When temperatures drop in Shanghai, they really drop – we've already seen the coldest early-January day in Shanghai since 2005 this month. While those days are almost behind us for another year, we're still looking ahead at a few weeks of cold and damp winter days.
If you're done with your AC working overtime to pump some warm air into that icebox you call home, there are hundreds of alternative options for indoor heaters out there to make your room extra cosy. Whether you're after something to tuck away under your desk to keep your towels warm or heat up your entire flat, here's what to look for (copy the Chinese characters in the brackets to find the right type of heaters online).
To heat up a small space, like the area under a desk, you'll want something small that can heat quickly for which radiant heaters usually do the trick – these are good for providing instant heat in concentrated areas. They're also generally portable and less expensive than many of their counterparts.
For bedrooms and offices that you want to maintain steady temperatures throughout, an oil heater might be a good choice. Though they take around ten to 20 minutes to reach the desired temperature, the warmth stays as long as the heater is on and for a while as the oil cools down after.
Another good shout for warming up larger spaces evenly, convector heaters use convection to move heated air around without noisy fans. They heat up and cool down a lot quicker than their oil counterparts, and are quieter than most fan heaters.
If you’re looking for a heater to transform your chilly bathroom into a sauna, opt for a waterproof wall heater (浴室壁防水暖风机). Many of them come with a towel hanger, so you won’t be drying your body with that cold and wet towel when you get out of the shower.
For heating larger spaces, say the living room, you might want to look for a bigger and more powerful unit like a baseboard heater. The downside is they can be fairly energy-intensive, but this type of heater will warm the room from floor to ceiling and effectively offset cold drafts.
There's nothing like crawling into a toasty bed – especially through a damp Shanghai winter. For maximum comfort, electric blankets can add an extra layer of cosiness. Just switch it on a bit before you go to bed to get things warm and turn it off before you fall asleep.
Extras to look out for
After narrowing down the type of heater to suit your needs, the next thing to look into is how powerful you want it. Generally speaking, a 1,100-watt heater is expected to warm rooms up to 10sqm max. An easy sum to also help you figure out what power you'll need for the size of the room is to subtract two zeros from the wattage, so 1,500 watts ≈ 15sqm.
Other factors to take into account are noise levels, power consumption and safety designs such as tip-over protection and overheat protection – especially important if you have kids or pets running around at home.