6 Most Energy Efficient Space Heaters (2021 Reviews)


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If you’re tired of watching your electric bill go through the roof every winter, then it’s a good idea to invest in a space heater. You’ve probably heard that they’re not too efficient either, but you’d be surprised to learn how cost-effective a top-notch model can be. Space heaters are no longer the watt-consuming energy monsters that they used to be.

The most energy-efficient space heater is the TaoTronics Dual PTC Electric Portable Space Heater. It uses 1500 watts per hour, which is far less than the average central heating system. You can set it on an 8-hour timer with an auto-shutoff option. It can heat up to 70 degrees F in 3 seconds, too.

Throughout this article, you’ll also learn the following info about energy-efficient space heaters:

  • How to find the best one for your home or office
  • The six best options on the market
  • Specific tables that show how important an energy-efficient space heater can be

What to Look For When Purchasing an Energy Efficient Space Heater

Before you buy the first space heater that you come across, you must know what you’re trying to get. Countless companies claim theirs is the best, but I’ve found these three factors to be the true determining traits:

  1. Wattage
  2. BTUs
  3. Square footage

All of them are a must-know if you’re getting a heater of any size. Just because the heater is small doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t know these vital pieces of information. Without further ado, I’ll dive into the details of each of them below.

Watt Usage

You’ll soon learn that wattage, BTUs, and square footage all relate to one another. You can’t have any of them without the other, so you must look for all of them on any space heater you’re considering. The last thing you want is a high-heat, high-energy, low sq. ft. space heater.

According to Michael Bluejay, a central heating system requires 5,000 watts or more per hour. This measurement places it up at the top with some of the most energy-consuming appliances in modern homes. Check your local cent-per-watt price from the power provider to figure out how much money it can cost you.

Fortunately, you can save quite a bit of money by getting an energy-efficient space heater. On the opposite side of the 5,000-watt behemoth of a heater, these units typically use about 750w to 1,500w, making them significantly cheaper to run. No more sky-high energy bills!

There’s no doubt that a space heater won’t heat an entire house. However, there’s also no way that every room is filled. Since all of the space heaters on the list below are portable, you can take them with you wherever you go in your home. Heat the living room, bathroom, bedroom, office, and anywhere else you’d like.

Note that some space heaters come with even lower wattage. Some of them have an option that only runs a fan, which doesn’t heat. Don’t be fooled by these settings and think that they’re going to save you a bunch of money. However, many of the fan-equipped space heaters have high-heat settings, in which case you’d be good to go.

BTU Output

BTUs are just as important as watts. There’s a simple equation to calculate how many BTUs you’ll get per watt: 

1 watt = 3.41 BTUs per hour

Using that formula, you’ll be able to find out how many BTUs you’ll be able to get. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the term, it means British Thermal Units. One BTU is enough to heat one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit. Without BTUs, you wouldn’t know how many square feet the heater can cover.

So, how do BTUs, watts, and cost relate to each other? I’ve provided a table to give the average central heating statistics next to the average space heater. You’ll be able to see how many watts you’ll save per hour, then use that number to calculate how many dollars you’ll save every day. For reference, NPR states that the average cost per kilowatt is about 12 cents in the USA.

Type of HeaterWatts Per HourBTUsAverage Cost
Central Heating5,000 watts17,50060 cents
Central Heating (Modernized)2,000 to 3,000 watts6,820 to 10,23024 to 30 cents
Space Heater (Energy-Efficient)750 to 1,500 watts2,557 to 5,1159 to 18 cents

Sixty cents might not sound like too much, but these calculations are only ‘per hour.’ In other words, if you run your heater for 8 hours per day, you’d be spending $4.80 per day or $144 per month. In contrast, an energy-efficient space heater would cost about $1.44 per day or $43.20 per month for the highest energy usage model.

If you don’t want to deal with the math, then here’s the hard fact: You can save over $100 per month by getting a budget-friendly space heater. They’re much cheaper than a central heater upfront and over the long run.

Square Footage Capability

Unfortunately, square footage is typically the most overlooked stat on heaters, air conditioners, fans, and dehumidifiers. People think that they want to save as much money as possible, but they forget to realize that the wattage and BTUs significantly impact how much of the room will be affected by the appliance in question.

