How much does it cost to run a space heater?

Space heaters are a great way to make your home feel cozier in the winter. They’re also an inexpensive way to stay warm, especially if you don’t have a central heating system. But did you know how much it costs to run a space heater? This post will help you figure out exactly that.

How much does it cost to run a space heater?

How much does it cost to run a space heater? This is one of the most common questions we get. In this blog post, we’ll break down how much it costs to run a space heater depending on your usage pattern and talk about how to save money on your energy bills. To make things easier, we’ve created an infographic that can help you compare different models of electric space heaters so you know if they’re worth buying given your needs and budget.

I will help you decide if it is possible to afford to operate a space heater. After reading this article you’ll have a simple way to calculate the electricity cost of your own electric space heater.

To make this guide easier to understand, I’ve provided as much data about space heater types, power consumption, and electricity cost as possible. This will give you detailed information about the impact of a space heater on your electricity bill.

Cost to run the most common space heaters

Let’s examine the most common models of electric space heaters and their average cost per month.

how much does it cost to run a space heater

To calculate the average costs, I assumed that your heater is used at its maximum heat settings for 8 hours each day, and the US average price per KWh that is USD 12 cents now.

The infographic clearly shows that the cost to heat a space depends on the heater’s power consumption, but not the type of your electric space heater.

A 1500W heater would cost you approximately 43.20$ a month. The brand and price of the heater do not affect your electricity bills as well.

Important Note:

The space heater’s electricity cost does not tell you much about its efficiency. It is quite different. Keep reading to learn more.

What is the cost to run a space heater?

To prepare the above infographic I assumed that the space heater is run for 8 hours per day and the average US electricity rate of around 12 cents per kilowatt-hour.

But what if your electric space heater needs to be used for shorter periods or longer? And what if the electricity price is higher. For example, the average price per kilowatt-hour in Massachusetts is around 22 Cents.

Now you need to figure out how much electricity is consumed by your own heater.

How to Find Your Electricity Costs in 3 Steps

Here’s how to do it.

  1. Find the electricity cost per Kilowatt-hour for your home (or in your state). To do this, you can look up your last electric bill. Or, you can look at the infographic in the next section which displays the average US-household electricity price by state.
  2. Decide how long you plan to run your electric space heater each day. It is possible to estimate how long your space heater will run for each season, such as 8 hours per day during winter and 1 hour per day during summer.
  3. You can use this formula to determine your space heater electricity cost prediction.
  4. Space heater cost per hour = electricity cost (in Dollar per Kilowatt-hour) * power cost (in watts) / 1000

Here is an example:

Jane would love to have an infrared heating system. But she is worried about his electricity bills. she checks out the electricity costs for his state.

She estimates that Michigan’s electricity cost is 15.46 cents per megawatt-hour. That’s the same as 0.1546$ for a kWh.

This formula calculates the cost of his infrared heater 1500W.

Cost per Hour = 0.1546$ * 1500W/1000 = 0.2319$

It is around 23.2 cents per an hour.

If you get a strange result, here are the possible reasons.

Common mistakes:

  • Calculated with incorrect metrics: cents rather than dollars (15 cents/hour instead of 0.15$/hour).
  • You forgot to divide by 1,000

Average Electricity Rates by State

electricity rates by state 2019 Residential 3999

You can find your electricity rates easily by using the infographic. If you’re not from the United States, a simple google search will get you there.

What type of space heater is most efficient?

Efficiency is also an important factor when choosing the best space heater. This only factor is actually responsible for your feeling warm. If a heater has the same wattage as another but efficiency is better, it will take less time to warm you up.

The higher the thermal efficiency of an electric heater, the higher its energy efficiency.

Let’s talk now about different types of heaters and their efficiency.

Infrared space heater

Infrared heaters can be used to quickly heat objects near them, but they are not the best choices for heating whole rooms.  Infrared heaters quickly heat other things and people around them but not the air.

On the other hand, an oil-filled space heater efficiently keeps your whole room warm. While they require more time to increase the room temperature than infrared ones, they can still produce lots and lots of warm air once it gets going.

