The Most Economical Space Heaters in 2023
Summer may be the best season for many people, but winter has its own charm. One of these is staying snug and warm while watching snow flurries through your window. But to make your living space cozy, you’ll need an energy-efficient space heater. This way, you can heat a chilly room without getting shocked when your electricity bill arrives.
Now, space heaters come in all shapes and sizes, and what you choose can impact your energy expenses. With so many options, the selection process can be a bit of a chore. The good news is that energy-efficient space heaters are easy to come by. You’ll just need some patience in digging through the information to ensure you get the best pick.
To help narrow down your choices, let’s talk about some of the top options out there. While we’re at it, how about we discuss how you can save on electricity while using your heating appliance?
What is a Space Heater?
A space heater is a handy device that you can use to warm up a small to medium-sized room. It works by converting electricity into heat, which is then radiated out into the surrounding space.
Various types of this appliance exist in the market. Some run on electricity, while others use different fuel sources, such as natural gas or propane. There are space heaters with fans to help distribute the heat evenly, while others rely on natural convection to circulate warm air. But no matter the type, most are portable, so you can easily move them around the house.
These electrical devices are handy if you want to heat a small area quickly without turning on your central heating system. For example, if you’re working from home in a chilly home office, you can simply plug in a space heater and stay warm and cozy without having to heat the whole house.
Types of Space Heaters
Space heaters provide a convenient and cost-effective way to warm any room during cold winter months. But with so many different types available, choosing the right one for your needs can be overwhelming, especially if an energy-efficient heater is what you’re looking for.
Let’s look at some of the most common types of space heaters available, so you can make an informed decision and keep warm all winter.
Electric Space Heater
As its name implies, an electric space heater runs on electricity. It’s an excellent choice if you’re looking to warm up a small room quickly without turning on your central heating system. It works by using a fan to expel hot air, which then rises and pushes colder air downwards towards the floor. As a result, the heat is distributed evenly, effectively warming up the area.
Electric space heaters come in various sizes and styles, ranging from small personal models to larger, more powerful units designed to heat entire rooms. Because they warm only the area they are placed in, rather than heating the entire house, they’re the top choice if you’re looking for an energy-efficient heating solution. Also, this type of space heater transforms 100% of the electricity it draws into heat, which says a lot about its energy efficiency
Are you aiming to reduce your carbon footprint? An electric space heater could help you with your goal because it releases no pollutants into the atmosphere.
Oil-filled Radiator Heaters
Oil-filled space heaters, also called oil-filled radiators, are a type of portable heater that uses radiant heat to warm a room. They’re filled with oil, which gets heated by an electric heating element inside the radiator. The heat from the oil then radiates outwards from the fins on the surface of the heater, providing a steady and consistent source of warmth.
Some oil-filled radiator heaters have various heating modes and an adjustable thermostat. This allows you to customize the temperature according to your needs and provide a comfortable environment for your home. Many models also come with safety features, including tip-over and overheat protection.
Because an oil-filled electric space heater doesn’t use a fan to distribute heat, there are no moving parts to create noise. This makes it a good option in bedrooms or other quiet spaces. This electric heater type also makes it on the list of energy-efficient heating solutions as it uses less electricity than other types of heaters. This means it can help you save money on your energy bill while still providing effective heating.
Convection heaters are a type of electric space heater that works by circulating warm air through the room. This contrasts with radiant space heaters, which primarily heat objects directly in their path.
This type of space heater is typically used to warm large rooms. It is more energy-efficient than traditional heaters because it doesn’t consume as much electricity as some other types of heaters.
You can turn to this heating device if you’re on the lookout for an energy-efficient space heater. Ceramic space heaters work by using electricity to warm a ceramic heating element which then expels the heated air into the area with a fan. The ceramic heating element heats up quickly and can maintain a consistent temperature without using much electricity. This makes ceramic heaters one of the most energy-efficient space heaters around.
