Best Space Heaters For Large Drafty Rooms 2020

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Being in a cold, large room is uncomfortable enough. Imagine having random drafts that sweeps through the room when you least expect it. I for one would not want to stay in the room much longer than I need! Large rooms are tough to heat up and even more so when there are drafts running through the room at all times.

Homeowners can choose to crank up the thermostat on their central heating but that can be expensive and unsustainable in the long winter. Therefore, many of us choose to invest in a good space heater that can heat up a large drafty room. However, not all space heaters would be suitable for a large drafty room. There are some considerations to take note of and we have done the homework for you.

Below you will find a list of five space heaters from reputable international brands, all geared towards heating a large drafty room with their pros and cons clearly listed.

HeaterPowerSafety
Rating
PortabilityOscillation
DeLonghi Micathermic1500W 4/5GoodNo
Bionaire Silent Micathermic1500W (High)
750W (Low)
4/5Good No
AmazonBasics1500W (High)
1000W (Low)
4.5/5ModerateNo
Lifesmart Infrared1500W (High)
1000W (Low)
4.25/5Good No
Dr Infrared DR9981500W4/5Moderate Yes
Comparison of the Best Space Heater For Large Drafty Rooms

You’ll also find a buyers’ guide where you can read our rationale when deciding how to rate these products, and hopefully you can use it yourself when making future purchases.

In a Hurry? This Is Our Winner!

De’Longhi MicaThermic Panel Heater 1500 Watt

Best Overall Space Heater For Large Drafty Room

The De’Longhi MicaThermic Panel Heater measures 27 x 10 x 22” and weighs 15 lbs. It runs on  1500W power and has a 1 year warranty. As the name suggests, it uses micathermic heating which is a combination of radiation and convection methods to deliver heat. Micathermic heating is extremely efficient. It can heat up a specific zone almost immediately much like an infrared heater but it can also heat up the whole room because of its convective effect. Micathermic heaters are combination heaters that does not rely heavily on warming air to heat up the room hence it will work well in a large drafty room.

It is designed as a surface wall mounted heater and this would be helpful for homes with lesser real estate on the floor. However, if room size is not a problem, you can also attach legs and castor wheels to it to make it a portable heater that can stand on its own. It helps that its is pretty lightweight and compact too.

What we love about this heater is that it is virtually silent as there is no fan attached to it at all. It also has an adjustable thermostat and multiple heat settings that allow you to customize this heater to your heating needs.

In terms of safety, there is tip over and overheating protection which allows the heater to shut off automatically in these situations. Although the surface of the heater looks like it may be very hot to touch, there is actually a safe grate on the surface of the heater which is safe for touch. It may get slightly warm but definitely would not burn you. One aspect that we wished could be improved is the somewhat flimsy caster wheels that makes it easy to tip over.

Pros

  • Silent operation as there is no fan
  • Can be mounted or portable
  • Inbuilt thermostat has multiple settings to customize heating needs
  • Looks sleek and neat
  • Comes with tip over and overheat protection

Cons

  • Has a tendency to overheat 
  • Caster wheels are somewhat flimsy and can be easily tipped over
  • Only 1 year warranty

What their fans love: “Last night the temperature dropped to 39 degrees, I had the unit turned on low and this morning it was still 68 degrees in my house. Which is just a perfect temperature for me. I highly recommend the purchase of this unit!


Best Space Heater For Large Drafty Rooms Buyers’ Guide

Type Of Heating

Space heaters can generate heat via 3 methods; convection, radiation and combination. 

Convection Heater

Convection heater works by heating up the air around it via a heating element. The hot air rises and creates a vacuum for cool air to be sucked in and warmed by the heating element. This continued flow creates a circulation of warm air that helps to heat up the room. As such, convection heaters work best in closed spaces. It is worth noting that all convection heaters come with an in-built thermostat for regulation of ambient temperature. Given the proper conditions, convection hearts are one of the best indoor space heaters. In essence, convection heaters work within the framework of “Hot air rises and cold air sinks”.

