The winter weather has well and truly arrived! South Africans are bundled up and have unearthed their woolly blankets from the cupboard – but sometimes a blanket, hot water bottle, and a beanie just don’t cut it!
For those looking at ways to heat their home, there are many different options available, ranging from infrared to gas, oil, and electric heaters – as well as electric/gas hybrids and specialized heaters to suit almost every room in the house. But how to choose what best meets your needs?
Orlando Luis, CEO of the family-owned chain of hardware stores, Brights Hardware, offers some advice on some of the most common heater solutions:
“Gas heaters are a popular option with many people,” advises Luis. “They produce more heat than electric heaters in the same amount of time and gas is generally cheaper than electricity.”
“Oil heaters use electricity to heat up the oil stored inside their fins. The oil is used as a heat reservoir, and the heat is transferred from that oil to the steel casting, which then circulates the warmth around the room. Oil heaters take time to warm up but they’re perfect for extended use, like heating a chilly bedroom overnight.”
Luis explains that these heaters use electricity to heat up their glowing, red-hot bar elements, which then radiate a steady stream of heat particles without the use of a fan. “With infrared heaters, you warm up rapidly and they are great if you’re sitting on the couch or at your desk because their heat is focused on you and not the entire room.”
ELECTRIC CONVECTION HEATERS
According to Luis, convection heaters operate by air currents, which circulate through the body of the heater and across its heating element. “That heats up the air causing it to increase in volume and rise. As that hot air rises up, cool air rushes in to fill the gap – that air is then heated, and you get a hot air current.”
ELECTRIC FAN/BLOW HEATERS
“Electric fan heaters blow warm air around the room. These types of heaters offer quick heat and are usually relatively inexpensive to purchase and easy to operate,” says Luis.
ELECTRIC PANEL HEATERS
Electric panel heaters use electricity to slowly heat up the air around them, steadily heating up a room. “They give out less intense heat than other heating options, but they also use significantly less electricity and are good options for long term use to take the cold edge off a bedroom or office space.”
Luis advises that a clever heating solution on the market is a gas/electric hybrid heater that offers the benefits of gas heating alongside those of electric infrared heating. “This multi-purpose heater also means that should you run out of gas in the night you can simply switch over to the electric function.”
Stripping down to jump in the shower or bath and then climbing out again can be painful in winter. “There are several different kinds of heaters made specifically for bathrooms,” says Luis “and some are combination units that have lights, heaters, and extractor fans in them which are all mounted in the ceiling of the bathroom. Perfect for a toasty warm and dry bathroom.”
“Whatever solutions you opt for always keep in mind the risks when it comes to running heaters in the home. Don’t leave them on if you are not around to supervise and ensure all is well, and make sure nothing covers the heater or stands too close to it as this poses a fire hazard.”
“All of our Brights Hardware stores have on-site experts that can provide you with advice and guidance on heaters and what is best for your needs and budget. We have stores in Boston, Blackheath, Langebaan, Mitchells Plain, Montague Park, Plattekloof, Uitzicht and Brackengate,” concludes Luis.
*Product suggestions from the experts:
- Totai roll about gas heater – R999 on special
- Technilamp Infrared heater – R1999,00 – R2299,00
- Sunwave infrared heater tripod ONLY – R419,95
- Sunwave infrared heater – R1349 (2kw) R1399 (3kw)
- Amaze 420W Solo panel heater – R499 on special
- Taurus gas/electric hybrid heater – R1699
- Waco 4 light ceiling bathroom heater – R1499,00
- Eurolux 3 in 1 bathroom heater – R1099,00
- Mellerware rechargeable hot water bottle – R145 (on special
- Mellerware halogen heater 1200w 3 bar heater – R475 on special
- Waco 3 Bar Halogen wall mounted heater – R399
- Waco roof-mounted 2 light or 4 light infrared lamp/extractor fan combo – R1099 (2 light) or R1499 (4 light)
- Mellerware 2000w fan heater in white or graphite – R195 on special
- Mellerware oil heaters – R695 (7 fin), R795 (9 fin), R895 (11 fin)
- Glass panel 1500w convection heater – R899
*Please note that pricing on all of these units can fluctuate without notice. For more information or to browse the online store for current pricing visit www.brights.co.za or visit your nearest Brights branch for more assistance.