When it comes to heating a single room in the winters, it is always preferable to buy a space heater instead of a central heating system or a gas heater. Besides the benefits space heaters offer, one important factor to consider before investing in one is its power consumption.
Do space heaters use a lot of electricity. By making all the necessary calculations regarding this factor, you can easily conclude whether it will be a cost-effective investment for you. Read along to know how much power a space heater consumes.
According to the EECA (Energy-Efficiency and Conservation Authority), all heaters are almost equally energy-efficient and it is the selection of a heater according to the situation which makes all the difference.
How to Calculate the Bill According to Daily Usage?
Below table shows electricity costs, item by item usage per day and cost.
|ITEM||DURATION||DURATION (HOURS/MONTH)||ELECTRICITY (KWH)||COST ($)|
|Baseboard heaters||24 hr/day||720||333.49||33.32|
|Halogen living room lights (track lighting)||8 hr/day||240||36.52||3.64|
|CFL foyer light||4 hr/day||120||1.83||0.18|
|Bathroom halogen light||2 hr/day||60||9.13||0.91|
|Total winter bill||548.45||53.50|
|Total summer bill||214.96||20.18|
It is always safe to calculate beforehand the increase in your electricity bill if you use the heater for a fixed amount of time per day. If your calculations go far beyond your budgetary expectations, you will need to find alternatives to get yourself the same toasty and soothing heat which you would get with the space heater.
To begin with, look at the watts that a particular space heater requires to operate. This quantity is fixed for different heaters and is always mentioned on the packaging or on the heater itself. If the power usage of the heater you are planning to buy is not specifically mentioned anywhere, consult the retailer. You have the right to know this.
This quantity is usually 1500 W or 1.5 kW. This value varies slightly for different heaters, but for the moment, let us take 1.5 kW as the average.
Now, we assume that your space heater works for 8 hours a day. To get the amount of energy used in a day, we will multiply 1.5 by 8.
8 x 1.5 = 12 kilowatt hours
All you need to do now is to multiply the amount of energy calculated above with the per unit charges of electricity to get the payable value for a day. Then, simply multiply this value with the days in a month to predict your net monthly bill for a space heater.
Let’s assume that your electric supply company charges $0.25 per unit. Hence, your monthly electric bill can be calculated as follows:
0.25 x 12 = $3/day
3 x 30= $90/month (assuming you are calculating for a 30-day month)
Generally, space heaters consume a lot of electricity to produce good heating effect. Contradictory to the advertisements that claim space heaters reduce the electricity bill, it is observed that the bills are generally raised to a considerable extent. This is something a prudent customer should worry about.
Manage Your Bill
Now that you know that an electric space heater consumes a great amount of electricity, you should know how to manage your usage to get an affordable bill at the end of the month. You can take the following precautions in order to reduce your bill:
- You should only use the heater when needed and you are in the room. Leaving it on while you are away for a long time is a surefire way to escalate the energy bill as well as being a health hazard.
- Only use it to heat a small room or space. It is of no use for a room that will take hours to be heated up. Plus, you will have to keep the thermostat to its maximum limit for heating a big room. The high temperature accompanied with long running hours will significantly add to your bill.
- Heat one room at a time. The Department of Energy points out that you can save energy if you use space heaters to heat a small room or supplement heating in one room. Remember that space heaters are not cost- and energy-effective if they are used for more than one or two small areas in a house or office.
- The programmable thermostat facilitates in keeping the room temperature at the desired level. For every degree the temperature is lowered, you save 2% of the energy cost.
- Make sure all doors are shut perfectly and every vent is covered while the heater is running. The more insulated a room is, the less energy the space heater consumes.
- Don’t use fans in just summers. They can be used in winters as well to circulate the warm air so that the room requires less time to be heated up.
- Heaters with timer also help save energy. Set your heater’s timer to shut off for the period you will be out, which will help lower your electricity consumption.
Compared to a central gas heating system, space heaters cost more electricity if they are used to heat the entire house or more than two small rooms. It should also be noted that running a space heater nonstop is bound to increase the energy bill greatly.
To help you save money, modern technology has enabled manufacturers to incorporate features like timers and thermostats in space heaters that keep the temperature and energy consumption at the desired level. By keeping a room adequately insulated, space heaters can be made to work more efficiently. You can also go for environmentally friendly space heaters that consume less energy and, consequently, don’t increase your energy bills by a lot.