As winter draws in, many of us turn to electric heaters to keep us extra cosy during long winter nights. An electric heater is a convenient appliance to take the chill of a winter’s night, but how expensive are they to run?
There has always been widespread debate regarding the running costs of various types of heaters, no more so than the efficiency and costs of running an electric heater.
Electric heaters are usually considered to be the more expensive option when it comes to heating our homes as electricity costs more than gas. However, there are a number of factors to consider.
The fact you’re here would suggest you want to know how expensive your electric heater is to run. If that’s the case then perfect. In this article, you will learn whether your heater is expensive to run, and what factors you need to take into consideration first as well as other alternatives.
Let’s not waste any time, let’s get straight to it!
Are Electric Heaters Expensive To Run?
Generally, electric heaters are quite expensive to run, especially when compared to other heat sources such as gas. The cost of electricity per hour is higher than gas, while off-peak electricity tariffs can also dramatically increase costs depending on the electricity provider you are with.
Having said this, there are a number of factors that can affect how expensive it is to heat your home. For example, instead of heating your whole home, by using an electric heater you can quickly target one area. This could save you a bit of money.
The two main factors that impact how expensive a heater is to run are the heater’s wattage and the price of electricity in your area. Most electric heaters use 1,500 watts of electricity.
This is essentially a measurement of how powerful the heater is. For obvious reasons, a heater with a higher wattage will cost more to run. For example, a 1,500-watt heater may cost just £0.49 per hour (currently at point of writing 25/05/2022)r. On the other hand, a 5,000-watt heater may cost approximately .
When it comes to electricity price, the United Kingdom’s national average price is £0.28 (at time of writing) per kilowatt-hour. However, this figure is just the national average. The price of your electricity can vary depending on the region you live in and the contract you have with your supplier.
Average Costs Of Running An Electric Heater
To give you a better understanding of how much an electric heater costs to run, here are some of the average costs it takes to run heaters with varying wattage in the United Kingdom for one hour or six hours
- 500 Watts – On average a 500-watt heater will cost 9.81p per hour and £0.59 per six hours.
- 750 Watts – Electric heaters with this wattage will cost approximately £0.94 to run for 6 hours or 15.70p per hour.
- 1,250 Watts – You can expect to pay 19.63p per hour running a heater with this wattage. This equates to roughly £1.41 every six hours.
- 1,500 Watts – An electric heater with this wattage is probably the most common. They usually cost about 29.45p per hour and £1.77 every six.
- 2,000 Watts – A 2,000-watt electric heater will cost around 39.63p per hour or £2.36 every 6 hours.
- 3,000 Watts – Running a 3,000-watt heater for 6 hours will cost you approximately £3.53 You will pay about 58.89p an hour.
- 4,000 Watts – This heater costs roughly £0.78 per hour and £4.70 per six hours.
- 5,000 Watts – You will pay nearly £6 to run a 5,000-watt electric heater for six hours. Per hour, you can expect to pay approximately £0.98.
Calculating Your Own Electric Heaters Running Costs
Though the information above is quite accurate in regard to the average cost of running an electric heater in the UK, there is nothing more accurate than working the cost out for yourself. The above figures don’t take into account the type of electric heater you’re using.
Use the following equation to calculate how much it costs to run your electric heater:
Electric Heater Running Cost = Power (Watts) x Price Of Electricity (£ Per kWh) x No. Of Running Hours ÷ 1,000
Once you understand this equation you can use it to calculate how expensive any electric heater is. Here’s an example of this equation in action for a heater with 2,000 wattages and the average electricity price of £0.18 kWh, running for a total of 24 hours.
Electric Heater Running Cost = 2,000W x £0.1963 per kWh x 24 ÷ 1,000
By completing the equation, we can see that a 2,000W electric heater will cost approximately £9.42 to run for 24 hours.
What Else Affects The Running Costs Of Your Electric Heater?
You need to consider other key factors that will affect the running costs of your electric heater. These include the size of your room, insulation, and house location. Below you can see how each of these factors plays a part in how expensive your electric heater will be to run.
The size of the room your heater is located in will determine how expensive it is to warm up the room. If you have an open floor plan or high ceilings, your electric heaters will have to run for longer, which will increase how much money you spend to warm the room up.
This is due to the heater needing more energy to warm the room as most of the heat will conduct across the room and towards the ceiling. The heat will rise to the peak of the room before then making its way down to the center of your room. This is why it takes longer to heat the room.
If your home isn’t properly insulated, the general heating of your home will be less efficient, costing you a lot more money. Properties with better insulation have lower heating costs because the heat doesn’t escape the property as quickly.
Therefore, it takes the heater less time to warm the home, so it doesn’t need to be on for as long.
Believe it or not, the location of your home can also play a big part in how much your electric heater will cost you. If your property is exposed to extreme weather and the elements your costs could be higher.
Homes high above sea level or exposed to coastal winds are naturally colder than those in lower, warmer climates, so they take longer to heat.
Another consideration is the type of house. Terraced properties benefit from the passing of heat between houses, while detached houses are exposed at every angle, making it harder for the home to stay warm.
Generally speaking, it is quite expensive to run an electric heater for a long period of time. If you plan on only giving your room a quick blast of heat things won’t get too expensive, maybe costing you £0.6 However, leaving an electric heater on for 24 hours can cost up to £23.55 which will result in much larger electricity bills.
Hopefully, now you’ve been through this article you have a better understanding of how expensive your heater is to run. While there are a number of factors to consider, using the equation we discussed above will help you determine how much you are spending.
If our list of average costs isn’t helpful for you, take the equation and start calculating how much you spend when running your electric heater.