Many people who are looking for an affordable, energy efficient source of secondary heating often wonder about the possibility of using battery powered heaters. Still, if you’re thinking about using a battery powered heating unit, such as a space heater, to provide some additional warmth to your home, you’ll probably be in for a bit of a shock when your searches online return very few, if any, products that suit your needs.
While electric space heaters are one of the most popular and effective secondary heating sources, almost all of the products you’ll find typically need to be wired directly into the electrical grid, or at the very least, plugged into a nearby power outlet. The reason behind this is that electric heaters require quite a large amount of power to function, meaning you’d drain down even a large 12volt battery in a very short time to heat even a small space—say the interior of your car.
In fact, the most popular baseboard heater products on the market, which are designed for use inside vehicles, actually run off of the car’s battery and are only meant to be used while the vehicle is running, so as not to quickly drain the battery. Now this doesn’t mean that these battery operated vehicle heaters and the like can’t be fairly effective in certain situations, but it is to say that they do come with quite a few limitations.
Types of Battery Operated Heaters & Portable Car Heater Systems
While battery operated heating products for your vehicle are definitely the most numerous, and some would say most useful types on the market, there are nonetheless a number of other battery heaters that may come in handy. For starters, there are a number of excellent battery operated hand and body heaters available, some of which can generate temperatures well over 100°F for 8 hours or more—all you have to do is turn it on and let it warm up, then enjoy that extra added heat all day long.
In addition to these other truly battery functioned heaters, there are a number of other space heaters which are sometimes referred to as battery powered, but in fact are a combination of battery and a gas energy source, such as propane or kerosene. Many different types of battery heater products can be found on numerous sites on the web, including Amazon.
Battery Operated Vehicle Heaters
These small, portable heating units are technically the largest battery operated units you’ll find, which goes to show just how limited the uses of battery power are for generating heat. Most of these units will plug directly into the vehicle’s cigarette lighter or 12v outlet and run straight off the car’s battery.
The fact that these units don’t require their own battery to be carted around makes them incredibly lightweight and portable, with most products being made of plastic and weighing only a few ounces. Still, as you’d expect, both the price and quality of these heaters can vary quite dramatically—ranging from only a few dollars to well over $50 or more.
Nonetheless, most are at least fairly effective ways to add some additional heat in your vehicle on those cold mornings or to help defrost the windshield, and some may even be efficient enough to use on their own if you can’t afford to pay the hundreds of dollars it might take to fix your car’s broken heating system.
Please read and download this PDF: Heath and Safety Regulations that pertain to these heating systems.
Battery Operated Hand and Body Warmers
These type of battery heaters are definitely the oldest and most varied type, having been around for many years in one form or another. Many hunters, ice fishermen and other outdoors types have long taken advantage of battery powered socks and hand warmers to help keep them warm during those frosty winter days and these products continue to be quite popular today.
These heaters typically use a small battery or batteries, ranging from AAA to 9 volt, to produce just enough heat to keep your hands or feet warm, without getting too hot or burning. What’s more, most of these heaters can keep producing heat for at least 5 hours or more on one battery, and many can run much longer than that, making them incredibly effective and affordable sources of heat. Even better still, some of the newer products come with batteries that can even be recharged via USB, giving you even more options for cheap heat.
Combination Battery-Gas Heaters
While not technically battery operated, these heaters definitely need to be included in this list due to their versatility and effectiveness. In fact, they can not only be used to provide additional heat in the home like a conventional electric space 12V heater, but also are great for heating up tents, campers, vehicles, etc. They’re also a must-have in any emergency kit, as they’ll allow you to heat up your home even if the power is out.
These combination heaters make use of a small battery, which powers the ignition and fan, while the heat is produced through burning propane or some other fuel source. The use of propane or other fuel allows these heaters to generate large amounts of heat in a short time, and makes them quite effective at heating up even larger spaces.
In fact, many people use them for heating up garages, sheds, workshops—even bathrooms, bedrooms and the like. Still, it must be mentioned that not all of this type of heater is suitable for use indoors, so it’s always important to read the product information and details closely to make sure. Typically, only the smaller units that use 1lb bottles of propane or smaller are recommended for use in homes, due to the fumes that may be released by larger heaters.
Nonetheless, many of these heaters can run for as much as 12 hours on a single, 1lb. bottle of propane, making them quite a useful option on those bitterly cold days, or whenever you need some quick, additional heat. Better still, most of these heaters are also quite affordable, typically costing no more than $150 for even the top of the line models.
Battery powered heaters provide an excellent alternative heat source to traditional forced air and electric heaters. They can offer a viable alternative to primary heaters when the power is out.
There are a number of different types of battery operated heaters including 12V car battery heaters, battery powered space heaters, battery powered hand and body warmers and gas/battery hybrid heaters. Each heater offers a viable external heat source for a specific need.
12V car battery heaters do not require the installation of batteries in the heating unit. Instead, they rely on the use of a 12V power inverter that gives them access to the vehicle’s battery for power. They provide plenty of heat in the small confines of your vehicle’s cabin and can keep you warm in the event of a breakdown.
Battery powered hand and body warmers are designed to help those who spend large amounts of time in the cold the ability to stay warm while on the go. These heaters require the installation of AA or 9V batteries to operate and can provide enough heat to keep your hands or body warm for the majority of the day.
Battery powered space heaters operate the same way as traditional space heaters, however they do not rely on an external power source.