In addition to their energy efficiency and portability, ceramic heaters are generally considered safe. Most models feature built-in safety features like tip-over shutoff, overheat protection, and adjustable thermostats for precise temperature control.
Ceramic heaters come in two main types: convection ceramic heaters and radiant ceramic heaters. How do they differ? Let’s dig into the details.
Convective ceramic heaters use electric coils to produce heat. This type of space heater works by circulating warm air through ceramic plates or discs within the heater. The ceramic plates absorb heat from the heating element and release it into the surrounding area using a fan within the unit. Convective space heaters are ideal for heating large rooms and maintaining a consistent temperature. Their quiet and efficient operation makes them ideal choices for homes and businesses who want to save on energy and money.
While convective electric heaters use a fan to disperse the heat throughout the room, radiant electric space heaters radiate heat directly to the objects inside the living space. This electric space heater uses ceramic heating elements that emit infrared radiation and convert electrical energy into heat energy. This heat is then transferred to the surrounding air by convection and radiation.
One of the benefits of radiant electric space heaters is that they don’t rely on air circulation to distribute heat, as is the case with other electric heaters. This means they can quickly heat a small area without having to warm up the whole room.
Most radiant electric heaters come with multiple heat settings. Some models also have additional safety features, such as overheating and tip-over protection.
Wall-mounted Electric Heaters
Wall-mounted heaters work like other electric heaters. This means they use electricity to generate, which it then distributes into the room or area. Their difference is that they’re mounted on walls, which saves floor space. These heaters are easy to install, often just requiring a few screws to mount them to the wall.
These types of electric heaters are cost-effective and earth-friendly. They don’t produce any carbon emissions and use only the power they need, making them energy efficient. They are also relatively quiet and can help you save money on heating costs.
These appliances come in a range of sizes and heating capacities, so it’s important to choose the right heater for the size of the room you want to heat. They are also available with various features, such as adjustable thermostats, timers, and remote controls, to make them more convenient and user-friendly.
Most space heaters use traditional convection to warm a room. In contrast, infrared heaters rely on infrared rays to provide heat. However, they don’t increase the temperature of the living space by warming the air. Instead, they generate heat and direct it toward objects in their path.
An infrared portable space heater ranks high in energy efficiency and comfort. Infrared heating doesn’t rely on warming up the air in a room, which can often result in hot and cold spots and a dry atmosphere. Instead, the heat is absorbed by objects and people in the room, creating a more even and comfortable temperature. Also, the heat an infrared heater produces does not go to waste, as it is absorbed by the objects in the room rather than being dispersed into the air.
Most infrared heater models come with a remote control that allows you to adjust the temperature, power settings, and other features from a distance.
Benefits of a Space Heater
Are you considering getting a space heater to keep yourself warm and cozy during those chilly days? You certainly won’t run out of options, as electric space heaters come in different styles, types, and models. You can get a ceramic heater, or maybe an infrared heater would suit you better.
No matter the type, space heaters have a lot of benefits that make them an excellent choice for your home. Let’s dive in and look at those key advantages.
Saves you money
Are you tired of paying outrageous electricity bills during the winter months? Well, getting an energy-efficient electric space heater might be a wise investment. It may seem counterintuitive, but using a space heater can actually save you money in the long run.
Instead of cranking up the thermostat for the entire house, you can use a space heater to warm up only the room you’re currently in. This way, you’re only using energy to heat the space you actually need instead of wasting it on rooms you’re not using. Also, electric space heaters typically consume less energy than an HVAC running at the same temperature, which can help reduce your power usage.
One of the great things about electric space heaters is that they’re super portable. That means you can move them around your home or office and heat the areas you need without having to install a whole heating system. So if your home office or room is colder than the rest of the house, you can simply plug in a space heater and put it right next to your desk. It’ll keep you nice and toasty while you work without wasting energy heating the rest of your home.
