It is fair to say that if you live somewhere that gets cold in the winter, space heaters are likely to be an important part of your home’s interior. They may not be the hottest element in your interior decorating scheme, but unless you want to have guests shivering throughout their stay or else spend a fortune on heating bills, a space heater is essential.
That said, there are a lot of space heaters on the market. Programmable space heaters are the hot buy right now. Why is that, and what do these space heaters have to offer?
About Programmable Space Heaters
For those not in the know, a space heater is just what it sounds like – an electrical unit which, when plugged in, emits heat. How much heat will vary from unit to unit. Personal-sized space heaters often emit a little heat over a radius of a few feet – just enough to keep you nice and toasty. Larger space heaters can fill whole rooms with enough heat to keep yourself and several family members and guests nice and warm.
Ideally, you want your space heater to be programmable. We all have different comfort zones when it comes to temperature. You don’t want to be left freezing or sweltering in a personal sauna just because you’re colder or hotter than others in your home and your space heater only has one or two settings.
Programmable space heaters can give you a lot more control over the temperature settings, allowing you to tweak it to come closest to hitting everyone’s comfort zones at once.
In addition, programmable heaters can be set to turn on and off at a specific time. Don’t want to get out of your warm, cozy bed to turn your heater on or off? Who does? With programmable heaters, all you have to do is preset your heating and timing preferences, and bask in your regularly-scheduled comfort.
Best Programmable Space Heater Reviews
1. Vornado Vortex VH10
This is a good example of your standard all-around programmable electric space heater.
Vornado Vortex VH10 isn’t too large or too small, measuring 11.7 x 9.3 x 12 inches all around, and its medium size makes it ideal for heating medium-sized rooms as well. If you are looking to heat a large dining room, this probably isn’t your best solution, but it can be great for a single bedroom, den, or similarly-sized area.
It makes use of what it terms “vortex air circulation,” which it claims is similar to a furnace, but smaller. If that sounds desirable for the space in question, you might want to give this a shot.
The unit comes with two heat settings, low (750W) and high (1500W). While that isn’t as extensive as other options on this list, it does offer some control over how hot things get. In addition, the unit comes with an adjustable, programmable thermostat.
One of the most common concerns about space heaters is the prospect of them turning over and causing a fire, or of accidentally burning yourself when brushing up against it. The unit boasts safety features, including casing that’s cool to the touch, tip-over protection, and an automatic shut-off point, all of which help make the heater safer to use.
2. Air Choice Infrared Space Heater
This unit from Air Choice offers several high-tech options that make it quite customizable, programmable, and thoroughly modern.
For example, it features a touch screen for setting the temperature. Once you do so, the unit will remain at that temperature until you change it. Even if you turn the unit off, once you turn it back on again, it will fire up at the last temperature setting you selected. This makes it that much easier to program your space heater to operate at the perfect temperature for you.
This unit also has two modes, a lower 750W setting and a higher-powered 1500W one. In addition, it offers an energy-saving Eco setting as well. It should be noted that, as an infrared heater, the unit works not by heating the air directly, but rather the objects toward which it is pointed.
The heater comes with a remote control, which can be extremely convenient for those looking to relax in bed while still controlling their space heater. This can also be useful for parents who don’t want their children to play with the settings.
In addition, this unit has a programmable 12-hour timer. This allows you to program when the unit turns on and off, both of which can be incredibly useful. For example, you can set your heater to switch on a few minutes before you arrive home, ensuring that your home is already warm when you arrive.
3. Bionaire Silent Micathermic Console Heater
This is a nice, compact unit, measuring 26 3/8 x 6 x 21 1/4 inches. It is also a pretty lightweight unit, and these two factors combined make this a good choice for those looking for a more portable programmable space heater. That status is further strengthened by the large carrying handle it boasts, as well as the wheels that make it that much easier to move around as needed.
That said, big things come in small packages, and that’s certainly true with this unit, as it is able to disperse its heat in such a way as to heat larger rooms more efficiently than some other options on this list. That is due in large part to its use of a Micathermic heating unit that makes use of both convection as well as reflective heating technology.
In addition, this unit makes use of two heating settings and an adjustable thermostat. While it is not as robust as other programmable space heaters in terms of the options offered, its streamlined design makes it easy to use, making it one of the more accessible options on this list. In addition, as with other models, it has an automatic shut-off point to avoid overheating or starting fires if turned over.