The best way to know what size you’ll need is to measure the room’s length, width, and height to get the cubic feet. You can calculate how many square feet are in the room by multiplying the length times the width. Note that many models don’t list the cubic feet, but it’s smart to have both numbers at your disposal.

The average space heater typically covers about 100 to 250 square feet. CreditDonkey estimates that most bedrooms are between 132 to 219 square feet, but the legal limit can be as low as 70 sq. ft. You can use almost any space heater on the list below to work for all bedrooms in that range.

That being said, I highly recommend that you get a space heater that’s a bit bigger than the square footage of the room. For example, if your bedroom is 150 square feet, you should aim for a 200 square foot model. Ventilation, open doors and windows, and many other factors can reduce a space heater’s effectiveness. Increasing its capabilities makes a big difference.

Note: Many people use space heaters as a personal fan. If you don’t want to heat the whole room, I suggest choosing one of the units with an adjustable temperature and watt-usage range. You can lower the fan’s intensity and drop the temperature a bit to ensure that it only heats a small portion of the room.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: TaoTronics Dual PTC 1500W Portable Electric Heater

TaoTronics offers all sorts of high-quality, low-cost appliances, but their heaters are some of the most overlooked options on the market. The TaoTronics Dual PTC Portable Electric Heater stands as my favorite energy-efficient space heater available. It uses 1500 watts per hour and heats up to 70 degrees in as little as 3 seconds.

There’s an LED screen on the front of the heater that allows you to review and adjust the temperature range. You’ll also love that it has a tip-over mechanism, preventing kids and pets from knocking it over. If the wobbling feature doesn’t keep it balanced, the heater shuts off, which stops potential damage from occurring.

This space heater affects up to 200 square feet, making it one of the most efficient models for low energy usage. Furthermore, it oscillates to keep the whole room feeling warm throughout the day. There’s a powerful fan that allows the heated air to flow through the area quickly.

Bottom Line: In my opinion, there’s no beating a space heater that has such a high heat output and low energy usage. The TaoTronics heater is very affordable compared to similar space heaters, and you can’t forget the multiple safety features!

BTUs3069 to 5115 BTU
Square Footage200 sq. ft.
Wattage900w to 1500w
Noise Level45dB

Pros

  • It can heat reasonably quickly. Having the ability to heat a room in three seconds makes this heater a top contender.
  • The square footage capability is among the best. Space heaters need to affect a whole room, and that’s exactly what this one offers.
  • Choose the energy-efficient mode. You can set it at 1500 watts for quick, high heat or 900 watts to save money and electricity.
  • It comes with multiple safety precautions. There’s a tip-over mechanism, ETL certification, V-O flame resistance rating, and more.

Cons

  • It’s a bit too loud compared to other space heaters. At 45 dB, it’s about 5 to 10 higher than many units on the list.
  • This space heater is a little bulky. You won’t be able to store it in a packed closet, so make sure you have room before you get it.

Best for Quick Heating: Honeywell Genius HeatGenius Ceramic Heater

Another well-known brand is Honeywell. They have countless fans and heaters, but the Honeywell HeatGenius Ceramic Heater’s high customer ratings are what drew my attention. Many people have found that it’s one of the most reliable, quick-heating options to date. Turn it on and watch as it almost instantly heats up to 199 square feet.

To make this model a step further, Honeywell added six temperature settings. You don’t have to rely on one or two choices to make it work anymore. Every room is a different size, so why shouldn’t you have plenty of options? They also make it unique by allowing you to choose the heating phase setting with multiple levels.

The top of the heater is filled with several adjustments. Set the heat power, as mentioned above, temperature range, fan level, and volume. That’s right; You can enter Quiet Mode to cut down on the noise. There’s also an option to choose if you want it to fill the room or focus on the floor to keep your feet warm.

Bottom Line: The Honeywell HeatGenius Space Heater is an excellent choice for people who prefer many options. You’ll love the ability to change the fan power, temperature, and more. It’s one of the most customizable space heaters that you’ll ever come across.

