During the cool fall nights and cold winter days, the demand for heat increases. It is cold in the house and although more heat is just a flip of a switch away, you worry about the increase in your heating bill. Therefore, you may turn to electric space heaters. You think it’s ideal for extra, inexpensive heat. But is it?
How They Work
In essence, space heaters fall into two main categories: electric and combustion. In most cases, electric heaters are safer and preferable to combustion heaters, especially in enclosed spaces. These devices produce heat by converting electric current from the wall socket, like a toaster or clothes iron.
The Cost of Using Space Heaters
While space heaters may be relatively inexpensive to buy, they have unplanned financial and safety costs.
It takes a lot of electricity to deliver the same amount of useful heat that natural gas or oil can provide to heat your home. Here is an easy example. You have a 1,500-watt electric space heater in your home and the current energy rate is 10.5 cents per kilowatt-hour (you may find your exact rate listed on your energy bill). This comes out to $3.78/day, which would add $113.40 to your energy bill in a 30-day month. And that is just to heat a small space within your home.
Space heaters account for 43 percent of U.S. home heating fires, according to a 2018 National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA) 2018 Report. NFPA reports that heating equipment is the second-leading cause of U.S. home fires and the third-leading cause of home fire deaths. Not to mention, these fires account for 54% of direct property damage.
Electric Space Heater Safety Tips
In some circumstances, for intermittent use, space heaters can be safely used. Make sure to reduce
the potential for fires by following manufacturer guidelines and incorporate the safety tips we have
compiled in our The Cost of Space Heaters: Are They Worth It Document.