How Much Does It Cost to Run an Electric Heater?

Comfort comes with some convenient costs, right? If you are enjoying some warm environment in your house through an electric heater, you have to pay the price as your monthly electricity bill. But exactly how much does it cost to run an electric heater?

If you consider using a 1500-watt electric heater, it will approximately cost you $0.132 per KWh (kilowatt-hour). So, according to calculations, the heater will cost $0.20 per hour and $4.80 per day. But if you decrease the period to 8 hours daily, the bill will be $1.6 per day and $48 per month. 

However, the bills may differ based on your area’s electricity bill, room size, and using period. It can be pretty mesmerizing to see how fast it can empty your pocket unless you know how to calculate the cost!

How Much Does It Cost to Run an Electric Heater

How Much Energy Does an Electric Heater Use?

Before you jump into calculating the cost of an electric heater, you need to know how much energy it uses to heat your house.

There are two ways to rate the energy usage through an electric heater: rated by watt, rated by BTU (British Thermal Unit). You can convert all the units in watt through this equation: 1 BTU equals 0.293 watts.

Now you need to learn the heat settings as you won’t always use them at the same setting. On a high setting, 100 percent of rated watts is used to convert into thermal energy. In a medium setting, the same heater will use 70 percent of rated watts, and in a lower setting, it will use 40 percent of the rated watts to warm up your place.

Suppose you are using a 1400 watt on the lower setting. So, the heater is using 1400 × 40% = 560 watts (1911.26 BTU). But if you use the same heater on a high setting, it will use 1400 × 100%= 1400 watts (4778.156 BTU).

Again, the usage of energy also depends on how many hours you are using your heater. For example, if you keep the 1400-watt heater on the run for 10 hours a day in a medium setting, the energy usage will be: 1400 × 70% × 10 = 9800 watts (33447.09 BTU) per day. 

You can use the same formula for any kind of heater rated in watts or BTUs.

How Much Do Electric Heaters Cost Per Hour?

Well, it’s time to calculate the cost per hour of your electric heater. We will assume all the heaters are at a high setting and the electricity cost is $0.132 per unit so that calculations seem easy to you.

Suppose you bought a 1500-watt heater for the dining room and a 1000-watt heater for the bedroom. The basic formula for cost calculation is:

Rated watt × using period = total watt/ 1000 = unit in KWh

For dining room (high setting):

1500 × 1 = 1500/ 1000 = 1.5 kilowatts or 1.5 units per hour (as the bill is calculated in kilowatts and called units). Total cost per hour = 1.5 × 0.132 = $0.198

For bedroom (high setting):

1000 × 1 = 1000/ 1000 = 1 kilowatt or 1 unit per hour and the total cost per hour = 1 × 0.132 = $0.132

If the settings are low for the dining room:

1500 × 40% × 1 = 600/ 1000 = 0.6 kilowatt or 0.6 unit per hour and the cost per hour is: 0.6 × 0.132 = $0.0792

We guess now the technique is pretty easy to understand. You can calculate how much your heater costs per hour using the same formula.

Total Cost Monthly & Yearly

Now let’s see how much an electric heater can add to your monthly and yearly bills. The formula and calculation technique is precisely the same as before.

Let’s assume you use your 1000-watt electric heater averagely 8hours daily. So, your cost will be: 1000 × 8 = 8000/ 1000 = 8 kilowatt or 8 unit per day = 8 × 0.132 = $1.056 per day

And the monthly cost is: 1.056 × 30 = $31.68

And the yearly cost is: 31.68 × 12 = $380.16

You can calculate the cost of any heater in the range of 200 to 5000-watts using this formula.

Factors That Affect the Cost

Some factors may affect your electricity bill, like they may reduce or increase the total cost. Here are a few pointers to help you understand.

Room Size

There’s a universal rule about the heaters that are based on room size. The rule is “10-watts per square feet”. It means a 2000-watt electric heater can efficiently heat a 200 square feet area without any trouble.

Using Period

Electricity bills will increase if you use your heater more than average. Suppose your monthly bill was about $31.68. But you use the heater for more than 8 hours regularly. So, it is evident that your bills will increase gradually.

The wattage of Your Heater

It’s the most crucial fact to your electricity bills. A 750-watt heater won’t cost as much as a 2000-watt heater. On top of that, the higher wattage heaters cost significantly more.

Electricity Price

The price of electricity isn’t a constant fact. It can increase or decrease any time of the year. And your bill will also differ according to these prices.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does air insulation and sealing can reduce the cost of a heater?

Yes, it can reduce the cost and save you money. If you use air seals throughout your house or a specific room, the heater can quickly heat the room and keep it warm for a long time without wasting energy.

Will it be cheap to heat the room at a lower temperature?

It will be cheap if all the conditions remain the same. Running an electric heater in lower settings will cost you the same as running it in higher settings for half of the time. This technique is pretty economical for you.

Is it threatening to use any kind of electric heater?

It’s very safe to use an electric heater as long as you keep the heater away from flammable objects like beddings, furniture, or curtains. There’s also a potential risk of catching fire in overload electrical circuits.

Are infrared electric heaters more cost-effective than others?

The IR electric heaters are definitely economical to run on your house. That’s because their energy loss trends to zero, and they convert all the electrical energy to thermal energy.

Is it okay to run a heater overnight?

It’s not a good idea to keep an electrical heater on overnight unless it has smart features like an automatic on/off switch. Overnight usage will increase the electricity bills, and experts forbid it due to safety purposes.

Bottom Line

Getting an electric heater is worth it as long as you keep the cost within your range. Some tactics may help you to reduce the cost because of an electric heater in your house.  Insulated curtains will help you trap the heat inside the room and keep your room warm in cold weather.

Nowadays, several heaters come with intelligent features like an automatic switch, set-point setting, remote control, etcetera. Using these features will cut the cost a little bit. Keep your house warm and enjoy, but don’t let the bills be a headache for you!

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