house by even one degree, con- sumers can save up to 2-percent in heating costs per year. When selecting a portable heater, be sure the unit has plenty of safety features. Know where you will put your heater to help decide on shape, color and style. And make sure your electrical outlet is safe and secure. Many homeown- ers have more than one portable heater, depending on where they want to supplement their heat. Family rooms and workshops are often where portable heaters are used. For instance, baseboard heaters are perfect for the family room with consistent, silent heat- ing. But in the bedroom, you may prefer a ceramic heater with its focused broad heating. The follow- ing is a brief overview of the wide array of portable options to choose from.
Ceramic — A ceramic heater pro- vides quick, focused heating. It can be easily directed to send warmth where it’s most needed. Ceramic heaters are the most commonly purchased variety of heater and
are available in several shapes and sizes. They are commonly used in sunrooms, workshops and small offices.
Baseboard — Baseboard heaters are terrific to use in places where you do not currently have heat (like a basement or family room). They are quiet and heat the air in the whole room. Baseboard heaters are low-profile (short and line up against a wall) and are therefore less noticeable.
Fan-Forced — Like ceramic mod- els, fan-forced heaters provide per- sonal, directional heating, creating currents of warm air that can be directed by the user. They are highly efficient at heating the exact space you are in. Fan-forced heaters are commonly found in bedrooms, offices and workshops.
Radiator — A radiator heater effi- ciently heats the air in the room through ambient heat vs. a direct stream of heat. It is a popular type of heater because it simulates a traditional home radiator and
blends nicely in most environ- ments. It is widely used in base- ments and family/living rooms.
Quartz or Carbon — This heater also provides quick, focused heat- ing. A quartz/carbon portable heater is a personal heater; it heats you, not the air around you. This makes it much more energy efficient, running at a lower wattage then traditional heaters while still emitting the same amount of powerful heat. It is most commonly used in workshops and basements. (Courtesy of Honeywell Home Products)
HEAT AT THE FEET It’s a fact of life: No matter how warm your house is, if your feet are cold then you feel cold all over. On the other hand, if your entire floor is heated to 72 degrees, then this large heated surface will radiate heat outward to all areas of the room. A heated floor coupled with a 70-degree air temperature does a great job warming you from head to toe, making the home comfort- able enough for bare feet in the middle of winter. Radiant heatflooring is available in two types: electric and hydronic. Hydronic systems generally feature under-floor flexible pipe that car- ries hot water across the floor. The flowing hot water provides the floor’s pervasive warmth. These systems are usually installed in whole-house new-construction applications. Hydronic systems can be powered by gas, oil, electricity or solar energy, making them more flexible and economical than elec- trical systems for whole-house applications. Electric systems use mortar- embedded cable or thin under-floor mats that are wired to work much like electric blankets. These sys- tems are often used to heat small areas such as kitchens, bathrooms
Portable heaters are great for a personal level of comfort, when one spouse is hot while the other is cold.