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Space Heater Energy Cost

Electric space heaters are ideal for warming small spaces. And sometimes that is all we need.

Modern homes have central heating systems which use baseboards, ducts or radiators to keep us warm as we move about during the day. Since they is made to efficiently heat large spaces, heating systems are the best way to fully heat our home.

But sometimes we are not moving about our entire home and don’t want to heat every space. We might be eating a meal…or watching television…or getting ready for work. During these times we don’t need to heat the whole house. Just a small part of it, and sometimes just for a short time period.

This is where space heaters are useful. But what does it cost to run a space heater? And what sort of power usage are we talking about?

To get the answer, we must consider three factors: the wattage of the space heater, the cost (in kilowatts) of the electricity, and the amount of time unit will be running.
The examples below consider the maximum wattage allowed for an indoor electric space heater, which is 1500 watts. They also apply the current kilowatt cost in my area, which is 16 cents per kilowatt hour*.

Cost to Run a Space Heater

Getting ready in the morning – one hour – 24 cents ($7.30/month)
Watching a football game – three hours – 72 cents.
Running through the day at work – eight hours – $1.92/day ($58.41/month)
Running through the day at home – sixteen hours – $3.84/day (116.82/month)

Is a Space Heater Cost Effective?

Now, here is where a space heater will save you money. Use the space heater to warm a small space instead of using your primary heat to warm a much larger space. For example, if you start the space heater for one hour in the morning instead of raising the thermostat to heat a larger area, you will be more comfortable and save money. Or if watching television with a space heater nearby means keeping the thermostat at a lower level, you can save money there as well.

Knowing the space heater electric cost can help to decide if it is the right solution to your own heating needs.

*Electricity suppliers may have other charges which add to the cost of usage. These include distribution, transition, transmission and whatever else they can come up with. Check your electric bill to find your own usage cost.
Use this energy calculator to test various space heater power consumption costs.