What Is a Parabolic Heater?

A parabolic space heater resembles a small circular fan at first glance.

Name

Electricity is converted into radient heat by parabolic heaters.Electricity is converted into radient heat by parabolic heaters.
It is one of many electric appliance options for heating indoor spaces. The parabolic heater is suited for warming small areas quickly or as a supplement for central heating.

The name "parabolic" is derived from "parabola," which means bowl-shaped or concave. The parabolic heater is shaped like a dish.

Appearance

A parabolic heater consists of a dish-shaped cone set on a stand. Metal wire ribs form a cage around the deflector shield. Depending on the model, the heater may turn sideways or up and down or may oscillate.

Purpose

A parabolic heater is perfect for heating a small space quickly. The radiant heat from the deflector produces instant heat that spreads out into the space.

Energy Use

The circular shape of the heater provides more energy efficiency than other electric space heaters. The parabolic design converts nearly 80 percent of electric energy into radiant heat.

Safety Mechanism

Most parabolic heaters are equipped with a safety feature that shuts off the heat should the device tip or fall over. Since the National Fire Protection Association reports that electric space heaters are a leading cause of home heating fire deaths, this safety feature is very important.

About the Author

Rebecca Mecomber, a former radio broadcaster, has been a professional blogger and writer since 2006. Her articles and interviews have appeared in "The Wall Street Journal," Salon.com and several other publications, covering topics such as Federal Trade Commission policy and media regulations, blogging, home improvement and New York travel.