Space heaters help us remain warm and survive during the cold seasons. The space heaters are the evolved versions of campfires. Initially, the campfires turned into fireplaces. The solution we needed from the messy wood, oil, and fireplaces was the electric space heaters.
The development of electric heaters led to the development of central heating systems, radiators, portable heaters, and many more. While the central heating systems seem like a boon, they are excessive. That is why we have radiators and other heaters.
Due to their cost and ease of use, space heaters have grown in popularity as a means of remaining warm during the winter. They are intended to heat specific portions or compact spaces in your house.
Now, just like everything in our lives, we have various options for space heaters. These options of course change the electricity consumption and therefore the consumption costs.
1 How do space heaters work?
Space heaters work on Heat Transfer concepts. This involves the three main heat transfer modes: Conduction, Convection, and Radiation.
1.1 Powering the heater
This is the step where you turn the heater ON. Turning the heater ON completes the circuit inside the heater enabling the process to begin.
1.2 Heating Element
The electricity encounters resistance as it approaches the heating element.
By the electrical resistance heating concept, this resistance produces heat. How quickly and effectively heat is produced depends on the type of heating element being utilized.
1.3 Regulation of the temperature
The thermostat continuously monitors the temperature of the room.
The thermostat permits unrestricted electrical supply to the heating element when the room temperature falls below the designated point. The element begins to radiate warmth as it heats up.
The fan in the space heater begins to distribute heat throughout the room.
Some space heaters may not have a fan. In that case, as the air moves around the heated surface, it begins to warm up.
As the air heats up, it becomes lighter and moves upwards. The cold air settles down. This cycle goes on.
When the desired temperature of the room is achieved, the thermostat signals to cut off the electric supply and, therefore, aids in reducing the power consumption.
1.7 Powering Off
A broken circuit stops the power flow when you turn off your heater or when the timer reaches the predetermined point, if applicable. If a fan is present, it stops working as the heating element cools.
These fundamental concepts of heat transfer and thermostat control apply to all heaters, whether you have a radiant panel, central heating system, or desk warmer.
2. How much does it cost to run an electric space heater?
An electric space heater consumes about 1500 watts of energy on average. That is the answer we find on most websites when we search for this question. But it is of utmost importance for us to make a sound decision based on our situation and needs.
3. Space heaters’ quality
Any product in the market has many differences. There are some qualities of a product some people prioritize over others. Thankfully, most products give us a variety of options, and these products include Space Heaters.
One important factor to take into account is a heater’s heating capacity. It establishes how well a heater can heat your area. For gas heaters, this capacity is frequently expressed in British Thermal Units (BTUs), and for electric heaters, it is expressed in watts.
In particular, if you have kids or pets in your house, look for heaters with safety features like cool-to-the-touch exteriors, tip-over switches, and overheating prevention.
3.3 Impact on Environment
Though their effects vary depending on the energy source available in your area, electric heaters are typically thought to be more environmentally friendly.
If you care about the environment, consider alternatives powered by electricity or renewable energy sources instead of gas heaters, which release greenhouse emissions.
Energy efficiency is essential for the environment, energy costs, and comfort. Seek heaters with excellent ratings for energy efficiency.
Efficiency doesn’t only mean energy efficiency in this context. It has to include noise, safety features, environmental impact, and ease of use.
Electrical energy must be expended to convert to heat.
Operating one costs significantly more than using a combustion space heater that burns kerosene or similar fuel, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.
The Department of Energy (DoE) states that a portable heater has a 750–1,000 W power consumption range.
It is comparable to the amount of a coffee maker or toaster oven, which are not appliances meant to be used continuously like space heaters.
4. Factors Influencing the Use of Electricity by Space Heaters
Higher settings can mean more power consumption for space heaters and air conditioners.
For example, turning down the thermostat in an air conditioner will result in higher energy usage. In a similar vein, using a space heater on high will consume more electricity than using it on low.
Since the heating or cooling system must work harder to compensate for heat gain or loss, larger rooms or poorly insulated spaces require more energy to maintain a suitable temperature.
While air conditioning units could be the greatest option in warmer climates, space heaters can be more effective in colder climates.
The climate plays a vital role in the temperature settings of your device.
5. Calculate your consumption
Utility providers impose fees based on the quantity of power used, expressed in kilowatt-hours (kWh). Here’s how to calculate the actual power used by your space heater in kWh:
Multiply the wattage rating of the heater by the daily usage hours.
To convert the result to kWh, divide it by 1,000.
6. Heating Techniques and Energy Consumption
Space heaters are available in a variety of types that employ various heating theories, which has an impact on how energy-efficient they are.
In contrast, the convection heaters force the air to pass through internal heating elements rather than directly heating the air.
A fan that disperses heat more quickly may even be included in them.
