Best 7 Space Heater for Basement

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Basement Space Heater

There was a time when homeowners were stuck with basic heaters for downstairs areas like basements, but those days are long gone. Today, you can choose from hundreds of heating solutions that range from basic units to premium systems with flagship features. Whether you are interested in heating your basement with electricity, natural gas, or propane, we’re going to highlight the best space heaters for basements of any size.  

Basement Space Heater Reviews

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Comfort Zone CZ2018

Comfort Zone CZ2018-EC

  • Power: Electric
  • Style: Infrared
  • BTU or Wattage: 1,500 watts
  • Thermostat: Digital
  • Timer: 12 hours
  • Remote: Yes
  • Warranty: 1-year
Dyna Glo BF30DTL-2

Dyna-Glo BF30DTL-2

  • Power: Dual Fuel
  • Style: Convection
  • BTU or Wattage: 30,000 BTU
  • Thermostat: Manual
  • Timer: No
  • Remote: No
  • Warranty: 1-year
Duraflame DFI 5010

Duraflame DFI-5010

  • Power: Electric
  • Style: Infrared
  • BTU or Wattage: 5,200 BTU
  • Thermostat: Digital
  • Timer: N/A
  • Remote: N/A
  • Warranty: 1-year
Rinnai EX22CT

Rinnai EX22CT

  • Power: Natural Gas
  • Style: Convection
  • BTU or Wattage: 21,500 BTU
  • Thermostat: Digital
  • Timer: Dual
  • Remote: Yes
  • Warranty: 10/5/2
Taotronics-PTC-TT-HE007

Mr. Heater F299820

  • Power: Propane
  • Style: Radiant
  • BTU or Wattage: 18,000 BTU
  • Thermostat: Manual
  • Timer: No
  • Remote: No
  • Warranty: 1-year
DeLonghi Dragon4

Taotronics TT-HE007

  • Power: Electric
  • Style: Fan-Forced
  • BTU or Wattage: 1,500 watts
  • Thermostat: Digital
  • Timer: 12
  • Remote: Yes
  • Warranty: N/A
Mr.Heater F29980

DeLonghi TRD40615

  • Power: Electric
  • Style: Radiator
  • BTU or Wattage: 1500 watts
  • Thermostat: Digital
  • Timer: 24
  • Remote: No
  • Warranty: 1-year

#1 Comfort Zone Cabinet Space Heater CZ2018

The Best Electric Space Heater for Small Basements

Comfort Zone CZ2018

The Comfort Zone CZ2018 heater is a good example of how heaters can come in all shapes and sizes. This small space heater is half the size of the Duraflame DFI-5010 but capable of heating areas around the same size without breaking the bank.

This energy efficient heater was designed with ease of use in mind. A full array of electronic controls line the front of the heater, and the small display is easy to read. There’s a child-lock feature for additional safety and handles on the side in case you want to move the heater around. That’s easy to do considering it’s a cool-touch system that’s lightweight.

While this cabinet heater doesn’t look like a piece of furniture or a fireplace, it’s designed to take up a minimal amount of floor space. The heater weighs 11 pounds and measures 15”H x 13.5”L x 11.4”D. The DFI-5010 is rated at 1,500 watts at maximum power and has two standard two heat settings with High and Low.

While those features and Eco mode are common, this heater also has a 12-hour timer and comes with a remote control. Safety features for this system aside from the cool-touch housing include a tip-over switch and a sensor that can shut things down if there’s a problem and the Comfort Zone CZ2018 begins to overheat.

Our Verdict

Comfort Zone produces several systems that would work well in a basement, but we’re fans of the CZ2018 because of its size and price. It won’t take up much floor space, and it’s one of the more affordable heaters in the 1,500-watt range when you need electronic controls and a solid set of features.

Pros

  • Efficient infrared heater that’s compact and has an excellent price point.
  • Has a 12-hour timer, remote control, and a child-lock button.

Cons

  • None.

