If you have a small apartment or if you don’t want to install a full central heating system in your home, you should consider purchasing a space heater. Baseboard heaters are a popular choice for fixed space heaters as they are effective at heating up a room, they are safe to use and they can save money on heating costs.
This buying guide will take a look at the best electric baseboard heater reviews on the market.
You could even save money on your heating installation costs with this helpful baseboard heater buying guide, as we’ll take a look at how to install a baseboard heater. With just a little practical knowledge and confidence, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be able to install a baseboard heater for yourself!
What is a Baseboard Heater?
A baseboard heater is one that is longer than other heaters and it is installed onto or close to your baseboard. They are generally used to provide supplemental heat in a home or to add heat to space such as a bathroom or a garage where temporary heat would add comfort even if it were not entirely necessary.
Usually, you would install a baseboard heater to the coldest wall of a room so that heat can be radiated into space ahead of it.
When you don’t want to add a portable or furnace style heater, a baseboard heater can be a safer and cleaner alternative. They don’t require much maintenance and as they are mounted on the wall, they will not get in the way either. Another heater that won’t get in your way is an electric wall-mounted heater. They can’t be tipped over, and usually, the casing stays cool to the touch.
You are able to purchase baseboard heaters in one of two different voltages. A 120-volt style baseboard will be able to be connected to a 20-amp circuit that you will already have installed. You should ensure that the circuit would be able to take the load, especially if there are already heaters using the same circuit. If in doubt, check that you have space in your junction box and add a new 20-amp circuit especially for the baseboard heater. A 240-volt baseboard heater is an alternative voltage that you can choose. Again, this should be connected to a 20-amp circuit.
Baseboard heaters aren’t usually chosen to add design and focus to a room, but instead, they are simply used as efficient and effective heaters that can save money on household bills and adequately add heating to a colder room.
There are plenty of different kinds of baseboard heaters to choose from so that you can find the best one for your needs. Convection heaters are popular for bedrooms as they are quiet, whereas a garage may benefit more from a fan-forced baseboard heater as they offer instant heat and can heat spaces more quickly.
Advantages of Baseboard Heater Ownership
A baseboard heater is a great heating appliance to choose from for your home. Of course, electric baseboard heating comes with pros and cons. If you choose to install one, you will be able to enjoy some great advantages.
- Baseboard heaters are a way of adding zoned heating to your home. This means that you will be able to save money on your energy bills as you don’t need to turn on the heating throughout your entire home to heat one room.
- If you have a particularly draughty space such as a basement or a garage, you will be able to add heat quickly and effectively to keep the cold away.
- As you don’t need to carry out any complicated procedures like cutting holes in the walls when you install a baseboard heater, these heaters are a convenient and simple choice when you want to install a fixed heating appliance in your home.
- These heaters are powered by electricity, which means that you won’t need to install any ventilation to be able to enjoy the clean and warm air.
- A convective baseboard heater is a great choice for a bedroom or any room where peace and quiet is often a necessity. These heaters don’t have a fan and so they don’t make any noise whilst they are running.
- Because there are no moving parts in the baseboard heater, you can be sure that they won’t need any maintenance to stay in full operational order. This also means that baseboard heaters are reliable and durable so you can enjoy comfortable heat for many years to come.
Best Electric Baseboard Heaters Comparison Chart
King 4K1210BW Baseboard Heater
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Fahrenheat PLF1004 Hydronic Baseboard Heater
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Cadet Manufacturing 09956 Baseboard Heater
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Cadet 05532 Baseboard Heater
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CADET 9954 Baseboard Heater
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Marley Qmark Electric / Hydronic Baseboard Heater
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Best Baseboard Heater Reviews – (Updated List)
1. King 4K1210BW Baseboard Heater
Although some people may complain about other units being loud or producing buzzing noises whilst they are running, you won’t have ay noise problems with this King 4K1210BW baseboard heater. This heater is sure to produce plenty of heat for your room without disturbing your sleep or being an annoyance whilst you are trying to relax in your home.
The crushproof element and the sturdy fins that are built into this heater ensure that this is high quality and durable heater and thanks to the better parts that go into building it, the heater doesn’t make pinging and expanding noises as you would usually expect.
