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The fall chill is in the air. You think to yourself, “How long can I go without turning on my heat?” Or, “Maybe I should just use my space heater until it really gets cold.” But is the space heater really the most efficient way to heat your home? While space heaters are a good way to temper a cold bathroom in the mornings, using them as your main source of heating doesn’t save as much as you would think.

In one hour of operation, a 1,500 watt space heater will use 1.5 kWhs of electricity while creating 5,120 BTUs of heat. In comparison, a 3-ton heat pump will use about 3 kWhs of energy to run for an hour while creating 36,000 BTUs. So, for the amount of energy used to run two space heaters for one hour, you could run a central heat pump large enough to heat an 1,800 sq. ft. home.

Why the big difference in operating costs? Space heaters use resistance elements, similar to that in a toaster oven, to create heat. A heat pump uses an electric compressor and fans to move heat from one place to another through the refrigeration cycle. 

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