If you are looking into purchasing a space heater in order to lower the thermostat and save a few dollars on the energy bill each month, quartz and ceramic heaters each have advantages and disadvantages when it comes to efficiency.
Quartz heaters convert 100 percent of the electrical energy used into heat but lose their range after 10 to 15 feet. What makes quartz heaters so efficient is that they use a wound resistance coil that runs through a series of parallel tubes. All of the parts are encased in highly reflective, aluminum steel body, which prevents heat from escaping to the back of the device. Quartz heaters are made for situations where you are sitting in one particular place and need only to heat the one area.
Properly designed ceramic heaters offer 85 percent efficiency and are able to heat up an entire room. These types of heaters use a specialized process, which involves an alloy resistance wire that is wrapped around a ceramic body. Ceramic heaters offer flexibility in zoning, long life and uniformity.
You need to be careful when using quartz heaters, and they shouldn't be situated closely to a solid object; leave at least 3 feet from walls, furniture and other objects to avoid potential hazards. If the heat becomes too concentrated or focused on a small area, it can result in burns or even cause a fire. Ceramic heaters tend to be safer to operate because they operate at a lower temperature.
Choosing a Heater
The ratio of convected heat to radiated heat is higher in ceramic heaters. As a result, quartz heaters are a better choice for overhead heaters. Quartz heaters can move up to full working temperature more quickly because they don't have the mass of a ceramic heater. A ceramic heater is better able to heat a room, however, while quartz heaters are better used for spot heating.
Regardless of the type of space heater you use, you can take steps to increase energy efficiency and reduce energy costs. One way to improve energy efficiency is to use an external fan to move heat within the room. Keeping the space heater clean and dust free will also increase efficiency. Turning off heaters when the room they are in isn't in use will help keep energy costs down, especially in the case of ceramic heaters which will retain existing heat for longer periods due to their increased mass.