Types of Heaters: A Comprehensive Guide to Choosing the Right One for You

Selecting the right type of heater for a space is essential for comfort, energy efficiency, and cost-effectiveness.

Selecting the right type of heater for a space is essential for comfort, energy efficiency, and cost-effectiveness. Heaters come in various forms, each suited to different situations and preferences. From portable heaters for smaller rooms to large, central heating systems for entire buildings, the options are can feel endless. Understanding the specific needs of a space, such as size, insulation, and climate, is crucial in determining the optimal heating solution.

In the realm of specialized heating and cooling solutions, our team at Hyett Refrigeration stands out for our trusted services. We specialize in air conditioning repair and installation, ensuring that homes and businesses remain comfortable throughout the year. Along with installation, we provide preventative maintenance plans for proactive care, commercial refrigeration for keeping goods at optimal temperatures, and prompt services to ensure our clients get the service they deserve.

Classification of Heaters

Heaters are diverse appliances catered to a varied set of requirements and preferences, classified primarily by their energy source, heat distribution methods, and installation types.

By Energy Source

  • Electric: These heaters convert electrical energy into heat and include types such as resistance heaters, infrared heaters, and heat pumps.
  • Gas: Utilizing natural gas or propane, gas heaters often offer a cost-effective heating solution and encompass forced-air furnaces and wall heaters.
  • Oil: Oil-filled heaters are known for their portability and efficiency, heating spaces by warming oil within sealed units.

By Heat Distribution Method

  • Forced Air: Employing a fan to blow air across a heat exchanger, these heaters distribute warm air throughout a space via ductwork.
  • Radiant: Providing direct heat to objects and people, radiant heaters commonly use infrared technology without circulating air.
  • Convection: Convection heaters warm the air, which then rises to create a natural circulation of heat within the room.

By Installation Type

  • Portable: These heaters are lightweight, often electric, and can be easily moved to different areas that require spot heating.
  • Wall-mounted: Often found in residential and commercial spaces, these are fixed to the wall and provide consistent room heating.
  • Central: Central heaters are a part of HVAC systems like those installed by Hyett Refrigeration, which offer comprehensive solutions for both heating and cooling needs.

Electric Heaters

Electric heaters offer a range of options for warming up your space efficiently and effectively. Each type serves a particular purpose and fits different needs.

Convection Heaters

Convection heaters work by warming the air that circulates around a room. These are typically energy-efficient, providing a steady and even heat that makes them suitable for full-room heating over extended periods.

Infrared Heaters

Infrared heaters emit a direct warmth, using radiation to heat objects and people rather than the air. They provide quick heating and are ideal for spot heating in a specific area.

Oil-Filled Heaters

Oil-filled heaters are known for their ability to retain heat for a longer time, which ensures a gradual and consistent warming of a room. Although they take a bit longer to heat up, they are ideal for continuous use over several hours.

Fan Heaters

Fan heaters blow hot air directly into the room and heat up space quickly. The fan allows for immediate warming, making these heaters a good choice for rapid heat delivery.

Ceramic Heaters

Ceramic heaters use a ceramic heating element and are generally compact. They can heat up quickly and are suited for small to medium-sized areas, offering a lightweight and portable solution.

Our team at Hyett Refrigeration is skilled in geothermal heat pump installations, tapping into the earth's natural heat for eco-friendly HVAC systems. 

Gas and Fuel-Based Heaters

Gas and fuel-based heaters are essential for providing warmth in various settings, utilizing combustible fuels to generate heat effectively.

Natural Gas Heaters

Natural gas heaters are a popular choice for residential and commercial heating due to their cost-effectiveness and efficiency. These heaters operate by burning natural gas to produce heat, which is then distributed throughout the space. Installation should be carried out by professionals to ensure safety and optimal function.

Propane Heaters

Propane heaters rely on pressurized tanks of propane gas. They range from portable units ideal for outdoor activities to larger, stationary models designed for indoor use. Their portability and high energy content make them suitable for situations where natural gas supply may not be available.

Kerosene Heaters

Kerosene heaters are another portable heating option, especially useful in emergency situations or in areas without electricity. They burn kerosene fuel and are known for their high heat output. However, it's important to use them in well-ventilated areas to prevent the buildup of harmful fumes.

Central Heating Systems

Central heating systems are critical for maintaining comfort in homes and businesses. They come in various forms, each suited to different needs and preferences.