The advantage of a convection heater is that they excel at heating up an entire room for an extended period of time.The main drawback is that it works slower than a radiant heater as air is a poor conductor of heat. 

In a large drafty room, the slightest draft could cause the heater to function inefficiently as  the warmed air gets swept away through the cracks of the room. Therefore, the warmed air will never stay long enough in a large drafty room to have any effect.

Verdict: convection heaters are NOT suitable for a large drafty room.

Radiant Heaters

Radiant heaters work by infrared radiation which travels out in waves to heat up the object in front of it. It does not heat up the surrounding air at all. If you have ever sat in front of a campfire, you have experienced radiant heat. Because radiant heat does not require any medium, it can heat up the object in front of it very rapidly. 

In contrast to convection heaters, they are poor at heating up large spaces as their beams tend to be more concentrated on the object ahead and they do not heat up the surrounding air. They are very good at zonal heating and they excel in spaces where people remain still (like the bedroom).

Because they can heat up the object in front of them directly, infrared heaters are a good option in a drafty room. You just need to situate them correctly and make sure there are no obstructions to the infrared rays. 

Besides being one of the best indoor heaters, they are also great outdoor space heaters because they are not affected by wind. For more information, visit our guide on the best radiant heaters for home use!

Verdict: Radiant heaters are great spot heaters for heating up the people in a large drafty room but not so much the room itself

Combination Heaters

For combination heaters, they attempt to combine the features of radiant heaters and convection heaters together to get the best of both worlds. A good example of a combination heater would be the micathermic heaters. These heaters use a heating element known as mica which produces electromagnetic rays. Like infrared rays, these electromagnetic rays produce radiant heat. However, unlike infrared rays which will only heat up the object nearest to it, EM rays can heat up all the objects in an area as the rays are more widespread. As the objects heat up, the air warms up. Since each object in the room is being heated up at the same time, the ambient air warms up quicker.

Another type of combination heaters make use of infrared rays to heat up an element and then have a fan to warm the air above the heated element. Therefore, the heater can produce both radiant and convective heat.

A combination heater is the best type of electric heater for a large drafty room.

The Size Of Your Room

The most important criteria to look at here is the power of the heater. As a general rule of thumb, the ratio to consider is 10 Watts to 1 square foot of space. In theory, a 1500 Watts heater will be sufficient to heat up a room size of about 150 sq feet. When choosing your heater, do have a rough estimate of the room size you are heating up.

When we spoke about the power-space ratio in the previous paragraph, it was with the assumption that you have a ceiling height of about 8 feet. Therefore, for anything above 8 feet, the rule of 10 watt to 1 square foot does not apply. You would need to increase the wattage of your space heater an extra 25 percent for every 2 feet of extra ceiling space.

Room Insulation

If your room is poorly insulated or has a faulty window that lets in cold air, you will also need to factor in for greater wattage. Typically, an increase of 20% wattage would be a good place to start depending on how poor the insulation is. Alternatively, you can consider a second space heater in the same room.

You can check out our review of the best whole room heaters to find out more on how to size a heater.

how to size space heater

Space Heater Sizing Calculator

If you are in a hurry, you can make use of our Space Heater Sizing Calculator to find the wattage you need

Safety

Safety features are always important in any heaters due to the potential for severe burn injuries. When used in a large drafty room with a high ceiling, heaters usually have to be turned on for long periods of time in order for them to heat up the room sufficiently. Therefore, there is a high tendency for them to become very hot themselves or overheat.

In these cases, we would definitely recommend looking at heaters which have a cool touch exterior that is fireproof and able to dissipate heat rapidly and efficiently. We would also prefer if there are no exposed heating elements or metal grates that can become hot. Overheating protection is a must so that the heater can remain safe and turn itself off automatically when the heat production is too high.

Large rooms are generally communal living spaces with high human traffic especially children and pets. It is therefore even more critical that the safety aspect of the heater you choose meet the above requirements to prevent any accidental burn injuries to your children and pets.

