Stepping out of a hot shower into a chilly bathroom is not something anyone wants to experience. The amount of heat delivered through the typical HVAC system just isn’t sufficient to take the edge off on winter days. That’s one reason many homeowners opt to install an additional heater in their bathrooms.
Which One Should You Choose?
Any space heater will do the job, but safety is important in a wet environment. Ideally, you should purchase a model that is specifically designed to be used in a moist environment. The unit should be small enough that it won’t eat up too much space or come into contact with flammable objects.
Ease of installation is another big factor. Complications may arise when you need a power switch to work in conjunction with the existing electrical system. This is often a concern when installing wall panel, baseboard radiant strip or ceiling bathroom heaters as DIY projects.
To avoid this problem, you might choose a fan based or portable convection heater that is UL listed as safe for use in a bathroom. Perhaps you would be satisfied with simply having a warm towel on hand when you get out of the tub. Towel warmers are available in designs that are as inexpensive or as fancy as you like. Some can be plugged directly into an existing outlet – eliminating the need for rewiring of any kind.
For real luxury, consider radiant in-floor heating. This is a fairly energy efficient option that can keep your toes toasty warm. However, it is usually only a suitable choice if you were already planning a major remodel. It requires tearing out and replacing the existing floor as well as adding wiring that may require expert help from a licensed electrician.
How Much Heat Do You Need?
Regardless of which type of bathroom heater you buy, make sure the device is powerful enough to do the job. The basic rule is that the heater should use 12 to 15 watts to heat 1 square foot of bathroom space. This means that a 1500 watt heater should be adequate for a 10’ by 12’ space. If you have more room than this, you need a more powerful piece of equipment – perhaps one using 3000 watts.