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Is A Convection Heater More Energy Efficient?

Is A Convection Heater More Energy Efficient?

You may be more than a little familiar with the most popular techniques to keep your home warm throughout the winter if you live in a region with chilly winters. During these months, convection heaters, often known as “space heaters,” are frequently used in homes. However, how energy-efficient are they?

When utilized in small spaces, convection heaters are energy-efficient. When used to heat big rooms or a whole house, they are not particularly energy-efficient.

Convection heaters may be the most economical choice for producing heat in several situations. There will be instances, though, where they are not the best for lowering winter energy expenditures.

Maximizing Convection Heaters’ Energy Efficiency

Any portable convection heater will often be less energy-efficient than the central heating system in a modern home. Convection heaters, on the other hand, might be a perfect substitute if your house is not designed to accommodate a central heating system. Convection heaters are typically used in addition to central heating systems when different rooms in a house require a specified temperature.

The majority of efficient convection heaters consume approximately 1,500 watts per second while operating. Nevertheless, certain convection heaters are more energy-efficient and only require 400–550 watts of power. Since convection heaters rely on the air in a room to gradually disperse, they are ineffective in heating bigger parts of a house. This is not the best option for large homes or rooms inside a home because the heater will not provide as much heat as a forced-air heating system.

In most places, electricity continues to be more expensive than natural gas. Convection heaters must operate continuously if you want to match the temperature that a central heating system can offer in every area in your house. This will result in a large power bill.

It is preferable to use a convection heater simply to heat one or two rooms in your house in order to keep your electric bill low. There is no need to spend money heating the entire house if the other rooms are usually unused even though they may be cooler. To save money on energy costs, it is essential to lower the thermostat, as maintaining a higher temperature while using convection heaters might result in astronomical energy costs.

What Heating Method Does A Convection Heater Use?

With or without a fan, there are two primary groups of convection heaters. To spread a convection heat current, they use components like ceramic plates or electric coils. The air surrounding the element warms up as well as it does. This heated air keeps flowing through a room evenly, increasing the temperature. Convection heaters with fans built in can actually move air more quickly and are most effective in larger settings.

Can A Convection Heater Be Left On All Night?

No, it is advised against doing so when using a convection heater overnight. If not utilized carefully, these heaters can be exceedingly harmful and hazardous. This is because the heating element on them is exposed, making them more likely to start fires, especially if they are placed adjacent to something combustible.

Common Safety Measures for Convection Heaters

Is A Convection Heater More Energy Efficient?
  • Install smoke and fire detectors in any spaces that will have convection heaters. Additionally, search for heaters with an automated shut-off sensor that activates when the heater gets too hot.
  • A power strip or extension cord should not be used to plug the heater in.
  • Never let a youngster play unsupervised in a room with a space heater that is left on.
  • Keep furnishings like curtains at least three feet away from the heater since a system failure or short-circuiting could cause a fire.
  • Keep flammable items, such as plastics, carpets, and combustible liquids, as far away from the space heater as you can.

It’s also crucial to keep in mind that certain older houses or apartment complexes might not be ready to manage these kinds of heaters because they run the risk of flipping electrical breakers. The safety handbook should always be read before using a new convection heater.

Convection Heaters: Are They Noisy?

Convection heaters with built-in fans are typically louder than those without fans. Additionally, your heater will typically get noisier the higher the temperature setting is. Non-fan types often emit a faint “humming” sound that is caused by the altering current that passes through the iron-cored coils of the electrical transformer. On less priced heater models, this buzzing noise may be stronger because of the core’s expansion and contraction.

Which Type Of Heater Uses The Least Energy?

Knowing the precise purpose of the heater will help you choose the one that will be the most energy-efficient choice for your house.

Can Warm An Entire Room For A Few Hours
A convection heater is ideal in this situation. When you want to quickly warm up a room rather than for a long time, convection heaters are perfect. The heater’s thermostat and timer make it simple to regulate the temperature, and it will automatically spread out the air in the space (most come with these options). By doing this, you can save money and keep the room from being too hot.

Warming A Space For A Brief Amount Of Time
Radiant heaters are the ideal choice when a sudden burst of heat is desired. If you only need to quickly warm up a small area, these heaters are quite helpful. They operate swiftly. Unlike convection heaters, radiant heaters operate in a specific direction.

They won’t provide the same level of even warmth throughout a space, which makes them less suitable for prolonged occupant occupancy. Additionally, these heaters often lack timers and thermostats, which increases their energy consumption during prolonged operation.

Let’s examine a couple additional energy-efficient heater varieties.

Is A Convection Heater More Energy Efficient?

Panel Heaters

To regulate the temperature in a particular room of your house or place of business, panel heaters are a fantastic heating solution. They normally have a wall mount and are placed next to a power outlet. They have a tendency to heat gradually. They are also renowned for their excellent aesthetic value due to their slim and streamlined form. Panel heaters feature simple temperature control options and are simple to program.

Ceramic Heaters

The convenience of these tiny convection heaters is well known. Ceramic heaters start to heat up nearly quickly after being plugged into a power source. They are simple to utilize in an office setting or move from one room to another thanks to their small, portable design. This could be the ideal solution for your heating needs if you’re searching for something that can be easily transported.

Infrared Heaters

Soft metals, such as quartz or copper, are used by infrared heaters to carry directed electricity in constrained areas. Infrared heaters’ internal bulbs are made to operate for 5,000 to 7,000 hours. If you only want to heat a particular portion of a room or space, they’re a fantastic alternative.

Radiant Heaters With Oil

Wider fins on this kind of radiant heater allow for better heat distribution via the oil they contain. Even when they are turned off, the oil-filled metal surface continues to emit heat without using any further energy.

What To Take Into Account Before Buying A Convection Heater

Prior to investing in a convection heater for your house, you should take into account two key things. Let’s look at them now.

1. The Required Amount Of Heat

Consider your home’s heating requirements before investing in a new convection heater. You can then decide what suits your own living preferences the best by doing this.

The majority of space heaters have a rating that shows the size or approximate square footage of the area that it is best suited for.

If your heater is too small for the space it is warming, it will have to work more to heat the space, using more energy and increasing your electric bill. A decent rule of thumb is that for every square inch of floor space, you’ll need roughly 10 watts.

2. Potential Energy Costs For You

Is A Convection Heater More Energy Efficient?

Take a look at your most recent power bill and make a note of the cost of electricity per “kilowatt-hour” to get an idea of how much your convection heater would cost to operate.

Depending on your state and location, the cost will change. Next, estimate how many hours a day the heater is utilized, then convert that amount to kilowatts per hour (kWh). Simply divide 1,000 by the heater’s wattage to do this.

For instance, if you pay $0.15 per kWh for electricity and your heater has a 1,500 watt output, operating it continuously for 24 hours will cost $5.40 in energy.


When heating only a few rooms in a house or tiny spaces, convection heaters are a fantastic solution. However, central heating systems will be more energy-efficient for larger areas or entire homes.

Is A Convection Heater More Energy Efficient?

What do you think?

Written by HVAC Contributor

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