BTUs2557.5 to 5115 BTU
Square Footage199 sq. ft.
Wattage750w to 1500w
Noise Level45dB

Pros

  • This heater has plenty of adjustments. Change everything about the heat level, noise, fans, and more on the top of the unit.
  • It covers a large area. Whether you’re choosing the floor option or the whole room selection, you can expect it to be quite powerful.
  • The heater works almost immediately. Turn it on and watch (and feel) as it increases the room’s temperature in a couple of seconds.
  • You can lower the energy usage by changing the fan and heat settings. Less heat and a weaker fan will decrease the wattage.

Cons

  • Much like the previous space heater, this one is a bit noisy. It’s 45dB, which makes it about the level of a casual conversation (not too loud, but not quiet, either).

Best for Portability: PELONIS Oil-Filled Luxurious Portable Space Heater

Sometimes, all you want is to be able to walk around your home without freezing your toes off. If you’re tired of wasting money by heating every room you’re not in, you’ll love what’s in-store today. The PELONIS Oil-Filled Luxurious Portable Space Heater has wheels that allow you to roll it around your home quickly.

Choose between different settings, including a 10-hour shutoff timer, to keep your mind on more important tasks. It also has a tip-over setting to prevent it from being knocked over, hard to find in other space heaters with wheels. If you want to make it quicker, pick up the heater by the handle on the front.

Right under the handle mentioned above is a large LED display that shows you everything that you need to know about the space heater. Change the timer, setting (high, low, eco) and manage the temperature in five-degree increments. There’s also a power button in the center of the display.

Bottom Line: If you’re chasing portability, look no further. This model allows you to carry it with a handle or roll it on four wheels. However, the portability is just the tip of the iceberg of this high-quality, energy-efficient space heater.

BTUs3069 to 5115 BTU
Square Footage164 sq. ft.
Wattage900w to 1500w
Noise Level40dB

Pros

  • Portability is the name of the game. If you’re tired of lugging around a space heater, the wheels on this model will be a warm welcome.
  • Choose from multiple settings. Save money with a low fan, a medium heat option, or blast the high heat levels.
  • The company provides a one-year warranty. If anything’s wrong that’s caused by the manufacturer; you’ll get a repair or replacement.
  • It has an oil reservoir for humidity. You don’t have to worry about the heater drying the air or adding too much moisture.

Cons

  • While oil is a fantastic choice for some people, it can be a downside for others. Tipping this heater can cause the oil to spill.
  • The wheels are cheap, but they can be replaced. However, it might be frustrating if you know that you have to spend more money to get good wheels.

Best Thermostat Range: Portable Electric Space Heater with Thermostat by GiveBest

Some of us are all about blasting the heater at the highest setting. Turn the fan up, increase the temperature, and relax in paradise with the GiveBest Portable Space Heater. Take control of the heat range with the knobs on top of the unit. There aren’t too many settings, but you only need two: The temperature and fan power.

This heater won the best thermostat range because it goes from 0 to 158 degrees Fahrenheit. Feel free to change the fan to accommodate the heat level. It’s a great choice for people who want focused heat without making it too hot for everyone else in the room.

Another impressive feature of this space heater is the flame-resistant outer shell. It’s made of ABS plastic, which is known to prevent fires when combined with the numerous safety precautions of this heater. It comes with all of the certifications and features that make it perfectly safe to use indoors.

Bottom Line: The GiveBest Space Heater is a family-friendly, compact, lightweight heater that gives you all of the basics. It might not have fancy LED screens, but it has a much bigger heater range and fan adjustment level than most other options.

BTUs2557.5 to 5115 BTU
Square Footage200 sq. ft.
Wattage750w to 1500w
Noise Level45dB

Pros

  • The simple interface is rare. Most heaters overdo the basics, but you won’t get crowded with excess settings here.
  • The temperature range is as good as it gets. Find any heat level that suits your comfort desires and relax.
  • The fan and thermostat aren’t tied together. Some models force you to choose the heat and fan with one button, but they’re separate on this space heater.
  • It’s designed with heat protection. No need to worry about sparks, fires, or smoke thanks to the ABS plastic and safety certifications.

Cons

  • It takes a bit longer to heat a room. While it’s capable of reaching 200 square feet, it’s a bit too compact for quick heating.

Best for the Office: LIFEPLUS Personal Desk Heater

If you’re trying to find a heater for your office, then you’re in the right place. Whether your work in-office for a company or at your house, the LIFEPLUS Personal Desk Heater is one of my favorites for the situation. It’s compact and lightweight, making it an excellent choice to keep the heat focused on your cubicle.

