How Many Watts Does a Space Heater Use - Nature's Generator

How Many Watts Does a Space Heater Use

Winter is coming, and we must all be prepared. Space heaters are invaluable appliances homes need during cold months; knowing how many watts they use is crucial in estimating operational costs.
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According to scientists at NOAA, the El Niño will continue through December until March. However, it doesn’t mean that temperatures won’t drop when the colder months come in.  In fact, these climate patterns have, in the past, produced extreme weather, and severe winter storms are not out of the question.

Nobody knows exactly how this year’s winter will play out, but one thing is for sure: we all have to be prepared. In this case, space heaters are one of the invaluable appliances homes need, especially during chilly winter days when central heating isn’t enough. If you’re considering using one, it’s important to understand how many watts a space heater uses, its heating capacity, how much it costs to run it, and if it’s possible to run a space heater with solar generators.

How many watts does a space heater use?

The wattage of a space heater varies as it depends on a couple of things, such as its size, type and model. However, you will typically find portable electric space heaters around 1500 watts in the market. Naturally, smaller space heaters will use less power, while larger, more powerful models can be over 1500 watts.

Since wattage can vary between different models and brands, we advise you to check the manufacturer’s specifications before purchasing the space heater you’re eyeing.

Why is it important to understand the wattage of your space heater?

Like with any type of appliance that you use for longer hours, understanding the wattage of your space heater is essential as this helps you estimate how much energy it consumes and the costs to operate it. For safety reasons, being aware of an appliance’s wattage helps you avoid overloading your electrical circuits, which could lead to serious electrical hazards like overheating, fires, and electrical shocks.

In terms of using a space heater with a solar generator, you must ensure that your generator can provide enough wattage to meet the heater’s requirements. The space heater’s wattage will also help you determine how quickly it will deplete the solar battery and calculate the number and size of solar panels needed to generate the necessary power.

(Read more about the wattage of common household appliances: Air Conditioner, Microwave, TV, Light Bulb)

Are all space heaters 1500 watts?

There are no explicit regulations by any US federal agencies on the wattage of space heaters, but most space heater in the market come at 1500 watts.

It is important to note that there are industry standards and safety certifications that space heaters must meet before they can be legally sold in the country.

A safety tip: when looking to buy a space heater, be sure to see if it is marked with a UL certification label as this indicates that the product was tested and proven to comply with certain safety requirements.

How big of a room can a 1500-watt space heater heat?

The heating capacity of a typical 1500-watt space heater differs depending on a couple of things. These factors include room size, insulation, outdoor temperatures, and the desired indoor temperature. However, to give you an estimate, 10 watts of heating power is needed for every square foot to keep the room at a comfortable temperature. This means that a 1,500-watt heater can be an efficient heat source for a room with a floor area of up to 150 square feet.

Then again, larger spaces with poor insulation may cause the space heater to struggle to maintain a comfortable temperature. 

How much does it cost to run a 1500-watt space heater?

Operating a space heater will incur electricity costs, so it’s natural for you to wonder how much it will cost to run one. The answer to this, however, depends on a couple of variables, such as your location, electricity rates in your area, as well as usage patterns.

  • Electricity Rate - The electricity rate (meaning the price you pay for electricity per kilowatt-hour) in your state plays a significant role in determining the operational costs of your space heater. For example, the electrical rate in Vermont is 20.74 cents per kWh, while in New York, the rate is 19.75 cents per kWh, and Connecticut is at the upper end at 34.44 cents per kWh.
  • Heater Efficiency - Some space heaters, such as models with energy-saving features, are more energy-efficient than others, which can help reduce energy consumption and operational costs.
  • Usage Patterns - How frequently and long you run your space heaters directly impacts your monthly energy bill. Turning on your heater only when necessary can result in cost savings.
  • Regional Climate - Space heaters may need to work harder and operate longer in colder regions, which results in increased consumption of electricity.
  • Insulation - A room with good insulation will retain heat more effectively, reducing the need to operate your space heater for longer periods. You can consider improving insulation in your area to be more efficient in your energy consumption.

You can use this formula to help you compute how much it will cost to run a space heater:

Cost = (Wattage/1000) x Hours of Use x Electricity Rate (per Kwh)

Assuming you live in Washington and you use a 1500-watt space heater for 8 hours a day for 5 months in a year, the estimated cost of using the appliance is $1.32 per day, or around $200 each year.

(1500/1000) x 8 x 10.96* = $1.32 per day
$1.32 x 152 days (5 months) = $200.64 per year

*Electric Rates are based on data from Statista as of March 2023

Is there a best time to use a space heater?

Using a space heater does incur costs, and finding ways to use it efficiently can assist in reducing energy costs while maintaining a comfortable environment in your home. For optimal usage, you can consider the following tips:

  • Use the space heater as a supplemental heat source (rather than a primary heating method) on cold days or in areas with colder temperatures.
  • If you are enrolled in a TOU or time-of-use rate plan, the cost of electricity is different throughout the day. However, typically, using a space heater during off-peak hours is an economical option. 
  • Run the space heater only when you’re in the room; this is for safety purposes too.
  • Set the thermostat at a lower yet comfortable temperature to avoid overheating the room.
  • Ensure proper insulation and optimize weatherproofing measures to enhance the efficiency of the space heater. 
Can you use solar generators to power a space heater?

YES, but of course, you need to ensure that your solar generator can produce enough output capacity to operate your space heater. Solar generators, such as Nature’s Generator Elite, Nature’s Generator Lithium 1800 Combo, and Nature’s Generator Power House, can deliver the output wattage and battery run time to operate “power-hungry” appliances like space heaters. These generators are designed as a home power backup – ideal for preparing for severe weather conditions in the winter.

Also, if you require more electricity to address your home power requirements, Nature’s Generator systems are expandable – you can add solar panels, wind turbines, Power Pods (solar batteries), and more to make your solar system fit what you need.

Understanding the wattage of space heaters is efficient for properly heating your home and managing your energy costs. Evaluating other factors, like room size, insulation, and electricity rates, can help you estimate how much it costs to operate a space heater. However, you can also consider using solar generators to power space heater and other appliances in your home as an eco-friendly and cost-effective solution.

If you have questions about Nature’s Generator systems, don’t hesitate to reach out to our support team.


* We want to give credit where credit is due. Professional writer, Ishna Sablaya, contributed research and content to this blog titled: How Many Watts Does a Space Heater Use Thank you, Ishna, for your contributions!