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Blog: What Is A Space Heater?

30 Jun 2020

What is a space heater?

A space heater is a self-contained appliance for heating a specific area, such as a room within a building, an outdoor area, a workspace, or a temporary structure such as a marquee.

There are a number of different types of space heaters available, powered either by electricity or a fuel, such as natural gas, propane gas, oil or wood pellets.

Space heaters also come in a range of different sizes, for heating areas of different sizes. Small space heaters are typically used in single rooms when the main heating system is inadequate or when central heating is too costly to install or operate. There are also larger and more powerful space heaters – such as oil fired space heaters, LPG space heaters and cabinet heaters – that are used for heating large commercial and industrial spaces, such as workshops, warehouses, factories, marquees and farm buildings.

How do space heaters work?

Most space heaters work by convection. This means that draw in air with a fan, heat the air and then circulate that warm air around the space.

Whereas infrared heaters rely on radiant heating. These heaters emit infrared radiation that directly heats objects and people within their line of sight. They are a more efficient choice for heating very specific areas.

Types of Space Heaters

Electric Fan Heaters

Electric fan heaters are simple, safe, portable and easy to use space heaters. Available in a range of sizes, they are capable of rapidly heating spaces by drawing air in and across a heated element, before blowing it out into the room to warm the space.

Electric heaters produce completely clean, fume-free warm air, so they can be used to heat enclosed spaces with little or no ventilation without causing any issues for the people in the space.

Small electric fan heaters can be used for heating rooms in homes, offices, classrooms, workshops and more. Most electric fan heaters are quite compact and offer a heating capacity of up to 3kW, from a standard domestic 240v power supply or 110v site supply. Larger, more specialist electric heaters are also available using a 400v 3 phase power supply. They have a much higher kW heating capacity and they can be used to heat large industrial areas such as workshops, warehouses, factories, construction sites and more.

We have a fantastic range of high-quality electric heaters available - from small 2kW electric fan heaters for home use, up to large 40kW industrial electric heaters for warehouses and building sites, and everything in between.

View our full range of Electric Space Heaters.

Infrared Heaters

Infrared heaters work by converting electricity into infrared radiant heat. Infrared offers the same feeling of warmth as the winter sun on your face, or the heat from a coal fire. It is even the same form of heat emitted by your own body. It is the most basic form of heating known to man.

Whilst most space heaters heat the air within a space, infrared radiant heaters directly heat objects such as walls, furniture and people directly.

Infrared offers a more direct transfer of heat and is a much more efficient form of heating specific areas than fan heaters, as none of the heat is wasted by heating air which may escape through doors and windows.

We have a wide range of infrared heaters available – from stylish domestic models for patios and conservatories to tough industrial models for workshops and construction sites. We have infrared bar heaters can be installed on walls and wired into mains electricity, or infrared heating panels that can be plugged easily into a power socket and provide a discreet source of heat.

We also have portable infrared heaters on wheels. Some of our industrial infrared heaters burn diesel fuel and offer even more heating power - these units are for use in well ventilated / outdoor areas only.

View our full range of Infrared Heaters.

LPG Space Heaters

LPG heaters are amongst the most popular space heaters, due to their ease of use and cheap running costs.

LPG, or liquefied petroleum gas, space heaters are fuelled using bottles of propane or butane gas. They are available in a great range of sizes, from compact heaters that can be carried around easily, or large industrial units with wheels.

These gas heaters offer fast and effective heat in outdoor, well ventilated areas. They are great for construction sites, yards and events.

Please note that LPG heaters are direct fired space heaters, so the fumes produced during combustion are circulated with the heat. They also consume oxygen as they burn their flame, so they are not to be used indoors or in poorly ventilated spaces.

Many LPG space heaters feature an internal fan which circulates the warm air, therefore an electricity supply is required. Whilst some LPG heaters, such as Gas Bin Heaters, feature no internal fan and require no electricity supply to run – so they are great for use on site and in other remote locations.

