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Many space heaters are advertised as “whole room heaters” – but just how big is actually a whole room? One possible answer may be found in the Vornado heater manual which describes a complete room, relative to the heater’s capacity, as 16′ x 16′ by having an 8′ ceiling. These dimensions figure out to 256 sq. ft. and 2048 cu. ft. respectively – easily the size of most family rooms, kitchens, or living/dining spaces.

Over the last year a major shift in space heater technology has re-shaped consumers’ taste in whole room space heaters. On the list of winners are the types that employ ceramic or quartz infrared heating elements.

Among whole room heater manufacturers, Lasko holds the number 2 spot for bestselling heaters having its model 755320 tower heater with digital display ($45). (Primary is Lasko’s 754200 compact heater $20).

Ceramic heaters have gained wide spread popularity for a variety of reasons. The initial one is reliability. Speaking from personal experience, our Lasko 5141, not any longer available, refuses to stop the ghost after 6 or 7 birthdays – or approximately 52.4 space heater years.

Some more factors behind the excitement of ceramics for heating are quick heat-up and safe operation. Ceramic heaters can also be relatively quiet and provide a much heat which happens to be often referred to as “soft.”

A radiator will always be a radiator so there isn’t much that you can do with it. Despite the lack of any game changing technology, the radiator type heater remains one of the safest. Among radiator heater makers, Delonghi dominates the industry using its model D0715T Safe Heat Oil-Filled Radiator ($55).

Micathermic heaters are just radiator heaters enclosed by mica panels for enhanced heat distribution. Simply because they be determined by convection for heat distribution they can be fan-less and noise-free. Intended for versatility, they may be mounted on casters or hung on a wall, and therefore are said to be an excellent bathroom heater – which I don’t recommend for almost any portable electric heater.

Once very popular, mica heater bands supply but fallen from the wayside. Maybe it had something to do with a buyer complaining about sparks shooting from his DeLonghi HHP1500 Mica Panel Radiator. So it’s interesting to note the Kenwood HHP 1500, also created by Delonghi and strongly resembling the first, is one of Consumer Reports’ highest rated heaters.

However, all is just not lost. The Bionaire BH3950-U micathermic heater ($85) rates 4 out from 5 stars looking at the users for silent operation, portability, and whole room, non-drying heat.

Fan-forced convection heat is the M.O. on most whole room space heaters. The best rated heater makers with this category are Lasko and Delonghi, mentioned previously, along with Holmes, Honeywell, and Vornado.

New from Vornado this heating season is the PVH, or Panel Vortex Heater ($60). This heater is actually a departure within price and design from Vornado’s most popular heater, the round cornered EH1-0034-06 AVH2 Vortex Full-Room Electric Heater ($97). The brand new, easy to operate flat panel design houses the same technology found in their higher priced models.

The key to harnessing Vornado’s vortex of heat is always to locate the heater at one end of the room using a clear road to the exact opposite wall. As soon as the air hits the opposing wall it splits and is also deflected back throughout the perimeter of the room to heat every square inch of space.

From Holmes, sold underneath the Patton brand, is the new PQH307-UM Tower Quartz Heater with Adjustable Thermostat ($45). This fan equipped unit is around the smaller end (150 sq. ft.) of whole m1caband heaters while offering two heat settings corresponding to the number of quartz tubes turned on.

This coming year Honeywell has the distinction of the recommendation from Consumer Reports due to its model HZ-817 Electric Convection Heater ($70). The 30″ long, baseboard type heater has no fan and relies solely on convection for heat distribution.

Unfortunately, this heater is actually a victim of their own success which is either unavailable, back ordered, or sold at highly inflated prices resulting from scarce supply. Kaz USA Inc., the producer of Honeywell, is aware of the situation and suggests the HZ-617 Whole Room 2-in-1 Heater ($70) as an alternative. The real difference is incorporating a follower for the HZ-617 which is often turned on or off at the pleasure.

Certainly, the largest shift in consumer preferences for electric space heaters has become to furniture style quartz infrared heaters. The creation of EdenPure some time ago was followed by an onslaught of competing brands.