Sometimes your home's furnace isn't enough to dispel the chill of winter. If you have a shop in your garage, often work outside, or have a poorly insulated area of the house that doesn't get air flow from your regular furnace, a space heater is the ticket to keeping your toes warm during those long snowy months. But you need to pick the right heater for your space.
Small Area: Ceramic Heaters
If you work at a desk for your day job, there's a good chance you have a small space heater or two lying around. Very small heaters, usually meant only for keeping a few square feet of air warm, are nearly always electrically powered ceramic heaters. An electrical coil heats a ceramic plate, and a small fan blows the warmed air around the plate out of the heater unit.
Small Room: Oil Radiator
A very affordable way of heating a small room or workshop is an oil radiator. In this type of space heater, the metal radiator body is filled with oil. The unit is plugged into the wall, and the electrical heating unit at the bottom warms the oil. The shape of the radiator allows the heat created by the warmed oil to spread to the whole room, with the benefit of not having a noisy fan blowing in the background.
Garage/Large Indoor Area: Gas or Propane Heaters
Many companies produce heaters specifically for heating garage spaces. They usually run on natural gas or propane, with tubes of the hot gas running between tubes of oil or water, creating a heat exchanger. The warmed air created by this heat exchange is then blown out of the unit into the garage. These heaters are simply bolted to the ceiling and can be controlled by an attached thermostat, but they must be vented properly to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. Their heating capacity depends on the model, but most will tell you whether they can heat a standard one, two, or three car garage. Keep in mind that you can always work with an HVAC professional, such as Moore & Russell Heating Ltd, if you decide to install permanent heating ductwork.
If you want to take this heating game outdoors, your options are similar to those for heating a garage, as the best heaters for use outdoors are usually run with propane or natural gas. Outdoor heaters usually won't have any mechanism for blowing air, as that just cools the air faster in the extreme cold of the open outdoors. Instead they simply radiate heat, and people wanting to stay warm must set up shop nearby. Of course, if such a large-scale heater is too costly or burdensome, you could always build a good old-fashioned fire instead!