GBA Logo horizontal Facebook LinkedIn Email Pinterest Twitter Instagram YouTube Icon Navigation Search Icon Main Search Icon Video Play Icon Plus Icon Minus Icon Picture icon Hamburger Icon Close Icon Sorted
Green Basics

Space Heaters

A Space Heater Can Be the Sole Source of Heat in a Small, Well-Insulated House


Heat without a whole-house distribution system

Space heaters are usually categorized by the type of fuel they burn. Options include cordwood, wood pellets, and corn (all forms of biomass), natural gas, kerosene, and electricity.

Because space heaters have no way of carrying heat to distant rooms, they work best in houses with open floor plans and those that allow convective air currents to circulate heat. However, the more airtight and well insulated the house, the less distribution matters. Very tight homes with thick insulation are more likely to have uniform temperatures from room to room than leaky houses.

In rooms that are used only occasionally, it may be more economical to install a space heater and use it only when needed rather than keeping the room warm all the time with a central system.

GBA Prime

This article is only available to GBA Prime Members

Sign up for a free trial and get instant access to this article as well as GBA’s complete library of premium articles and construction details.

Start Free Trial


Log in or become a member to post a comment.


  • Green Basics

    Water Heating

    UPDATED 04/05/2012Tank or Tankless: Reduce the Load to Lower Water Heating Costs

  • Green Basics


    A New Generation of Boilers Is Super Efficient

  • Green Basics

    Heat Pumps: The Basics

    Heat Pumps Use Heat in the Air, Earth, or Water to Heat a House

  • Green Basics

    Green Heating Options

    Green Heating Systems Can Heat the House and Its Water


Recent Questions and Replies

  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |