Best way to heat an office.
  • Category:
    Small Business Energy Savings
  • Published:
    October 31, 2023

What’s the Best Type of Heater for an Office?

Keeping employees warm and comfortable supports quality work, productivity and well-being. Yet, that simple goal isn’t always easy to achieve. Temperatures can vary tremendously in different areas of your office. While various studies have found the ideal office temperature range to be between 73 to 77 degrees, people often disagree as to what the best temperature actually is.

You have office heater options for maintaining the ideal temperature overall and accommodating the needs of individuals in your company. You will need to balance cost with practicality and energy efficiency. In many cases, office space heaters can minimize small business utility costs.

What are office space heaters?

A space heater for the office is the same as a device used to warm up spaces in a home. Office space heaters are portable devices that are designed to heat a small area or small room. They are popular and effective solutions to a cold office.

6 types of space heaters for an office

What is the best type of heater for an office?

You will find a variety of office space heater technologies and types on the market. Here are the most popular types, along with an explanation of their strengths and weaknesses. You can use this information to determine the best heater for office use in your facility.

1. Convection space heaters

Office space heaters use convection technology to circulate warm air in a space. An electric heating element creates warm air, which then rises within the unit and exits the top. The movement of the warm air up draws in cool through bottom vents.

Pros and cons of convection space heaters

Convection heaters have a number of advantages.

  • Operate silently without fans
  • Maintain an even temperature through the space
  • Energy efficiency
  • Versatile in various work settings

When thinking about the best heater for office spaces, be aware of some of the drawbacks.

  • Difficult to feel warmth unless you are nearby
  • Require more time to heat up a space
  • May stir up dust

2. Ceramic space heaters

This kind of office space heater packs a lot of power into a small package. They create heat by passing electricity through coils surrounded by ceramic plates that heat up fast and radiate heat into the surrounding space. Some have a fan mode that aids the diffusion of heat.

Pros and cons of ceramic space heaters

The advantages of a ceramic office heater include:

  • Small size
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Works fast to heat your space
  • Inexpensive

Some of the disadvantages include:

  • Heats only a small area
  • Has to run constantly to provide heat

3. Fan space heaters

Models using this technology are simple. Electricity heats up a metal coil and a fan then blows hot air into your space.

Pros and cons of fan space heaters

Fan space heaters are a popular office heater choice for these reasons:

  • Long lasting
  • Inexpensive
  • Work immediately
  • Compact and lightweight

Fan space heaters do have some faults:

  • Can be noisy
  • Possible fire hazard
  • Has to run and use energy constantly
  • Will not warm a large space
  • Can create dry skin

4. Oil filled portable radiators

These devices are constructed with metal tubes filled with oil in designs that look like the steam or water radiators in old houses. Electrical energy heats the oil in the tubes, and like old radiators, they warm your space by radiating heat.

Pros and cons of oil-filled space heaters

Oil filled space heaters are popular because of their:

  • Quiet operation
  • Clean, dustless heat
  • Long lasting heat after being turned off

Oil space heaters do have some faults.

  • Take a while to heat up
  • Are very hot to the touch
  • Flammable oil can catch fire
  • May leak oil if tipped over

5. Infrared Heaters

The way these heaters work is fundamentally different from those above. Instead of some device heating the air, these units emit electromagnetic waves that heat up objects like the sun shining down on the earth.

Pros and cons of infrared space heaters

Infrared space heaters offer advantages:

  • Quiet operation
  • Long lasting heat
  • Cozy feeling

Infrared space heaters are not for everyone.

  • Are more expensive
  • Emit heat in only one direction
  • Can be heavy and less portable
  • Don’t work well in empty rooms

6. Propane Heaters

Instead of using electricity, these portable heaters burn propane to create heat.

Pros and cons of propane space heaters

People like propane space heaters because they are:

  • Ultra portable and don’t need electricity
  • Heat a room fast
  • Less costly to operate
  • Inexpensive to buy

Consider the downsides of propane space heaters carefully.

  • Higher risk of fire or even an explosion
  • Temperature control is difficult–they are hot or not
  • Emit carbon dioxide
  • Also emit water vapor, creating a clammy feeling

Are office space heaters energy-efficient?

You may find that space heaters are a more energy efficient option for keeping your office comfortable for everyone. They may also be considerably cheaper to install and operate than a new or upgraded central HVAC system.

The cost of heating an office

Determining how much office heating costs for your facility is an important step in making choices about the best heater for office spaces. Upgrading your building’s system to serve colder areas is expensive. It may be better to fine tune the temperatures in your facility by adding office space heaters to lower your utility costs.

Figure the cost of operating any given unit in your office by looking at the wattage per hour the unit uses and the number of hours you’ll run it. Divide that number by 1000 to get a kilowatt hour number and multiply that by what you pay for electricity by kilowatt hour. For example, you might have a 1,500 watt space heater that you use 8 hours a day. 1,500 watts multiplied by 8 and divided by 1000 will give you a usage of 12 kilowatt hours. If you pay $.20 per kilowatt hour, you pay $2.40 a day to run the unit.

Determining the best type of heater for your office

The best space heater for office use will depend on a number of factors. Consider the size and nature of the space you need to heat. Budget both the cost to buy and the cost to operate office space heaters. Energy efficiency will reduce HVAC energy use and will reduce waste as a small business. Lastly, consider the noise level, portability, heating functions and safety features.

Save on your small business heating this winter

Adding office heaters can go a long way towards reducing your small business energy consumption. Explore other ideas for lowering your business expenses in our small business blog.

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