12 Voltage heaters, or 12V heaters as they are more commonly known, are small heaters that are normally used to heat confined spaces such as vehicles. They are not useful in the home because they cannot heat big rooms. This type of heater typically runs on electricity which means that it is powered by your car battery. This means that you have to have a pretty strong alternator if you want your car to be warmed sufficiently.
There are several different types of 12v in car heater; if you want one that will warm your car sufficiently it’s best to choose a model that is specially made for automotive use. There are some that are for vehicle use that require that you plug them in the cigarette lighter port. These are no good at all; although they may save you the trouble of tinkering with alternators and other accessories they will not begin to give your car sufficient heating. They also tend to blow their fuses rather often.
The performance of your 12Voltage heater will depend on how much mileage you have to cover; the further you go the more the performance drops. If your commutes are short however, and you are bundled up enough to stay warm, a 12V heater is a good option that will not cost you the world. If a 12V heater is not doing the job you can buy a portable heater that you can use in your car.
How to choose 12V heater
In order to get a heater that will work for you look at the following criteria. Keep in mind that the criteria will help you choose between a 12V heater and other heaters that may be more suitable. Ask yourself the following questions:
• When and how will I be using the heater? If you are looking to replace a malfunctioning factory heater then a 12V heater will do so long as you use it when the engine is running. If you are looking to defrost the windows and the windshield before you start the car then a 12V may not be an ideal solution for you. Keep in mind that a factory heater uses hot coolant from the engine which means that it is not drawing electricity from your vehicle. A 12V heater, on the other hand, is powered purely by your engine (which is why it can only run when the engine is on).
• How easy is it to install and precisely what is needed in terms of accessories? You don’t want to buy a brand that requires you to do 100 different things to get your heater to work. Buy something which doesn’t require a lot of installation work. If you are not mechanically savvy you can ask your mechanic to buy a recommended brand and then install it for you. Before he does this you should ask him to give you the name of the brand he is going to buy so that you can look it up online.
• How long will it last? Like anything else you buy, you want to know the quality of the 12V car heater that you are installing. The only way to know this is to look at what others have to say on online reviews.
• Don’t skimp…the less you spend on a 12V heater the less you can expect from heat. It will either not heat your car to desired temperature or it will break down in a short while.
Note of caution: Be very careful with 12V heaters. If you leave them running when the engine is on you will come back and find you battery completely dry.