Great for areas with limited space
An excellent advantage of electric space heaters is their ability to provide warmth to limited spaces. Whether you’re in a small apartment, a cramped office, or just a cozy corner of your home, a space heater can easily and quickly warm up the area without heating the entire building.
Plus, many modern and energy-efficient electric heaters come with a range of features that make them even more versatile and user-friendly. For example, some models come with a timer, digital thermostat, and remote control, making it easy to set the appliance to the desired temperature.
No complicated installation requirements
You won’t have to break down walls or tear down ceilings to install a space heater. All you need to do is purchase the appliance, plug it in, and start using it immediately without any complicated setup. This feature is particularly useful if you’re renting a home or apartment and don’t want to make any permanent changes to the space.
Moreover, because there’s no installation required, you can quickly move your space heater from room to room as needed. Let’s say you spend the evening in the living room and want to feel cozy while watching TV. No problem. Just plug in your space heater and enjoy the warmth.
Space heaters are great for providing supplemental heat in your home, and they come with a great price tag, too. In fact, an energy-efficient space heater is one of the top options when it comes to heating your home, as it uses less electricity and typically has a lower sticker price than larger heating systems.
Even a top-of-the-line heater might only cost a few hundred dollars, much less expensive than a central heating system. Plus, if you’re just looking to heat a single room, you can usually get a basic space heater for less than $50, and it will work just as well as a more expensive model.
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Space Heater
Choosing the best space heater can be a chore. With so many options, it can feel like you’re drowning in a sea of choices. Should you get a ceramic heater, or would an infrared heater work better? Maybe one that relies on convection to warm your room is more cost-effective. Or how about an oil-filled one? The list is endless.
Trying to figure out which type of heater is best for your needs can be overwhelming. But fear not. With a bit of research and some careful consideration, you can find the perfect space heater that will fit your needs to a T.
Let’s look at some considerations that could help in your quest for the best energy-efficient space heater.
Different types of heaters operate differently and have varying advantages and disadvantages, so you need to pick the type that best suits your needs. For example, if you’re looking for a heater that can quickly warm up a room, a fan-forced heater or a radiant heater would be a good choice. So knowing what each type of heater offers can help you narrow down your choices.
The heat output of a space heater is simply the amount of heat it can generate. This is usually measured in watts or BTUs (British Thermal Units). The higher the heat output, the more heat the appliance can produce.
You’ll need to determine if the heater can effectively heat the space you want to use it in. If the heat output is too low, the heater may be unable to keep the room at a comfortable temperature. On the other hand, if the heat output is too high, you may end up wasting energy and money as you’ll be paying for heat you don’t need. So make sure you choose a heater with a heat output that matches the size of the space you want to heat.
Having temperature control on your space heater can make all the difference in keeping you comfortable and saving you money on your energy bill. With this feature, you can choose among different temperature settings and set your space heater to the one that suits you best.
Moreover, it’s also an energy-saving component as it allows you to set your heater to turn off when it reaches your desired temperature and then turn it back on again when it starts to cool down. As such, you only use energy when needed, which can lead to significant savings over time.
When selecting the perfect space heater for your home or office, size definitely matters. Choosing the right size heater is important because it can affect how effectively it heats the space, as well as your energy bill.
A heater that’s too small for your space would often struggle to provide enough heat. On the other hand, a heater that is too big for your living space can be wasteful and inefficient since it will use more energy than necessary to heat the area. Also, larger heaters will generally use more electricity, which can lead to higher energy bills.
Space heaters come in various sizes and power options. In picking the right one, you must consider the area the unit needs to heat. You don’t need a super powerful heater if you have a small room. A smaller space heater with lower wattage should do the trick just fine.
On the other hand, a larger room needs a heater with a higher wattage to make sure it can effectively heat the entire space. A smaller heater won’t be energy-efficient as it can’t properly handle the job of keeping the space warm.
