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The Pros and Cons of a Space Heater

Author: May

Mar. 07, 2024

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The Pros and Cons of a Space Heater

Keeping your house warm and pleasant throughout the winter may be a real challenge. Even though central heating systems are common, more and more people are opting for space heaters because of their low maintenance, low purchase price, and high efficiency. As with any kind of heating device, though, space heaters have their advantages and disadvantages. To help you decide if a space heater is the correct choice for your house this winter, we’ll look at the advantages and disadvantages of utilizing one. We will discuss everything you need to know, from the possible financial benefits to the dangers of fire and burns. In that case, let’s get right in!

Exactly what is a space heater?

To warm up individual rooms or sections of a house or workplace, you can use a space heater. If you live in a milder environment or need an additional heating source, they are a perfect choice. Electric, propane, and kerosene space heaters are just a few of the many options available.

Pro #1 Cost Benefit

A space heater’s potential to cut expenses is one of its primary benefits. If you simply heat the rooms that are in use, you may drastically cut down on your heating costs. Those who live in warmer regions can benefit the most from this since they can reduce their heating costs by utilizing a space heater instead of the furnace. The energy efficiency of modern space heaters allows them to deliver the same amount of heat while consuming less power. Over time, this might lead to even greater savings. No matter what you’re trying to save money on,

Con: #1 Fire Hazard

The potential for burns and fire is a major drawback of utilizing a space heater. When not utilized correctly, space heaters can cause significant injury or death. This is due to the fact that they provide a fire hazard if they come into touch with combustible substances or are left unattended, and may also inflict burns if misused. In order to avoid fires, a space heater should be used in a well-ventilated environment and kept away from combustible objects. Buying a space heater with safety features like an automated shut-off and overheat protection is also recommended to lessen the likelihood of fire and burns. Despite the potential financial and comfort benefits, utilizing a space heater inside should be considered cautiously.

Pro #2: Easy to Operate

Using a space heater also has the benefit of being simple to use. The majority of these units have straightforward interfaces, including on/off buttons, temperature dials, and timers, making them easy to use by anybody. Furthermore, they are often compact and light-weight, allowing for effortless portability from space to space. This way, you may save money and energy by just turning on the space heater when and where it’s needed. Moreover, many modern space heaters are “plug-and-play,” requiring no extra setup before usage. Space heaters are a practical option for those who need supplemental warmth in their homes during the colder months of the year due to its mobility and convenience of usage. A space heater can quickly and efficiently warm a small area, office, or even just your feet with the push of a button. You can choose a space heater that works for your home and your wallet because of the wide variety of models on the market.

Con #2: Requires Monitoring

A space heater’s need for regular monitoring is one of the drawbacks of utilizing one. Space heaters, in contrast to central heating systems, require constant attention and fine-tuning to ensure they are used safely and effectively. As a result, you must be present while the heater is in use and watch for signs of overheating or contact with combustibles. In addition, to avoid starting a fire, always switch off the heater when you leave the room. This may be a hassle, especially if you have several heaters in your house or if you need to switch them on and off regularly. Space heaters aren’t the best choice for people who want a hands-off approach to heating their house because they need regular attention and take more effort and energy on your side.

Pro #3 Saves Money on Energy Costs

The possibility for reduced energy use is one of the greatest benefits of employing a space heater. When you use a space heater, you won’t have to worry about heating the entire house, only the room(s) you’re in. When you simply power the devices that actually require it, you may significantly reduce your overall energy use. During the colder months, when heating bills tend to rise, this may be a real boon. It’s also worth noting that area heaters often utilize less energy than central heating systems do when it comes to producing heat. If you do this, you may reduce your energy use and hence your utility expenses while maintaining a pleasant temperature in your home. Even more money may be saved on heating costs by using a space heater that has energy-saving features like a timer, adjustable temperatures, and a sleep mode. Saving money on heating costs without sacrificing comfort is possible with the help of a space heater because to its lower energy consumption and higher efficiency.

Con #3: Low Range of Heat

The small heating area of a space heater is another drawback of utilizing one. Space heaters are intended to warm a single room, therefore they might not be powerful enough to heat a whole house. If the room is particularly vast or has particularly high ceilings, the heater may not be able to adequately warm every area. This may cause some rooms in your house to become uncomfortably cold. In extremely cold weather or when numerous rooms are being used at once, space heaters may not be able to keep up with the demand for heat. This may necessitate the use of additional heaters or alternative heating methods, which may be both costly and inconvenient. Space heaters may not be the greatest choice for people in need of a more complete heating solution for their house due to their limited heat distribution.

