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CostHelper > Home and Garden  > Electrical, HVAC & Energy Efficiency > Space Heater

Space Heater Cost


How Much Does a Space Heater Cost?

 
low costBasic Electric Heater: $15-$65average costElectric Ceramic Heater: $30-$150high costPropane Heater: $80-$250

Space heaters add warmth when and where it's needed. There are two basic types: convection heaters, which provide warmth by blowing air over a heated surface, and radiant heaters, which warm objects they're aimed at (rather than the air in the room).

Typical costs:

  • Basic electric convection space heaters start around $25-$65 for models with a standard metal-coil element, but can go up to $70-$250 for larger models with more options like a remote control and automatic tip sensor.
  • Small, tabletop electric ceramic convection heaters start around $30-$50 but larger ones run $60-$150. In a ceramic space heater, electricity heats a ceramic plate, the heat is absorbed by aluminum baffles and a fan blows the resulting hot air into the room. Ceramic space heaters quickly provide warmth but its individual parts stay relatively cool to the touch (a safety feature to avoid burns).
  • Radiant quartz or halogen electric heaters range from $50-$170. They are best for providing heat in one close area rather than to an entire room.
  • An oil-filled electric radiator heater (which uses a non-radiant convection system but looks like the old-fashioned radiators found in many older buildings) costs $50-$110. Powered by electricity, it's permanently filled with oil in a closed system so it never needs replacing. Oil-filled heaters provide steady heat for an entire room.
  • Propane heaters range from $80-$250, can provide almost six hours of heat from a one-gallon tank of propane and are good when the power goes out. Kerosene heaters are available for anywhere from $130-$500, but are much less common than they used to be, mostly due to safety concerns.
Related articles: Gas Central Heating, Attic or Whole House Fan

What should be included:
  • Generally space heaters are a supplemental heat source, used to warm only one or two rooms at a time. A radiant space heater is best for spot heating, such as when you want to be warmer while curled up in front of the TV. A convection heater covers a larger area, and is better when there are several people either moving around or in different parts of the room.
  • Options include a tip-over safety switch, temperature controls, multiple fan speeds and direction settings, a timer and a remote control device.
  • Space heaters can cause fires if used improperly; The US Consumer Product Safety Commission provides tips for Reducing Fire Hazards for Portable Electric Heaters[1] .
Shopping for a space heater:
  • The US Department of Energy provides an overview on space heaters, including guidelines when choosing a space heater[2] .
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What People Are Paying - Recent Comments
Infrared Space Heater
Amount: $106.00
Posted by: pip1948 in Taylors, SC.Posted: January 29th, 2018 06:01AM
Type: Brand: Dr. Infrared Heater
Model: Original
I have an electrician scheduled to come out in a few days, to put in dedicated electrical circuits and outlets for these space heaters and I intend to heat my 900 sq. ft Mobile home with three of these heaters only. My 20 year old electric HVAC has finally died. I prefer the type of heat that these provide and I like the idea of zone heating. These heaters do not dry out the air, and my HVAC was responding to one thermostat in the house, making some rooms too hot and other too cold. Being a mobile home with skirting only around the underside, the HVAC was pushing air through vents that were as cold as the temperatures we were struggling against. Very inefficient! In my area it costs .15 per hour to run one of these heaters, while my HVAC costs 1.47 per hour to run. The heaters will run more hours than the HVAC did, but by using the zone heating we will be heating the areas that are in. I am investing in this type of heat, because I prefer it. It does a wonderful job.
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In response to Mr. Roberts...
Amount: $0.00
Posted by: Brad Johnson in St Louis, MO.Posted: April 22nd, 2009 02:04PM
Type: Infrared HeaterBrand: Comfort Zone
Model: 1500
In response to Mr. Roberts, the only issue I can see with your assertions is that I fail to see how a space heater can effectively heat an area of this magnitude comfortably or efficiently. Please explain to me how this unit can be as efficient as a standard central heat system. Thank you for your time.
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Keeping our new home comfy
Amount: $397.00
Posted by: Garrison Roberts in Rapid City, SD.Posted: April 10th, 2009 03:04PM
Type: Infrared HeaterBrand: CZ Infrared
Model: 1500P
Good Morning, my name is Garrison Roberts. My wife and I just bought our first home 5 months ago…moving’ up and finally realizing the American Dream. So shortly thereafter we found that it could be very costly during the impending winter to pay the higher propane costs that heating a 1800 sq ft home is…we needed a better solution. So we looked around and found some friends using 2 CZ Infrared 1500P heaters to supplement their home heat. It seemed to do an excellent job in the main areas of their home. So I took the leap of faith and invested in 3 units...they do not disappoint whatsoever. We run our thermostat at a constant 55 F and supplement up to 75 degrees F in our living room, one in our kitchen/dining area, and one in our finished basement that is converted into an office/study. The units perform perfectly and we set them to delay start about 45 minutes prior to coming home for an even, comfortable heat. I run our 3 units for about 12 hours per day for the cost of $1.58 per day or less than $50.00 per month in electrical cost per unit. It has saved us hundreds in potential propane costs this heating season already. I am so glad that I took the leap of faith and decided to choose Infrared heat to keep my new home comfy and warm. Thank you, CZ Infrared.
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External Resources:
  1.  www.cpsc.gov/s3fs-public/heaters.pdf
  2.  www.energy.gov/energysaver/home-heating-systems/portable-heaters
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