How Many Watts Does A Space Heater Use?

During the cold months, it's nice to bask in the warmth a space heater provides although it only heats a small portion of your house. But, how much electricity does it use? Here's what we discovered as we gathered information that might help you. 

On average, most space heaters typically consume 1,500 watts on high heat settings. While on the low heat setting, it only consumes 750 watts on average.

Now, you're wondering, how much does it cost to run a space heater? What are the pros and cons of using it? How do they work? How do they compare to a central heating system? What are the best space heaters to use for your home? And how to ensure that you are safe from the risks it brings? Read on to know everything about space heaters. 

A small electric house heater inside a small room, How Many Watts Does A Space Heater Use?

What Are Space Heaters And How Do They Work?

Space heaters are commonly employed when the main central heating is unavailable, insufficient, or too expensive to build or run.

A space heater inside a small cold room

Convection or radiant heating are used in space heaters. When you'll be in a room for only short hours and can stay within the heater's service area, these heaters are a better alternative.

Generally, you only need to plug in most space heaters for them to work. Remember to always follow the instructions included in the package. 

How Much Does It Cost Running A Space Heater?

A space heater with a 1,500 watts electric consumption costs approximately $0.20 per hour. Now, your daily energy cost depends on how long your space heater runs. Let's say, you operate your heater for 10 hours daily, then your expected energy cost is $2.00 per day. 

In addition, your heat setting can also affect your energy cost. Remember, it only takes 750 watts to run a space heater on a low heat setting, so half the cost will be cut. 

What Are The Advantages And Disadvantages Of Using Space Heaters?       

An electric space heater inside a room

To further help you decide whether or not to use a space heater, here are some of its the pros and cons


  • In comparison to other types of heating equipment, space heaters are quite inexpensive.
  • Lower electricity consumption than other home heating devices.
  • Since space heaters have lower energy consumption, your energy cost is also lower. 
  • It is very effective at heating a specific area.
  • Space heaters are often compact and portable.
  •  Especially in the winter, space heaters are the ideal option.
  • Modern space heaters are straightforward to use.


  • Space heaters exhibit a risk of overheating and catching fire.
  • You also risk getting burned when you come too close to a space heater.
  • Space heaters need constant attention to avoid fire hazards, especially the older models. 
  • These heaters can only heat a small area. 

What Are The Types Of Space Heaters?

To assist you in choosing the finest space heater for your home, here are some types of space heaters that use electricity:

  • Ceramic heater
  • Fan heater
  • Infrared heater
  • Oil Filled heater
  • Panel heater

Now, let's dig into how these space heaters work and the benefits and drawbacks of using each. 

Ceramic Space Heater

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This type of space heater utilizes ceramic plates linked to metal coils to produce heat. When electricity travels through the metal coils, the heat is absorbed by the plates until they can't absorb more, and the excess heat is released into the air.

The main benefit of using this type of space heater is its ability to heat up instantly. It is also compact and lightweight. 

However, this type can only heat small spaces and has to continuously run to provide heat. 

Fan Space Heater

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A fan space heater operates similarly to ceramic ones. However, instead of ceramic plates absorbing the heat from the metal coils, this type of space heater utilizes a fan to blow heat into the room. 

This type of space heater is cheap, lightweight, portable, and compact. 

On the other hand, one drawback of using a fan space heater is heat transfer immediately stops as soon as the heater is turned off. 

Infrared Space Heater

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An infrared heater heats a room by sending electromagnetic waves into the air, which heat the physical things in the room.

The thing about infrared space heaters is instead of warming the air, they warm the people and items such as furniture, carpeting, and walls in the vicinity.

One of the major benefits of using this type is its ability to continue heating even after it has been turned off. Also, you don't have to worry about objects blocking the heat since they absorb the heat. 

However, infrared space heaters can be heavy and the heat emitted is unidirectional. And it requires more fixtures in the room for it to function more effectively. 

Oil Filled Space Heater

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This type of space heater is often called a radiator heater because they resemble those that are found in old homes.

The heater's body is filled with diathermic oil. The hot oil flows through the fins. The surface temperature rises as the fins heat up, and heat is emitted to the room.

Just like an infrared space heater, this space heater continuously provides heat even after it has been turned off. In addition, this space heater type works very efficiently. 

However, you can't control the speed of heat for this kind of space heater. Moreover, your house can get too hot if you use this space heater type. 

Panel Space Heater

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By allowing hot air to radiate from the device, panel space heaters function similarly to oil-filled heaters. The key difference is that flat panel heaters produce warm air using electrical currents rather than oil.

This type is relatively new and is rapidly gaining popularity. There are wall-mounted or floor-mounted types of this kind of space heater. With their modern look and sleek style, they can be a great addition to your room. 

But this type of space heater does not entirely heat a room, they mostly remove the cold from the air. 

Space Heaters Vs. Central Heating System- Which Is Better?

Electric space heater inside a white room

When heating the same amount of room, central heating is more efficient than a space heater. However, if your system has broken down and you can't afford to maintain it, a space heater can help you save money on utility bills and repairs.

What Are The Guidelines For Buying Space Heaters?

Remember to follow these guidelines when you plan to buy space heaters:

  • Small space heaters with newer models include updated safety measures.
  • Check for the Underwriters Laboratory (UL) label on the heater.
  • Choose a thermostatically regulated heater to avoid wasting energy by overheating a space.
  • Choose a heater that is the right size for the area you want to heat.
  • Place the space heater in a flat area away from people.

What Are The Best Space Heaters To Use?

A toddler warming his hands on the electric heater

If you're wondering what space heaters are best to use, here are five products you can choose from: 

Lasko FH500

This unit has a tower design that is high-reaching, allowing optimum air delivery while maintaining a modest footprint.

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Vornado VMH500

Unlike traditional heaters, VMH500 emits a steady current of heat that envelops the space in comforting warmth. The warm air is then dispersed around the space via Vornado's trademark Vortex heat circulation. 

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Dr. Infrared Heater DR-998

The DR-998 Portable Infrared Space Heater is a 1500W heater with dual-heating technology that includes both infrared and ceramic heating elements.

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Amazon Basics Small Space Heater

The form of this personal space heater is tiny enough to fit on tables or desktops.

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Honeywell 360 Degree Surround Heater

This 360° portable heater is ideal for small to mid-sized rooms and provides outstanding all-around room heating.

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What Are Home Safety Tips When Using Space Heaters?

Plug burning due to overkill

Here are some safety tips to keep you and your home from the risks of using space heaters:

  • Examine the space heater's certifications for safety.
  • Check for safety features in the space heater.
  • Extension cords and power strips should not be used.
  • Put the space heater safely out of the way.
  • Space heaters should be kept away from children and pets.
  • Place the heaters on a flat surface.
  • Space heater cords should not be hidden.
  • When you are unable to monitor your space heater, turn it off.
  • Get rid of overheating space heaters.
  • Inspect your heater frequently.
  • Keep it at least 3 ft away from any combustible materials.
  • Make sure your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are working.
  • Keep an eye out for indicators of a problem.

Final Thoughts

A small electric house heater inside a small room

Space heaters are a great alternative if your central heating system malfunctions. In addition, they only consume about 750 to 1500 Watts of power for them to run. Although, they are only effective for small areas.

However, you have to be careful and wary of the risks these heaters bring. If not closely monitored, they can start a fire. 

Before you go, you can check these related articles:

What Heaters Are Safe For Indoors? [7 Options Explored]

7 Best Heaters For Multiple Rooms

6 Best Heaters To Use During A Power Outage

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