With a durable baked enamel finish, you can be sure that the exterior of this heater will remain to look newer for longer. The finish won’t flake, bubble or rust and it makes the heater easy to clean too.
This is a 1000-watt baseboard heater that runs on a 120-volt electric supply. It comes with black wire design and the unit also includes cable clamps to keep the installation as tidy as possible.
You will be able to install this heater for yourself, although you may find that the instructions are a little hard to follow.
2. Fahrenheat PLF1004 Hydronic Baseboard Heater
This hydronic baseboard heater will save you money on your energy bills whilst providing you with reliable and efficient heating for your home or workspace.
This heater is filled with water, so although it takes a little while to heat up, you can enjoy comfortable heat even after the heater has been switched off. In order for the heating element to emit heat even more effectively, the heating part of this baseboard heater has been submerged in a heat transfer solution, which enhances the heat output. This ensures that this heater will perform better than most other heaters out there.
Covering or obstructing a baseboard heater can be very dangerous as it could lead to a fire. To protect you and your family against this eventuality, the heater has a thermal shut off feature. This will ensure that if the heater does become obstructed, it will turn itself off and will wait until it has cooled again and is clear from any obstructions.
You have plenty of choices when it comes to mounting this heater as it has been certified as being safe to mount on a tiled or carpeted floor.
3. Cadet Manufacturing 09956 Baseboard Heater
Baseboard heaters are generally not considered the most attractive appliances, yet this Cadet model begs to differ. It has a nice white finish and will fit in with the rest of the room where you install it.
This baseboard heater has the power to keep you warm when it’s freezing cold and will ensure it will all be done in safe conditions. Since safety is always a concern considering that many heating devices could overheat, this one comes as a blessing. It’s not cheaply made, and despite being affordable, it is able to deliver a lot of benefits for that price.
It is easy to install, meaning you’ll get to enjoy its advantages sooner than you think. It is a little longer and will take up some space. Still, this only means that it has the ability to heat up a wider area and warm your room faster.
The appliance has radiant heat fins that add to the performance and durability of the product and make sure noise is not an issue. One thing you have to keep in mind, though, is that a thermostat is required in order to maneuver it and set the right temperature. This baseboard heater has 72 inches and runs on 240 volts.
4. Cadet 05532 Baseboard Heater
This 120-Volt baseboard heater is what you need if you want a device that fits in with the room while being good enough to heat up your environment. With a power coated, 20-gauge junction box made of metal, this baseboard heater is sturdy and has outstanding durability to make sure you’ll have it for a long time. Overall, the heater is made of 25-gauge steel.
The appliance requires a thermostat in order to work. That means that the thermostat will show you the temperature of the room, thus helping you decide how long you should let the unit on. All in all, it will do a great job of heating up your room. If your bathroom is cold, the baseboard heater can do a wonderful job there as well.
Furthermore, one of the things that make it so great is the fact that it’s easy to install. You will have an effortless process, after which you can enjoy the benefits of the product. Not to mention that the price is very convenient for the good results this heater is able to give you. So, if you’re on a budget, you might want to give it a try.
5. CADET 9954 Baseboard Heater
This CADET 9954 Baseboard Heater is the perfect solution when you want a baseboard heater that is reliable and that can spread continuous heat throughout your room. It operates smoothly thanks to its durable construction.
When you purchase this heater, you will need to purchase a separate thermostat, as it does not come with one. This gives you the freedom to choose whichever thermostat suits your needs the best.
The casing of this baseboard heater is made from 25-gauge steel to ensure that it is as strong as possible and will keep you and your family safe. It also features a 20-gauge junction box that comes with the ground. The junction box is made from metal for complete strength and durability and it is powder-coated to protect the outside.
The heating element ensures that the heat is evenly and continuously dispersed throughout your room so that you can enjoy constant and comfortable warmth in your home.
When you install this baseboard heater, you should note that it does not come with holes for the wires to be fed through. You will need to decide where you want the wires to come through and then you will need to cut a hole in the metal casing to enable you to feed the wires through.
6. Marley Qmark Electric / Hydronic Baseboard Heater
With an output of 1250 watts, this baseboard heater is powerful enough to heat rooms of up to 200 square feet in size. With around 4,265 BTU of heat output, this is a surprisingly powerful baseboard heater.
