Advice on space heaters

Advice on space heaters

Space heaters are small, versatile, and generally good at warming a room. Claims that an electric space heater can significantly cut a home's heating bill are suspicious. The Cooperative Research Network advises that space heaters work best as a supplement to a furnace or heat pump, not as a primary heating source.

Radiant heaters heat objects and people — not the air — in a room. They can be a good choice if you are in a room for a short period of time and want instant heat. They can pose a burn or fire risk and should not be placed near furniture, drapery, pets or small children.

Convection heaters heat the air — not people or objects — in a room. These are typically either baseboard heaters or oil- or water-filled heaters. The oil- or water-filled heaters are the most efficient and typically look like a small radiator.

Combination heaters often have an internal fan that aids in distributing heat throughout the room. These heaters are versatile and more common as a result, although they do not typically perform as well as a radiant or convection heater.

Most space heaters use between 600 and 1,500 watts of electricity. If a homeowner were to use a space heater 8 hours a day, 5 days a week for a month it would cost approximately $15.26. But they can only heat a small space. They cannot replace energy-efficient central heating or weatherization improvements to the home. For example, all electric space heaters produce 1 unit of heat for every 1 unit of electricity consumed, meaning they are 100 percent energy efficient. Those that use natural gas are 80 percent efficient. In comparison, geothermal heat pumps can produce more than 3 units of heat for every unit of electricity consumed, making them 300 percent efficient.

The Cooperative Research Network is an arm of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association.

Share this story

Leave a comment

You are commenting as guest. Optional login below.