Portable Heating FAQs

Listed below are some of the more frequently asked questions we receive about our portable electric heaters. If you can not find an answer to your query, please call our helpful Customer Services team on NZ Freephone 0800 161 161 or email us for assistance, we'll do our best to help.

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Kent Portable Heating FAQs

  • What is the difference between a convection heater and a radiant heater?

    Generally speaking, a convector heater generates and circulates warm air currents without any obvious sign of heat glowing red from the heater. They are ideal for heating “air spaces” and the things in the room.

    A radiant heater generates heat-waves from a heated surface (often glowing red) and this heat-wave heats objects in its path. Waves can be short, medium or long. Short are more intense but lose their strength over shorter distances, long are less intense (gentler) and maintain their strength over longer distances. They are ideal for heating “objects” within the heat wave.

    In a convection heater, heated air convects around a room and provides warm air currents. The colder air near the floor is drawn through the heater. This heated air will circulate up and then down and around a room. Walls, carpets and furniture, as well as humans, will eventually feel warm due the convected warm air current transferring its heat. This is determined by the size, shape and insulation qualities of a room, the number of air changes taking place, the size/setting of the heater, and location of the heater.

    In a radiant heater, heat-waves are emitted directly from the heater and these waves heat all objects in their path. This is similar to light waves, think of a torch light and anything inside the light waves receives light, anything outside remains dark. Radiant heaters can be ‘aimed’ directly at the object to be heated. This is a more efficient way of heating people directly in large open spaces with lots of air changes.

  • How to calculate heater size for a room

    The size of your heater is determined by the amount of heat lost in the room and the temperature you want to maintain. 21° Celsius is a typical comfortable temperature for a home. A well-insulated room, that also has any excessive air gaps sealed, helps reduce your heat loss (check your floor, ceiling, door frames and windows). The amount of free heat from the sun also comes into play, but we need heating at night and all the sun's heat has been and gone by then.

    The general rule of thumb is 1kW will heat approx. 10m², however there are many factors that can alter this.

    1kW = 1,000 Watts

    Below are the three main types of houses, that have varying heat loss factors

    • A poorly insulated home may lose up to 100 Watts of heat per m²
    • A typical NZ home has a wooden frame, a tin roof, a raised floor, wooden windows, and modest insulation. This home may lose up to 80 Watts of heat per m²
    • A new build home is generally very airtight and has excellent insulation. This home may lose up to 50 Watts of heat per m²

    Heating a room

    For example, a poorly insulated room of 20m² in size will require 2,000 Watts to heat. Therefore, a 2kW heater will be needed. Whereas a new build home with the same sized room will only require 1,000 Watts to heat. Therefore, a 1kW heater will be needed.

  • What is the best position for a heater in a room?

    A radiant heater should be positioned so that it can safely and efficiently heat the people in its heat wave, so any objects that do not need heating (or are flammable) should be moved away.

    A convection heater will work better if the warm air currents it produces and circulates are assisted. Convection heaters should be placed near a wall that is closer to a doorway. The doorway draws the ground-level colder air towards it and it is this colder air that the convector wants to heat - rather than let it stay cool in your room. Avoid placing a convection heater opposite your windows, especially if you have no pelmet above curtains or blinds, as the warm air current will head straight for the windows and outside (glass transmits heat much quicker than walls and curtains).

  • What are the warranties for Kent portable heating products?

    Please refer to our warranty policy for both gas and electric heaters.

    For complete details please refer to the product manual.