A space heater offers a very useful option for homeowners who require heating in specific spots or areas of their home, or who simply need to cut down on central heating costs.
They are small, portable, easily moved around and provide a flexible alternative to home heating- providing warmth in only specific places it is needed.
This also means you can purchase multiple space heaters for different parts of your home and leave out those spaces where heat is not required.
But like many other home appliances, cost is a major determinant for people to decide whether or not they purchase and run a space heater. So, how much does a space heater cost?
How much will you need to buy any of the different types available on the market and what does it cost to run the appliance? We’ll provide answers as we move along.
How Much Does a Space Heater Cost?
On average, a typical space heater for a home costs between $35 and $200. However, there are high-end brands that offer space heaters for as high as $700 and more.
It is important to understand that the type of space heater you want, its mechanism, design and heating capacity will all determine how much it is sold.
We’ll take a look at the different types of space heaters beyond the broad categories of Convection, Radiant and Combination heaters, and how much they cost.
1. Ceramic Space Heater Cost
The ceramic heater runs on electricity. It is an appliance fitted on the outside with ceramic plates which are attached to certain metal coils. These plates heat up as electricity goes through the coils.
This heat is absorbed continuously by the ceramic plates and eventually released into your room’s air. Some ceramic space heaters are designed with internal fans which help to blow the hot air out (into the room).
Depending on the size and range of coverage, a typical ceramic heater may cost anywhere from $35 to $150.
A 300 square foot ceramic space heater is often sold for around $50 to $120, depending on the brand. A good example is the Lasko-22 Digital Ceramic Oscillating Tower Heater.
Ceramic space heaters that cover much bigger spaces up to 600 sq ft often cost above $80.
Few Top Rated Ceramic Space Heaters:
2. Infrared Space Heater Cost
Unlike many other types of space heaters, infrared heaters adopt a very unique kind of heating technology. The heat targets people and objects, rather than the air.
It is similar to how the sun warms up the earth. Objects in your home, including walls, flooring, tables and your body are heated up to provide the warmth needed. Some infrared space heaters have a fan, others do not.
Dr Infrared Portable Space Heater is one of the most popular infrared Heater products on the market and has a price tag of $120 to $140.
Like most other space heaters, it runs on a maximum 1,500 watts. This heater can heat up spaces up to 1,000 sq ft.
Smaller Infrared Space Heaters cost around $80 to $120, while more advanced units will sell for above $200.
Few Top Rated Infrared Space Heaters:
3. Oil-filled Space Heaters Cost
These are largely regarded as radiator space heaters or radiant heaters, especially because of their physical appearance.
An oil-filled space heater runs on electricity. It is usually portable, and although it is electric, it also contains diathermic oil which is heated and circulated through columns (known as fins). The fins heat up and naturally radiate, distributing heat into the air.
Portable oil-filled space heaters cover spaces between 150 sq ft and 300 sq ft and cost $60 to $130.
Few Top Rated Oil-Filled Space Heaters:
4. Fan Space Heaters Cost
Just like a ceramic heater, a fan space heater is a simple heating appliance that operates virtually the same way, except for the ceramic plates. Here, the metal coil is heated and then heat is transferred into the air.
They are called fan heaters because they always come with a fan that helps to blow air over the coils and distribute heat into the room or space. These units are also the cheapest of all types and are pretty good for spaces like bathrooms.
A good example of a fan space heater under $30 is the Optimus H-1322 Portable 2-Speed Fan Heater.
On average, Fan Space Heaters Cost varies from $25 to $80.
Few Top Rated Oil-Filled Space Heaters:
5. Propane Space Heaters Cost
The other four already discussed space heaters use electricity as a source of power; this one doesn’t. Rather, it is fueled by liquid propane. As a result, they are portable, mobile and flexible.
Also, propane space heaters are very powerful, producing the most heat and are relatively cheaper to run than most other types. The heat waves released by this heater are electromagnetic in nature, just like an infrared unit.
Propane Space Heaters that can cover spaces between 200 sq ft and 450 sq ft cost $150 to $250 on average.
Consider the Mr. Heater MH18B Portable Propane Heater which can heat up areas as large as 450 sq ft. in addition to the coverage, Propane Space Heaters are also categorized according to BTU. Units surpassing 30,000 BTU usually cost above $100.
Few Top Rated Propane Space Heaters:
6. Panel Space Heaters Cost
This is the sixth type of space heater. The panel space heaters are usually very fancy in design. Although a pretty new invention, they are already gaining a lot of attention and popularity among homeowners seeking alternative heating.
It can be placed on the floor or wall-mounted and they also work by radiation, just like the oil-filled unit type except that panel heaters are wholly electrical.
While they are convenient and may help to reduce cold in your home, they are not the best heating appliances around.
Take the De’Longhi DeLonghi TRD40615E Full Room Radiant Heater or the De’Longhi Convection Panel Heater for instance.
Both are great examples of panel heaters, and like many others in their category, cost $100 to $200 on average. There are some infrared panel options that cost above $200 as well.
If we consider all types of panels, the Panel space heats cost anywhere from $100 to $700.
Few Top Rated Panel Space Heaters:
How Much Does It Cost To Run A Space Heater?
There are basically two broad types to consider; electric and propane space heaters.
Most electric space heaters run on 1,500 watts and we’ll base our running cost calculation on that. This post will provide a simple formula to calculate how much you’d need to spend on electricity bills daily, weekly, monthly and annually.
Let’s peg the average national electricity rate in the US at 13.30 cents per kW-hour.
If you have a 1,500-watt (1.5 kW) space heater, it means you’d spend about 20 cents to run it per hour. If you use it for 12 hours daily, that’d be $2.40 cents daily.
- $4.80 for a whole day
- $33.6 for a week
- $144 per month
- $1,752 per year
Depending on your appliance, you can measure the cost of running your electric space heater by using the formula;
Cost per hour = wattage x electricity cost (per kW hour) / 1,000
For those very big appliances that run on 5,000 watts, that would be 5,000 x 13.30 cents / 1,000. That amounts to 66.5 cents per hour and $15.96 per day.
The two most important factors to determine how much running your space heater would cost are your heater wattage and the price of electricity in your region.
For propane space heaters, the price of propane per gallon in your area will determine how much you’ll spend. The national average cost for propane is $3.30 per gallon.
A gallon will power 92,000 BTUs per hour. If you have a 30,000 BTU appliance, expect to get at least 3 hours for each gallon. It means you’ll be spending up to $24 for a whole day. You should note, however, that it is very unlikely that you use up 30,000 BTUs per hour.
A typical 2,500 watt heater used for 8 hours will take up 20,000 watts (20 kwh) per day. The same appliance will require only 0.068 gallons of propane when converted to BTU.
One good thing about propane is its energy efficiency. You’ll get much more heating and may only need to run it for a few hours each day, which will bring the running cost significantly lower.
Also, when we compare BTU to watts and how each energy source fares in powering appliances, propane has a major edge. Much less propane is required to power appliances than electricity would.
The higher the wattage, the higher the cost of electricity, but there is a comparative advantage if you use propane because it is more efficient.
Before you make a decision on the type of space heater to buy, you need to consider the cost and what you really need it for. This post provides a comprehensive analysis of the different types of space heaters and their prices.
It also shows you how much it takes to run a typical electric or propane space heater. Whatever the case, space heaters require money to run but are a very good alternative source of heat.