Space heaters may seem like a perfect addition to the office in an attempt to beat the winter cold, but your energy bill will likely disagree. For many offices, it’s common to have a space heater at every desk. This can become an expensive habit.
So How Much Electricity Does a Space Heater Actually Use?
The short answer – more than you would think. But let’s do the math.
To determine the amount of electricity, you must first find the wattage, or the amount of energy, your electric space heater uses. This can be found on the back of the heater or in the owner’s manual. Most space heaters use 1,500 watts (1.5 kilowatts) but some are slightly more or less. Your electric bill is measured in kilowatt hours, which is the amount of energy used while running a 1 kilowatt appliance for one hour.
To figure out how much using a 1.5 kilowatt electric heater will cost, go through these steps.
- Multiply the number of watts your space heater uses by the number of hours you normally use it.
Let’s say your office has an 8-hour workday and your heater uses 1.5 kilowatts.
1.5 kW x 8 hrs = 12 kWh
2. Next, multiply this number by the rate of your utility charges for electricity.
According to the Energy Information Administration, the average price people in the U.S. pay for electricity is about 12 cents per kilowatt-hour. For this example, let’s say your electricity company charges you the average rate.
12 kWh x $0.12 = $1.44
For one heater, that is $1.44 a day. This doesn’t seem like a lot but what if you have 20 employees at your office and each has their own portable heater? That small $1.44 turns into $28.80 a day which can add up – especially during a long winter.
How Does This Compare to Other Appliances?
Space heaters fall in the middle when comparing their energy usage to other household appliances.
For example, an average dishwasher uses 330 watts and most televisions use between 80 and 400 watts. On the other hand, an oven uses 2,500 watts and a washer and dryer cumulatively use 3,045 watts. The latter may use significantly more energy but it’s important to keep in mind that they typically aren’t used every day.
Tips on Space Heater Usage
If your office is loyal to space heaters, here are tips to minimize your electricity bill without saying goodbye to your favorite winter appliance.
- Turn the heaters off during lunch and a few hours before the end of the day. The heat produced all afternoon should remain until everyone leaves the office.
- Close doors in between rooms in the office to keep the heat in one place.
- Turn down the thermostat down a few degrees and let the space heaters do the rest.
For More Information
Space heaters may not be the only reason why your electricity bill is high. To keep your business running smoothly, contact us to conduct a free energy audit to find out ways to improve the energy efficiency of your facility!