There are many kinds available at different price points in the market. Go for one that is compatible with the space that you want to keep warm
If you’re the kind fascinated by the Victorian lifestyle, you’d most likely light up the hearth on a cold winter night to keep yourself warm. Or the nature lover you might just create a bonfire in the great outdoors if you’re out trekking. But on most other occasions, chances are that you will rely on the efficiency of an electric room heater to keep yourself from shivering when the temperature drops to unbearable levels. The gadget, in fact, doesn’t just keep you warm, but raises the mercury in the entire room for an extended period of time.
How does the heater work? Hot air, being lighter than cold air, tends to rise. When that happens, the cold air in the room gets pushed down, and meets the room heater. Once it is sufficiently heated, it rises and pushes down the next column of cold air. And on and on it goes.
There are hundreds of options, types, and makes available in the market today. You need to pick the ‘right’ room heater for your needs. The gadgets range from the oil-filled variety to carbon fibre, PTC, fan heaters, quartz and radiant heater, and are priced at anything from Rs 1,000-1,500 to Rs 25,000-30,000.
Convection or fan-enabled heating devices are a great option for Indian households, as they can be stored when not in use. Effective in warming mid-sized to large rooms, fan heaters are widely acknowledged and used around the world. There are also infrared or radiant heaters that use infrared technology to manufacture heat, and are ideal for warming spaces with smaller carpet areas and low ceilings. Here, electricity goes through quartz tubes, transmitting the resulting heat to the people and objects around it. The most popular option nowadays is the oil heater where the heating element is dipped in oil, which in turn makes the surrounding air warm and comfortable during winters.
When to buy
While some people buy “for” winters, most others buy “during” winters. It’s a 40:60 ratio with 60 per cent of the people buying during the chilliest spell of the season, a trend that doesn’t change year after year. Says Saurabh Baishakhia President–Appliances, Usha International: “The number of people buying during chillier winters is much higher and every year there is a spike in purchases between December 20 and January 10. This is the time when most of us retailers/manufacturers say we are stocked out. However, at the retailer level, there is far more preparedness now as we realise that with WFH, people require heaters for multiple rooms.”
Quite a few companies have launched larger room heaters of late. For instance, Bajaj Electricals recently introduced the Bajaj RH 13 Plus model, which heats up larger rooms and has three heat settings: 1,000 W, 1,500 W and 2,500 W.
Features to look for
Look at the manufacturer, warranty and make of the room heater. Says Baishakhia of Usha International: “Room heaters as a category work on various principles and technologies. They come in several shapes, styles and prices depending upon number of fins, coils and wattage used.”
Currently the most popular ones are the quartz heater and OFR or oil-filled radiator as they are considered to be healthier, and keep the temperature in the room stable for a longer period of time. Then you have the carbon fibre heater and PTC heater. These are used in hilly and rural areas where people love to get the luminescence as these heaters glow in the night. The heat convector is the largest selling category. Oil-filled radiators that work on the principle of oil heating are the most sought after as they do not reduce the moisture content in the room. They are a little expensive, starting at Rs 10,000-15,000/20,000 depending upon the number of fins that you buy, which in turn depends on the size of the room. Typically, if you are not looking for spot heating, you would go for an OFR. From a cost effectiveness perspective, the best is the fan heater, which is low on power consumption, costs less and is also very safe as it is well covered.”
Often, room heaters lead to a significant drop in humidity levels, especially in smaller rooms. Low humidity and moisture content can lead to conditions like blocked nose, dry eyes and nasal irritation. The best way to avoid this problem is to look for a heater that maintains humidity at normal levels when in operation. But you could also buy a humidifier along with the heater.
Tips on buying
Always look at the number of heating elements in the room. In the case of OFRs, there are heaters with as many as nine fins, 11 fins and 13 fins when you want a gadget for larger rooms. Generally speaking, the 11-fins model is suitable for a 250 sq ft room, while the 13-fin model is suitable for 250-300 sq ft.
A powerful and larger heater will invariably require more wattage. So if you are buying one, you must know at the outset that it will consume more power. Check for the heating capacity of the room–the greater the capacity, the superior the heating. For example, if you are looking for a room heater for a 200 sq ft space, a 2,000-watt room heater should work.
Thermostat control is important. Being able to dictate the required temperature is essential when you choose a heater. After all, you want to be able to control the temperature in the room according to your comfort and convenience. Look for a heater with three temperature settings. Ensure the gadget is safe and comes with a safety grill, especially if you have pets or kids at home.
