Cost to Operate a Space Heater

A space heater can be a life saver when a supplemental source of heat is needed in a room or area of your home. Perhaps it’s that guest room you rarely use that’s always a bit colder than the rest of the house. Or maybe it’s a partially finished basement or attic that could use a little extra warmth a couple months out of the year. Whatever the room or the reason, many homeowners rely on their trusty space heaters to provide a safe, economical, and efficient source of heat.

But are they really all that economical, efficient, and safe? Read on to learn more.

Cost to Operate

The cost to operate a space heater depends on a number of factors, including the wattage of the space heater, how many hours it runs each day, current electricity rates, and whether the space heater is equipped with any energy-efficient features.

On average, it costs 24 cents per hour to operate a standard 1500-watt space heater. This means if you run it for 8 hours a day, it will cost you approximately $60 each month.

Operating a space heater at a lower setting can reduce usage costs. Using a 750-watt setting instead of 1500 can slash costs by approximately half.

Current electricity rates determine costs, too. The higher the rates, the higher the cost to run any appliance, space heater included. See if your utility provider offers discounted rates during off-peak hours.

A space heater with an adjustable heat setting, timer, or auto-off feature minimizes energy waste, which means lower operating costs.

Space heater placement is also key. If possible, place your space heater under a window to prevent drafts from making the room feel even colder, which makes the space heater work harder. And avoid placing any obstructions in front of the space heater.

Not a Long-Term Solution

While they serve an important purpose, space heaters do not offer a long-term solution for less-than-ideal indoor conditions. Simply put, a space heater will not provide whole-house comfort as effectively and efficiently as a heating system will. Plus, space heaters pose a greater fire risk than central heating systems. According to United States Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates, they are responsible for starting approximately 1,700 fires each year. While newer space heaters are safer than ever, there are still steps you should take to minimize risk.

Never leave a space heater running if you’re not home or during the night while you asleep.

Do not leave a space heater on for more than 8 hours at a time.

Do not leave pets or small children alone in a room while a space heater is running; turn it off and unplug it.

When choosing a space heater, look for a high-quality model designed to heat the space of the room and look for safety features such as auto off if tipped, a timer, etc.

Now about that room that used to be plenty warm, but now is colder than the rest of the house. Sure, a space heater is a good short-term solution, but not forever. A properly designed and installed heating system should heat all areas of your home evenly. If yours is coming up short, it’s time to call the home comfort specialists at Pann Home Services. Whether it’s service, repair, or new system installation, we do it all and to your complete satisfaction.