Space heater are the safe alternative to traditional heaters for toasting up your rooms during winters.
But most of people are worried to invest in this appliance because of the high electricity bills.
However, is that true? How much does a space heater consume? Are the costs too high? And can we do anything to reduce the power consumption?
In this article, we are going to explore the answers to all these questions. So, read more attentively.
But first let’s understand some terminologies and definitions to make the understanding easier.
- Wattage – It represents the power consumption of the device in watts. You can get this information on the product label.
- Cost per unit – The average price per unit charged by an electric utility. Each country has its own tariff rates. If you are unsure of the cost per unit or kWH charged by your utility company, visit Global electricity prices.
- Units per day – The daily electricity consumption of the load, based on the hours of operation.
- Hours of use – The number of hours that the load is used each day. The wattage and the hours used determine how much electricity you use. You will be charged by the utility company for the entire kilowatt-hours of energy consumed. Kilowatt-hour refers to the sum of the power consumed by the load and the hours used.
- What is Average Power Consumption of a Space Heater?
- How to Calculate the Power Consumption of Space Heater
- What is the Power Rating of a Space Heater?
- Is a larger space heater going to use more electricity?
- Tips that Help to Reduce Power Consumption of Space Heater
- Which Type of Heater is The Most Efficient?
- Some Frequently Asked Questions
What is Average Power Consumption of a Space Heater?
We all require some type of heating to combat the cold chill of the north winds. This includes countries scattered throughout Europe and Asia.
Many have turned to space heaters to keep their loved ones and themselves warm and comfortable. Unlike gas heaters or kerosene heaters that are powered by electricity, space heaters mainly use electricity.
A survey by the United States Department of Energy found that the average American household uses between 5,000 and 30,000 kW to heat their space heaters. It is estimated that between $1200 and $6,000 are heating bills each year. This number does not include any taxes or other fees that may apply to your specific location.
How to Calculate the Power Consumption of Space Heater
In order to calculate the power consumption of a space heater, you have to measure the wattage it consumes, the power rating and cost equivalent to the power rating. We have mentioned them clearly below for your reference.
To find out the power consumption of the heater you purchased, take a quick look at the label at the bottom or back of your heater. The label will typically include the electrical ratings in Watts, Voltage (V), and Amperage.
In order to calculate the heater’s wattage, you can use the below formula
Watts (W) = Volts (V) x Amps (A) x Power Factor.
The Power Factor is usually a standard of 1 unit. However, there are always exceptions. The following equation can be used to calculate the efficiency of your space heater: x 100 =%
The power input of the heater in terms of heat is the percentage (%) that results from the equation. If your space heater is labeled with the numbers 120VAC or 15A, it means:
120V x 15A x 1 = 1800Watts or 1.8kW
As now we have determined the wattage, you can determine the power rating of the space heater.
What is the Power Rating of a Space Heater?
Once you’ve determined how much space heater you use in wattage (W), you should calculate the heater power rating to get an estimate of the heating costs.
A space heater which runs on 120V or240V will generally use same energy and result in similar heating bills that don’t vary too much.
Electricity bills are also directly translated from heating bills. Every electricity bill is expressed in kWh (kilowatt-hours).
In simple terms, electricity bill is calculated based on the amount of energy used for every 1 kilowatt heating. To find out how much a space heater of 1.8 kW (our power rating calculation) will cost, use the following equation:
No.of watts consumed by space heater x no.of hours heater is used
To keep the warmth in the living room, you can leave your space heater on while watching your favorite sport program on TV for 2hours. So, the calculation is
1,800 Watts, x 2 Hours = 3,600
Now, you have to divide it by 1000, which results in 3.6
Multiply resultant number with utility fees for electricity in your region. These fees can vary from one location to another so be aware that different spaces heaters may result in different charges.
If your local utility charges electricity at $0.75 per month, this would be:
3.6x $0.75 = 2.70
That means your heating bill for two hours of warm living room warmth is $27.90
When you use the same space heater for a month, the average cost of electricity bill would be
$2.70×30 days = $81.00
This is not including the taxes and any other fees.
The higher the little spike in your electricity bill, the longer you leave your space heater on.