The heater’s energy efficiency is a significant concern if you aim to reduce your environmental impact or don’t want to be saddled with high electricity bills during winter. When you opt for an energy-efficient space heater, you’ll use less energy to heat your space. This means that your energy bills will be lower than if you were using a less efficient heater. Over time, these savings can really add up.
In addition, you’ll be using less energy, which can help minimize your carbon footprint. This is important for both the environment and future generations.
A space heater can be a fire hazard if not used correctly or if there is a malfunction. That’s why it’s crucial to choose a heater with safety features like an automatic shutoff switch, which turns off the heater if it overheats or tips over. This feature can prevent fires, keeping you and your family safe.
Some space heaters have additional safety features, such as cool-to-the-touch exteriors, which reduce the risk of burns if you accidentally touch the heater. Some heaters also have timers and temperature controls, which can help you avoid overheating the room or leaving the heater on for too long.
If you have kids or pets, models with a grill or protective cover over the heating element can prevent little fingers or paws from getting burned.
When shopping for a space heater, you might focus on finding one that can effectively warm up your space. But remember to consider the noise level of the heater, too. You won’t benefit much from even the most energy-efficient electric heater if the model creates a racket.
The unit’s noise level is crucial because it can affect your comfort level and ability to concentrate. A heater that makes a lot of noise can be distracting and even annoying, especially if you’re trying to work or sleep.
The fan is the culprit most of the time. So if you want peace and quiet while keeping warm and snug, consider choosing energy-efficient space heater types that boast quiet operation. Examples of these are oil-filled and infrared space heaters.
Tips in Order to Use a Space Heater More Efficiently
No matter what kind of space heater you go for, the key to saving energy is ensuring it’s the right size for the spot you want to heat up. If you intend to move it around to different rooms, use the size that’s good for the biggest room; otherwise, its energy efficiency could drop, and it might not be able to keep you warm enough.
Here are other ways to ensure your heater runs more efficiently.
- Read the manual that comes with the unit: Find out what features and accessories your heater has and how to operate them. For example, some heaters have an eco mode that lowers their energy consumption.
- Space heaters aren’t meant to heat the whole house: At best, they can provide warmth to large rooms. So use these appliances sparingly, only to bring extra heat to one room. Remember to keep the door closed to prevent heat from escaping.
- Check the wattage and size rating listed on space heaters: Make sure you choose the right one for your room, as similar models can vary in terms of wattage. Keep an eye out for those with automatic temperature control features so you don’t have to keep turning the heater on and off.
- Check the needed clearance: To reduce the risk of fires, keep a minimum of 3 feet between the appliance and any fabric or furniture. However, some manufacturers recommend a larger gap. Look for the information in the owner’s manual.
- Opt for heaters with overheating protection: This feature is critical if you intend to run the appliance at night.
The Most Efficient Space Heaters in the Market
Whether you’re looking for a portable option to take with you from room to room, or a more permanent solution to keep your whole house warm, there’s a space heater out there that’s perfect for you. The key to coming up with the right choice is research. Read the space heater reviews or ask around.
However, we know how time-consuming it is to sift through all the options and find the one that fits your needs exactly. To help with the task, here are our top picks for the best energy-efficient space heaters in the market.
Heat Storm HS-1500-PHX Wi-fi Infrared Space Heater
One of the crucial considerations in choosing the perfect space heater is the size of the area it will warm. When it comes to heating large rooms, the Heat Storm is on our list of excellent, energy-efficient, and reliable space heaters.
This infrared space heater is Wi-Fi-enabled, so you can control it from your phone using the app. The Heat Storm not only saves you from sky-high energy bills but also frees up some floor space because it’s wall-mountable.
Speaking of safety features, it’s not only this heater’s grills that are cool to the touch but also its entire body. So if you have kids, you don’t have to worry about them burning their tiny fingers. It even has a child lock to keep children from playing with the buttons. If these features aren’t enough to make the Heat Storm Infrared Space Heater a top contender in getting the best energy-efficient electric heater title, we don’t know what will.