4. TRUSTECH Portable Ceramic Space Heater
This space heater makes use of ceramic heating elements and is able to produce a great deal of heat without open coils. Both of these factors help save on electricity, with the unit more energy-efficient than other options on the market. It comes with protection against turning over or overheating.
In terms of programmability, the space heater can make use of three distinct heating levels. In addition to 750W and 1500W heating levels, this unit also makes use of a fan mode, which can disperse heat throughout a larger area in your home.
One of the distinguishing features of this unit is its oscillation function, which allows it to move in place and disperse its heat over a greater area than other options. If you are looking for a heater that can emit heat and spread it out over a larger area, rather than limit it to the area immediately surrounding it, this might be a good choice. It comes with a carrying handle that allows users to pick it up and place it wherever they want with ease.
This space heater is able to do all of this despite the fact it weighs less than four pounds, making it a great lightweight portable programmable options.
5. Honeywell EnergySmart Electric Radiator Heater
This is another good space heater to consider if you are looking for an option that can conserve energy while heating your room. In addition to low and high power modes, it makes use of EnergySmart technology that helps lower the amount of electricity it uses.
In terms of programmability, the unit makes use of Digital EasySet Controls, among which are a timer that can be set for intervals of one to twelve hours. This can be a great way of setting the temperature for different points of the day and night well ahead of time.
What’s more, while a lot of these space heaters must be programmed directly, this unit features the option of being programmed remotely via a thermostat. This can enable you to program the space heater even if you are in another room. This adds to the convenience of the unit and makes it easier to program no matter where in the home you may be.
In addition, this is yet another programmable space heater that is on the portable side of the spectrum, with wheels to make it easier to move.
It also features the standard protections against overheating and tipping over, as well as thermal insulated wiring for increased protection.
This is by far one of if not the single-most high-tech options on this list, and certainly the most Amazon-friendly, given the fact that it can connect to and be controlled by Amazon’s Alexa.
This takes its degree of programmability and user friendliness and convenience to a whole new level. Instead of fiddling with buttons, dials, or even remote controls to set the temperature, all you have to do is direct Alexa to raise or lower the temperature, and voila.
It can also be programmed and controlled via the included app.
As the name would imply, this unit can actually be used for a lot more than simply space heating purposes. It is a combination space heater, fan, and air purifier. It is able to filter out air particles and pollutants with ease, helping you not just heat the air, but improve the overall air quality of a space.
You can choose from between more personal, focused, localized heating services or a more diffused room heating setup.
What’s more, the unit has a sleep mode, allowing you to program a shut off time so you can safely sleep with the heater on without worrying about it remaining on all night and overheating.
All in all, this is a great choice for those looking to upgrade their space heater and tie it into their smart home system.
How to Find the Best Programmable Space Heater
Long or Short Period of Use
One thing that is far too often overlooked, but should nevertheless be considered, is the amount of time you intend to heat your room. Different heaters are better suited to short or long periods of use.
- If you are looking for a heater that works best in short bursts, you may want to consider directional heaters. They do not disperse the air around the room, only heating the air directly in front of them. While they may offer timers and programming options, they tend to be quite basic.
- If you are looking for a heater that can heat a space for longer periods, you will want to get a heater that makes use of convector heating technology. These heaters work by heating the air immediately adjacent to it before circulating this newly-warmed air around the room. Convector heaters are easily programmed and controlled, making them ideal for those looking for a programmable space heater.
Control & Programing
One of the most important things to consider when choosing a programmable space heater is the manner in which you intend to program it. If you are looking for something that is programmable, yet highly accessible, you may want to look for something that features a remote control or has a traditional programmable surface with buttons.
On the other hand, if you want a more high-tech solution, you may want to look into some of the options here that boast touch screens, remote controls, or smart home technology.
In addition, you’ll want to have a clear idea as to the purpose for which you wish to program your space heater. For example, do you have regular times at which point you wish your heater to turn on and off every day? Do you want to use it until you fall asleep, or have it turned on just before you typically arrive home from work?
There are any number of ways you can increase the comfort level in your home by selecting a space heater that is not just programmable, but can be programmed in such a way as to suit your particular needs and comfort-based desires.
Warm your home like never before with the best programmable space heaters on the market today.