Space Heater Safety: Oil Filled Space Heaters vs Electric Space Heaters

Space heater safety is vitally important. Most space saver heaters will come with integral warnings to not cover them. They will also state that they should be used with safety in mind owing to the volatility of the oil inside some heaters or electrical warnings. There are quite a varying amount of space saver heaters on the market and two of the most popular is electric and oil filled.

Electric Heaters

Electric heaters are excellent for heating a larger to mid size room. They plug directly into an electrical wall outlet socket and can be placed anywhere in the room, providing it is not too close to any furniture. The inner filament coil is heated by the electric current. There should always be an average of 3 feet clearance between the heater and the nearest object. This not only allows the heat to circulate the room but also protects other nearby items from fire hazards. Electric heaters are a little greedier on the consumption side and using them can make your meter tick on over time. Wattage and voltage are important when you select an electric heater. Lower voltage and wattage output will lower the running costs of heaters like this.

Oil Filled Heaters

Oil filled heaters resemble electric heaters in appearance but they have mineral oil running through the cavity panels. The dense oil is heated up and it radiates the heat around the room as it circulates inside the heater. They are a little more energy efficient than electric heaters and the store a greater amount of thermal energy. Owing to their large surface area, far more air can come into contact with the heater and this allows better warn air circulation around the room. There is always a fire risk with any type of portable heater but with oil filled heaters it can be slightly safer to hang clothes around them to dry off. It is not advisable to leave them in the room alone, so do make sure they are constantly monitored for the obvious safety reasons.


Space heaters can be far more energy saving device if the heating structure of your home is such that you have to heat individual rooms at extra expense. Some rooms are naturally warmer than other rooms and with a space heater it is possible to shut off the main source of home heating and supplement the space with an oil filled or electric heater.  Electric heaters use more energy than oil heaters, so they appear less cheap to run, in comparison. Oil filled heaters have a higher safety rate, so it is better to have those in a young child’s room than it is to have other styles of heater. This applies to both the heat aspect and the safety aspect. Shop wisely for a space saving heater. Read reviews and information regarding proper use and benefits so that you are knowledgeable about the intended purchase.