large win­dows and high ceil­ings or spa­cious pri­vate hous­es.. They con­sume less ener­gy than oil­ers, so it is more prof­itable to heat large areas with them. In addi­tion, an effi­cient heat­ing sys­tem can be assem­bled from elec­tric con­vec­tors. For dachas and hous­es with tem­po­rary res­i­dence, an IR heater or a fan heater is suit­able. They are easy to trans­port due to their small size and light weight, and such equip­ment will quick­ly heat up a coun­try house. Infrared radi­a­tion will also destroy fun­gus and mold spores, which is impor­tant for wood­en build­ings.

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