If your car’s heater needs fixing or if you didn’t have one to start with, you might consider getting some sort of heater for winter. Whether you need a portable car heater that is battery operated depends on your need. You would first need to figure out how much heat do you need. When you figure out what you need the heater to do then you will be able to make the choice.
Do you want your portable battery operated car heater to warm up your entire car? Or do you simply want to defrost the windshield and just want the air inside to be slightly less chilled? Well if you want the former then I’m sorry, you will be disappointed with almost every portable car heater out there. They are simply just not able to provide the same service as factory heaters. However, if you want the windshield to be defrosted and the air to be slightly warmer inside then you can do well with a battery operated heater.
How Much Can You Realistically Expect from Battery Operated Heater?
So you want your car to be completely heated up by a battery operated heater? That is not really a realistic expectation. This is because of two main things. One the wattage available from your car’s battery, second the voltage required by your portable heater’s battery. The regular cigarette lighter plug doesn’t offer enough wattage for a fully blasted heater experience. Even if you bring a line from your car’s battery then you might be able to push the heat but your car’s battery will die after some time.
This is not advised, it’s because if the battery dies completely then it is damaged and repairing it would be costly. The heater requires intensive energy supply and your car’s battery will not be able to provide the heater and your car together. Your car’s battery will run out of power very soon.
Big batteries often don’t mean extra power. Higher voltage doesn’t always mean additional support. While there are many heaters that come with gel pack batteries that is comparable to deep cycle marine batteries. Even with these batteries, the power is limited and will run out fast if used in a high power usage setting.
Another major concern is the volume of air in the space you are trying to heat up along with the energy required to heat the surroundings up. Now, this is an even more complicated equation than the former. Everything has to be taken into consideration. The interior, the air, the temperature, the rate of heat loss through the car surface parts and many factors. Even if the volume of the air is not bigger than your room other factors make it such that the heater cannot perform to its fullest.
What Is Achievable?
Well like I said before, it won’t give you proper heating like your factory heater but provide you enough heat to make the car drivable. If you want the defrosted windshields and a slightly warm car you should use them. Otherwise, you won’t be happy with the result for any of the portable heaters in the market.