The 5 Best Radiant & Convection Space Heaters In Canada in 2024

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Space heaters are an excellent method to heat up closed spaces without turning the heat up in the entire house. They’re also convenient for garages or cabins that are in need of some additional heat. Oftentimes, space heaters are portable, so you can essentially use them anywhere.

When used as an additional heat source, a space heater can even help keep your overall heating costs at bay. It isn’t to say that your electricity bill won’t go up a little (because it will), but the trade-off almost always results in net savings. 

From radiant space heaters to convection space heaters, there are many space heaters on the market in Canada. Keep reading to learn more about radiant and convection space heaters and how to choose the right one for your heating needs.

Our Top Picks:

What Are Space Heaters Used For?

Space heaters are commonly used as additional heat sources for small closed spaces. They’re inexpensive, energy-efficient, relatively quiet, and excellent at heating up small rooms quickly. Space heaters are also convenient for heating garages, basements, or cabins.

Depending on the type of space heater you buy, space heaters can even be portable and non-electric, which makes them more convenient for heating remote locations.

The 5 Best Space Heaters in Canada in 2024

De’Longhi Dragon 4 TRD40615ECA Oil-Filled Space Heater

The De’Longhi Dragon 4 1500-watt space heater can efficiently heat rooms up to 250 square feet. As an oil-filled space heater, the heater will stay hot even when it’s turned off, making it very energy efficient. It will take about 15 minutes to heat up a room, provided that it’s within the advertised heat range.

The Dragon 4 offers multiple heat settings on its user-friendly LED control panel, including a thermostat, a 24-hour timer, and an ECO Plus option. It also has an anti-freeze setting, which helps keep the heater’s pipes from freezing. It’s very solid, asides from its wheels that are plastic.

While Dragon 4 space heater is quite tall and weighs 26 lbs, moving it around is easy, thanks to its handle and the fact that it’s on wheels. Unfortunately, however, the heater must be plugged in since it’s a corded space heater.

The heater has a few safety features worth noting, including a child lock and overheat protection. However,

Why we like it

  • Quick and efficient heat distribution for small spaces
  • No need to refill the oil
  • Comes with a 3-year warranty
  • Easy to move around since it’s on wheels

What can be improved

  • Quite large considering its low heat range
  • No remote control

Dr. Infrared DR-968 Portable Space Heater

The Dr. Infrared DR-968 Space Heater is small but powerful enough to heat up to a 1000-square-foot space. As an infrared space heater, it won’t create a breeze, nor will it make much noise. Instead of heating the air, it emits infrared energy that radiates heat. Its digital thermostat is easy to adjust and ranges from 10 °C to 30 °C.

We really mean it when we say the DR-968 space heater is small but powerful. It measures 11 (W) by 13 (L) by 16 (H) inches and weighs about 25 lbs. While it’s a bit heavy for its size, the heater can easily be moved around as it’s on caster wheels.

The heater is easy to use with its user-friendly interface and remote control. In addition to heat level and a 12-hour timer, it has 3 heating modes to choose from: Eco, High, or Low. Its Eco mode setting is particularly convenient if you want to use the heater for extended periods of time and save on electricity.

The DR-968 offers a few useful safety features, including overheat protection and tip-over protection. The heater is safe to touch when it’s running, so you won’t have to worry about burns if you have kids or pets.

Why we like it

  • Safety features make it suitable for kids and pets
  • Can be controlled with a remote
  • Easy to move around since it’s on wheels
  • Unique vintage design

What can be improved

  • No automatic turn-on function
  • Heavy considering its size (25 lbs)

De’Longhi HFX65V15CA Tower Ceramic Heater

The De’Longhi Tower Ceramic Heater is perfect for quickly heating up small spaces. Measuring 8 by 10 by 25 inches, it’s compact and weighs just 5 lbs. With quiet mode, it’s perfect for small bedrooms or offices that are in need of some additional heat. It can essentially be used all year round since it doubles as a fan with a dust filter.

The heater heats up quickly in seconds, delivering instant, targeted heat with oscillation to warm up the entire room. The three heat settings allow you to find the ideal temperature for you and your family, and the lightweight construction also allows you to move it from room to room as needed.

Why we like it

  • Inexpensive
  • Comes with a remote control
  • Can also cool a space
  • Lightweight and compact
  • Comes with a 3-year warranty

What can be improved

  • Must be close by to use remote
  • Its front grill gets quite hot

Senville Tower Ceramic Heater

The Senville Tower Ceramic Heater is another small but powerful space heater, especially if you’re on a budget. It features Eco-Mode and a digital thermostat to help you minimize your energy consumption. It also has an internal swing function that ensures that helps evenly distribute warm air throughout the room.

The heater can conveniently be carried from room to room since it doesn’t weigh much. The heater can be controlled via its user-friendly control panel and a remote control that’s equally easy to operate. It has four main modes to choose from: High, Low, Eco, and Fan only. It has a 24-hour timer. The fan option is convenient in the summer when you don’t need heat.

Why we like it

  • Can be positioned vertically or horizontally
  • Operates quietly
  • Very affordable

What can be improved

  • Unclear mode selection

Dyna-Glo 20,000 BTU Propane Wall Heater

If you’re looking for a space heater that doesn’t require electricity to operate, the Dyna-Glo Blue Flame Vent-Free Wall Heater is a great option. Fuelled with propane, it’s perfect for heating up garages, remote cabins, or basements. With its blue flame technology, it also looks cool while doing it.

As a propane space heater, the Dyna-Glo doesn’t require electricity to function. This makes it convenient for spaces without electricity or for use during power failures. However, keep in mind that it’s an open flame, so it’s best to install this heater in a safe, low-traffic location.

In terms of heating capacity, Dyna-Glo can heat up a space quickly and very efficiently. It works by distributing heat similarly to a central heating system, by using blue flame heating technology. Since it relies on liquid propane, it has a built-in sensor to detect carbon monoxide or a lack of oxygen. If detected, the heater will shut off.

Why we like it

  • Reliable since it doesn’t require electricity
  • Easy to adjust the heat level
  • Excellent heating capacity

What can be improved

  • More expensive than electric space heaters
  • Not as safe as an electric space heater

Convection vs. Radiant Space Heater: Which Type Should I Buy?

Convection and radiant space heater are the two most common types of space heaters in Canada. While they’re both great for adding heat to small spaces, they operate very differently. In simple words: convection heaters are designed to warm the air, while radiant heaters are designed to warm your body.

There are many types of convection heaters, but the most popular convection space heaters are oil-filled heaters and ceramic heaters. They are easy to use and will often have a built-in thermostat to control the heat output and a timer if needed.

Radiant heaters, on the other hand, work by generating infrared radiation. Instead of heating the air like a convection heater, infrared energy gets absorbed by people and objects in its range. Radiant space heaters are commonly powered by fuel or electricity.

The choice between a convection or a radiant space heater will ultimately depend on the specs of your space and your preferences. A poorly insulated space would be better suited for a radiant heater. This is because the heat generated by a convection heater wouldn’t be very efficient, as it would escape the walls. However, with radiant space heaters, you’ll have to make sure you’re sitting close to the heater in order to benefit from its heat. Once again, you’re not exactly heating a space with a radiant heater, you’re heating your body.

How To Choose The Best Space Heater

Here are a few factors to consider when shopping for a space heater.

Type of Space Heater (Convection vs. Radiant)

There are three main types of space heaters: radiant, convection, or a combination of both. They work in very different ways. Radiant heaters heat objects and people in their path, while convection heaters instead heat the air within their range.

For poorly insulated closed spaces, we recommend radiant heaters. For small, well-insulated spaces, we recommend a convection heater, such as a ceramic space heater.

Heating Capacity

Heat capacity is a critical factor to consider when purchasing a space heater. One way to determine a space heater’s heating capacity is to look at its wattage. Generally speaking, a space heater should have at least 10 watts of power per square foot of your space.

Most space heaters on the market are 1,500 watts. As a rule of thumb, a 1500-watt space heater will heat a room up to 150 square feet in size. Keep in mind that this does not apply to every model and environment. Some space heaters can cover larger spaces, depending on the heating technology used, the insulation of the space, the outdoor climate, and more.

Energy-Efficiency

Winter electricity bills can be scary in Canada. The last thing you want is to end up with an even scarier bill at the end of the season because you thought you were saving electricity with a space heater. While space heaters are generally more energy-efficient than cranking your entire home’s thermostat, they can still be inefficient, depending on their heating technology.

Unfortunately, space heaters are not certified under Energy Star, so knowing which models are the most energy-efficient can be tricky. The best way to recognize energy efficiency in a space heater is to look at its watts. Opt for the lowest-watt model that suits your heating needs.

Safety Features

Safety features are important to look for in space heaters, whether you have small children or pets, or simply want to prevent accidents. Some safety features worth looking out for are safe-to-the-touch surfaces, child locks, tip-over protection, and overheat protection. Tip-over protection is important if you have pets or small children, as it will automatically shut the heater off if it falls over.

Noise Level

Depending on many factors, space heaters can be noisy. The noise level of a space heater can be measured by its decibel level. Decibel levels for space heaters range from 30 dB to 65 dB. To put that into perspective, a 30 dB is considered whisper quiet, while 65 dB is closer to a normal conversation. Some manufacturers will not list their product’s decibel level, so sometimes you have to rely on reviews, which can be misleading.

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