According to the U.S Department of Energy, heating device bills account for as high as 40% of household energy consumption in North America.
Is a larger space heater going to use more electricity?
Yes, larger heaters will use more electricity. Although many factors, such as shape, design and weight, can affect the power consumption of a space heater, the most important factor is its size.
This is because larger heaters require more power to operate. The heater’s output of heat per square foot is proportional to how much power it uses. It can also lead to an increase in your electricity costs.
Tips that Help to Reduce Power Consumption of Space Heater
- Avoid heating rooms that aren’t being used. Space heaters shouldn’t be left unattended. You can save money by remembering to turn off heaters after you leave a room.
- Monitor the temperature of your room with a thermometer. Most space heaters don’t have temperature controls or thermostats, and even those that do tend to be inaccurate or difficult to read. To monitor the room temperature accurately and prevent overheating, use a separate thermometer.
- A central heating system might be a better option if you use multiple space heaters in the home for more than a few hour per day. Your central heating system is the best way to heat your entire house.
- Space heaters are best used in rooms that can be closed to keep heat in, such as small bedrooms or offices. These heaters will not work in large rooms or areas that are difficult to close off from the rest of your home.
- Choose the right space heater. Not all space heaters work equally well. While some space heaters can heat an entire room evenly, others are more efficient at heating what’s directly in front of them. To determine which space heater is right for you, use the guide at the back.
Which Type of Heater is The Most Efficient?
Here comes the results we all were waiting for. The winner among all can’t be only based on powerful heat emission. There are a lot more things to discuss and one of them is efficiency.
Thus, it might downcast your expectation but there’s no clear winner here. It all depends on what your heating needs are and how much you use. With that being said, there are different winners in different scenarios. Understanding this thing will make you a smart consumer.
Let us inspect further how different space heaters are beneficial to you.
Starting with the infrared heaters, they are considered the most efficient among all. Indeed, the infrared space heater can save you a tonne of money on your electric bills. The numbers state clearly why it is so.
So, where’s the problem?
Infrared heaters use radiation as a method of emitting heat. And there’s a flaw in it. These infrared waves will quickly provide heat to the objects available in the nearby area. But it doesn’t heat the air to do so.
On the other hand, if you’re planning to heat the complete room, moving with the ceramic heaters or the oil-filled heaters will be the best call.
In a nutshell, here’s the complete summary-
- Ceramic heaters are perfect to heat the whole room of small to medium-sized
- Oil-filled heaters are best suitable for heating any sized room.
- Infrared heaters provide you with direct heat, regardless of the size of the room
- Propane heaters are mostly for power heating purposes.
Some Frequently Asked Questions
Heating a home with electric space heaters can cost up to 43% more than heating it with gas furnaces. However, a space heater can be used in your bedroom to heat your home while you’re asleep on a cold night. This will not affect your electricity bill.
It all depends on how much heat you need. If you only need to heat one or two rooms, a space heater is more affordable. If you want to heat your whole home, central heating is the best and most practical option.
These heaters are only cost-effective if used to heat a small area or supplement the heat in a single room. They are less efficient than baseboard heaters, and should not be used as your main heat source. You should ensure that you get one that is efficient in energy.
Space heaters use less energy than central heat. They are however not as efficient than space heaters. Therefore, having space heaters in every room of your home will not only make you more money, but it will also cause them to be less efficient.
For instance, an electric heater running cost calculator can be used below to calculate different wattages/kWh prices. For example, let’s say that $0.1319 per kWh is the cost of an electric space heater with 1,500 watts. Then $0.20 per hour will be charged for it. 4.80 per hour (day)
I did my research and created a calculator for free. A 1,500W heater runs on high for an average of $0.20 an hour. This adds up over 8 hours to a monthly cost of $48. Your electric heater’s power, run time, heat settings and electricity price will all impact your running costs.
Space heaters consume 1500W of electricity an hour. There are also smaller heaters, which can run at 200W an hour.
Space heaters are a popular choice for families around the world due to their portability, efficiency, and affordability.
It is important to select your heater carefully, just like any other electrical equipment. Before you buy a space heater, it is important to understand its cost and how many Watts it uses. This will give you an idea of the running costs to determine if it is feasible for you to afford it.
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