Pelonis Ceramic Tower
Another energy-efficient electric heater for large rooms is the Pelonis Ceramic Tower. It comes with three heating modes: low, high, and eco, with the eco mode being the most energy-saving. Thanks to its sleek design, this heater also saves you floor space, and you can place it anywhere.
Concerned about the noise? The Pelonis Ceramic Tower creates a barely noticeable 50 dB, making it not only one of the most energy-efficient space heaters but among the quietest as well. Regarding safety, its tip-over protection feature helps ensure that your child or pet won’t knock over the unit.
Dr. Infrared Heater Portable Space Heater
An attractive, quiet, and energy-efficient electric space heater, that’s what this model is. Its solid wood case fits perfectly with your living room or bedroom. When it comes to noise, this portable heater emits just a slight hum during operation, so it won’t disturb your rest and relaxation time.
The Dr. Infrared Portable Heater comes with a remote control and has more common functions like the standby mode and eco mode. It also has thermostat control that allows you to select the temperature range that suits you best.
Because it’s portable, there’s no installation required. Just plug it into a wall outlet, and it’s good to go.
Lasko Designer Series
This ceramic space heater packs a wallop despite its small size (only 3 pounds). Using the optional widespread oscillation feature, it can warm a room to 250 square feet. Other features that placed the Lasko Designer Series on our list of the best energy-efficient electric heaters are the adjustable time, thermostat, cool touch exterior, and overheat protection.
On top of these, the unit blends into your decor because of its stylish body and finish, making it seem like a work of art rather than a heating device.
De’Longhi Convection Panel Heater
One energy-efficient space heater that gets the job done is the De’Longhi Convection Panel Heater. This model uses a forced airflow heating mechanism that evenly warms up an entire room, even large ones. What’s more, this powerful heater has a sleek, compact body that doesn’t take up much space.
Are you looking for a wall heater? The De’Longhi can serve the purpose, as it can be mounted on walls. You can also place it on the floor if that’s what you want. Features like eco mode, LED display, and an adjustable thermostat put this model above other heaters.
Concerned about safety? The De’Longhi has a safety thermal cut-off function to prevent overheating. It also comes with a tip-over switch that helps prevent accidents in case the unit tilts or falls over.
What Type of Electric Heater is the Cheapest to Run?
The infrared heater won’t cost you an arm and a leg in electricity bills. This type is more economical to run than other space heaters. It works by directing heat to the objects and people in the room instead of heating the air. As such, it can heat a room quickly and efficiently without needing to run for long periods.
What is the Most Efficient Way to Heat a House?
A heat pump can keep your home warm and snug more efficiently than other heating options. That’s because heat pumps transfer heat from the outside environment instead of generating it. In effect, they use the heat in the air to warm your living space. As a result, they require less energy to produce the same amount of heating compared to other heating systems. This makes them the most efficient way to heat your home.
What is the Safest Heater?
If safety is your main concern, opt for an oil-filled heater. This type of space heater uses electricity to heat a special oil sealed inside the unit. The heated oil then disperses heat into the surrounding air. This process does not involve combustion or flames, which can reduce fire risks compared to other types of space heaters. Also, an oil-filled heater does not typically emit toxic gasses like carbon monoxide.
What is the Most Sustainable Heater?
When it comes to sustainability, those that run on renewable resources are hard to beat. These self-replenishing resources include solar energy, wind power, and geothermal heating systems. Unlike traditional heaters, whose operation involves burning fossil fuels, those that run on renewable energy suppliers don’t use up the earth’s non-replenishing energy sources.
The search for an electric heater that will work for you need not be a daunting task. By considering the room size you need to heat and checking the wattage requirements for the heater, you can make an informed decision and save money on your energy bills.
Other things to look for in a space heater are additional energy-saving features such as programmable thermostats, timers, and auto-shutoff functions. By taking the necessary steps, you can choose an efficient and effective electric heater that keeps you warm and cozy throughout the colder months of the year.