#2 Dyna-Glo Wall or Floor Mount Vent-Free Heater

The Best Dual Fuel Gas Heater for Basements

Dyna Glo BF30DTL-2

One of the best types of space heaters for a basement are systems that use natural gas or propane. These heaters have been warming up basements for decades, and the Dyna-Glo BE30DTL-2 is the ideal choice if you’re interested in a dual-fuel vent free heater.

The Dyna-Glo BE30DTL-2 is a Blue Flame heater that uses convection technology to heat areas up to 1,000 square feet. When combined with a 30,000 BTU rating, this heater is more than powerful enough to warm up a large basement. It’s not the slimmest wall heater on our list, however.

At 24”H x 28”W x 10.5”D, this gas heater isn’t exactly streamlined, although it can be mounted on the wall or used on the floor with an optional set of base legs. It’s a cheap but worthwhile add-on, and there is an optional blower fan in the WHF100 as well. While those are handy, the real draw of this heater is a built-in feature.

A switch on this heater allows you to change the type of fuel being used, which gives you a choice between propane and natural gas. The system is easy to switch over, depending on your needs and the hookups in your basement. It comes with a five-position thermostat that allows you to adjust the heat in winter as well.

Our Verdict

Dyna-Glo makes excellent propane heaters, and the BE30DTL-2 is the best option for larger basements that use natural gas or propane. It’s a versatile system with manual controls that homeowners found easy to install and use. If you prefer black instead of white in your basement, the GBF30DTDG-2 is also a dual-fuel option.

Pros

  • A dependable high-capacity heater that works with either propane or natural gas.
  • Has a manual thermostat with five settings.

Cons

  • None.

#3 Duraflame 3D Fireplace Heater DFI-5010

The Best Space Heater for Finished Basements

Duraflame DFI 5010

Some homeowners use their basements for storage, while others have finished basements that can serve as recreational areas or a living space. If you fall into the latter category, you’ll want to consider this fireplace heater from Duraflame, as it can handle large areas and is one of the more realistic heaters of its kind.

The name says it all with the Duraflame DFI-5010 as this heater resembles an old fashioned wood-burning fireplace. While it looks cozy, you won’t have to worry about venting or supplying firewood as it’s an infrared system. It’s also one of the safer systems on our list, considering the element is located behind a beveled glass door.

While there are dozens of electric fireplace heaters, the draw of this one is realism. It’s highly adjustable with five settings for color, brightness, and speed. It looks great at night with the heat off and the fireplace function on as well. This well-built heater has a cast metal body, and while it’s fairly large at 23.4”H x 24”W x 12.9”D, it only weighs 34 pounds.

As classy as this heater looks, it has enough power to warm rooms up to 1,000 square feet in size. It’s rated at 5,200 BTU’s or 1,500 watts, which is the standard for larger electric heaters. The Duraflame DFI-5010 has a small control panel located on the bottom of the unit with a digital thermostat. You can also access the settings or set the 9-hour timer through the included remote control.

Our Verdict

This heater's style will rule it for some, as not everyone is partial to fireplace heaters or needs a system this large. If you are interested in an infrared stove heater that will blend in and looks incredibly realistic, you can’t go wrong with the Duraflame DFI-5010. Consumers have been thrilled with the performance and vibe this heater brings to their homes, and we didn’t notice any significant complaints about this model.

Pros

  • Sturdy fireplace stove made from cast metal and glass.
  • It has a digital thermostat, remote control, and timer to go along with a variety of settings for the LED flames.

Cons

  • Short warranty given the price.

#4 Rinnai EX22CT Direct Vent Wall Furnace 

The Best Direct Vent Basement Heater

Rinnai EX22CT

If you have considered installing a propane or natural gas heater in your home, you may already know about direct vent heaters. The top option for basements from this category is the Rinnai EX22CT, a high-end system that’s built to last for decades.

The first thing we want to talk about with this heater is the design. It’s one of the larger wall-mounted systems to make our list at 29.9”W x 22.9”H x 10.1”D, but it has a modern look with everything tucked away neatly inside. That includes the electronic controls, which are under a discreet panel on top of the unit along.

This heater has a wealth of features, including two timers, a filter, clock, economy mode, and a child lock feature. The system is an absolute breeze to use and can be controlled through a remote as well. It has an 81% AFUE rating because it’s a direct-vent heater but is very efficient with a 7-stage modulating gas valve and blower control.

With a maximum rating of 21,500 BTUs, this heater is suitable for larger finished basements and living areas. The modulating technology on this convection heater allows you to adjust it down to 8,200 BTUs, and it is extremely quiet at 33 to 42dBA. Other features to note include a self-diagnostic system and an auto-restart function.

Our Verdict

The Rinnai EX22CT has more features than any other heater on our list and more than most gas-based heaters in general. It’s far from what most homeowners would consider budget-friendly, but it packs a punch and comes with a top-tier warrant that includes 10 years on the heat exchanger, 5 years on parts, and 2 years on labor. The only downside to this system is the price tag and the fact it will require a professional installation.

Pros

  •  An energy efficient natural gas heater with modulating technology, dual timers, child lock, and a digital thermostat.
  • Excellent warranty and works at altitudes up to 10,200 feet.

Cons

  • It’s expensive, and you’ll want a professional installation to take advantage of the warranty.

#5 TaoTronics PTC Ceramic Tower Heater

An Affordable Osicllated Basement Heater

Taotronics-PTC-TT-HE007

When you need to warm medium to large rooms, but want to circulate the warm air, a tower heater is always a great choice. The TaoTronics TT-HE007 heater is a system that would look just as good upstairs as it will in a basement and is quite powerful for its size.

TaoTronics used ceramic heating technology in this positive temperature coefficient heater, which has a range from 41°F to 95°F. You can adjust the temperature through a series of controls set across the top of the heater or with a remote. There’s no dimming feature for the small LED panel, but it will shut itself off after 2 minutes so that it won’t disrupt your sleep.

One of the perks of buying an electric heater over a gas heater are the features for the price, and you’ll get plenty of them on the TT-HE007. This heater has a 12-hour timer and can oscillate 65 degrees from side to side. It also has three modes with High, Low, and Eco, along with a tip-over switch and a 24-hour automatic off timer.

The tech specs for this system are in-line with other electric heaters. That means it’s rated at 1,500 watts at full power and 900 watts on low. It’s shorter than traditional tower heaters at only 24” high and lightweight at around 7 pounds. TaoTronics also used a V-0 flame retardant material in the construction of this heater for additional safety.

Our Verdict

With a streamlined design and plenty of power, the TaoTronics TT-HE007 is an interesting choice for smaller finished basements. The design is modern enough to go with any type of décor, and it’s capable enough to be used in other rooms of your home as well. While wider oscillation would have been nice, it’s a solid all-around heater.

Pros

  • Small tower heater that’s a good value for the price.
  •  It can oscillate and has a digital thermostat, remote control, and timer.

Cons

  • The base is narrow, but it does have tip-over protection.

#6 DeLonghi Dragon4 Space Heater 

The Best Radiator Heater for Basements

DeLonghi Dragon4

DeLonghi is a brand we’ve covered several times on our site, and they have some of the more interesting heater lineups around. That includes systems built for basements like the TRD40615E, a classic radiator heater with an all-new style.

Oil-filled radiator heaters are a unique option for basements, and this is one of a handful of systems that’s suitable for any room. DeLonghi designed the new thermal slots on this heater for maximum efficiency and with safety in mind. The surface will stay cooler than traditional radiator heaters, but that’s not the only feature to look forward to.

The DeLonghi TRD40615 has a thermal shutoff sensor to prevent overheating along with insulated wiring and reinforced connections. The oil in this heater never needs to be replaced, and it’s ideal for colder basements thanks to an anti-freeze feature. If you want to save energy, Eco mode can definitely take care of that.

As this is an electric heater, it’s rated at 1500, 800 or 700 watts depending on the setting and for smaller rooms around 250 square feet. Although it does not come with a remote, consumers found it simple to use with an electronic control panel on the front that provides access to the digital thermostat and a 24-hour programmable timer.

Our Verdict

Radiator heaters may take up more space than a wall-mounted unit or small electric heater, but they are built to last. The DeLonghi TRD40615 certainly fits that bill, and it’s one of the most stylish radiator heaters you can buy. It has a great set of features and a maintenance-free design that looks modern compared to classic radiator heaters.

Pros

  • Modern design with electronic controls and a digital thermostat.
  • Nice set of safety features, a programmable timer, and an anti-freeze setting.

Cons

  • Complaints on noise from expansion and the relay circuit when the heater kicks on.

#7 Mr. Heater Vent-Free Propane Heater F29980

The Best Basement Plaque Heater

Mr.Heater F29980

Propane wall heaters tend to have the same basic form factor, and the Mr. Heater F299820 is no different than dozens of other models in that regard. While you couldn’t pick it out of a lineup, this powerful gas-based system is one of the top plaque heaters around.

This heater is of average size at 27”H x 23.75”W and a little over an inch thicker than the Dyna-Glo BE30DTL-2. While that system is a Blue Flame heater, this one uses radiant heat and is known as an Orange Flame or plaque heater. A metal grate protects the element inside, but it’s unremarkable with no visible branding.

One of the drawbacks of propane heaters is altitude, and this one will function up to around 4,500 feet above sea level. That’s a little lower than similar units that can work up to 7,500 feet, and the square footage rating is 500 square feet. The Mr. Heater F299820 is listed at 18,000 BTUs but adjustable through a thermostat dial on the top.

As you might suspect, there aren’t many features to speak of on this heater outside of the five-setting thermostat. It has an ODS sensor for safety in case the oxygen levels become low and comes with legs so you can use it on the floor if you don’t want to mount it to the wall in your basement. That said, there’s no mention of a tip-over switch, which is something to keep in mind.

Our Verdict

There are systems with more style on our list than this bare-bones system, but the Mr. Heater F299820 is highly effective and performs as advertised. It’s a heater that will work wonders in small to medium basements and won’t break the bank with a reasonable price tag for its capacity.

Pros

  • A simple, but efficient plaque heater that can be mounted or used on the floor.
  • Variable output and electronic ignition.

Cons

  • Looks a bit cheap compared to similar models.

How to Find the Best Space Heater for a Basement

It’s not hard to find a great space heater if you simply scour the net and check out reviews of the top models. While that may work if you’re in a pinch and need heat quickly, finding the best space heater for your basement takes a little more work. In this guide, we’re going to tell you which areas you should focus on while touching on topics like safety, features, and sizing.

The State of your Basement

Before we talk about the types of heaters available, it’s a good idea to consider the state of your basement. Do you have a finished basement that’s used for recreation or as a living space? A basement can be used for various things depending on its condition, and millions of Americans simply use the space for storage.

If you spend a lot of time downstairs or entertain, the heater's design and style may weigh heavily on your mind. Alternatively, if the area is rarely used, you may be better served with a portable electric model or a gas wall heater. Think about how often you plan to use the heater and the type of power access you have in the area before considering this next area.

Electricity, Natural Gas, or Propane?

There are a variety of heaters that will work in a basement, but all fall into one of two categories when it comes to power. You can choose from an electric heater or a gas-based system that utilizes natural gas or propane. Each has distinct advantages, but there are also several things that can adversely affect your decision.

Electric Space Heaters

This is the most common type of heater, which means you’ll have more variety when it comes to styles, sizes, and pricing. Most residential units are rated at around 1,500 watts at maximum power but designed to cover areas anywhere between 50 to 700 square feet or more.

Electric-Space-Heater

These heaters don’t require a professional installation unless you purchase a hardwired unit and are cheaper than their gas-powered counterparts. They provide homeowners with more installation options, considering all you need is a power outlet for an electric heater.

As for the negatives, the heating capacity of these systems is somewhat limited, and they aren’t as quiet as a simple propane heater.  While they are considerably safer, they are not as efficient as a propane or gas space heater.

Gas Space Heater

Whenever we refer to a system as a gas heater, it refers to a space heater that uses propane or natural gas. They are the two safest fuel sources to use with indoor heaters and are highly efficient compared to electric models.

Gas-Space-Heater

Fuel-based heaters are also ideal for areas that deal with frequent power outages. These clean-burning fuels can be cheaper to use than electricity as well, but that depends on the season and the price of power where you reside. That can vary considerably, although natural gas is cheaper to purchase in the summer than in the cooler months.

The biggest disadvantage to most homeowners considering a gas heater is safety. Both propane and natural gas are combustible, so you’ll need carbon monoxide detectors and may want a professional to install your system. Storage can also be an issue if you go with propane considering it’s stored in tanks.

Types of Heaters

Whether you prefer an electric, natural gas, or propane heater, the way heat is distributed throughout a room comes down to the type of heater you purchase. There are some hybrid units, but most heaters are convection, radiant or fan-forced systems.

Convection – A convection heater is an ideal choice for large spaces, and they warm the air in a room instead of heating objects like a radiant heater. Gas heaters that use this technology are called Blue Flame heaters. While a convection heater is ideal for extended usage in insulated areas that hold heat well, cold spots can occur, and an open door will let out a lot of heat.

Radiant – Infrared or radiant heaters have been around for decades, even if they’ve just recently become budget-friendly enough to find their way into consumer’s homes. These heaters are extremely quiet as they warm up objects and people in a room. A radiant heater can be electric or gas-based and is referred to as plaque heaters when it uses propane or natural gas.

Fan-Forced – Whenever you hear the term fan-forced heater, it simply means the heater has a fan that’s used to push warm air throughout a room. All electric heaters are technically forced-air systems, but you can also find propane and natural gas heaters with blowers in this class as well.

Power Ratings

Whether your family is leaning towards a natural gas heater or a portable electric model, you need to make sure it has enough power to heat up your basement. Depending on the manufacturer, it could be as easy as comparing a square footage rating, while others may require you to dig a bit deeper.

For electric heaters, most residential models are rated for use with a standard wall outlet or a 240-volt plug for more powerful systems. Wattage for electric space heaters that aren’t hardwired usually tops out at 1,500 watts with a few exceptions. Heaters in this class are typically suited for areas between 150 to 800 square feet.

For natural gas or propane heaters, power is measured in BTU’s, which stands for British Thermal Units, something you can read more about here. Just like with electric heaters, a larger number means a more powerful system. With either option, your best bet is to know your basement's size beforehand, which you can get by multiplying the length of one side of the room by its width.

Installing a Space Heater

This is where things can get complicated, and an area that can make many homeowners turn towards an electric heater in winter. For any standard 120-volt heater, you simply need to locate a power outlet, plug it in, and you’re good to go. Most homes have at least one 240-volt outlet in the basement as well, which allows you to use more powerful systems.

If you’re interested in a flush-mount electric wall heater or a hardwired system, the initial cost of the heater will increase. A handy homeowner may be able to handle the wiring themselves, but you’ll need to call in a pro more often than not. The same goes for heaters that use natural gas or propane.

Vent free gas heaters are much easier to install for homeowners than a direct vent heater, which requires venting to the outdoors. While they are considered safer, not everyone is comfortable cutting a small hole through their wall.  Making a mistake installing a gas or propane heater can potentially be deadly, which means the installation of permanent systems is better left to professionals.

Space Heater Features

If you are willing to spend enough money, you can find an array of high-tech heaters that you can control with your voice or that purify the air. Those are features in the flagship class, however, and not something you’ll find on 90% of the systems sold on the market today. The features also vary depending on whether you’re purchasing a gas heater or one that runs off electricity.

In the basic to mid-range class, propane heaters should have an adjustable thermostat and a few standard safety features that we will touch on in the next section of our guide. In other words, you’re going to get any bells & whistles with natural gas or propane heaters unless you jump to the premium tier.

Companies like Rinnai, Williams, and Empire have some natural gas and propane heaters with digital thermostats, remote controls, and timers. You’ll have to pay hundreds to thousands of dollars for these heaters, however, when compared to high-end electric heaters or basic gas-powered systems. If you’re interested in electric space heaters, the options are only limited by your budget.

With an electric space heater, you’ll find budget-friendly systems with manual controls, while the mid-range and premium heaters typically have electronic controls. The same goes for thermostats, which switches from dial-based to digital on top-tier systems. Other features commonly found on electronic heaters include oscillation, remote controls, and timers.

Space Heater Safety

Using a space heater safely is important, regardless of how it’s powered. That said, there are some major differences between gas heaters and electric systems you’ll want to be aware of.

One common feature we found on both types of systems are heaters with a cool-touch housing. They are more prevalent with electric units but can be found with high-end propane and natural gas heaters as well. Any floor-standing heater should be equipped with a tip-over switch. This will shut the heater off if an accident occurs and it becomes tipped over, although you won’t find that feature on wall-mounted systems for obvious reasons.

Overheating sensors are a critical component to any indoor heater considering they will shut the heater down if it becomes too hot during use. Any heater that has a semi-exposed element should have a good guard as well, especially if you have children or pets in your home. While there aren’t as many safety features for gas heaters, every vent free system should have something called an ODS sensor.

The oxygen depletion sensor will shut your propane or natural gas heater down if it detects low oxygen in a room. Carbon monoxide detectors are also highly recommended whether you plan on running a vent free or direct vent propane heater. While using a gas heater in your home is more dangerous than using an electric heater, the risk of danger is extremely low as long as your system is properly installed and maintained.

Space Heater Warranties

We’re not going to spend much time here as most heaters come with a 1-year warranty whether they use electricity for a power source, natural gas, or propane. That may not be exactly what you want to hear if you’re interested in a high-priced unit, but there are only a handful of heater manufacturers that offer guarantees between 2-5 years.

Heaters that are in the commercial class or built for areas like garages are an exception. You can also find premium gas-powered heaters with tiered warranties that cover different parts of their systems. There are also more options for replacement parts for natural gas or propane heaters than their electric counterparts.

As always, if you are concerned about the longevity of your heater, it’s a good idea to consider an extended warranty. While it may not be a good idea on cheaper systems, it’s something we highly recommend on more expensive heaters. You’ll also want to read the fine print and keep the installation process in mind as well with hardwired or gas-based heaters if you want to keep the warranty intact.

Final Thoughts

When you’re looking for a heating solution for small or large basements, the options can be overwhelming, so we hope our guide can help you narrow the field. Whatever type of heater you choose, remember to keep our safety tips and mind and seriously consider a professional installation if you plan on using natural gas or propane in your home.

ModelPowerStyleBTU or WattageThermostatTimerRemoteWarranty
Comfort Zone CZ2018-ECElectricInfrared1,500 wattsDigital12 hoursYes1-year
Dyna-Glo BF30DTL-2Dual FuelConvection30,000 BTUManualNoNo1-year
Duraflame DFI-5010ElectricInfrared5,200 BTUDigital1-year
Rinnai EX22CTNatural GasConvection21,500 BTUDigitalDualYes2010/5/2
Mr. Heater F299820PropaneRadiant18,000 BTUManualNoNo1-year
Taotronics TT-HE007ElectricFan-Forced1,500 wattsDigital12Yes
DeLonghi TRD40615ElectricRadiator1500 wattsDigital24No1-year
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