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Keeping Warm with Electricity


Heated seat cushions, blankets, and bed mats use less electricity than space heaters.

You are only heating your body, and not the room itself. Using these instead of space heaters will save hundreds of dollars, as they require a fraction of the amount of electricity of space heaters. For more on dressing warm, see Heating Without Electricity.​


Space Heaters:

Safety First:

  • All have safety issues. Nothing flammable should be close to the heaters at any time.

  • If children or adults with impairments are present, they should not be left unattended. 

Money Saving Tips for Space Heaters:

  • Heat only the rooms you are currently using with space heaters.

  • Close off any rooms not in use by closing doors or hang curtains across openings without doors.

Different types of space heaters are more effective than others depending on the space and the room construction.

There are three main types of space heaters:


Electric Element. Most have a fan to distribute the heat into the room. These cost the most to run, so are better for short term use. For small spaces like bathrooms requiring extra heat for a short period of time, these are the best choice for economy and use, and the fan will circulate the air and help with moisture problems.

Oil. These resemble the old style of radiators but are self-contained electric units which contain oil in coils. There is no fan involved, so no extra electricity is wasted. These are good for medium sized rooms and work better than the other two types in basements. These are meant to be out in an open area of a room, with at least a foot clearance on all sides. It is possible to place rocks, bricks or tiles on top of these to extend the time the room is heated.

Glass Tube Infrared. These heat with a radiant glass heating tube. They usually have a fan to distribute the heat throughout the room. These heat rooms or even warehouses, depending on the size. They are the most economical to operate in the right location. They work better than the other two types except in locations such as basements which act as heat sinks.


Medium to large sized rooms do best with infared or oil heaters, depending on the type of wall surface:


  • Concrete, stucco and other similar surfaces work as heat sinks, absorbing the radiate heat put out by glass tube infared heaters. For these types of walls and floors, oil heaters are the best, followed by  electric element heaters with fans.

  • Wood, drywall, and softer surfaces such as areas of fabric like curtains respond much better with glass tube infared heaters which is the most efficient radiant heat.

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