While it may be cozy to have an electric space heater pointed at the couch during the frigid winter months, space heaters are sometimes not the most cost-effective way to heat your home. Even a small space heater consumes a considerable amount of electricity, comparable to a major household appliance, making them expensive to operate when compared to other options.
Electricity use in electric appliances and other devices is measured in terms of watts, which represents how much power is used during one hour's work. Electric heaters vary with size and heat output, and some have a range of settings, but typically have a power consumption between 750 and 1,500 watts.
Comparison to Other Appliances
Electric blankets use 60 to 100 watts. Coffeemakers, toaster ovens and vacuum cleaners have a wattage rating comparable to electric heaters, but only in terms of raw numbers. None of the aforementioned appliances are left on continuously as heaters generally are, and therefore, use only a fraction of their wattage rating during a typical use.
Comparison to Gas
As a rule, heating with gas is cheaper than heating with electricity. However, it is possible to cut heating bills by using an electric space heater to heat one or two rooms, leaving the rest of the house at a lower temperature.
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