As this baseboard heater is filled with fluid, even after it has been turned off, it will continue to stay warm and keep the room warm as a result. This allows you to get the most out of the electricity that this heater uses so that you can continue to enjoy the warmth for some time when it is not even using power.
This baseboard heater is suitable for standard 240 or 280-volt wiring and a large wiring compartment is built into the design of this heater. You will be able to access the wiring easily for simple installation.
You should remember to purchase a separate thermostat so that you will be able to control the temperature of this heater, as it does not have integrated temperature control.
Unlike most other hydronic baseboard heaters that come with a disappointingly short warranty, this one comes with a 10-year warranty to protect the life of the unit.
7. King 8CB2015BW Ceramic Baseboard Heater
To ensure that this baseboard heater from King is as durable as possible, the heating element is made from ceramic. Ceramic is a popular choice in the manufacture of high-quality baseboard heaters as it will not wear out over time and it ensures an even and powerful dispersion of heat. Unlike fluid-filled baseboard heaters, you won’t need to worry about this heater leaking or posing a risk of explosion.
This heater is 8 feet long and it outputs 1,500 watts of heat. This allows you to heat a room of up to 150 square feet using a 208-volt supply.
This heater relies on convection currents to heat your room. Although it may take a while to heat up, it is faster than oil or water-filled systems to become warm. It will also manage to store heat so that when it is turned off, it will remain warm for some time. You will be able to install this heater in your bedroom if you wish, as it does not have an integrated fan to disperse the heat. The absence of a fan or any fluid running through the heater means that this is a quiet baseboard heater to use in your home.
8. Fahrenheat PLF1504 Hydronic Baseboard Heater
The Fahrenheat PLF1504 is an efficient baseboard heater that is capable of providing you with comfortable and warming heat where you need it the most. The design of the heater is modern and has a durable cream finish.
To ensure that the heat is dispersed well throughout your room, the heating element in this baseboard heater has been treated with a unique heat transfer liquid.
You can be sure that this heater is completely safe for you to use in your home as it comes with a thermal shutoff switch. This protects your heater against anything falling onto it or being draped over it. When the heater has returned to normal temperature again and when the obstruction has gone, it will continue to heat your room. This minimizes any inconvenience whilst keeping you and your family safe.
It is safe to install this heater on a floor tine or carpet if you wish. You will find that the heating that this heater produces is consistent and reliable. It is perfectly sufficient for acting as your only source of heat in a room. You will also notice the drop in the cost of your energy each month if you use this heater.
Buying Guide: How to Choose an Electric Baseboard Heater
Baseboard heaters are a great choice for supplemental heating if you want to reduce the amount of energy that you waste in your home. Instead of having your entire central heating system on, you can simply turn on a baseboard heater and use that to warm up your room. They are popular choices throughout the home and are a safe and reliable option.
Types of Baseboard Heaters
There are two different types of baseboard heater that you can choose from. These are hydronic and electric.
Hydronic Baseboard Heaters
Hydronic baseboard heaters require more complex installation than electric baseboard heaters. As a result, they’re not as popular as electric ones. You will need to attach the hydronic baseboard heater to your existing hydronic central heating system so that it can receive hot water. There are however some hydronic systems that simply contain the liquid that is heated up and circulated around the heater. These heaters can be slow to heat up and rely on convection currents to heat the room, but when you turn the heater off, it will retain heat and continue to keep the room warmer for longer.
Electric Baseboard Heaters
An electric baseboard heater is easy to install. It simply screws onto your wall and can then be plugged or hardwired into your electric supply. These heaters warm up very quickly and often use a fan to send hot air around the room. One of the problems with these types of heaters is that when you are using them, they can dry out the air, which can leave you feeling uncomfortable and can leave your nose and sinuses feeling prickly and unpleasant. Hydronic heating is gentler if this is something that you notice happens.
Electric heaters usually stay cool to the touch and as a result, they are safer to have around children and pets. Hydronic systems, on the other hand, hold onto heat well and this can result in the unit becoming hot to the touch, even after it has been turned off, which means that you would have to take greater care when using this kind of system in your home. If energy consumption is your priority, you might want to consider efficient oil-filled heaters by reading our oil-filled heater reviews.
