When we woke up this morning the temperature was about 8 degrees and since then it has only dropped. Currently we are -5 with wind chills as great as -25 according to the local weatherman. Some parts of the country are even cold like Chicago, which is now being called Chiberia with temperatures colder than the south pole today. The cold snap reaches pretty far south as the Florida pan handle will even be in the teens by tomorrow. For keeping interior spaces warm where it is unsafe to use kerosene or propane portable heaters we wanted to go over a couple electric heater options for various sized spaces.
Small Space Heating with 110v Power Source
The unfortunate part with electric heaters is you just can’t make a whole lot of heat from a standard 110v outlet. Typically these units will top out at 12-15 amps and around 5100 BTU of heat output. One of our favorite little units is 198TMC ($81) this unit combines forced air with infrared heat to create a nice hybrid or the two types of heat. For an office or bedroom this unit works very well as well as a spot heater for larger space that isn’t too cold.
Midsize Space Heating with 240v Power Source
If you have a 240v outlet common for household ranges and dryers you can step it up to the next level of electric heat without involving an electrician. For heating a spot in a large warehouse or outdoors the best option is going to be an infrared unit which do an excellent job of heating people and work space without wasting energy heating the air. For confined spaces where you want to keep the entire space warm, like an apartment or office space a really good next option is the HF684TC ($207) with 4000w 6-20p plug or the HF686TC ($243) 5600w 6-30p plug. These units can put out an impressive amount of heat, up to 19,100 BTUs but also move the air at high rate around 262 CFM. These units do a very nice job of raising the temperature of the air in the entire space. It is critical that the air be given a chance to continue to heat up as each time it moves through the heater it’ll gain a few degrees in temperature.
For an even larger space, if you have the necessary 42 Amps of power you can also step up to the pre-wired Salamander FES10241CA ($842) which uses a 6-20P plug. This unit can heat a small house with its 34,100 BTU of heat output and also moves the air around 800 CFM so also very nice circulation.
Large Space Heating with 240v/480v Power Source
For the larger space where 3 phase and/or higher voltages are available certainly the options open up a lot with the Salamander FES electric Heaters. The largest units are the FES 45KW ($2307) units that put out an impressive 153,000 BTUs and a fan that blows 2200 CFM moving some serious air. These larger units however don’t even include the power cords and will definitely require some electrical knowhow to install. I think this is by design because that is some serious power to be playing around with.
If you have any questions about portable electric heater give the pros at Ohio Power Tool a call 800-242-4424. Extreme cold temperatures can serious damage property and even kill people so make sure you are prepared. We found a very nice article our buddy Rob wrote a while back on preventing pipes from freezing which we thought was very relevant for this week.