Furnaces are one of the most common types of central heating systems in the United States. They work by blowing heated air through ducts that deliver the warm air to rooms throughout the house via air registers or grills. This type of system is typically powered by natural gas, propane, heating oil, or electricity. In Harbeson, DE, Hyett Refrigeration provides reliable heating care and replacements for furnaces, ensuring efficient energy use and cozy winters.


Boilers heat water, providing either hot water or steam for heating. Steam is distributed via pipes to steam radiators, and hot water can be distributed via baseboard radiators, or heat convectors. Boilers may use various energy sources, including natural gas, propane, oil, or electricity. Homes and businesses in Harbeson can experience tailored HVAC solutions, including boiler services, through Hyett Refrigeration.

Heat Pumps

Heat pumps are a versatile and energy-efficient option for both heating and cooling. They transfer heat from the air, ground, or water outside of your home into your home. In particular, geothermal heat pumps use the Earth's natural heat and are recognized for their eco-friendly operation. Hyett Refrigeration offers geothermal heat pump installation services that harness this technology for environmentally conscious consumers looking to maximize their heating and cooling efficiency.

Portable Heaters

Portable heaters provide a versatile heating solution for various environments without the need for permanent installation. They come in different types catering to specific needs such as space heating, garage heating, or outdoor patio warming.

Space Heaters

Space heaters are designed for heating individual rooms or small areas. They often feature adjustable thermostats and safety switches that automatically shut off the unit if tipped over. Many modern space heaters are energy-efficient and come with options like oscillation for even heat distribution.

Garage Heaters

Garage heaters cater to spaces that are not typically well-insulated, like workshops or garages. They can be electric or gas-powered and may require ventilation. Garage heaters are built to withstand rugged environments and can heat large areas quickly.

Patio Heaters

Patio heaters allow you to enjoy outdoor spaces even in colder weather. These heaters come in various styles, including freestanding, tabletop, and wall-mounted units. Patio heaters commonly use propane, natural gas, or electricity to provide warmth, enhancing comfort during outdoor activities or events.

Outdoor Heaters

Outdoor heaters provide warmth and comfort, allowing for extended enjoyment of outdoor spaces during cooler weather. They come in various types, each with unique features suited to different outdoor settings.

Fire Pits

Fire pits are a popular choice for outdoor heating, serving as a central gathering spot. They offer both warmth and ambiance, making them ideal for social events. Fire pits can burn wood, propane, or natural gas, giving users the option to choose based on convenience and the desired sensory experience.


Chimineas, with their distinct bulbous body and narrow chimney, are traditionally made from clay but are also available in metal variations. Their design efficiently directs smoke upwards while radiating heat around their vicinity. Primarily wood-burning, chimineas provide a controlled fire that is less exposed to the elements compared to fire pits.

Industrial Heaters

Industrial heaters are critical for maintaining a controlled, comfortable temperature in large and challenging environments. They are engineered to withstand the demanding conditions of industrial spaces, ensuring efficient heating performance for a variety of applications.

Unit Heaters

Unit heaters are a robust solution for heating industrial spaces such as warehouses and manufacturing plants. These heaters can be powered by electricity, gas, or oil, and are designed for flexibility and easy installation. With their ability to produce a concentrated flow of warm air, they provide efficient spot heating in areas where it is most needed.

Duct Heaters

Duct heaters, used in conjunction with an HVAC system, are installed directly into the ductwork to provide heated air throughout an industrial facility. These in-line heaters are typically electric and come in various sizes and capacities to match the requirements of the space, ensuring a uniform distribution of heat.

Specialty Heaters

When it comes to specialized heating solutions, certain heaters are designed for specific applications. These heaters provide targeted warmth and fit into unique living spaces or architectural designs.

Baseboard Heaters

Baseboard heaters are typically electric and sit at floor level, running along the base of walls. They are an efficient choice for room-by-room heating and work well in spaces with large windows that cause drafts.

Toe-Kick Heaters

Installed under cabinets in kitchens and bathrooms, toe-kick heaters provide heat from a discreet location. Their compact design makes them ideal for tight spots where traditional heaters do not fit.

Ceiling Heaters

Ceiling heaters mount overhead and distribute heat evenly. They are commonly used in rooms with limited wall space or in commercial settings for focused, direct warmth without occupying floor space.

Wall Heaters

Wall heaters are mounted onto the wall and are effective for heating individual rooms or smaller areas. Their installation is versatile, allowing for placement in a variety of locations, including above doors or in hallways.

Contact us to chat about your options.

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