Pro #4 Portability

The convenience of being able to move it from room to room is a major benefit of utilizing a space heater. Due to the fact that space heaters are portable and lightweight, they may be moved from room to room with ease. By doing so, you may save money and energy by heating only the rooms that are occupied at any given time. In addition, a portable space heater may be used as a backup heating system no matter where your travels take you. Those who are always on the move or who reside in temporary or leased homes may find this to be very helpful. Because of their mobility, space heaters are especially well-suited for use in outbuildings like garages and workshops. Space heaters, with their small stature and light construction, might be a great choice for individuals in need of a versatile and transportable heating alternative.


Space heaters, in conclusion, are an easy and affordable way to stay warm this winter. Those wishing to heat their homes efficiently and affordably often turn to space heaters due to its many benefits, including their low environmental impact, low operational costs, and user-friendly designs. On the other hand, space heaters have a few negatives that you should be aware of. These include the risk of fire and burns, the heater’s restricted heating range, and the fact that it requires regular care. It’s essential to think about the benefits and drawbacks of different space heaters and pick one that works for your needs and living circumstances before the cold weather sets in. In the end, space heaters may be a fantastic choice for individuals in need of a versatile and effective heating alternative; nevertheless, they must be utilized with caution and a thorough awareness of the hazards involved.

As energy supply costs climb across New England, consumers are looking for ways to save money while maintaining the comfort of their living area. Electric space heaters, which are readily available at department and home improvement stores, require little more than a suitable electric receptacle. But there are other considerations to take into account in determining whether a space heater is right for you.


Almost all of the electricity consumed by a space heater is converted to heat, so the units themselves are nearly 100% efficient. However, the only scenario in which a space heater is eco-friendly or energy efficient is when it’s used to reduce the amount of energy a central heating system uses. For example, if you work from home, using a space heater can be a good way to keep your office comfortable without heating the unused rooms in the rest of the house.


Government regulations limit space heater output to 1,500 watts, which is not nearly enough to heat an entire home. In general, one square foot of space requires about 10 watts of electricity to heat, which means that a space heater operating at its maximum output can heat a room no larger than 150 square feet.

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, more than 25,000 house fires are started by space heaters every year. More than 300 deaths and 6,000 burn-related emergency room visits can be attributed at least in part to space heaters each year.

Half of all home heating fires happen in December, January, and February, and most are caused when a heater (typically an electric one) is placed too close to curtains, bedding, or upholstered furniture.

Safety First

Observing safety practices can greatly reduce the risk of injury and property damage. Here are some of the most important considerations.

  • DO choose a space heater with built-in safety features (more on this later).
  • DON’T leave a space heater running when you aren’t in the room, and never leave it on overnight.
  • DO read the manufacturer’s instructions before using.
  • DON’T use an extension cord or power strip with an electric space heater. It can cause the unit to overheat and presents a tripping hazard.
  • DO keep the space heater away from flammable objects (three feet is a good rule of thumb).
  • DON’T run a space heater’s cord under carpeting or furniture, which can increase the risk of fire.
  • DO exercise caution if you share your home with children, pets, or elderly members of the family who may be unsteady on their feet.
  • DON’T use a space heater if the cord appears to be damaged or is hot to the touch.
  • DO place the space heater on a hard, level, nonflammable surface.

What to Look for When Purchasing an Electric Space Heater

While it’s important to only operate space heaters at a time and in a place where they can be monitored by a responsible adult, there are a number of safety features that can give you additional peace of mind. Features to look for include:

  • A tip-over switch that will automatically turn off the unit if it’s not in an upright position.
  • Automatic shut-off in the event of overheating.
  • A thermostat that monitors the indoor temperature.
  • Independent certification (such as UL) indicates that the product has been tested and meets certain scientific safety, quality, or security standards.
  • Cool-touch housing, to prevent accidental contact burns.
  • Multiple temperature settings will enable you to select the lowest temperature for your needs, so you’re not paying more to overheat your space.

Key Takeaways

  • Some experts argue that improved weatherization is a better investment – and a safer alternative – than purchasing an electric space heater.
  • It goes without saying that you should ensure your smoke detectors are in good working order before using any alternative heat source.
  • Only heaters with GFCI plugs that are rated for use in damp areas should be used in bathrooms.

The Pros and Cons of a Space Heater

The Pros and Cons of Electric Space Heaters




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