These heaters require a higher initial power consumption to warm the air around them, but they only take minimal energy to maintain the consistent room temperature that their customers desire.
The heaters operate by releasing infrared radiation, which warms nearby objects and people directly. Because they prevent the air from heating up, they are suitable for tiny spaces or specific heating needs.
Since heat doesn’t need to be felt before it can be felt, direct-fire radiant heaters are more energy-efficient.
6.3 Oil Heaters
Certain internal components help to heat the thermal oil that is included in the heaters. Once the oil is moving, it progressively absorbs heat from the surrounding environment and releases it.
Because they continue to release heat even after they are turned off, these devices are known as heaters and are thought to be extremely energy efficient.
6.4 Ceramic heaters
On the other hand, fans and ceramic heating components are used in contemporary ceramic heaters to distribute hot air.
They also result in the efficient transport of heat and quickly produce heat. In general, ceramic heaters are considered point sources of heating with rapid thermal output.
7. Minimizing Energy Consumption
When using space heaters, several energy-saving strategies can be used to reduce electricity consumption:
7.1 Zone Heating
Reduce the overall amount of energy used by focusing on heating occupied areas or rooms rather than the entire structure.
A well-insulated door, window, and wall will prevent heat loss and improve the performance of the space heater.
Maintaining and cleaning space heaters correctly optimizes both energy consumption and performance efficiency.
7.4 Timer settings
To prevent energy waste, use the timer feature with the space heater to have it turn off automatically after a predetermined amount of time.
7.5 Natural Heat
Use natural sun’s heat as much as possible. Using blankets or layering might also help reduce the consumption.
8. Electricity consumed by Space Heater
We could get a sense of the quantity consumed by comparing the consumption with a few other appliances we use in our homes already.
Standard-sized LCD televisions use between 50 and 150 watts of electricity.
Depending on the screen size and normal operation conditions, OLED TVs can consume anywhere from 50 to 200 watts.
Larger screens require more electricity, as plasma TVs can use anywhere from 100 to 300 watts.
Depending on the size of the screen, an LED TV typically uses between 30 and 100 watts of power. Power usage for screens varies depending on their size; larger screens often use more.
8.2 Water Heaters
While some more powerful water heaters might use up to 4000 watts, the average water heater uses about 1125 watts.
8.3 Hair dryer
Generally speaking, depending on the type, hair dryers consume 1,500 to 2,000 watts (W) of electricity. Hair dryers often connect to a 120-volt outlet and consume 15 to 20 amps.
8.4 Washing Machine
On average, washers use 400 to 1,400 watts of electricity, this number is highly dependent on the model you have.
9. Portable electric space heaters
Portable electric heaters are small-sized heating machines that can be transported with ease and used in different places.
They commonly provide localized heat or supplemental heating in most houses, workplaces, college dorms, and other average-sized spaces.
There are various kinds of portable electric heaters that one can choose from depending on their preferred heating mechanism as well as features.
Portable heat is small and portable, making it possible to move it to another place as desired. They usually have handles as well as wheels for easier transporting.
Models incorporate tower designs, compact tabletop units, or wall-mounted heaters according to users’ tastes.
With its energy-efficient technology, this portable electric heater maximizes heating output while consuming the least energy.
Choose models with energy-saving features, such as thermostats or timers that can be programmed to help control the heating process and reduce the amount of power the heater uses.
This helps by offering portable electric heaters that can warm up tiny spaces on the spot.
It would be easier to select the most suitable, safe, and effective portable electric heater for your needs if you were aware of the various varieties, their characteristics, potential risks, and energy-efficiency qualities.
These are space heaters, which perform an essential function of giving concentrated warmth and comfort.
However, they must also monitor their electrical usage to decide on the optimal use of electricity adequately.
People can save electricity when utilizing these home heating devices by observing wattage, efficacy, coverage zone, thermal protection, regulation system, and working method.
Moreover, incorporating conservational measures of power will also add to the green way as well as a cheap method of using heat.
These appliances will save you on your gas bill, but because they must constantly give out heat, these won’t work well for large rooms and are considered a fire risk.
Proceed cautiously by carefully considering both the positives and negatives of this option.
Your usage pattern determines the amount of energy consumed by a space heater. It might be an option if you only intend to increase the heat in a particular room for some time or warm an inconsequently occupied one without affecting the total house’s temperature.
However, space heaters are generally not economical for long-term or whole-house heating.
Generally, space heaters use less electricity compared to air conditioners.
The real energy consumption, however, is determined by many other variables like the dimensions and isolation of the room, climate, and the chosen heating/cooling devices.
Energy-efficient models must be selected and effectively utilized to conserve energy and cut power bills.
However, it is recommended that one should always seek to remain within a normal comfortable environment at as little cost as reasonable.