Best Baseboard Heater Manufacturers
When you are looking for the right baseboard heater for your needs, you should look at the manufacturer as well as the product description. There are some well-known manufacturers who can be trusted when buying certain kinds of baseboard heaters.
- Cadet – This is a company that is based in Washington. It has been trading for many years now and is a trusted manufacturer of zonal heating products. You will not only find baseboard heaters in their range, but they also offer many other different types of heater.
- Fahrenheat – This brand is actually owned by Marley who is also well known for making great heaters. This is a brand that makes powerful and energy-efficient space heaters for the home.
- Qmark – Another brand name that is owned by Marley, Qmark can provide highly affordable products. These are some of the most competitively priced baseboard heaters on the market and will offer you more budget models than Fahrenheit.
Baseboard Heating Costs
Although the initial outlay of purchasing the baseboard heater is important, there are a few other costs that you’ll need to consider.
- Initial costs – A hydronic baseboard heating system will usually cost around 4 times more than the equivalent fan-forced heater.
- Installation – Before you buy, you should check the installation instructions. Some electric baseboard heaters need to be wired into the main supply, whilst others can be simply plugged in, which would allow you to forego needing to call out an electrician. These heaters are usually simply screwed into the wall near the baseboard and don’t require much skill to be installed.
- Efficiency – Hydronic heaters may take longer to heat up but they also take far longer to cool down than fan forced electric baseboard heaters. This means that they are more energy-efficient than many fan forced systems.
- Maintenance – Fan forced electric baseboard heaters can require lubrication of the fan, internal cleaning of the unit, and even maintenance on the element over time.
Remember that it is possible to cut back on winter heating costs by using your baseboard heater efficiently.
Stand-Alone or Integrated?
When you are thinking about buying a baseboard heater, you should determine whether you want to integrate it with your current central heating system, or if you want to add the heater to use on its own. You could add your own room thermostat to the heater so that you can control the heater along with other heaters in your home, or you could simply use the thermostat that is built into the heater if it comes with one.
The advantage of using the heater as supplemental heating is that you will be able to turn the rest of the heating off in your home when you are using this heater. Not using your entire household heating system when you are only using one room at a time will save you money on your energy bill.
If you have a large family, or if there are a number of people living in your household, it may be a better idea to add the baseboard heater to your home’s thermostat system. This will ensure that your family can stay warm no matter where they are in your home.
Baseboard Heater’s Size and Design Matter!
The size and the design are important when it comes to choosing the right baseboard heater for your needs.
To work out how much power your baseboard heater will need to have, you should work out the size of your room in square feet. As a general rule, you should have 10 watts of heat output for every square foot of your room. If you have a garage that is 1500 square feet, for example, you will need enough baseboard heaters to make up 15,000 watts of heat output. You may not be able to find a single baseboard heater that is large enough to heat your entire room, in which case you may even need to purchase two or more heaters to go in the same room.
If the heater does not give an indication of how many watts it can output, you can do this calculation yourself. For standard baseboard heaters that use 240-volt wiring, you should take 1 foot of length of baseboard heater to equal 250 watts of heat output. If you had a baseboard heater that was 6 foot long, you should assume that it outputs 1500 watts.
When you are looking around at baseboard heaters, you’ll notice that they usually come in white or cream. This is because it is a neutral color that is usually used for baseboards. To the front of the baseboard heater, you’ll notice a grille that may or may not have louvers to the front. If it does have louvers, you will sometimes be able to move them to change the direction of the flow of warm air.
Look for baseboard heaters that have a thermostat built into the design, as this will allow you to easily set the temperature of the heater. You should also be able to turn the heater on and off easily.
Heat Pumps Vs. Baseboard Heaters
Baseboard heaters can be a reliable choice when it comes to adding heat to your home or workplace. With hydronic and electric options to choose from, you’ll have no trouble finding plenty of different products out there that you can buy, and they will offer a cost-effective supplemental heating option. The alternative to using baseboard heaters is split-ductless heat pumps. Without needing to carry out any complicated ductwork, you can install one of these types of heaters relatively easily.
