Do Space Heaters Use a Lot of Electricity?

Do space heaters use a lot of electricity? Though not the most efficient heating system, if you know how to use them, you’ll be able to save some money on your bill.

The thing with electrical appliances is that they are quite convenient and make our lives easier, but we often forget that there is a bill to pay at the end of the month. More and more people are using space heaters to keep warm during the cold months. But, do space heaters use a lot of electricity? And how efficient are they? Keep reading the article to find out if a space heater is a good fit for your home and budget.

Types of Space Heaters and Their Electric Usage


If you are wondering about some of the types of space heaters and how much they spend on electricity, keep reading our list below.

Baseboard heaters

The name baseboard heater comes from the location where this heater is placed. A baseboard heater is placed near the floor, so the heat it emits starts at the floor level going up to the ceiling. Generally, there are two types of baseboard heaters based on the way they operate: convection and hydronic. 

With the convection heaters, the cool air in the room is drawn inside the heater, heated up, and then released back into the room. Meanwhile, the hydronic heater uses some type of liquid, such as water or oil, heats it up, and then the warmth from the liquid is released into the room. While there are portable baseboard heaters, most of them work with a hardwire electric connection. One advantage of baseboard heaters is that they are quite compact since they are put so close to the floor.

Average electric usage: 500- 2000 watts

Radiant heaters

Radiant heaters produce heat internally and then release it into a room by radiating it. By radiating the heat, these heaters heat up objects and people around, thus creating a much more enjoyable environment. One major advantage of radiant heaters is that they do not dry up the air in a room.

Average electric usage: 1,500 watts

Ceramic heaters

Ceramic heaters work on what’s called resistive heating. What this means is that the electricity runs through the resistance units (i.e., the heater’s ceramic plates), heats them up, and they, in turn, release heat into the room. One advantage of ceramic heaters is that they are energy efficient because the heated ceramic plates keep emitting the heat they have even after the appliance is turned off until they are cold.

Average electric usage: 1,500 watts

Convection heaters

Another type of space heater is the convection heater. The way convection heaters operate is through convection, i.e., the warm air’s natural tendency to move up as it is lighter than cold air. This means that convection heaters do not need a fan for there to be a flow of warm air into the room. One advantage of convection heaters is that they are very quiet, which is due to the lack of fans.

Average electric usage: 1,500 watts

Electric heaters

An electric heater is any type of heater that uses electricity to complete its task of heating up a space. This means that electricity or electrical energy is turned into thermal energy, i.e., heat, which is then released into a room. There are different types of electric heaters depending on their design, special features, and the way they operate. 

Average electric usage: 1,500 watts

How to Calculate the Electricity Usage of Your Space Heater


Though electric heaters are a quick and easy choice to combat the heat, we need to take into account the electric bill at the end of the month. If you do not want to be surprised by the number on the electric bill, it is a good idea to calculate how much electricity your space heater will use in a month. There are a few steps to calculating this number:

  1. Find out the space heater’s wattage

Watt is a unit of power used to quantify the energy rate. The wattage number can be found on the space heater itself or on the user’s manual or box it came in. Generally, space heaters will use 1,500 watts on average, so that’s the number we will use to calculate. You should change the number of watts in the formula accordingly. So, 1500 watts is equal to 1.5 kilowatts. 

  1. Multiply 

Since electric bills calculate energy consumption in kilowatt-hours, all you need to do is multiply the number of watts your space heater uses by the number of hours the space heater is in use. 

For example, you have a 1,500 watts space heater that you use for 10 hours a day.

1,500 x 10 = 15,000 

We divide the result by 1000 to get the number of kilowatts.

15,000 / 1000 = 15

All that’s left to do is multiply the result by the rate the electrical company charges for electricity, and you will have the bill for 10 hours of warmth from your space heater.

Tips for Saving on Your Electricity Bill


If you want to use a space heater because it is a convenient way of staying warm, no one can blame you for that. But you might also want to save as much as you can. Even though space heaters are not the most efficient way to keep your home warm, there are some ways to save electricity. 

P.S. Certain tips also double as safety tips when using a space heater as they are a cause of quite a few accidents yearly.

Only use your space heater in the room you are in

Since space heaters are a great way to heat up a room relatively fast, it is best if you only use them when you are in the room and turn them off when you are out. This will cut down on the heating bill and keep you safe from possible accidents from leaving your space heater unattended. 

Monitor your room temperature


Keep an eye on the room temperature. Although most of us enjoy a warm, or even hot room during winter, making sure the room temperature stays at a comfortable temperature and is not overheated is key to saving on electricity bills. 

Do not crank it up

Space heaters work fairly quickly, so avoid the temptation to crank it up when the temperature in your room is low. The space heater will eventually do its job, and you will avoid overheating the appliance and the room. 

Use your central heating system, if you have one

If you have a large house or a large area you need to heat up, a central heating system is much more efficient than a space heater. Central heating helps keep a constant temperature in the entirety of your home as opposed to a space heater.

Choose the right space heater for your space

If you do choose to use a space heater and want to save on the electricity bill, make sure you get the right space heater for you. Although space heaters are fairly simple appliances, not all of them are the same. Get one for the exact area you need to keep warm so you don’t use more electricity than needed.

Use it in the right place

As we mentioned before, if you need to warm up a larger space, using a space heater may not be the most efficient alternative. Space heaters are great for heating up small, well-insulated spaces as you will keep that place warm for longer periods of time while not having your electricity bill go up.

Dress accordingly


While the idea of wearing light clothes and staying warm during the winter sounds amazing, few people can actually afford it. Winter is made for cozy, fluffy, and warm clothes because they are fun and you won’t need much more heat from the outside to be comfortable. 

The Bottom Line

As quite simple, compact, and affordable appliances, space heaters get a lot of people through the winter. The question is how efficient you can be with them. By choosing the right space heater for your home and following the list of tips above, you can and hopefully will be able to save with a space heater. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *