Space Heater Guide

Types of Portable Heaters

Heating Spaces Up

Portable heaters, commonly referred to as space heaters, help warm up indoor facilities. They come in various forms but share a major feature: heating up a single, confined area, as opposed to a large space or several spaces simultaneously.


Space heaters offer convenience and provide heat directly. Learn about the four types of portable heaters to find the right one for your space.

Types of Space Heaters

Oil-Filled Radiant Heater
  • Defined by a radiator-like body
  • Mobile with wheels
  • Uses radiant heating to create warmth
  • Doesn't need to be refilled
Flat Panel Heater
  • Has a board
    fixture with a flat,
    smooth surface
  • Can be
    wall-mounted or
    placed on the floor
  • Uses convection technology to secrete heat
  • Slim and quiet with quick, powerful heat
Pedestal Heater
  • Has a cylindrical-like body, a curved top and buttons
  • Uses radiant heating to create warmth
  • Includes a timer and can be remote-controlled
  • Warms air over coil elements and fans out heat
Ceramic Heater
  • Has a short body
    with a ceramic
  • Can be placed
    atop a table,
    chair, bench or
  • Uses radiant heating to
    secrete warmth
  • Can use fan-forcing

Space Heaters' Electricity Consumption

Quadrillion Btu Billion kilowatt-hours Share of total
0.43 125 9%

Heating Up the USA

Space heating makes up the largest portion of household energy use in the majority of the country.

  • For decades following the 1990’s, space heating has amounted for over 50% of residential energy consumption.
  • After 2009, space heating usage dipped to 41%.
  • Space Heating Fuel: 56% natural gas - 38% electricity - 20% other/none.
  • It costs $2.82 per day to use an electric space heater for 16 hours.
  • Space heaters resulted in 79% of fatalities in home heating fires.
  • 110.1 million units in the U.S. use space heaters.

Where to Keep your Space Heater

Portable Heater Type Best for use in:
Oil-Filled Radiant Heater Long hallways, spaces which require a lot of transporting
Pedestal Heater Facilities in need of timing heater use
Flat Panel Heater Small offices, packed rooms
Ceramic Heater Places with a table or available mounting space, ex: a shelf with enough space

Tips for Safe Use