How Much Electricity Does a Space Heater Use?

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On days when it’s chilly and challenging to keep warm, you might need to heat your room. A space heater is an electrical appliance that heats a room or a house section. The convection space heaters work by heating the air around them.

Many people have unanswered questions about space heaters. Are they safe? Are they expensive to use? This article tries to address the question of how much electricity they use. 

Most space heaters use about 1500 Watts, costing about $0.15 per hour. If you’re not keen on that, they can drive your electric bill up and cause you to dig deeper into your pockets.

Related: Best Electric Heater For Large Rooms – 5 Models To Consider

How Much Electricity Does a Space Heater Use Per Month?

You probably have seen the small size of typical space heaters. You might have heard things like, “they are 100% efficient.” However, don’t fall for this marketing language designed to lure you to space heaters.

The truth is that space heaters can increase your electricity bill two or three-fold if you are not careful. Most space heaters are in the 1500 Watts range, and it costs about $0.15 each hour to operate such space heaters.

The bills do not appear to be significant if you are not keen. However, leaving a space heater on for extended periods during the day could raise your electric bill quickly. For instance, using a 1500 Watt space heater daily could cost you between $30-$40 each month.

However, with adjustments, you can reduce the cost of electricity brought by space heaters. Additionally, you could seek cheaper and more efficient alternatives. The following sections highlight the actual price of using space heaters and what you could do to save money.

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How Much Electricity Does a Heater Use Per Hour?

To determine how much electricity a typical space heater uses, we will assume that a standard heater will use 1,500 watts, equal to 1.5 kilowatts. This is the amount of electricity needed to operate the space heater. However, the amount you owe to the electric company is measured in kilowatt-hours.

Kilowatt-hours describes the power needed to operate a 1-kilowatt appliance for an hour. You will need to multiply the watts of your space heater by the hours you use it to obtain the amount of electric power you use. For instance, if you use your space heater for 5 hours in the evening to keep you warm as you read,


1,500 X 5 = 7,500.

You will divide the number by 1,000 to get kilowatt-hours.


7500/1000 = 7.5.

You will multiply the number by how much the electric company charges per kilowatt. In this case, we assume and use 0.10.


7.5 X 0.10 = 0.75.

From these calculations, a 1,500 Watts space heater will use 1.5 kilowatts per hour. If you use it for five hours, it will consume 7.5 kilowatts, which will cost $0.75.

Related: Which Type of Heater Is Cheapest to Run?

Heater Power Consumption Calculator

You might need a clear picture of how much a space heater consumes in a day, a month, or a year. Therefore, we have done a few calculations to vividly present how much you can expect to pay for your electric bill depending on the number of hours you use a space heater daily.

The following is a table of a typical space heater using 1 Watt at 0.10 per kWh:

Hours Used/Day Cost Per/Hour Cost/Day Cost/Month Cost/Year kWh/Day
1 0.1500 0.1500 4.56 54.76 1.50
2 0.1500 0.3000 9.13 109.51 3.00
3 0.1500 0.4500 13.69 164.27 4.50
4 0.1500 0.6000 18.25 219.02 6.00
5 0.1500 0.7500 22.82 273.78 7.50
6 0.1500 0.9000 27.38 328.54 9.00
7 0.1500 1.0500 31.94 383.29 10.50
8 0.1500 1.2000 36.50 438.05 12.00
9 0.1500 1.3500 41.07 492.80 13.50
10 0.1500 1.5000 45.63 547.56 15.00
11 0.1500 1.6500 50.19 602.32 16.50
12 0.1500 1.8000 54.76 657.07 18.00

How Much Electricity Does a Garage Heater Use?

You might have some activity in the garage, such as using a treadmill, and you might need to heat it when you are working out. Alternatively, you might be working on a piece of art. Heating the garage can increase its comfort.

A standard garage heater uses 1,500 watts every hour. They could cost $2,075 to install. However, Propane heaters could cost up to $4,000 because you need a professional to do it. 

Depending on the garage heater you use, and how long you use it, it could cost you $2 to $19 to run each day.

How Many Watts Does a Small Space Heater Use?

Standard space heaters are often 1,500 watts. Small heaters could have less wattage, going as low as 500 watts. However, checking the wattage before buying is good because it is always printed on the heater.

People often seek a small space heater to heat their rooms and save energy. However, the best way to save energy with a space heater is to turn the central heat off and use the space heater to heat only a section of your house. This is effective if you use a specific section of the house during certain periods.

Additionally, you can turn it off when it’s not needed. For instance, you should turn it off when nobody is using the room. This way, you will be able to save on the power used. 

Consider buying a space heater that has a thermostat. You will not need to monitor it frequently. Additionally, it can turn itself off when it reaches a specific temperature.

Do Space Heaters Use More Electricity Than Air Conditioners?

An air conditioner is more efficient compared to an electric space heater. They are three times more efficient than electric space heaters. Electric heaters work based on converting electric energy into heat energy. Therefore, they have a 1:1 power-to-heat ratio. This means that every kW of heat requires a kW of electrical power.

Conversely, a reverse cycle air conditioner can absorb heat from the environment outside a room to reduce electricity demands. Therefore, if an air conditioner needs to generate 2 kW of heat, it will only use 0.6 kW compared to a space heater’s 2 kW of electric energy.

Besides being efficient with energy use, air conditioners are also versatile. They can heat and cool a space, differentiating them from space heaters. In some regions, air conditioning is more ideal than heating.

Air conditioners also have the advantage of evenly distributing air in a room. Some have what is known as 3D air distribution, causing air circulation to every part of the room. Additionally, air conditioners have a thermostat that turns them off, meaning no electricity is wasted unnecessarily.

Air conditioners also have the advantage of having in-built timers. Therefore, you can set them to start before you wake up in the morning. Consequently, you get to wake up in a warm room.

The other advantage of an air conditioner is that modern ones come with air filters. They prevent dust and allergens from a room’s circulation. Therefore, they are suitable for people with health conditions such as asthma.

The air conditioner has a few disadvantages nonetheless. For instance, it has to be installed by a trained professional. Additionally, the external unit does not contribute to the aesthetic value of your home.

How Many Watts Does A Heater Use?

A typical space heater uses 1,500 watts per hour. Space heaters come with different energy demands. Some could consume less than 1,500 watts, while others could consume more.

All you need to do is check the wattage before buying. However, it matters the daily hours your space heater is on. More hours means more kW per hour, which translates to higher electric bills. 

Before settling on using a space heater, please consider other alternatives. Air conditioners are a suitable alternative because they are efficient, versatile, and have heating and cooling options.

Related: Best Space Heater for a Large Room – 10 Models to Consider in 2023


Space heaters are majorly uneconomical. They consume a lot of electricity per unit of heat they generate and lack air conditioners’ cooling capabilities. Therefore, they can be expensive to use for your heating needs.

Conversely, there are better alternatives to space heaters, such as air conditioners. Air conditioners rely on heat from the environment to heat a room, making them economical in electricity use. Moreover, they have heating and cooling capabilities and air conditioning capabilities.

Therefore, consider alternatives such as air conditioners instead of using space heaters. Space heaters can increase your electric bill and are less versatile than air conditioners.

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