If you're searching the internet to buy a heater
1) Search for a company that actually specializes in heaters and heating-related products. A web site that sells heaters among hundreds of other non-heating related products is usually just an order-taking catalog house with little or no background in the heating industry. Find a heating expert who can answer all your heating questions.
2) Is the online company you choose a well-established heating products distributor? Choose a well-established heating company with a good customer service record. Ask whether you feel the company you buy from will be around for technical support later on, even many years after the initial purchase. The fact is, all heaters are mechanical, meaning they will eventually fail. Will the company you buy from be able to offer replacement parts and technical support to help fix a problem down the road?
3) Is there a customer service number you can call for assistance? Ever had a hard time finding a phone number on a web site? That should throw up a caution flag. The company you buy from should be able to offer personal design/application assistance through phone and email support and help ensure that you get just the right heater, heaters or heating system to fit your needs. Choose a distributor who can calculate the heat load requirement and offer you the best heating solution to fit your situation.
4) There are different heaters for different purposes. What appliances are best suited to these applications? The internet is a convenient way to shop and get information, but you should be able to call the company and speak with a heating expert to answer all your specific questions.
5) Does the web site you're searching offer detailed guidelines, specifications and an explanation of uses for each heater? Sites with mere thumbnail photos and 'checkout' buttons, with little information by way of heater descriptions and specifications, could be an indication that you are dealing with nothing but an order fulfillment house. Most of these sites offer little in the way of technical expertise and product support.
Note that some heaters require the installation expertise of a qualified heating professional. These heaters may include gas and electric furnaces, garage heaters, fireplaces and many other gas-fired vented, unvented and high voltage electrical heating products. Will you be able to do the work yourself, or will you need to hire a professional installer? A company experienced in the heating industry can walk you through the details of what is required for installation.
6) Ask - what is the company's return policy? What is the manufacturer's product warranty? How easy will it be to return the product if there is a problem? A reputable company should give you a 30 day money-back guarantee should you decide to return the heater.
7) Not only is it important to choose a reputable online company, but you'll want to choose heating product brands with years of proven use in the marketplace. Choose a heater model with a strong performance record.
8) Finally, buy from a company with friendly customer-service skills to help you through the selection, purchasing, fulfillment and post installation process. Buying a heater should be as hassle-free as possible. It starts by choosing the best company with the best products and the best customer support.