How Much Does It Cost To Run A Space Heater?

Space heaters are a great solution for the cold days during winter. However, these devices may cost you quite a lot to run, depending on their size, energy, capacity and frequency of use.

Here, we will discuss the operational cost of different kinds of space heaters in the current market. Hence, you will not be surprised by huge bills and can cut down on unwanted expenses. 

Also, you can find out the most economical space heaters to buy and use in the future.

A space heater can become a great savior in the cold winter days.
A space heater can become a great savior in the cold winter days.

How much does it cost to run a space heater

As there are many kinds of space heaters, we will divide them into two main categories: electric and gas space heaters. Let’s see how much each product cost you to run. 

Electric space heaters

Our electric space heaters list includes warm air heaters, ‘radiant’ bar fires, fan heaters, oil-filled radiators, and halogen heaters. 

In spite of their absolute efficiency (i.e. 100% of electricity is turned into heat), these devices are rather pricey to run as they produce a significant amount of heat. Thus, you had better not rely on them as your main heat provision.

To be more specific, fan heaters and bar fires are the most costly, while oil-filled radiators and heaters are the most affordable.

The following table indicates the approximate operational costs of these electric space heaters since the actual expense might vary according to the particular electricity price on your family. 

Nonetheless, you can compare them with each other and calculate the fee almost precisely.

Typical heat outputOperational cost every hour(standard meter)Operational  cost every hour(Economy 7, night)Operational cost every hour(Economy 7, day)
Radiant bar fire2 kW$36$17$47
Halogen heater1.2 kW$22$10$28
Convector heater2 kW$36$17$47
Fan heater2 kW$36$17$47
Oil-filled radiator1.5 kW$27$13$35

Gas space heaters

The second type of space heaters consists of traditional gas fires, open gas fires, convector heaters, and finally bottled-gas heaters. All of them can work with both liquid petroleum gas (LPG) as well as mains gas. 

However, only gas convector heaters, bottled gas heaters, and paraffin stoves do not require a chimney to use. 

Here, we will give you a table about the standard running expenses of those gas heaters. Like the above table, these results can be nearly but not completely exact due to the price change in the fuels.

 Heat outputEfficiency ratingCost/h (mains gas)Cost/h(LPG*)Cost per unit heat (mains gas)Cost per unit heat (LPG*)
Radiant gas fire (on full)5kW64 – 82%$32 – 41$53-70$7$10-13
Radiant gas fire (on low)1kW41 – 66%$8 – 13$13-22$8-13$13-22
Gas convector heater (on full)3kW61 – 86%$18 – 26$30-43$7-9$10-16
Open decorative gas fire2.5kW21 – 51%$26-65$43-109$10-26$17-42
Closed gas fire4kW61 – 81%$26-35$43-58$7$10-13
Bottled gas fire4kW100%not run on mains gas$85not run on mains gas$22

As you can see from the two tables, the running costs of different gas space heaters are incredibly diverse. Some models are much cheaper while others are dramatically more expensive to run in comparison with electric space heaters.

Final Words

So we have told you in detail how much each space heater cost to run. However, to save your money, you can try the following ways:

  • Only switch on the device when you are in the room.
  • Use a timer if possible (you can purchase a separate timer switch for your device’s plug from a household shop).
  • Avoid turning the thermostat up too high.
  • If your household is on the Economy 7 electricity tariff, avoid turning your heater on for a prolonged time, especially during the peak hours. 
  • It’s best to possess a night storage heater and charge it at night.

Besides, don’t forget to keep your heaters far away from all flammable items such as furniture, draperies, or bedding, etc.

Ask us in the comment section if you want.

Thanks for reading!

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