How much does a space heater cost to run?

A space heater offers a practical way of raising the temperature of a room in cold seasons. You can use it only in a room with more heat than in other areas. This is better than a central heating system that wastes a lot of energy by distributing heat in unneeded areas.

While a space heater has its advantages, you need to be wary of the amount of electricity it consumes, especially if you use a 1500-watt space heater.

Whether you are using the standard electric space heater or an infrared model, you need to understand how much power it consumes in watts. The best way of doing that is to find out how much energy the unit uses.

When buying a space heater, look for the wattage printed on it or in the user manual. Ideally, the wattage on an electric heater will tell you how much electricity it needs to run or power it.

Do space heaters use a lot of electricity?

When determining how much electricity a space heater consumes, you need to know the unit’s wattage and your electricity rate. Most electric space heaters have a rating of 1,500 watts.

Power companies bill homeowners for each kilowatt-hour (kWh) of electricity they use. When you convert watts to kilowatts, you will find that 1,500 watts equal 1.5 kilowatts (1000 watts = 1 kilowatt).

Therefore, running a space heater for one hour will consume 1.5 kWh of electricity. According to the Energy Information Administration, the average retail price per kilowatt-hour in the USA is 10.48 cents.

While this is not a lot of money, it can add up significantly based on the number of hours you leave the unit running.

If you want to know the total cost of running a space heater per hour, use the formula electric rate x kilowatts = total cost.  In the case of a 1.5 kilowatts unit, it will cost you 1.5 x 0.1048 = $0.1572 to run the appliance in one hour.

Assuming that you want to run a space heater for 24 hours, in 30 days, your bill will be $0.1572 x 24 X 30 = $113.18.

How many watts does a space heater use on low?

At any given time, the unit uses less electricity when used on the low setting. However, it may not be easy to determine the amount of electricity used in watts. In most cases, it will depend on the temperatures at which you keep your room.

If you use the appliance to keep your room warmer, your bill will be higher because you will be consuming more watts. In general, however, a low setting can use around 600 to 900 watts.

How to lower the costs of running a space heater

You can lower the energy costs of running a space heater in several ways. These include:

1. Reduce the number of hours the unit runs in a day

According to the calculation above, running the unit for 24 hours a day will cost you $113.18 a month.

To lower the cost, consider heating your room for at most six hours. In that case, it will cost you $28.30 per month.

2. Use a low-wattage space heater

While many space heaters have a rating of 1,500 watts, consider a unit that has a rating of 700 watts. That will help you to lower the cost of running the appliance even if it operates for 24 hours in the winter. You will only spend $52.82 per month.

3. Consider a unit that comes with a thermostat

A thermostat will help you to set the heat to a specific temperature. That will ensure the space heater keeps the house warm without overheating your room and wasting a lot of energy.

4. Air-seal your house

In the winter, do not leave your door or windows open all day. That will prevent cold air from coming through small gaps. When you air-seal your house, it will help you to save a lot of money on heating costs.


A space heater is useful during the winter to help you warm a room. However, you need to understand how much it will cost to run it for a month.

You can determine the cost by multiply the electric rate provided by your power company and the kilowatt of the unit.

Also, consider lowering the heating cost by using a low-wattage space heater and reducing the number of hours the appliance operates in a day.

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