Unlike baseboard heaters, ductless heat pumps offer precise control of the temperature of the room and you don’t need to think as carefully about where you will install these heaters. Whilst baseboard heaters need to be installed on an external wall and away from furniture, ductless heat pumps are not bound by the same location restrictions. In addition, these heaters are even less wasteful with electricity than baseboard heaters and the heat that they produce doesn’t dry out the air in the same way as baseboard heaters do. Unless you have a humidifier in your room, you can find that the baseboard heater will dry out the air so much that you’ll start to feel it in your sinuses.
You will be able to use the ductless heater like a baseboard heater to provide zoned heating in your home. This avoids the need to connect all your heaters together and allows you to heat just one room at a time if you wish. This is a much less wasteful use of energy than having a central heating system. You can also use baseboard heaters in this way.
Some baseboard heaters can be noisy when they are in use, even if they don’t come with a fan. Unlike these heaters, ductless heat pumps are very quiet when they are on.
How Do Electric Baseboard Heaters Work?
Baseboard heaters are, of course, meant to heat up a room, but what makes them so interesting is the way they work. They pretty much take the cold air that resides close to the floor through convection, after which it heats the air and releases it back in the air.
Electric baseboard heaters are used to warm up a single room which is, of course, the room you install them in. They generally have to be mounted under a window, because sometimes there is cool air coming from the window glass. As such, the appliance takes this air and counters it with the warm air coming from the heater. A special system has been incorporated to help distribute heat, respectively some metal sheaths with fins of aluminum to help the process.
Basically, the process that takes place and involves the transformation of cool air into the warm air is called convection. The device is able to absorb the cool air within the room and warm it, after which it’s released into the environment.
However, it’s important to know the different types of baseboard heaters and the way they work. The two types you will find on the market are electric ones and hydronic ones. Hydronic ones have been provided with a heating element sheathed in metal, and before sealing it into a tube of heather-length copper, the element is dipped in a heat-transfer liquid. Not to mention that the copper tube used for sealing can ensure a maximum heat transfer because of some aluminum fins attached to it. This heater does a great job of prolonging the effect well after the thermostat is being turned off, to make sure you live in the best conditions.
On the other hand, an electric baseboard heater knows how to use airflow and radiation to its advantage and heat the room in a proper manner. They are so beneficial because a central heating system is unable to heat all rooms sometimes, and some are left too cold to handle. As such, an electric baseboard can be installed in the room and used to collect the cold and turn it into warm air. This gives you some control over that room, and what’s even better is that it’s perfect when you want different temperatures in other rooms. This will increase the comfort of those using the room or sleeping in it while saving a lot of energy.
How to Install an Electric Baseboard Heater: Step-by-Step Directions
With a little confidence and some knowledge about how to do some basic maintenance work, you should be able to install an electric baseboard heater for yourself
- The first thing that you will need to do is measure the size of your room in square feet. This is done by measuring the width and then the length of the room and then multiplying the two numbers together.
- Take note of how many windows you have in your room and whether they have one single pane of glass or more. If you only have a single pane of glass in your window frame, your room will certainly lose heat quicker than rooms that have more than one pane of glass in the window.
- Count how many exterior walls make up the room.
- Check to see if the exterior walls have any cavity insulation. You should also check to ensure that there is adequate insulation in your loft space to prevent heat from escaping upwards.
- Once you have established the size of your room and how well insulated it is, you’ll be able to choose a baseboard heater that is capable of heating it. To work out how many watts your heater should have, you should calculate 10 watts per square foot of your room if the heater uses a 240-volt electric current.
- Choose a suitable place to put the thermostat. The thermostat should be on an interior wall in your room so that it doesn’t take a low temperature due to heat escaping outside. Avoid installing the thermostat above the heater or any other heat source.
- Use a knife or saw to cut a hole in the wall for the switch box to go for the thermostat. It should be 60 inches from the floor.
- Ensure that there is a 2-wire circuit running to the thermostat. You will either have to pull cables through from the wall or you could contact an electrician for this part.
- Unbox your baseboard heater. Make sure that the heater is in good condition and remove the covers at the front of the heater at each end.
- Line the baseboard heater up with the place on the wall where you want to install it. You don’t need to have any wiring boxes installed into the wall as the covers conceal the electrical compartments that are integrated into the heater. All you need to do is make a hole in the wall where the cable needs to come through and feed the cable through the wall.