View our full range of LPG Space Heaters.

Direct Oil Fired Space Heaters

Direct oil fired heaters provide a cost effective way of heating large open industrial spaces.

They are simple in design, so they are very easy to set up and use. They often feature an internal fuel tank and they can run on fuels such as diesel, red diesel, heating oil and kerosene.

These heaters burn their fuel and use a fan to distribute the warm air. Much like LPG space heaters, direct fired diesel heaters circulate the fumes produced during combustion with the warm air, so they are only to be used outdoors and in well ventilated spaces. They are often used on construction sites, and in warehouses, garages and workshops with large open shutter doors.

Our range of direct diesel heaters can be used to heat large, well ventilated commercial and industrial spaces such as construction sites and yards, as well as garages, hangars and warehouses with large open shutter doors to provide ventilation.

View our full range of Direct Fired Diesel Heaters.

Indirect Oil Fired Space Heaters

Indirect oil fired space heaters look a lot like direct oil fired space heaters, except they burn their fuel differently and produce a much cleaner heat.

These heaters feature a combustion chamber, heat exchanger and a flue. Combustion of the fuel takes place within the combustion chamber and air is drawn into the heater from the rear by an internal fan. The air is heated as it passes over the heat exchanger. The combustion by-products remain within the heat exchanger and are exhausted out of the top of the unit via the flue. This means that only clean, fume-free warm air is blown out of the front of the heater.

Indirect diesel heaters can be used to heat enclosed rooms, spaces and poorly ventilated areas where a direct fired heater would not be suitable.

Indirect fired diesel heaters can either be placed outside the area to be heated and the warm air produced is then ducted into the space, while the fumes are expelled outside via the flue. Alternatively, the heater can be setup inside the space and sections of flue can be used to exhaust the fumes produced outside, through a wall or roof.

Indirect fired heaters are perfect for heating commercial spaces, workshops, warehouses, halls and marquees. They are extremely popular heaters for temporary heating at events and parties.

View our full range of Indirect Fired Diesel Heaters.

We also have indirect heater package deals available, which give you everything you need to heat an enclosed space such as a marquee or workshop safely and effectively. These package deals include an indirect heater, ducting, flue, rain cowl, thermostat and more. View our range of Marquee Heater Packages.

Cabinet Heaters

Cabinet heaters provide a practical heating solution for industrial spaces such as workshops and warehouses.

These space heaters come in a range of sizes to suit spaces of all sizes, and with a choice of different fuel options.

They can be installed in a space, up against an external wall. They burn their fuel and circulate the warm air using an internal fan. Combustion by-products are exhausted out of the space through the wall or a roof using sections of flue.

Many cabinet heaters are simple plug and play space heaters. They have an internal fuel tank and they are fuelled by diesel or heating oil. They just require a simple hole to be drilled through a roof or wall for the flue to be vented outside.

Some cabinet heaters are more complex, and they are fuelled by natural gas. These cabinet heaters must be installed only by qualified gas engineers. They provide large volumes of warm air for large industrial spaces such as warehouses and factories.

Waste oil cabinet heaters, or bio-fuel cabinet heaters, are a specific type of cabinet heater, designed to use waste oil such as engine oil, and bio fuels such as rapeseed oil, in order to produce heat. These cabinet heaters are very popular in car garages and similar areas, as savings can be made on fuel.

View our full range of Cabinet Heaters.

Space Heaters Available Online

We have a wide range of space heaters available to order online or over the phone. Our range includes space heaters of all types and sizes, from the best manufacturers in the business, including Master, Broughton, Arcotherm, Thermobile, Reznor, Herschel and more.

Whether you are looking for a small space heater for domestic use, a large space heater for industrial use, or anything in between, we have something for you. Take a look at our full range of space heaters on our website and enquire online or over the phone for more information.

View our full range of Space Heaters.