Therefore, make sure that your choice of space heater depends on your needs first of all.

There isn’t one space heater that’s the most efficient in ALL possible situations. 

Here’s my opinion on which space heaters are best:

  • Infrared heaters – For heating your own space or those with limited space in a particular room
  • Ceramic heaters – for heating small rooms quickly
  • Oil-filled heaters can be used for heating large rooms, but they heat very slowly.
  • Propane heaters- For instant heat in any location without power supply

What are 3 ways to reduce your electricity bill?

We’ve covered two factors that affect space heater costs so far. They are electricity rates and wattage. Efficiency is also important as it affects how soon they heat rooms and people in them.

Combine them all to create a larger picture. You will get Usage.

Your space heater usage will determine how much you pay for electricity. Which power setting do you prefer? What space heater do you use?

There are many options for reducing your energy bill. My top three solutions that will save money while using a space heater are:


Adding insulation is essential. Do it once and you will reduce your electricity and heating spendings over a long long time.

In an insulated room – cold air doesn’t leak in, warm air will last longer once it’s heated.

Contrary to this, if a room has no door, you’re wasting tons of heated air and money.

All you have to do is to change the way that the air enters your room. There is no need to have professional insulation. Even a simple carpet can be added if you don’t have one or closing the door will make a difference.

Lower your thermostat

Thermostats can be lowered. Many space heaters or heating systems come with a thermostat or some other means of controlling the power. Simple 1 degree reduction could help you save energy and money (up to $75 a year according to some estimations). Such a small change does not really affect the room temperature and your well-being.

Heat Cycling

I’m going to describe a method that I call heat cycling. You may significantly reduce the electricity usage if you run your heater in short bursts. For instance, turn on the heater for 10 or 20 minutes and then turn it off for an hour. Repeat it over and over. It won’t reduce the your feeling warm in the place, but will reduce your energy bill.

Let’s have a look at a simple example.

Some large garage heaters use 4800 watt power. This is three times the power used by a standard space heater. Monthly expenses would be over $130 if used for 8 hours per day.

By using heat cycling, your heater will run for less time – let’s suppose, 1 hour instead of 8 hours. This would decrease heating expenses from 138.24$ per month to 17.28$

Heat cycling can be applied to all types of heaters.

How much does it cost to run a space heater per year?

Quick answer:

Space heaters will run you about 300$ per year. 

But it does not mean that you lose 300$ annually. When using space heaters you reduce costs for oil and propane and add up some sum to your electricity bill.

How to calculate annual costs:

Based on what we already know regarding space heater electricity costs it is fairly easy to figure out the annual cost for a space heating unit.

Let’s pretend that you use the space heater frequently (for 8 hour a day) in winter (6 month). It is only used for about an hour per day in summertime (6 month).

We already know that running an 1500W heater for 8hrs per day costs you 43.20$ per month.

This is how much it will cost in a year:

Yearly electricity costs = 6 month * 43.20$ + six months * (43.20$/8) = 291.60$

Answer: A 1500W space heating unit will cost you an average of 290 dollars per year. The cost of a space heater can vary depending on the location.

These costs won’t break your budget. The space heater will reduce other heating needs in your home.

Space heaters can help you save up to 50% on your heating costs. It takes less fuel by other heating systems.

It’s similar to shifting your heating cost from the old heating bill to the new electric bill. The true cost of running a space heater is much lower than mentioned above, because the money is not really lost.


You were wondering, how much does a space heater cost? An average 1500W space heater costs about 40$ per month to run for 8 hours per day. This value is applicable to most households.  That’s not too bad when you think of the benefits. Space heaters can actually reduce heating bills if used wisely and efficiently.

The first thing to do is decide what type of room your space heater will go in – because each situation calls for a certain type of heater! Do you need something that just heats up one small area or would you rather have an largeroom heated with warmth from floor to ceiling?

The general rule says know your needs, understand the situation and use the heater wisely. This will save your money and keep you and your family warm during winter or cold summer nights.

Leave a Comment