Best, most energy-efficient space heaters

Indoor heating is your only respite during the cold, bitter winters. If you’re thinking of hosting that Christmas or New Year party, you’ve got to have adequate heating. It needs to keep everyone cozy without turning your power bill into a nightmare! Lucky for you, we’ll be discussing the best energy-efficient space heaters for your home. Keep reading to find what else to look out for besides the power consumption.

illustration of a hot day

Or check out our articles on pipe sizes or amp breakers.

What type is the most energy-efficient?

energy efficient option

There are usually several different types. Each one has its own set of pros and cons for homeowners. While some might be compact, they won’t heat a large room sufficiently. Others may be heating adequately but will double the power bill. Let’s discuss the six types to enable you to choose the most appropriate one.

  1. Ceramic

These are fairly simple machines. With electrical coils attached to ceramic plates, these compact ones are perfect for a quick-start option. The coils and ceramic plates are heated as you turn on the power.

Advantages include the portability and very little space they take up in the corner of your room. However, they won’t be sufficient to heat a large room or a large space. If you’ve got them hidden behind some furniture, those objects will obstruct its heating. To help you with the right placement, you can always use extension cords and save yourself some hassle.

These are cheap options that can be plugged into your garage using extension cords. They can also be powered using a generator so you can work that metal lathe in peace during your Sunday DIY projects. You don’t want to be stepping into your garage to find out that it is unbearably cold there. You’ve already invested in a dehumidifier. Make sure that you get something that can ensure the temperature is supposed to be.

  1. Infrared

These also work on electricity but function very differently from ceramic models. The principle of the infrared unit is to heat objects and not spaces. Electromagnetic waves are emitted that wrap tangible objects with heat. Some of these come with a fan to speed up the process. However, it is not entirely necessary.

A good advantage of infrared models is the ability to heat large areas and even cold, damp basements. Heating is also very long-lasting, long after the unit is turned off. And unlike ceramic ones, no objects can obstruct its heating. They are also more expensive than ceramic and fan heaters, so it’s an investment worth thinking twice about.

They also won’t be as portable as ceramic ones since they are quite heavy to move around.

  1. Fan

These are a step up since they heat the electric coil. Ceramic plates are replaced with a fan that transfers the heat into the air. The major advantage of this type is the compact size and the immediate impact as it starts very quickly. A downside is that it stops instantly as the power turns off.

It doesn’t last very long after it’s been turned off. Much like a ceramic one, physical objects can obstruct its path. It is best for small rooms and spaces. Since constant electricity is required, this may cause your power bill to shoot up.

The low prices make it a good option to fit it into your shopping list and avoid burning a hole in your pocket.

The Vornado VH200 is a popular option of this type. Reviews suggest that it is a great option for small spaces and offices. Homeowners with kids are especially relieved that even cuddling next to the Vornado doesn’t mean getting burned or shocked. Users reviews have also pointed out that it is very quiet and thus appropriate for working spaces. They have even noticed a drop in their power bills!

  1. Oil-filled

These are also called radiator heaters since they look very similar to the old-style in-home radiators. These are run on electricity and are usually portable with wheels rather than wall-mounted.

The principle works by diathermic oil traveling through the panels or columns when heated as soon as power turns on. As the columns get heated, the air surrounding them slowly gets hotter. The room starts to warm up.

The major advantage of this type is that the room remains warm long after the device has been turned off. Imagine the bucks this saves you!

But it is hot to the touch and can’t be moved unless it has wheels, so it might not be entirely kid-friendly.

The Pelonis is a good option in the range of oil-filled ones. Reviews have suggested that it is quiet and perfect for offices and cozy homes. This model comes with a thermostat and a remote. But users have pointed out these features do not function as advertised. It is a great investment for those looking for an upgrade from their ceramic or fan heaters for more lasting comfort.

  1. Propane

These are the only types not to be powered by electricity. Hence, they’ll be limited to the restraints of a nearby power outlet or extension cords. They use liquid propane as fuel and still produce heat more powerful than electric-powered ones.

The lack of electric power as a fuel also means more mobility. Hence, it is perfect for a backyard gathering or barbecue on the patio. And guess what? They’re saving you 20% on your electricity bill, too!

The heat is manufactured similarly to the infrared heater, where electromagnetic waves are emitted to their surroundings.

Some cons include safety concerns while using indoors and the risks involving a flame and fuel. It will also require plenty of ventilation to avoid any risks of fire. If you’re looking for an inexpensive short-term option for the outdoors, this might be the perfect fit for you.

  1. Panel

Modern inventions consumers are still warming up to. Panel space heaters are new in the market. The principles of its functioning are similar to the oil-filled radiators where the heat is emitted from the panels. However, electricity is the main fuel instead of oil in this case. Experts suggest that panel models are better for keeping the cold out instead of keeping the heat in. While the electricity meter will be running fast and constant, the returns might not live up to your expectations. Compared to other energy-efficient and more powerful space heaters, they’re not the best.

space heater on the ground

Placement options include wall mounting or floor placement on a special stand. Fire risks are especially minimal with panel space heaters, and they can run uninterrupted on an electric supply. Wall-mounted models will not be portable, which might prove a disadvantage for some. If you’re looking to buy the correct amp wires, the gauge resource can help you out with these amp wire sizes.