- You will need the same kind of 2-wire cable that you used earlier for the thermostat.
- Now you can follow the wiring instructions that come with the heater so that you can connect the wires up correctly.
- Once the wiring has been connected, you’ll be able to mount the heater to wherever you want it to be.
- Replace the covers and ensure that they are secure and cannot be pulled off.
Important Electric Baseboard Heater Safety Tips
To be sure that your baseboard heater will be safe to use and to prolong its lifespan, there are some safety tips that you should follow. These will keep your family safe. In addition to these tips, you should also use only one thermostat for your heaters to prevent the heating from being turned on when you hadn’t planned it.
When you use a baseboard heater, it is important that the heater can maintain good airflow. Not only will this allow the room to heat up better, but it will also make the heater safer to use in your home. Fan-forced baseboard heaters draw cool air into the heater towards the back and then expels warm air at the front. For this reason, you should make sure that there is plenty of clearance all around the heater. You shouldn’t use the baseboard heater for drying clothes for example.
Placing objects too close to the heater can prevent it from being able to carry the air around the room, along with having some more serious consequences. Items that are kept too close to the heater can end up becoming so hot that they could set on fire. Make sure that nothing touches the heater and that anything flammable is kept away from the baseboard heater at all times.
Baseboard heaters are installed close to the floor and as a result, they can collect dust quite easily. The accumulation of dust in your baseboard heater may not cause any damage to your heater, but if you have a fan-forced baseboard heater, you may notice some problems with performance. A large amount of dust could potentially cause a fire or at least could cause the element to burn out. To combat this, you should use the vacuum cleaner to remove any dust that has gathered in the grilles at the front of the heater. You should try to remember to do this every 1-2 weeks.
1. Can baseboard heaters cause a fire?
Baseboard heaters are generally safer when compared to other similar devices, thus the risk for a fire is low. Nonetheless, it doesn’t make it inexistent. If the device has some problems, or you don’t take safety precautions, a fire may occur when you least expect it.
For example, if the baseboard heater is placed in the wrong spot, such as under an electrical outlet, this may spark a fire due to the melting of the outlet. Also, improper installation of the device could lead to fire too, which is why it’s better to call a specialist if you don’t have the necessary skills, knowledge or equipment. When using the heater’s thermostat, you also need to make sure you don’t exaggerate with the high temperature and also make sure no flammable materials are nearby.
A fire hazard could occur easily if you don’t take the right safety measures, so don’t overlook this fact.
2. How long do baseboard heaters last?
It’s hard to mention a standard period for each baseboard heater. Obviously, several factors could either take away or add to the number of years the appliance will last, so it all comes down to the way it was created, the maintenance, the usage and so on. On average, though, it is said that electric baseboard heaters should last for about 20 years. If you take care of it and it has no defects to influence the number, it may last even longer than that.
3. Is electric baseboard heat efficient?
Yes, electric baseboard heat has a very high level of efficiency, so there’s nothing to worry about in this respect. Most electric heating is efficient for the most part. Since these appliances need electricity to work, they also use said electricity to create the necessary heat for your room. Besides, these devices could even help you save on utility bills by heating up the room you’re using the most, or controlling the temperature in a single room for convenience.
4. Is electric heat cheaper than propane?
In most cases, electric heat is a little pricier compared to propane gas. It also depends on the area of use (what you are trying to heat), and the size of the room. Overall, propane heating systems have been much cheaper to maintain in the US, which is why so many people are considering energy-efficient propane heaters in comparison to electricity. However, for smaller rooms where not so much heating is needed, electric heat might be cheap enough too.
Baseboard heaters are a great way of adding a little warmth to a space that is currently too cold. You could use the heater as a supplemental heat source when you want to save money on your energy bills. Whatever your reason is for choosing one of these heaters, you can be sure that you will have lots of models to choose from.
These baseboard heater reviews are just some of the options that are available out there. Now that you’ve read our buying guide, we hope you feel a little less daunted about choosing the best electric baseboard heaters for your home.
Remember to follow the simple safety precautions when using these heaters to ensure that you and your family can be safe. Consider all the different types of space heaters that you can choose from to determine which one will be the safest to use in the location where you need to install it.