How to choose a heater for a large room

Clara V.
Clara V.Published on

As winter approaches, staying warm is a priority for many Australians. Aside from rugging up and enjoying a cup of hot cocoa, the most effective way to stay toasty is to invest in a good quality heater that suits your home.

If you want to heat up a large room, such as a living area, then keeping it warm may be a bit of a challenge. But fear not: there are heaters that are designed to evenly distribute heat throughout large spaces.

Choosing a heater that’s suitable for a large room may cost more upfront, but you’ll reap the financial benefits over time, as it will keep you warm while being energy efficient.

A pweson wearing a blue jumper warming their hands on a white electric heater.

What’s the most efficient way to heat up a large room?

Larger rooms, particularly rooms with high ceilings, an open plan layout, or wooden or tiled floors, are typically most efficiently heated by powerful gas heaters. These types of heaters heat the air and evenly circulate the warmth around the room. That means there’s less chance of only one part of the room (usually near the heater) being warm.

In particular, gas convector heaters are better at spreading heat throughout a larger space as they have a fan to help circulate warm air around a room. Radiant heaters, on the other hand, are more effective at warming the area in front of the heater.

Another good option is a reverse-cycle split system air conditioner. These types of air conditioners are effective at warming large spaces, as they distribute heat widely and evenly throughout the room they’re in. Plus, they can also cool your home in the summer.

Can electric heaters heat large rooms?

If gas heating or air conditioning aren’t options for you, electric convection or panel heaters are usually the best choice when it comes to electric heaters. These heaters can be wall-mounted and are great at retaining heat.

How to choose a heater for a large room

When it comes to heating your home, size matters - a lot. Calculate the size of your room by multiplying its length by its width. You’ll get a square metre measurement which you can use to choose a suitable heater.

Choosing a gas heater • See all

For gas heaters, multiply your room’s size in square metres by 75, as you’ll approximately need 75W per square metre to heat your room. This is a general approximation - you’ll probably need a bit more if you live in a cold part of the country, and a bit less if you live in a typically warmer part of the country.

That means, for example, if you’re heating a 25m² room, you’ll need a 1875W gas heater - there are lots of 1800W and 2000W options on the market. Aim for slightly higher if your room has particularly high ceilings or wooden or tiled floors.

Choosing an electric heater • See all

For electric heaters, multiply your room’s size by 100, as you’ll need approximately 100W per square metre to effectively heat your room. As with gas heaters, aim for a bit more if you live in a colder climate, and a bit less if you’re in a hot part of Australia.

That means for a 25m² room, you’ll need a 2500W electric heater. There are plenty of 2400W options available, with some brands offering higher wattage.

Look for features that will increase a heater's warmth

If you want to get a convector heater, look for one with a micathermic panel. This panel absorbs and then releases heat, so you can enjoy both convection and radiant heat. If you’re opting for an electric heater, get one with an inbuilt fan that can help distribute heat throughout your space.

Tips to keep your large room warm this winter

  • Keep doors and windows closed to keep the hot air in.
  • Use a reverse-direction ceiling fan on low speed to push the hot air that rises back down towards the floor. This is particularly useful if your room has high ceilings.
  • Invest in heavy curtains, and consider adding a pelmet to stop heat escaping through windows.

The best heaters for large rooms, according to reviewers

Rinnai Avenger 25 /25Plus

Reviewers have loved the Rinnai Avenger 25 / 25Plus, a radiant gas heater that they said made large, open plan rooms toasty. It has a high energy efficiency rating and also has Economy mode, which gradually reduces the heat level in the room once your desired temperature has been reached. Plus, it’s a 2023 ProductReview.com.au Award Winner.

Noirot Spot Plus

The Noirot Spot Plus is the highest rated electric heater on ProductReview.com.au that’s suitable for large rooms. The panel heater comes in a range of sizes, and customers said the 2400W models made their big rooms warm and comfortable. On top of that, the Spot Plus also boasts silent operation and a space-saving streamlined design.

The Rinnai Avenger 25 /25Plus Gas Heater. The Rinnai Avenger 25 /25Plus Gas Heater.The Noirot Spot Plus. The Noirot Spot Plus

DeLonghi Dragon 4 TRD4 Series

Reviewers said the DeLonghi Dragon 4 Heaters were effective at heating up lounge areas and master bedrooms. The 2400W models are advertised as being able to produce a quiet, efficient warmth for medium to large rooms.

Rinnai Dynamo 15

The Rinnai Dynamo 15 is a convector heater that’s been praised by reviewers for its ability to quickly heat spacious areas. It’s a pricey purchase, but it’s highly energy efficient.

The DeLonghi Dragon 4 TRD4 Series. The DeLonghi Dragon 4 TRD4 Series.The Rinnai Dynamo 15. The Rinnai Dynamo 15.

The bottom line

Keeping a large room warm during winter may seem like a costly endeavour, but finding a suitable heating option and following smart tips to keep the heat in can help you stay warm and keep costs down.

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