If you’re looking for a year-round deal and opt for a space heater and fan combination, the Lasko FH500 is a good purchase. This is great for areas like Texas, where you need to battle the heat and a little nippy weather in the winters. The fan comes with four speeds to keep you cool in the hot and humid weather. The 1,500-watt ceramic heater makes sure the room stays cozy on cold nights. The noise is also minimal and hence appropriate for offices or workplaces.

The unique vertical design is a unique space-saving feature that homeowners can delight in. Some users have reviewed it, saying it sometimes gets too powerful for their liking.

Are you interested in air conditioners or chest freezers? We’ve got articles on those, too.

What to look for

We’ve mentioned the different types and the extent of savings they can fetch you on your power bill. Here’s another list of tips to keep in mind when you’re making the final choice.

What to pay attention to
SizeSafety featuresVarious features
Power consumptionNoiseRemote control
  • Pay attention to the size – A small ceramic one will occupy less space, fan, or no fan. It can quickly warm up a small room in about fifteen minutes or less. A larger oil-filled panel or infrared heater might be the best fit if you’re looking to warm up a larger family room or hall. The Dyson air purifier and heater in one is a great space-saver due to its vertical design and multi-purpose use.
portable space heater
  • Pay attention to safety standards. A house with kids will need childproof features like a heater that doesn’t burn when touched. It can be wall-mounted away from reach to achieve that. Fire hazards need to be kept to a minimum. Certain types should only be kept outside and well away from toddlers and little ones, like the propane fueled-ones. The same considerations are relevant if you have cats or dogs.
  • Noise level – You might get cozy thanks to your new device but you don’t want sleepless nights while it is functioning. Ones in workplaces and offices demand minimal noise, and this is something to look out for. You don’t want a lawn tractor-level noise while you work. But if you are looking for good lawn tractors, take a look.
  • Make a note of the power consumption on your circuit. It’s important to check that your device doesn’t cause your circuit breaker to trip while functioning. For this reason, make sure your circuit doesn’t have too many appliances running at the same time. Appliances like a microwave or fridge all consume a lot of energy. Try to run it on a separate circuit that only usually has lights and the bathroom switches on the circuit. If you’re looking for bathroom renovation options, take a look here.
  • Cost analysis – The market is filled with options. The price can be anywhere between $25 for a basic model to a $2000 high-tech multi-purpose option. Make sure to also review the potential extra units of power this new addition to your home will cost you.
  • Look out for modern features – Here’s a tricky one. Brands are incorporating innovative and ergonomic features. It makes it tough to make a quick choice between them all. A thermostat is a neat feature that means you can keep the temperature set at your preferred point. Let the device take it from there. This also means you can alter the settings easily. Compared to traditional fixed one-setting devices, smart features may prove useful as the outside temperature drops and rises.
  • Timer- Attending a work video call, and you can’t move? No worries. A timer feature means you can set it to work for a fixed time and turn it off on its own, so you don’t have to get up. This is helpful, especially when you want to doze off after letting the room warm up for a bit at night and not leave them running.
  • Power cord – This is a feature many consumers ignore but later regret not paying attention to. The placement may not be up to you if the power cord is not as long as you expected. Check this feature and make sure the cord runs at least 70 inches or invest in an extension cord.
  • Remote control is a convenient option if you’re looking for comfort. Maybe you want to avoid trips to the corner of the room every time you want a temperature change.


What type of heater uses the least electricity?

Infrared heaters are known to save the most on your electricity bills. Even though they provide heat that disappears quickly when turned off, it is a viable option. It’s great if you’re looking to warm up your room quickly during the winter. It’ll save you a fortune on your bills too.

Which space heater is the safest?

The safest heaters are electric space heaters since they don’t use fuel like gasoline or oil. However, they cannot be kept on throughout the night. They might burn the plugged outlet and cause a fire hazard. Infrared or oil space heaters are safer if you’re looking to heat your room continuously throughout the night.

Which company makes the best space heater?

Vornado and Lasko are the best brands in the space heater business. However, Dyson is catching up quite fast with the competition and making a name for itself in the market. However, Dyson’s expensive price range still keeps customers wary of trying it out.

How much does it cost to run a 1500watt heater for 24 hours?

You would be expected to pay around $0.60 per hour approximately. That makes your bill for a day around $4.80. If your setting is low or medium, you can still expect the cost to be in the range of $3.60 – $4.80.

Buying a heater is easier than maintaining it safely in your home. Check out these tips to always stay safe and warm in the deep winters.

How to use a space heater safely?

  1. Never leave the heater unattended.

    It’s tempting to warm up a room before it’s time for bed while you do the dishes or put the kids to bed. But it’s not a great idea to leave the heater unattended. There’s no telling when anything catches fire, and you’re not around to take action.

  2. Always place the heater on the floor.

    No rugs, no carpets, and no bed covers should be the base for your space heater. There’s no telling which fabric could end up creating a fire hazard.

  3. Take extra care of the cord.

    The cord should not be running from under carpets and rugs. It should never be placed in high-traffic areas where it could cause someone to trip and topple the heater as well. It is not recommended to use extension cords with space heaters unless certified and checked for compatibility.

That’s it, folks! We hope this article familiarized you with market models and types. If you’re looking to add a DIY project to your list, you can follow the path of homeowners who opted to make theirs from scratch.

If you’re looking to take on the challenge, you can check out these welding and welding glasses resources. You can also learn about oxy torches. Before installation, always consult a professional and not rely solely on DIY videos online.