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Do Space Heaters Use A Lot Of Electricity? Surprising Facts

Do Space Heaters Use A Lot Of Electricity

There’s nothing quite as lovely as cozying up to a heater on a frigid day. No matter where you live, there is bound to at least a small amount of time during the year (or a lot) when the air gets chilly, and it’s harder to stay warm. Space heaters are convenient to have around if you don’t have a fireplace or need extra warmth on those frigid days. However, many people aren’t quite sure about space heaters. Are they safe? Will they make my electricity bill atrociously high? What are the benefits and drawbacks of using this appliance? 

Space heaters can certainly warm spaces in our room, but at what cost? Space heaters might be small and efficient, but it’s not without its downsides. Space heaters do use a lot of electricity. If managed properly, however, it doesn’t have to be an exorbitant cost. You can find the amount of electricity used by a space heater by discovering your mode’s specific wattage. Although amounts vary per space heater and how much one uses their heater, space heaters typically use about 1.5 kilowatts of power (based on a 1,500-watt space heater). However, electricity isn’t measured in control, but in hours of kilowatt. Your electricity bill is tallied up by how much energy was being used per hour by an appliance. Keep reading for more information on how to figure out if a space heater is a good investment for your home

using a space heater in your house

Figuring Out How Much Electricity Your Space Heater Will Use 

So the first step in figuring how much electricity your space heater will take up is finding the appliance‘s wattage. This information will most likely be printed somewhere on the heater or in the manual of instructions that come with it. This wattage number is the amount of electricity that is needed to power and run the space heater. While most electric heaters do use 1,500 watts, yours might use less or more, so be sure to check. Let’s go ahead and assume you’ve got a 1,500-watt heater. Since 1,000 watts equals 1 kilowatt, that means your heater uses 1.5 kilowatts of power. 

However, your electric bill is measured in kilowatt-hours, which is the amount of energy used while running a 1-kilowatt appliance for one hour. The formula you can use to calculate how much electricity, per hour, a space heater will take based on its watts is pretty simple.

You can multiply the number of watts on your electric heater by the number of hours you plan on using it. If your planning on having it on during a few hours of reading on a Saturday, for example, you might calculate having it on by five hours. 

1,500 x 5 hours = 7,500

Next, you can divide that number by 1,000. 

7,500 / 1,000 = 7.5

adjust your space heater

This is your new rate. Multiply this handy number by how much your electric company charges. Unless you have solar power, in which case you would be generating electricity yourself! Solar energy is a great way to skip having a massive electric bill each month. Even if you have solar power, you may still want to check how much energy is being used up by a space heater to warm up your space. You can then calculate your electric company rate by the rate you calculated (7.5 in our example), and then you’ll have your answer to how much money you will be spending for a few hours of warmth from your heater.  

How Much Does it Cost to Use a Space Heater?

Heaters are a great way to keep your home warm during the winter, but they can be costly. Space heaters use use on average 1,500 Watts of electricity and cost about 15¢ an hour to operate. It only takes 8 hours of continuous use per day for one month before you start seeing these expenses add up in monthly bills.

See chart below for potential added costs on your energy bill:

$.15 8 Hours $1.20 per day
$.15 240 Hours $36 per month

Using a Space Heater to Heat Your Home

Now that you’ve calculated how much a space heater could potentially cost, we can talk about the other aspects of having a space heater, like functionality. 

Some people look into getting a space heater for their home to save money on their heating bill. However, to effectively use a space heater for saving money, you’ll have to shut off your central heat and rely on your space heater to heat a smaller area. That can be an effective strategy if you’re going to stay in one place in your house, like your living or personal room. 

However, keep in mind that getting a space heater with the intention of saving money will not work if you also have your central or gas heat on full-blast as usual. Even if you turn it down a bit, it most likely won’t save you much money unless your standard means of heat is completely turned off. Electric heaters are certainly a handy means of heating a room and can save you money if you carefully manage your electric output. Overall, an electric space heater is great to have when it comes to simple functionality. 

