Electrical Engineering/Electric Heaters



I want to purchase an economical electric space heater. How can I identify one that is cost effective (cheap to use) when I shop for one?

I thank you for your reply."

ANSWER: The electricity consumption rating of the heater will tell you how much heat you will get from it.


Study the above link in order to get an idea of the various kinds and method of delivering the heat out to the space in which it is placed.

The power consumption in watts will tell you the heat output.


The above link will calculate the BTU/hr heat output for a given wattage input.

Typical electric heaters are 1500 watts consumption and produce about 5,000 BTU/hr.  The rating of 1500 watts is common because it requires just enough current from a 115vac power outlet in the home to keep operating without blowing the circuit breaker in most homes.

The two position units commonly give 1500w on high and 750w on low, or 2,500 BTU/hr.


The link above will give you and idea how much heat in BTU or MBTU you can get out of a load of wood.  This you can compare with the electric heater to give you an idea.

Most economical heaters by cost are resistive coils with a gentle fan behind the heating elements.  The various of types add cost but do not put out any more heat for a given wattage rating; they only deliver it in different ways.

Let me know if you have further thoughts.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thanks for your great reply and information!

Hope it helps you with your decision.  I bot a 1500w forced air heater from Sears 50 years ago. I use it to take the chill of in my office during winter months.  It is still working perfectly and has never failed.  I paid $12 for it.  You can still get a similar heater for around $20 at such places as Walmart, Target, Home Depot, Lowes, etc.

I have another office where I heat it exclusively with an oil filled standup heater that is also 1500W.  I paid $29 for it a couple of years ago at a Home Depot sale (it was regular $49). It is slow but produced quiet and uniform heat on a cold day.

Have a great day.  

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