Our guide for a warmer winter
Heating your home
Whether it’s a small fan heater for yourself or a larger convector heater for your lounge, this guide will help you make the right choice for you and your family to keep your home cosy during the winter season.
Top tips for buying a heater
- Buy a heater that uses the right amount of energy to heat your chosen room efficiently. A 400 watt heater will efficiently heat a walk-in wardrobe or bathroom, while a 2400 watt (2.4kW) heater will comfortably heat a medium sized living room.
- Choose the right heater for the room you want at a price point you can afford. A cheaper heater that heats inefficiently for the room size you have, can end up taking longer to heat up and use more power and money in the long term.
- A quality heater doesn’t have to cost the earth. At the same time, you do often get what you pay for. So how do you know if a heater really is worth its price? Buy a reputable brand that is able to justify the prices of its product. Look for longer warranties, extra features, temperature stability or the ability to quantify power savings.
- Use a heater in conjunction with a dehumidifier and make your home warmer and dryer faster! A dryer home is easier to heat than a home that is suffering from condensation or cold draughts in the winter months.
- With the amount of options available, buying a new heater can be quite daunting! Our guide below provides recommendations for the right heater based on your requirements and breaks down the pros and cons of each heater.
Heaters for small areas and personal warmth
Radiant heaters use bars with glowing elements and a reflector to create heat rays. The heat rays warm people and objects rather than heating the air making these heaters ideal for draftier environments. The warm glow creates a delightful, cozy ambience.
Fan heaters are cost-effective, personal heaters designed to provide instant heat in smaller spaces. The fans help to warm up rooms faster by distributing heated air evenly rather than letting heat build-up near the ceiling. For added safety choose one with a tip-over switch which will turn off the heater if it overturns.
Panel heaters combine convector heat technology with a sleek, minimalistic and often wall-mountable design. Great for bedrooms, hallways and small living areas or as a complementary support to a heat pump. Panel heaters are very quiet and safe to use.
Snuggle up! Electric blankets warm your bed for ultimate comfort. Cozy up on the couch with a heated throw, or climb into a nice warm bed.
Heaters for medium sized rooms
Oil column heaters
Oil heaters are a trusted heating choice in many Kiwi homes. The metal fins create a large heating surface making them great for larger spaces. Hot air rises and then slowly circulates around the room. The slow cool down keeps a room warm long after the heater is switched off. An oil column heater with a timer will let you set it to turn on and off automatically, saving you money and time. Some oil heaters also feature fans, allowing for faster distribution of heat.
Convector heaters provide warmth by pulling air over a heated element. When the heater is turned on, the air is drawn over the element and rises up through the unit and out the top. Convector heaters are lightweight and portable, they operate quietly and are often a simple, clean design. Choose a model with an integrated fan for faster room heating.
Flame effect heaters
Flame effect electric heaters have all the benefits of a fire with heat, ambience and aesthetic finish without the cost, installation, safety issues or maintenance a fireplace requires. There’s nothing quite like the effect of a fire, it creates a wonderful feeling of comfort and cosiness.
Heaters for larger areas
Ceramic heaters are the most efficient form of fan based heating and come in personal and tower versions. Ceramic heaters have no glowing parts, making them very safe to use. They are portable but most also have a space saving wall-mountable feature.
Micathermic heaters are hailed as the most efficient when it comes to portable heating. The quick heat-up and large surface area bring a room up to temperature quickly and efficiently saving money on your heating bill. Micathermic heaters are also very quiet and have no glowing parts making them a very safe, home heating solution.
The Air Multiplier is a fan with an unusual characteristic: it doesn’t have any visible blades. It works by using a brushless electric motor that takes in air and feeds it into the circular tube. Air flows along the inside of the fan, this provides the basic airflow that creates the breeze.
Why buy a dehumidifier?
A dehumidifier will make your room easier to heat by removing the excess moisture in the air so you won’t have to deal with damp spots. Most dehumidifiers also act as purifiers so you’re breathing fresher and cleaner air. A dehumidifier reduces the level of humidity by using a small fan to draw damp air over a refrigerated surface. The water condenses and drips into a collection bucket. This makes your home less hospitable to allergens such as dust mites, mould and mildew.
Key features to look for
24 Hour Timers
A heater with a timer built in, is not only efficient; it can also save you money. Switching the heater on and off automatically will ensure you come home to a warm environment and makes it easier to get out of bed on the cold winter mornings.
Automatically shuts the system off if the temperature gets too warm, while also allowing you to decide on a temperature range that fits your requirements.
Fan only mode
A heater with a fan only mode can act as a 2 in 1, keeping your home cosy in the winter and cooling you down during those hot summer months.
Pair your compatible heater with your smartphone for the ultimate comfort solution. Adjust & monitor the temperature and timer of your heater from anywhere in your home, or even when you’re out! Come home to a warm, dry environment.
Positioning of your heater is important; make sure to have at least 1 metre clearance from anything hazardous like furniture and curtains. Avoid placing the heater anywhere where it could be easily knocked over.
For safety conscious users, it is a good idea to look for a heater that has a tip-over switch, which will immediately shut off the heater if it is knocked over or tilted out of place.
In an effort to reduce fire hazards, it is a good idea to regularly clean your heater of dust. It is recommended to plug your heater directly into the wall socket. Do not place your heater in any small enclosed spaces i.e. wardrobes.
Don’t forget to turn your electric blanket off! If you’re forgetful, look into one with a timer which will automatically switch the blanket off if you forget.