Always good to look at a heater with a power cut feature. Using a heater that turns off automatically has many benefits. For starters, the user can switch it on and fall asleep without worrying about turning the heater off. You can also save precious energy by setting a timer.
Look for portability–you should be able to move the heater from one room to the other, as and when required. Some heaters come with suitable handles and are ultralightweight, making them perfect for households that wish to move the heater from one room to another (rather than buying multiple ones).
Make sure you inquire about the length of the power cord when you go shopping. The longer the cord, the better it is, since this gives you the freedom to place it according to your convenience. Check the noise levels. You don’t want a heater that wrecks your sleep by creating a ruckus. Most modern-day room heaters are designed to do their job silently.
Finally, there is no need to keep all doors and windows closed when the heater is switched on. Keep some window or door open so that the oxygen content of the room is maintained and there is no suffocation and dryness.
Table: Different types of heaters and their indicative prices
|Type of heater||Key Brands||MRP Price Range (Rs)|
|Havells OFR 11 Wave Fins with Fan Beige 2900 W||15,395|
|Bajaj Majesty RH 13F Plus 2500 Watts 13 Fins||16,900|
|Orient Electric Ultra Comfort 13 Fin||16,490|
|USHA OFR 2000-Watt with Over Heating Protection||8,999|
|USHA – 3002 Quartz||1,630|
|V-Guard R T 1000 Quartz Room Heater||1,500|
|EVEREADY QH800 Quartz Room Heater||1,441|
|SUNFLAME SF 921 CERAMIC HEATER SF 921 Quartz Room Heater||1,000|
|USHA CH 3408 Carbon Room Heater||6,440|
|Havells 1000-Watt Carbon Heater (Black) (GHRGHBWK100)||4,104|
|Bajaj Majesty CHX Duo 1000 Watts Carbon Room Heater (Ivory)||1,720|
|Orpat OCH-1420 1200-Watt Carbon Heater (White)||3,500|
|Singer Maxi warm DX Carbon Heater (Black, 600 Watts and 1,200 Watts)||7,000|
|Bajaj Flashy 1000 Watts Radiant Room Heater (Steel)||1,029|
|HOMEPACK 2000W Radiant Room Heater for Home, Office Double Rod Room Heater||1,399|
|Lifelong LLQH921 Radiant Room Heater||1,500|
|Crompton Insta Red Radiant Room Heater||1,300|
|Orpat ORH-1410 1000-Watt Radiant Heater||850|
|HAVELLS OFR 11FIN With PTC Fan Heater 2900 W Oil Filled Room Heater||15,545|
|Morphy Richards Aristo PTC Heater Fan Room Heater||7,699|
|ORPAT OPH-1430 PTC Fan Room Heater||3,999|
|SUNFLAME SF-902 PTC SF-902 PTC Fan Room Heater||2,378|
|Kenstar FERNO 11 Radiator With PTC Fan Heater 2900 Watts 11 Fins Oil Filled Room Heater||8,417|
|ORPAT 1220 OEH Orpat OEH-1220 2000-Watt Fan Heater (White) Fan Room Heater||1,204|
|Jones Heat Flow Fan Room Heater||2,999|
|USHA 812 T Heat Convector with Instant Heating Feature (Black, 2000-Watt)||2,950|
|Bajaj Majesty RX10 2000-Watt Heat Convector Room Heater (White, ISI Approved)||3,229|
|Orient Electric Heat Convector HC2003D Heater (Black) Fan Room Heater||2,495|
|SUNFLAME Heat Convector Sf -917 HEAT CONVECTOR SF-917 Fan Room Heater||1,988|
Source: TechSci Research
Table: Indicative prices of car heaters
|Key brands||Details||MRP Price Range (Rs)|
|Haibing||DC 12V (24 V Optional); 800W||6,674|
|Haibing||DC 12V (24 V Optional); 150W||4,210|
|Haibing||DC 12V (24 V Optional); 150W + Purification||3,549|
|Haibing||DC 12V; 120W||2,930|
|DC 12V; 120W||5,915|
|Honelife||DC 12V; 120W||6,140|
|Shanrya||DC 12V; 120W||2,659|
|Shanrya||DC 12V; 200W||2,779|
|Outgeek||DC 12V; 150W||2,302|
|Andoer||DC 12V; 120W||3,340|
|Generic||DC 12V; 250W||3,758|
Source: TechSci Research