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When looking for a simple means of providing heat to a room or series of rooms, the space heater is a great way to achieve that end. Compact and often portable, space heaters are ideal for use as a permanent source of heat as well as a temporary one. Here are some examples of the different types of space heaters, and where you can get them.
Space heaters come in all sizes and shapes. Some of the units are small enough to fit easily under a desk and can be used as a little extra warmth for the feet on a cold day. Other space heaters are large enough to fill an open hearth in a fireplace, with the ability to easily keep a large room at a comfortable temperature. Some space heaters are meant to be portable, and are easily stored when not in use. Other kinds of space heaters may be mounted or inserted into the wall, making for a permanent fixture in the room.
The type of energy required for a space heater may vary as well. For many years, the most common type of space heater relied on natural gas as the medium of choice. Connected to a gas jet, the space heater relied on the use of heating elements called bricks in order to regulate the flow of the gas and the generation of the heat. In many homes, these types of space heaters were installed in living room fireplaces, while recessed models would be placed in bathroom walls, allowing the heat level to be adjusted at various points around the house.
Around the 1950s, electrical space heaters began to come into use. Electric heaters were manufactured that could function as both permanently fixed or temporary sources of heat. A major advantage of the electric heater is that it requires nothing more than a level spot and an electrical outlet for use. Portable heaters today are almost all made to use electricity, although portable heater options for camping may employ kerosene.
While many homes today use central heating and air systems, it is always a good idea to keep one or two portable space heaters around. A temporary malfunction of the main system during winter months can be made more comfortable by plugging in a couple of portable heater units at strategic points in the house. Also, a space heater is a great way to add a little extra heat to one room without having to adjust the thermostat for the entire house. This means that if you have someone who chills easily in your home, everyone can still be comfortable.
Space heaters can be purchased from utility companies, many home stores and some discount retail stores as well. While electric space heaters require nothing more than reading the instructions before use, it is always a good idea to have a professional handle the installation of a natural gas space heater. Often, it is a good idea to call the gas company for the installation, since the jets may need to be cleaned and the unit should be tested for leaks before regular use begins.