Energy Efficient Space Heaters
When it’s cold outsider, I’ll be using my energy saving space heater. I’m going to turn down the thermostat and just heat whatever room I’m in at the moment. After all, I’m only going to be in one room at a time – right?
Do I have a space heater in my home? Absolutely. My favorite heater type is a model with a fan. A good fan can be felt several feet away and really does a quick job of heating the room. Mine also has a thermostat so it will turn off when the room reaches the perfect temperature. Great on those cold mornings!
But what kind of space heater will suit your needs when there are so many types of heaters? Hopefully this site can assist you in making that decision.
(Picture purchased from jjfast.com/graphics-mega-pack-2-0)
One of My Favorite Space Heaters
What Are The Different Types of Space Heaters
There indeed are many different space heater types, but basically they fall into two categories.
Convection Heaters which work by blowing air across the heating element inside the heater can heat a whole room quicker than a radiant heater. The fans better circulate the air within the room and are good for a chilly bedroom or den – your smaller rooms. Convection heaters are inexpensive and you can get one rated up to 5,000 BTU s for less than $50. They use a variety of heating elements such as quartz or ceramic.
Some convection units are oil or water filled and these are the most energy efficient models. They resemble the old radiators.
Radiant heaters which are most efficient at heating the space they are aimed at, but not the air in the room. You in your easy chair or at the computer? In other words, radiant heaters simply “radiate” their heat and are good for chilly spots within the room. They are generally priced at less than $70. Radiant heaters use 750 to 1,500 watts depending upon the model. Many radiant heaters use propane or kerosine making them truly portable indoors or out.
An interesting new type of radiant heater is hitting the market. These are the flat-panel heaters which can be mounted on the wall and do a pretty good job of warming a small room. They are about $50 to $100.
Whatever your personal preference is, be sure to check the Safety Tips below. In all honesty, space heaters have, if improperly used, caused house fires.
All of these models are rated 4.0 or better at Amazon and have at least 15 customer reviews.
All of these models are rated 4.0 or better at Amazon and have more that 15 customer reviews.
What Size Should Your Heater Be?
What size should your space heater be to be energy saving and still be adequate for your needs?
Generally space heaters require about 10 watts of heating power for every square foot of area to be heated. That means that the average 1,500 watt heater should heat up to 150 square feet – about the size of the average bedroom or den. For a smaller area, the 700 watt heater will work very well.
How much will that cost to operate?
The average 1,500 watt space heater costs about 10 cents per hour to run. Much less than central heating. A smaller heater is of course a little less. Utility rates are different in different areas and 10 cents is the average. Check with your utility company to be sure.
A good way to keep costs down is to purchase a heater with a thermostat which automatically shuts down when your desired temperature is reached. Overheating a room is an unnecessary expense.
The above figures are about the same for the radiator looking oil units as the oil container is sealed and you are only paying for the current to run your heater.
Should Your Heater Be Electric or Oil?
Should I be looking at electric or oil Space Heaters?
The electric fan operated space heater does heat a large room better and quicker, however it only produces heat when it’s running.
On the other hand, the old-fashioned radiator looking space heater, which is filled with dense mineral oil, continues to produce heat after it switches itself off. It does however take longer to heat a room. The units are sealed and are heated – not burned so there are no fumes.
Both draw about the same amount of current to operate.
What is the bottom line?
If you are heating a larger room, the electric convection type heater with a good fan will be the most efficient. For a smaller room or space, the oil radiator may be a little bit cheaper as long as the room is well insulated.
Safety Tips For Your Heater
- Never leave your heater unattended
- It is important is that your heater should not have exposed heating elements. Most of today’s heaters do meet that requirement.
- Your heater should have overheat protection shutting the heating element off if the heater reaches an unsafe temperature.
- You will also want tip-over protection which turns the heater off if it is tipped over.
- Families with small children should consider heaters that are cool to the touch on the outside.
- Check to be sure your heater has a UL, ETL or CSA label.
- Be sure your heater is in a safe level place with no combustible material near.
- Locate your heater away from room traffic.
- Plug your electric heater directly into the wall. If you use an extension cord, be sure it is the heavier duty 14 gauge or more.
- Do not run your electric cord under the carpet.
- Not required, but a plus is a remote control