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Space heaters can be a life-saver in the winter months or any time it get’s a bit on the cold side. However, many models aren’t programmable or don’t have many programmable settings. Sure it’s nice to be able to set it to turn off after a certain amount of time, but what if you want to program it to turn on at a specific time every day? Like when you wake up or come home from work. Luckily, there is a solution!
If you want an electric space heater with a timer that can be programmed to turn on and off at cetain times, the solution is to use a smart plug with a (very safe) space heater. We recommend pairing the Kasa Smart Plug smart plug (which is suitable for space heaters) with the Vornado Vortex VH10 (we chose this heater because of it’s safety features).
If you don’t need to program the space heater to turn on/off at specific times, we also have a couple of recommendations for space heaters which also have great programmability.
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Quick Look at Our Recommendations
Do You Want the Space Heater to Turn on Automatically?
Many space heaters can be programmed to turn off automatically or use a thermostat to prevent the room from getting too hot, but not many can be programmed to turn on at a certain time.
Some models like this PELONIS space heater can be programmed to turn on after a certain number of hours, but no space heater that I’ve come across can be programmed to turn on at a certain specific time (e.g. 7:30 AM).
If you want a space heater that turns on automatically at a certain time, the solution is to use a smart plug and a space heater with safety features. It’s very important to only use a very safe space heater with this method, because obviously having a potential fire hazard turning on when you aren’t around can be dangerous.
For the smart plug, you need to make sure it can handle a space heater. The Kasa Smart Plug is a good option to check out and is suitable for space heaters.
For the space heater itself, I would recommend purchasing one with an automatic shut-off for when it overheats, and for if it is tipped over. Many models come with an automatic shut-off for when it overheats, but it isn’t as common a feature for them to have tip-over protection. But if you are going to be using the space heater with a smart plug, this feature is definitely worth having. We recommend a space heater with lots of safety features like the Vornado Vortex VH10 for using with a smart plug.
Vornado Vortex VH10
If you want to program exactly when your space heater turns on, we recommend pairing a smart plug with the Vornado Vortex VH10. This model has lots of safety features like a cool-touch case, tip-over protection, and automatic shut-off for when it overheats. Due to its shape, it’s also less likely to tip over than more vertical space heaters. There are two heat settings (750w and 1500w), and it has an adjustable thermostat so you can keep the room at your preferred temperature.
Best Programmable Space Heaters
If you don’t necessarily need a space heater that turns on at a certain time but you still want other programmable features like a thermostat and auto shut-off, then you can find some great programmable space heaters to check out below.
1. PELONIS NTH15-17BRA
A ceramic space heater like the this PELONIS works by a ceramic plate heating up, and a fan then blows air across it to warm up the air in the room. These space heaters take a little longer to warm up the room, but once the room is warm, it will stay warm for quite some time (as long as the room is well insulated). Ceramic space heaters are also a safer option and quite portable.
If the room is drafty and you only want to heat one area of the room and not the whole room, a radiant space heater would be a better option (like the next heater in our guide).
Our top pick for a programmable ceramic space heater is the PELONIS oscillating tower heater, mainly due to it’s timer function which has more options than many alternatives.
What We Like About the PELONIS
- 24-Hour Timer: The main reason we chose this ceramic space heater is the 24-hour timer that can be used to turn the heater both off and on. Many heaters with timers can only be set for eight or 12 hours, and some can only be used to turn the unit off. This isn’t quite as good as the smart plug route where you can set specific times, but it’s still useful for setting the heater to come on when you wake up or come home from work.
- Other Programmable Features: Along with the timer, the PELONIS also features an automatic shut-off to prevent the unit from overheating, and a digital thermostat so you can set it to your preferred temperature. This heater also comes with a remote. The only missing feature we would like to see is tip-over protection, but this isn’t really possible due to the next feature I will talk about.
- Horizontal or Vertical Placement: A nice feature of the the PELONIS is that it can be used both vertically and horizontally which opens up the options for where you can place it. This does come at the cost of no tip-over protection though.
- Quiet Operation: The PELONIS isn’t completely silent and does generate some white noise (some people may actually like this), but most reviewers on Amazon praise this heater for its quiet operation.
Drawbacks to the PELONIS
- No Tip-over Protection: Due to the fact that this heater can be used both horizontally and vertically, tip-over protection (automatic shut-off when it falls over) wouldn’t work with this heater. This means you need to be careful where you place the heater and make sure it isn’t on when there is nobody around.
- Only 5 Degree Increments for Thermostat: Although it’s nice that this space heater has a thermostat at all, there are only 5 degree Fahrenheit intervals so you might find you can’t set it to the exact temperature you like.
- Power: 1500w max
- Type: Ceramic
- Size: 7.4″ x 7.4″ x 22.5″
- Three heat settings (high/low/ECO)
- Oscillating tower
- 24-hour timer
- Digital thermostat
- Overheat protection
- Vertical or horizontal
- Includes remote control
2. Air Choice Infrared Space Heater
Infrared heaters don’t heat the air. Instead, they emit infrared radiation that heats up anything the radiation touches (kind of like the sun). They are better suited to heating a small area like if you are sat at a desk rather than the whole room.
Even if the room is drafty, an infrared heater aimed at you will still keep you warm whereas a ceramic heater, not so much.
Infrared heaters are generally quieter than ceramic heaters (although they do have an orange glow). You also need to consider that when you turn an infrared heater off, it will immediately stop heating whereas if you turn a ceramic heater off, it will keep a well insulated room warm for quite some time.
If you decide you want an infrared heater, we recommend the Air Choice infrared space heater.
What We Like About the Air Choice
- 12-Hour Timer: Although it would be nice to see a longer timer of 24-hours like the PELONIS, a 12-hour timer is still reasonable for most uses. The timer can be used to turn the heater both on and off. If you want to program the heater to turn on before you wake up or get home from work, a 12-hour timer is just about right for most people.
- Other Programmable Features: This heater has a thermostat so you can program it to be between 59 and 86 degrees Fahrenheit. All of this can be controlled with the included remote.
- Quiet Operation: Like the PELONIS, the Air Choice isn’t completely silent. However, almost all of the reviews on Amazon which mention noise, praise this space heater for being very quiet to operate.
- Good Safety Features: One of the drawbacks to the PELONIS heater is that it doesn’t have tip-over protection. The Air Choice does have this safety feature so if it tips over it will automatically shut off. Like most heaters, this one also has overheat protection which will shut the heater off if it gets too hot.
- Great for Drafty Rooms: Since this is an infrared heater, as long as it is near you and directed toward you, it will still keep you warm even in a drafty room.
Drawbacks to the Air Choice
- Settings Reset When Unplugged: A few Amazon reviewers have been disappointed that the settings reset every time you unplug it. This isn’t a problem if it will be kept in the same place, but if you want to move it around the house with you, it can get a bit annoying having to enter your preferred settings all the time.
- Power: 1500w max
- Type: Infrared
- Size: 11.96″ W x 14.3″ H x 10.77″ D
- Three heat settings (eco/750w/1500w)
- 12-hour timer
- Digital thermostat
- Overheat protection
- Tip-over protection
- Includes remote control
Last update on 2020-12-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API