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If you live in a colder climate, there’s a good chance that there is at least one room in your home that you wish were a little warmer. Whether it’s an insulation issue or a heating problem, you may find yourself having to bundle up more than you want to in order to stay comfortable. That is where many people opt to use a space heater.
Space heaters can make a room warm and inviting. And while they have had a bad reputation as fire hazards in the past, newer models have taken steps to address that issue. These days they are pretty safe, except for one problem. Space heaters, as a general rule, produce quite a bit of EMF radiation.
Space heaters and EMF radiation
Space heaters can produce EMF radiation for a variety of reasons, ranging from their AC power supplies to the heating units inside the devices. They generally produce either electric or magnetic field radiation or both. Panel-style heaters, for example, tend to create high amounts of electric field radiation. Fan heaters, meanwhile, create much more magnetic field radiation.
Top low EMF space heaters
Before diving in, it’s important to note that none of these space heaters are designated as truly low EMF. Due to the nature of space heaters, just about all of them are going to produce some amount of EMF radiation. Rather, these units were selected based on their wattage — the models listed below all come in under 1000 watts. In theory, the lower wattage models should produce less EMF radiation than more powerful, higher wattage ones.
4. Air Choice Heater Panel. This 400-watt heater panel from Air Choice uses radiant heat to warm up any space. It is designed so that the heat rises up behind the panel, meaning there is no worry of you or your little one burning themselves if they get too close to the unit. Easily wall-mountable, this panel is almost completely silent, as there is no integrated fan to worry about. It provides a gradual, even heat, as opposed to blowing space heaters that usually heat up their immediate surroundings more than the rest of the room. It is crack-resistant, as well, making it long-lasting and durable. The heat produced by the unit isn’t overly dry, either, and the lack of a fan means not having to worry about blowing dust around your room. The unit is as easy to turn on as flipping a switch on the side of the device, as well. One thing Air Choice does note is that this unit is not intended for use in the bathroom because of the potential for moisture.
3. WELIKERA Portable Electric Heater. This small, ceramic electric heater takes just three seconds to heat up, so if you need heat fast, this one is for you. WELIKERA’s heater uses a built-in fan to distribute the heat, and it is just six-by-six-by-nine inches big, so it can easily fit in most spaces. The unit features two different temperature settings that can easily be adjusted using the switch on top of the device. There are several safety features worth noting, as well. Overheat protection shuts the unit off in the event it starts to get too hot. Tip-over protection automatically turns the device off in the event it is ever accidentally knocked over. And the flame retardant materials used to build the heater provide peace of mind and fire safety.
2. Fujiwara Ceramic Space Heater. Weighing just 1.4 pounds, this ultra-portable space heater from Fujiwara packs a lot of power for its small size. The ceramic heating unit inside is efficient and warms up quickly, and operation simply involves powering the unit on or off by flipping a switch. While it does use a built-in fan, the unit is still surprisingly quiet, as well. The standard safety features you would expect are also present, including overheating protection and tip-over protection. The round size takes up a minimal amount of space, although, at 800 watts, it is still quite powerful. The manufacturer does note, however, that the surface of this unit can get extremely warm, so be sure to keep kids and pets away.
1. Arrowsy Space Heater. Arrowsy’s space heater features three different heat settings so you can customize your room’s temperature a bit more than with other space heaters. The ceramic heating unit has high thermal efficiency, heating up in just one second. Automatic overheating protection and tip-over protection come standard, as well, for peace of mind. The fan is not completely silent, but at 45 dB it isn’t terribly loud, either, and the switch on the back makes powering the unit on or off a breeze. This heater’s compact size makes it perfect for small spaces, and the wide-angle, 120-degree exterior spreads heat out across the whole room.
Tips for using your space heater
There are a few things you can do to make using your space heater a little safer.
- Keep a good distance between you and the heater. EMF radiation levels are always going to be higher the closer to the source you are. By putting a few feet between any high-traffic areas and the heater, you can greatly minimize your exposure.
- Unplug the space heater when not in use. Many electronic devices are still generating EMF radiation, even when they are turned off. The one way to stop this is by unplugging the device or even flipping the switch on a power strip. It can’t produce EMF radiation if it’s not plugged in.
- If your heater has a timer function, use it. Rather than leaving the heater on and running all the time, take breaks. The timer function is one way to automate this process, but you could technically just shut it off every so often, as well.
- Try not to use a space heater in the bedroom at night. When it comes to bedrooms, the goal is to minimize the room’s EMF levels as much as possible. This allows us to catch the most restorative and restful sleep possible. Consider using extra blankets instead of turning on the heat. If you prefer to wake up to a warm room, set an alarm for a half-hour before you absolutely need to wake up and turn your heater on then.
Testing your heater
Regardless of which model of space heater you go with, one important step is to test the amount of EMF radiation it produces. This step is important because it tells you how much distance you need to create between the space heater and any high-traffic areas of the room. It’s a given that your unit will produce some radiation, but the exact amount varies by model.
To test your levels, an EMF meter is necessary. If you don’t already have one, head over to The Best EMF Meters For Any Budget to get started. When testing for space heater radiation, you are looking to measure ELF-EMF radiation (electric and magnetic fields), specifically.
When testing your heater, you will first want to use your EMF meter to take a reading in the room without the space heater plugged in. Do this directly next to the heater as well as all around the room, monitoring the reading in each location. If you’re noting unsafe levels of EMF radiation present even without the space heater plugged in, you aren’t going to be able to get an accurate gauge of how much radiation the heater is producing.
Once you know your room’s pre-heater EMF levels, try plugging the space heater in and re-taking your measurements. Then, turn the heater on and repeat the process.
This exercise is useful for a few reasons. One, it lets you know how much radiation is present in your room. And two, it lets you get a feel for what a safe distance between you and your space heater looks like. If you noticed that the levels are uncomfortably high next to the unit but drop back into the safe zone when you’re ten feet away, then you know you need to station the heater ten feet away from any high-traffic areas of your room.
Being EMF-conscious doesn’t mean having to accept cold temperatures at home or in the office. By choosing a low EMF heater and following a few basic safety steps, you can stay warm while still being mindful of your EMF exposure.