There are three modes to choose from, including high, low, and circulation. The last mode is designed to move the air without adding heat, which can be good if you find yourself getting a bit too warm. Despite the high heat levels, it only uses between 750w to 1500w, much like most space heaters on this list.

Adjust the fan and the temperature with the knobs on top of the unit. There’s no need to settle for low heat in favor of a powerful fan, or vice versa. This simple, budget-friendly space heater opens your options without making it too complicated to use.

Bottom Line: This space heater takes the definition to another level by making it ideal for space spaces rather than whole rooms. You can save energy by reducing the fan level or cutting back on the heat, but this compact heater is inexpensive on any setting.

BTUs2557.5 to 5115 BTU
Square Footage200 sq. ft.
Wattage750w to 1500w
Noise Level40dB

Pros

  • It’s very small and portable. This space heater measures in at 6.42 x 4.8 x 7.87 inches.
  • It uses a lightweight design. With everything included, it’s only 2.75 pounds.
  • You can adjust the fan and temperature separately—no need to choose preset adjustments unless you prefer the three modes on top.
  • This space heater is very quiet. You can use it almost anywhere without having to worry about causing a disturbance.

Cons

  • Despite the 200 sq. ft. rating, it takes a lot of time to heat a big room. The face is small, which means that the fan is even smaller.
  • It’s a bit too basic for some customers. You can only use two knobs to make changes to the heater. If you want LED screens and several options, this might not be the best choice.

Best for Quietness: Dr. Infrared Portable Space Heater

It’s no secret that personal fans, heaters, and air conditioners can be super noisy. Whether you’re in an office setting or relaxing at your house, you don’t want to be the one who’s causing a ruckus. The Dr. Infrared Space Heater cuts back on the volume with an impressively low 39 dB, making it the quietest option on the list.

Don’t let the lack of noise fool you; This space heater is a top contender for many reasons. For example, it has a digital display that enables you to click the membrane buttons to change the heat, mode, fan, power, and more. You can easily see everything in bright, bold red numbers and letters. Don’t forget about the handy remote control to change all of those settings!

The outer layer looks like stylish wood while providing much-needed protection to prevent tipping, fires, overheating, and more. It’s cold to the touch—no need to worry about kids or pets touching a hot heater anymore. Choose between black, cherry, and natural wood, and enjoy your new near-silent space heater.

Bottom Line: This space heater uses a cutting-edge design to reduce the volume output without cutting back on the fan’s power. The heat settings go unchanged, allowing you to optimize the thermostat with a few clicks. Combine those features with the UL listing of safety, and you have yourself a top-notch energy-efficient space heater.

BTUs5115 BTU
Square Footage300 Square Feet
Wattage1500w
Noise Level39dB

Pros

  • This heater is incredibly powerful. If you’ve read the table, then you can see that it has the highest square footage on the list (300 sq. ft.).
  • It comes with all of the safety certifications that you could need. UL safety ratings are a global standard that covers this space heater.
  • You’ll receive a three-year warranty. Compared to other heaters in the price range, you probably won’t find proof of confidence in a company’s product.

Cons

  • This heater is very heavy. It’s 24 pounds, making it several times larger than any other space heater on the list.

Conclusion

As you can see, there are more than enough energy-efficient space heaters to review. Whether you prefer an ultra-quiet model or one that saves you the most money, all of the top options are on the list above.

I’ve found that the TaoTronics Dual PTC Portable Heater is the best energy efficient space heater for most people. However, you might find better luck with other options if one of the following situations applies:

  • If you want to heat the room as fast as possible, try the Honeywell Space Heater.
  • For those who desire portability, get the PELONIS Space Heater.
  • The GiveBest Space Heater is my top choice for its temperature range.
  • If you work from an office, I suggest the LIFEPLUS Space Heater.
  • Finally, the Dr. Infrared Space Heater is an excellent choice for those who want less noise output.

Check out the TaoTronics Dual PTC Portable Heater on Amazon here!

Steve Rajeckas

Steve Rajeckas is an HVAC hobbyist with an avid interest in learning innovative ways to keep rooms, buildings, and everything else at the optimal temperature. When he's not working on new posts for Temperature Master, he can be found reading books or exploring the outdoors.

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