Comparing Space Heating Methods for Staying Warm This Winter

If you are worried about your home’s ability to keep out the chill, you may want to invest in a new heating device. Depending on the type you choose, you can save money on energy bills and add value to your UBC real estate property during a resale.


Here are the most popular space heating methods, along with pros and cons of each:


Portable Space Heaters


A space heater can keep a section of your house warm without having to turn up the central heat. These products plug directly into the wall and begin producing heat within minutes.


There are two common varieties: heated element and oil-filled. Element heaters have a direct heat that can be felt on the body. Oil heaters create ambient heat that fills a whole room.




  • Portable
  • Low-cost
  • Produces heat relatively quickly




  • Having a direct heat source poses the risk of touching the element or radiant heater.
  • Heat dissipates quickly once device is turned off
  • Not useful for large areas
  • Expensive to operate because they consume a lot of electricity
  • Impermanent, so no added value


Baseboard Floor Heaters


A baseboard floor heater operates identically to a portable space heater, including the fact that there are both electric element and oil-filled varieties. They are glued, nailed or screwed to your flooring and arranged around the perimeter of the room. Usually, a thermostat or switch is connected to operate them.




  • Permanently fixed and can be wired to thermostat.
  • Provides constant heat that drifts upwards
  • Warms up quickly



  • Similar to portable heaters, they pose a risk of contact burns and they consume a lot of energy
  • Furniture must be arranged to not cover or make contact with the devices


Free Standing Stoves and Fireplaces


Used since colonial times, these devices are excellent at getting an entire section of a house comfortingly toasty. They can be fueled either by wood, wood pellets or a gas fuel line.


A fireplace operates almost identically, only it does not radiate its heat throughout the house as effectively as a free-standing stove.



  • Abundant, constant heat that warms both the air and people.
  • Fuel can be relatively cheap compared to central heating costs.
  • Easy to maintain



  • Expensive up-front costs and installation
  • Can pose dangers from contact
  • Fuel source must be readily available, which can mean chopping and stacking wood or having a supply of pellets
  • Fumes must be properly exhausted to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning


All of these methods can keep a high-use spot in your house nice and warm without having to crank up the central heat. Which method you choose depends on your personal needs and aesthetic sensibilities.


For more advice on adding value to your home with cozy heating amenities, you can consult one of our expert real estate agents. Take a look at our sellers page to find out more.

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