Electric heaters and air conditioners both perform different functions – one cools a space down or draws the humidity out of the air, the other super-heats a space in a very short amount of time. Both can be small but mighty, or large, cumbersome objects that nobody wants to move once they’re in place. The technology required for both is, generally, very similar – the heating or cooling of the space through the movement of air around a space.

Here are some of the benefits of each and the differences between them, to help your clients choose which is right for their space and their needs.

What is The Benefit of an Electric Heater?

Simply put, electric heaters have a single main function: to provide instant heat, or slowly build up the amount of heat in a given space over time. How fast the heater is able to do this depends on the model and its energy efficiency rating. If you have a smaller space that you want to keep relatively warm, but don’t need to superheat, and want to save some money, then an electric heater is probably a good option for you.

What is the Benefit of an Air Conditioner?

The main reason why people buy air conditioners is to cool a space down, though they sometimes offer a dehumidification feature as well. The benefit of having an air conditioner is that it is typically far more efficient at cooling a space down and can bring the space to a set temperature (usually controlled by the end user), within a matter of a couple of hours – depending on the type and size of the unit. Air conditioners move cool air around a space at a much faster rate than an electric heater generates and moves warm air around that space.

What’s the Trade-Off?

When dealing with two different types of machinery, there’s always a trade-off when comparing them. Aside from functionality, the main trade-off when it comes to choosing an air conditioner versus an electric heater is energy efficiency over portability and climate needs. If you’re sticking with one spot and you find that the space needs cooling more than it needs heating – an AC unit is your best bet. You also may find that your space will never be able to be heated as fast as it would be cooled by an AC unit. Therefore, you may want to explore other heating options, rather than buying an electric heater. However, if you do have a space that needs to remain as warm as possible and you perhaps don’t pay an electricity bill yourself, then a short burst of heat for a few hours from an electric heater would make the most sense.

When you buy an air conditioning unit, you’re buying the capability to cool a space down very quickly. When you buy an electric heater, you’re buying the portability of the unit (most are pretty portable, even some of the bigger ones), and the capacity to heat up a small space very quickly, though most electric heaters are still less efficient than their cooling counterparts.

Which One Is Best For Me?

While they both perform different functions, it is worth noting that, depending on your climate needs, it might be best for you to have both – if you can afford it. If not, then it’s pick-your-poison time and decide if you want to heat up a small space more than you want to cool down a large space.

Drew Savanna