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Main Content
portable heater

3 Types of Portable Heaters

Even the best home-heating systems leave some rooms cooler than others. This is especially true near large windows and doors where drafts allow cold air from the outside to come in. That's why portable space heaters are the perfect answer for warming up places that never feel the full effect of your home's primary heat source. Adding a portable space heater to a corner, room or larger area is often all you need to make colder spaces comfortable and cozy. There are several options when it comes to heating spaces efficiently. Knowing how much space you need to heat and in the most efficient way possible can help you make the best choice.


Convection heaters work by circulating warm air through and around a heated object, like electric coils or ceramic bars, to warm up the air. Once the air is heated, it increases in volume, becomes buoyant and rises. As the air cools it falls, comes in contact with the heat source, heats, increases and rises again, creating a circular motion of warm air in any space, large or small. Called a "convection current," this circular motion continues until the air reaches the desired temperature. A thermostat turns the heating element off and on as the temperature rises and falls. Because the warmth from convection heaters tends to rise quickly and accumulate at the ceiling, using them in a room with a ceiling fan can help keep the warmth down where you need it the most.


Radiant heaters work by sending out infrared radiation to the surrounding area. This process is similar to the way the sun transfers warmth and energy to the earth. When infrared waves are produced and hit an object, most of the waves are absorbed, but a few of the rays are reflected and pushed into the surrounding area, resulting in instant heat. As the rays continue to heat an object, like ceramic bars or electric coils, more heat is transferred into the surrounding area, keeping the temperature warm and constant. Radiant heaters are fast, reaching their full heating capacity in under five minutes, meaning cold areas become toasty and warm almost instantly. Radiant heaters do not move the air around. This cuts down on the circulation of dust and other airborne particles, making them a perfect choice for people with allergies.


Combination radiant-fan heaters offer all the instant warmth of radiant heat with a fan-only mode for year-round use. Combination heaters use fans to move the heat from the radiant coil or bar to circulate the heat for an even faster warm up. When the heater portion is not in use, the fan keeps air moving in the same space, creating a refreshing breeze. Combination heaters also feature thermostats that turn the radiant heat off when the space reaches the desired temperature, while the fan continues to circulate the warmth, increasing the heater's overall efficiency. Combination units with whisper-quiet fans are perfect for the bedroom, as they keep air moving without creating too much noise for light sleepers and the perfect amount of sound for white-noise sleepers.

Portable heaters operate with electricity, kerosene or propane. Electric options are completely odor free. Choosing an odorless kerosene can almost completely eliminate the familiar smell associated with that type of fuel. Tractor Supply Co has a great selection of portable heaters in all sizes and fuel sources. No matter your heating needs, TSC has the portable heater for you.