Space heaters are a great way to add warmth to your home, but don’t be fooled by claims they are 100% efficient or that they’ll drastically reduce your heating bill. The efficiency of any space heater is 100% because all purchased energy is converted to heating the space.
Because electric space heating allows you to “zone” heat your home, you can realize savings because heating an occupied room with a space heater makes the people in it comfortable while the rest of your home remains cooler. If you turn down your thermostat and use your space heater responsibly, you can save money on your heating bill.
To calculate the cost of a space heater:
WATTS ÷ 1000 x HOURS OF OPERATION per day x COST per kWh (0.08648) = COST
For instance, a 1500 watt space heater used 4 hours will cost an MP&W resident 52¢.
When buying and installing a small space heater, follow these guidelines:
- Purchase newer models with current safety features and the UL (Underwriter’s Laboratory) label.
- Thermostatically controlled heaters avoid energy waste.
- Select a proper size heater of the for the room. Most come with a general sizing table.
- Locate it on a level surface away from foot traffic. Keep children and pets away.
- Plug directly into the wall. If necessary, use a heavy-duty cord, 14-gauge or larger.
- Buy one with a tip-over safety switch, so it turns off if it is ever tipped.