Most Energy Efficient Space Heater - Expert advice from Bob Vila, the most trusted name in home improvement, home remodeling, home repair and DIY. Proven, genuine and trusted home advice
Best Energy Efficient Space Heaters of 2022 Today's energy efficient space heaters heat individual rooms, so users don't need to heat empty areas of the home. We tested the most popular space heaters on the market - find out which ones worked best.
Most Energy Efficient Space Heater
Space heaters offer a convenient and cost-effective way to improve home and office comfort. Personal and large versions add warmth to living spaces or provide temporary warmth in a garage or workshop.
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According to Energy.gov, space heaters are only efficient if used to heat individual areas, reducing the need to run a central heating system. We tested the best brands and models to see how much heat they produced and if they offered energy-saving features like built-in thermostats and timers.
Since Energy Star does not rate space heaters, shopping for the best model can be a challenge. Read on to find out how the following products earned a spot on our list and discover the pros and cons of each.
We extensively researched over 35 different heaters before selecting the models for our hands-on tests. Brand reputation was considered to some extent: manufacturers such as Lasko and De'Longhi are known for producing high-quality products. However, we didn't automatically remove heaters made by smaller or specialty companies, especially if they offered features like timers, scheduling, automatic thermostat controls, and smart capabilities that could help people regulate their electricity use to save money.
We grade each heater using a rubric—the better the heater did in a given test, the higher the score it received. We followed the manufacturer's instructions for testing the heaters, noting the maximum watts of each heater and using that to choose the room size for the test. The formula of 10 watts of power per square foot of floor area was used. For example, we tested 1,500-watt electric heaters in a room as close to 150 square feet as possible. We noted the time it took to raise the temperature 5 degrees Fahrenheit in the room.
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Remember that a heater will be more or less efficient in different situations, so our results may not be exactly the same as those of other users. Things like high or vaulted ceilings, lots of windows, inadequate wall insulation, and outside temperatures affect how quickly a space heater will heat a room.
In addition to heat output, we also rate each model for ease of operation, noise level, thermostat accuracy (compared to an indoor thermometer), portability, and safety features. If the heater included smart capabilities, we synced it to our Wi-Fi or smart device and noted how well the app worked to control or monitor the heater.
In one of the coziest tests we've ever conducted, the following list of electric heaters came first. Each offers a variety of benefits, ranging from rapid heating, a cool exterior touch, remote control and/or safe heating of moisture-prone rooms such as bathrooms. Find out what we liked (and didn't like) about each model before choosing one.
Right out of the box, we were sold on how attractive Dr. Infrared Heater. It comes in a solid wood box that looks great in a living room, great room or bedroom. We tried Dr. Infrared in a 13 ft. by 12 ft. (156 sq. ft.) room because it is a 1,500 watt heater.
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We immediately noticed how quiet the heater was - it made only a small amount of noise during operation. We set the thermostat 5 degrees Fahrenheit higher than the current temperature, turned on the heater, and closed the door to see how long it would take to heat the room. Within 15 minutes, we could feel a difference in temperature; at 33 minutes, the room temperature had risen 10 degrees Fahrenheit.
Next, we explore the other features of the space heater. We tested the timer function and checked how much heat the unit produced in low and eco modes. We were able to operate the heater from the unit itself and also from the remote control.
We also tested standby mode, which lets the user know the heater is plugged in and ready to go, even though the heat is off. We weren't impressed with this feature - the light stays on, but the heater is turned off while in idle mode, so it seemed unnecessary. We liked the timer feature that allowed us to turn the unit on and choose a run time of up to 12 hours. The timer worked well and the heater turned off at the preset time.
Our favorite feature on the Dr Infrared was the thermostat control. We could choose the desired temperature, and the heater would turn on and off as needed to keep the room at that constant temperature. Last but not least, we dropped the heater and it shut off immediately, a safety feature that many electric heaters have to prevent accidental fires.
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No need to spend a lot on a heater. The Lasko 1,500-Watt Ceramic Tower Space Heater combines an oscillating action with a blower to effectively heat moderately sized rooms. As with many electric heaters of this type these days, we found that the outside remained cold while the heater was running. There is also rollover protection to reduce the risk of fires.
This model packs 1,500 watts of high heat generation power, so we tested it in our 156 square meter room. Instead of an LED thermostat, the Lasko heater registers room temperature in 5-degree Fahrenheit increments, from 65 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit. We used our indoor thermometer to measure the current temperature in the room and then turned on the Lasko to see how long it would take to raise the temperature 5 degrees Fahrenheit. According to our indoor thermometer, it took the Lasko 23 minutes to heat the room to 5 degrees Fahrenheit.
This tower model doesn't come with a lot of bells and whistles, but it does offer a 1, 2, and 4-hour timer and an oscillation mode that we found very nice for evenly distributing heat throughout the room. There is also a link for portability. We would appreciate a remote control, but this basic heater works well at a very competitive price, so we can definitely recommend it to buyers on a budget.
Flexibility is a great feature in a space heater, and the Heat Storm infrared heater has it because it can be mounted on a wall or sit on a surface. This unit has 1,500 watts of heating power, so we tested it in the same 156-square-foot room. Since it has smart capabilities, we downloaded the Smart Life app and synced the heater to our Wi-Fi and smartphone. From there, we could see the current room temperature and turn on the heater.
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It only took 18 minutes for the heat storm to raise the temperature of the room by 5 degrees Fahrenheit. We found it to be fairly quiet, emitting a soft hum from its fan, but it wasn't an annoying noise.
This model can be hung on a wall or a pair of two plastic feet are included at the bottom to make it suitable for use on a table or floor. We found the plastic feet to be easy to clip on and kept the heater level and stable. The unit also has tip-over protection for safety.
Unfortunately, we weren't big fans of the mounting setup. The mounting holes on the back are 13.75 inches apart, which is too short a distance to mount on wall studs, which are 16 inches apart. Only one screw can be inserted into a screw, while the other must be inserted into the drywall with an anchor screw. The Heat Storm only weighs 9 pounds, so it's probably fine to mount on drywall, but we'd prefer to mount it on two studs for added stability.
In addition to Wi-Fi capability, the Heat Storm comes with a remote control, and a timer can be accessed from the app or the remote. The app also allowed us to set a programming schedule for the heater. We appreciated being able to adjust the temperature from a touchscreen on the front of the heater, and generally enjoyed the unit's versatility.
Most Energy Efficient Space Heaters
The good thing about oil-filled heaters is that they can radiate heat for hours after heating, similar to how old-school radiators work. Featuring oil-filled channels and no fan, this NewAir model proved to be quite capable and was completely silent to boot. Although it weighs over 17 pounds, it comes with easy-to-roll casters, so we had no trouble moving it from room to room.
We tested it in our 156 square foot room because it has 1,500 watts of power, but it took almost 40 minutes (on high) to raise the room temperature 5 degrees Fahrenheit. We felt it was because the heater was completely radiant
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