To Not Use a Space Heater 

When it comes to space heaters, safety is often a key concern. The number of reported house fires caused by space heaters is far into the thousands, a concerning thought if you are interested in using an electric space heater. This number has perhaps given space heaters an unfortunate reputation that could be avoided if users were incredibly aware and responsible for using their heater. Practicing essential safety habits can avoid accidents involving space heaters for their space heaters. However, some homeowners have argued that space heaters’ danger could be much more severe than the potential pros. If your home has little children, pets, or gets many regular visitors, you should be even more careful than usual when it comes to your space heater. There are a few points to keep in mind when you have a space heater. We recommend making these regular household rules for you and your family. 

  • The heater should only be on and running if there are people in that specific room.
  • Do not, under any circumstances, use your space heater outdoors. 
  • Do not use extension cords with your electric space heater.
  • Be sure to keep the heater away from all flammable materials, furniture, etc. 
  • Be sure to buy a heater that will automatically turn off when they fall or are knocked over. 
  • Be very careful when around or handling the space heater, especially the heating area. 
  • Always read the instruction manuals for any space heaters, even if you have had one before. 
  • Buy an electric space heater that comes with a self-timer and a thermostat, so you do not have to monitor it regularly. 
  • Do not run the space heater overnight for safety reasons.

types of space heaters and usage


Types of Space Heaters

There are several types of electric space heaters that you can choose for your home. The most common two are coil heaters and infrared heaters. Coil heaters work by transferring electricity through metal coils (as the name hints) and then using that heat to warm up the room or space. On the other hand, infrared heaters use infrared radiation, which isn’t as sinister as it sounds. 

While these types of heaters are both safe to use, you should never place them close to flammable elements such as cloth, bedcovers, paper, wood, curtains, etc. These could potentially become serious fire hazards when next to an electric space heater. Additionally, be sure to invest in a space heater that is of good quality and new, rather than dragging an old and rusted one out of the storage closet. Spending the extra money on a new electric space heater will be worth adding an extra measure of safety for your home and family. 

Not having a space heater when you and your family are asleep is an added measure of safety. In case something were to happen to the power source, etc., it’s much safer for your space heater to be turned off when no one is attending. Also, don’t leave an unattended space heater in your home, even if you’ll only be gone a short while. Although newer models are certainly a safer bet, and you would probably be fine to use it, we recommend forgoing using it during the night. There have been some complaints of infrared electric heaters harming people’s skin or even eyes, but this is relatively easy to circumvent. Don’t get too close to the heater, or look for a long time at the infrared heaters’ red glow. Be sure to talk to your kids about this, too, to avoid potential problems. 

Buying a Space Heater

During the winter months, a space heater can be a helpful way to heat a small space. They can certainly help create a cozy area for reading books or enjoying time with friends or family during the frigid months. Using a space heater is a great way to save money if you are only using a small space of your home or warm up a specific area without spending a crazy amount on heat. Space heaters can also be a lifesaver while you wait on a heat and air repair company to fix your HVAC system! 

If you decide to invest in a space heater for your home, there are a few features you will want to look for in your new appliance. An automatic shut-off, which we already mentioned, will be vital for ensuring that your heater doesn’t overheat and become a fire hazard. Tip-over protection will help if you have little pets or family members running around. Also, be sure to look for the space heaters’ safety certifications to ensure that the appliance’s safety is legitimate and trustworthy. When it comes to this appliance, a little bit of research will go a long way in ensuring the safety and cozy warmth of your home. 

Voweek 1500W Portable Electric Heater

There’s a wide variety of portable space heaters available for home use. Some people like using them because they’re more efficient than other types, while others just want something that looks good sitting around the house or office desk without taking up too much room. The 1500 watt ceramic heating element of the Voweek 1500W Portable Electric Heater  allows this model to quickly get hot enough so you can enjoy warm temperatures within 3 seconds – no waiting needed (especially during those cold winter days).

how much does it cost to run a space heater


Written By

Hi there! My name is Matt and I write for Expert Home Report. I enjoy writing about everything related to home improvement, home tips and DIY. In my spare time, I'm either spending time with my family, doing a DIY project or learning a new skill.