Portability 

In a large room, there are many possible spots to place your heaters so that you can get the most amount of heat. If you are talking about a convective heater then it probably does not matter as much as it will heat up a whole room anyway. However, for spot heaters such as  infrared heaters where you need to place them in direct sight, having a portable space heater becomes very important.

As mentioned earlier, infrared heaters can only heat up the object in front of it so you will need to frequently move the heater around as you occupy different areas in your large room. By being portable and easily transported, it will save you a lot of energy and time moving them around.

Oscillation

Oscillation capability is another feature that will add a lot of convenience to your life as well. In some cases where the heater is not as portable then the ability to oscillate will be essential. Having a good arc of oscillation enables the heater to cover a wide area of your large room , thus warming up more people who are in the room. If it comes with a remote control, that is even better.

Noise

The large rooms in your house are usually the communal living spaces such as the living room. These rooms are generally meant for gathering and lively conversations. It would therefore be very disruptive if there was a noisy disturbance in the room. Some heaters that come with fans can get quite noisy due to the blowing force. It is a minor point but it would be preferred if we can get a quiet space heater that can suit our needs as well.


Best Space Heater For Large Drafty Rooms Product review

Bionaire Micathermic Console Heater

Best Quiet Space Heater For Large Drafty Room

The Bionaire MicaThermic Console Heater measures 21.5” x 6.35” x 25.5” and weighs 12.4 lbs. As the name suggests, it uses micathermic heating which is a combination of radiation and convection methods to deliver heat. There are two heat settings on this heater, HIgh (1500W) and Low (750W) and this gives you more flexibility when using this heater in different sized rooms. 

Using mica as it’s main heating element, this is a heater without a fan. Therefore, it is virtually silent while it is running. Occasionally, there may be a click sound when the thermostat starts running but it is barely noticeable. The thermostat is not digital and is just an adjustable knob which you can use to adjust your temperature. Nothing fanciful but works well.                 

Safety wise, this heater has tip over protection and overheating protection so it will automatically shut off in these situations. There is a safety grille to protect users against the heating element however the grille itself can get quite warm with prolonged use so it would be best to keep your pets and children away. It is not going to burn them per se but I would not take any chances.

This heater is relatively light and is pretty portable. The portability is also helped by having a carrying handle and two wheels. If you are looking for a portable space heater to move between rooms, this is a great fit. However, we do find that the height of this heater made the center of gravity a little too high and it tends to tip over more than other heaters. Perhaps I am just clumsier?

Nonetheless, I do like this heater for the great heating effect and its portability. It can definitely heat up a large drafty room with ease with that mica heating element and it can also serve as a personal office heater if you like. In addition, it comes with a whooping 5 years warranty.

Pros

  • Silent operation as there is no fan
  • Good portability with handle and wheels
  • Inbuilt thermostat has multiple settings to customize heating needs
  • Sleek design which does not take up much space
  • Has tip over and overheat protection
  • 5 years warranty

Cons

  • Grille can get quite warm
  • Has a tendency to tip over

What their fans love: “Don’t let the small size fool you this heater produces a robust amount of heat. Brilliant design splits the surface area of the heating panels and angles them so they fit in a smaller unit. This one produces much more heat and has been more reliable then some of my other micathermic heater purchases which are wider and taller.” 


AmazonBasics Portable Eco-Smart Space Heater

Best Infrared Space Heater For Large Drafty Room

The AmazonBasics Portable Eco-Smart Space Heater measures 15.7 x 12.7 x 15.1” and weighs 23.6 lbs. It can run on a maximum of 1500 watts and comes with a 1 year limited warranty. Although it is an infrared heater, it contains a blower which helps to distribute heat to the whole room. This feature makes this a versatile heater which can deliver targeted heat rapidly and also provide general heating to the whole room. The blower is also very quiet at 39 dB making this a suitable addition to your home office or bedroom. 

There are three power settings on this heater; Low (1000W), High (1500W) and Eco-mode. Eco-mode cycles between Low and High power to maintain energy efficiency and yet also keep you warm and toasty. The inbuilt thermostat allows you to adjust the temperature from 65 – 85℉ in intervals of 5℉. Although it is not fully programmable it still gives you good control over your heating needs. An added convenience is the remote control which you can use to adjust the temperature across the room. 

What we love about this heater is how much they value safety. Designed without any exposed heating elements, this heater makes a great choice for homes with pets and kids. For safe operation, this ETL-certified electric heater also shuts off if it starts to overheat.

Perhaps one aspect which it needs to improve on is its portability. Weighing at almost 24 lbs, it can be a challenge to move around for some. Thankfully, it comes with four rolling casters that allows for movement between rooms. However, this only applies for transfer between rooms of the same level. If there are stairs, you might need 2 people to carry it comfortably.  

Pros

  • No exposed heating element so safe for kids and pets
  • Contains inbuilt thermostat
  • Quiet blower at 39 dB 
  • Covers a large room size
  • Can distribute heat well throughout the room due to the fan blower
  • Has Eco-mode for better energy efficiency

Cons

  • Not exactly very portable due to its weight but does come with four rolling casters for wheeling

What the fans love: “No more ice fingers! Even with all the drafty areas, it’s been a big help. I highly recommend this one. I’ve purchased probably 6 different heaters in the last 5 years. This one is the best, hands down.“  


Lifesmart Element Large Room Infrared Heater

Best Portable Space Heater For Large Drafty Room

The Lifesmart Element Large Room Infrared Heater measures 11.6 x 9.7 x 12” and weighs 8.25 lbs.  It runs on 1500 wattage and has 6 quartz infrared elements that are actually wrapped in a metal heat exchanger coil. In terms of style, it may not be the most outstanding. However, some homeowners would appreciate the simple and professional look which makes it a perfect addition for a home office.

What we appreciate is the 3 energy savings settings that we can choose from. This includes an Eco Setting that will heat smaller areas to 68 degrees using only 500 watts making it a natural choice for users who are more energy efficient. 

Other energy saving features include the inbuilt programmable thermostat that allows you to adjust to the temperature you want, and the heater will cycle on and off to maintain the desired room temperature. There is also a programmable timer with a maximum duration of 12 hours that gives you the flexibility to turn off the heater earlier in the morning and saves you some energy and money. 

The space heater is equipped with overheating and tip-over protection, it will shut off automatically when the temperature is over 176 ℉ or knocked over accidentally to help prevent accidents, efficiently avoiding burning or fire or any other safety accident.

Weighing at just slightly over 8lbs, this is a great portable heater that you can transport between rooms in your home easily. If you ever need a heater in the office, this heater would also be a great under desk heater to warm your legs.

The limitations of the heater are the air filters which need regular cleaning and the short power cord that comes with the heater. At 6″ long, the cord might limit the placement of the heater.

Pros

  • Features an ECO energy mode for energy and cost savings
  • Easily portable with glide caster wheels
  • Has a large remote control to operate the digital thermostat
  • Programmable timer to facilitate early shut off in the morning
  • Has tip-over and overheat protection

Cons

  • Contains an air filter which will need regular cleaning
  • Short power cord (6″)

What their fans love: “We have several of these heaters and have had them for just a few weeks over 3 years now. I can say I’m very happy with them, we’ve never had a scare, they’ve never malfunctioned and they’ve helped keep us warm!”


Dr Infrared Portable Space Heater Elite DR988

Best Heater With Humidifier For Large Drafty Room

The Dr Infrared Portable Space Heater Elite DR988 measures 16 x 11 x 16″ and weighs 26 lbs. The Elite DR998 is both a radiator heater and a fan forced heater with a dual heating system of infrared radiation and convection, making it a natural choice for heating in large drafty rooms. In addition to the heater and humidifier functions already present in DR 968H, this heater added on two new awesome applications; air purifier and oscillation fan. It is now 4 different appliances all rolled into one: heater, humidifier, air purifier and oscillation fan. The new oscillation mode enables this heater to now distribute heat throughout the entire area evenly and faster. It also comes with a remote control to add to the convenience.

In terms of the humidification capabilities, it uses a built-in silent ultrasonic humidifier that can add much needed moisture into the winter air. The water source is in the form of a water bottle that can be attached to the rear side of the heater. The maximum capacity of the water bottle is 500ml and humidification can last about 8 hours. 

For the functionality, the humidifier can be turned on and off at user discretion so it allows for energy savings when you don’t require the humidification. Also, the humidifier shuts off automatically when the water bottle is empty. In addition to that, the air purifier and oscillation fan can also be used separately on their own.

In terms of ease of adding water, the humidifier is attached to the rear of the heater and it might be a little difficult to reach for when you would like to change water. You would also need to remove the whole humidifier unit and unscrew the bottle to add water. I would say it does get a little fiddly for the water change. 

For safety, this heater comes with tip over protection and overheating protection so that it can shut it self off automatically when it is knocked over or overheated.

One limitation I feel is the weight of the heater. Although it does comes with caster wheels for easy movement between rooms, the weight may prove to be too heavy for seniors if they need to carry it up a level or two. Most likely, it will require two person move it together.

Pros

  • Has air purification capabilities
  • Has an oscillation mode
  • Long duration of humidification up to 8 hrs
  • Humidifier can be turned off if not required
  • Contains in-built humidifier to prevent drying of skin during winter
  • Blower is whisper quiet at 39 decibels
  • Programmable timer with up to 12 hour duration
  • Great safety features with tip over and overheat protection
  • Fast at heating up 
  • Can create up to 60% more heat than other models on the market

Cons

  • Remote can only be used once you manually turn on the heater
  • Changing and adding water is quite troublesome due to position of the humidifier
  • A bit on the heavy side for movement between levels

What their fans love: “When you buy a heater like this, you are in an entirely different league of quality when it comes to space heaters. I have no idea how they get a fan so quiet to push so much air either and the oscillation feature is so quiet as well.”


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: What is the best way to heat a large room and heat the room up quickly?

A: There are numerous ways to accomplish this

  • Central heating with radiant floor heating
  • Get a high output electric space heater with high wattage
  • Use multiple space heaters
  • Keep the room well insulated and free of drafts

Q: Why is it difficult to heat drafty rooms?

A: Hot air rises and cold air sinks. This is a law of nature that cannot be changed. Therefore, it can be difficult to keep the warm air where you want it if there are drafts that are constantly removing your warm air from the room. A room needs to be well sealed and well insulated in order to be heated effectively.

Q: How to make a drafty room feel cozy and warm?

A: Besides a space heater, you can eliminate portals of entry for cold drafts. These include leaky windows and walls.

Cheap ways to weatherproof them include weatherstripping, caulking and sealing walls. Visit this guide of ours where we provided video tutorials on the above.

However, the most effective way is to consider double glazing windows. They are mainly used for soundproofing but they are also great for weatherproofing. Read our guide here on how to choose the best soundproof windows.

Recap Of The Best Space Heater For Large Drafty Rooms

HeaterPowerSafety
Rating
PortabilityOscillation
DeLonghi Micathermic1500W 4/5GoodNo
Bionaire Silent Micathermic1500W (High)
750W (Low)
4/5Good No
AmazonBasics1500W (High)
1000W (Low)
4.5/5ModerateNo
Lifesmart Infrared1500W (High)
1000W (Low)
4.25/5Good No
Dr Infrared DR9981500W4/5Moderate Yes
Comparison of the Best Space Heater For Large Drafty Rooms

Wrapping it up

Of the 5 products we reviewed, DeLonghi Micathermic was our favorite heater for large drafty rooms. there might be a slight concern with the warm grille but it meets all the other requirement of being a good heating source in a large drafty room with a reasonable price point. The Bionaire Silent Micathermic is a close runner-up and only so because it is more expensive at the point of this writing.

Lifesmart Infrared is a great heater to consider if you value portability because of its light weight and compact size.

Dr Infrared and AmazonBasics both had minor issues with regards to its weight and portability. However, if you do not intend to move your heater around that much then these two heaters are definitely great options and worth a look.

Click here to get your space heater for large drafty rooms now!

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