Choosing to be more energy efficient is a decision more and more people are coming to, especially when it comes to changes you can make in your own home.
With global warming and other climate change concerns being brought to the forefront of conversations about energy use, people are becoming more aware of how their own energy consumption contributes to these wider issues.
Purchasing products that are labeled as ‘energy efficient’ or have energy-saving features is a simple way to reduce how much energy you’re using, and it has the added benefit of reducing the cost of your energy bills as well as your carbon footprint. It’s a win-win!
But how do you know which type of space heater is going to integrate seamlessly into your home to provide comfort and coziness on cold evenings? What makes a space heater ‘energy efficient’, anyway?
We’ve discussed some of the key things to look out for, and our buyer’s guide provides a rundown of the different types of space heaters to help narrow down your decision.
If you’re in a hurry, check out our top pick to see what we chose as the most energy-efficient space heater.
Most Energy Efficient Space Heaters - Comparison Table
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Most Energy Efficient Space Heaters - Reviews
Our top pick for the most energy-efficient space heater is this model from Pelonis, a brand with 30 years of experience in manufacturing home appliances.
The oil-filled heater can effectively heat medium-large spaces and it will continue to warm the room even after the electricity is switched off, so you can cap your energy use without curtailing coziness.
Customize the temperature of your home using the 3 heat settings (Hi, Lo, and Eco) and the 5 temperature models which range between 65F-85F to ensure no energy is wasted.
Safety features include a power indicator light, built-in overheating prevention, and a tip-over function which ensures the heater is switched off if for any reason it’s knocked over.
Additional functions like the remote control operation and a 10-hour timer also help you make the most of your space heater, using only as much energy as you need with the programmable thermostat.
The heater can be easily rolled between rooms and a champagne gold handle also contributes to its portability, as well as being an attractive design element of this otherwise black space heater.
The Dr. Infrared space heater features a dual heating system that boosts the heat convection rate, and it’s highly energy efficient. It uses 100% of the heat it produces to reduce heat waste and use less energy overall.
The infrared heating method takes inspiration from the sun and heats objects instead of air, which results in natural, comfortable warmth. This also retains a good level of moisture compared to other types of space heaters.
Much like the Pelonis heater, this is an extremely quiet option, yet the 7-inch blower can distribute large amounts of heat even at lower speeds and is capable of generating high volumes of pressure.
A timer allows you to program up to 12 hours and will automatically switch off once it’s finished heating for the requested period of time, plus it features an energy-saving mode for improved energy efficiency.
The Dr. Infrared heater missed out on being our top pick solely because of its inability to heat an entire room effectively, and because it doesn’t continue to heat the room for long once the power has been switched off.
Dyson is a trusted brand in the world of home appliances, continuously developing its technology to provide the best for their customers.
Their commitment to quality is demonstrable in the Dyson AM09 fan heater, although this is also reflected in the price.
It features Dyson’s patented air multiplier technology for powerful air output, so this dual-functioning fan can effectively warm your home during winter and keep you cool for the summer.
An intelligent thermostat is capable of monitoring the room's temperature to ensure no energy is wasted, as it can adjust accordingly in line with your selected heat settings to reach or maintain the desired temperature.
Additional features include oscillation control and a sleep timer to reduce energy output at night when you need it least.
The Dyson AM09 is great if you’re looking for a less noisy option as it’s 75% quieter than previous Dyson models, and it’s certainly much quieter than other fan-assisted space heaters.
However, some customers report that it’s not as powerful as they were expecting considering the price.
It may be the least expensive option on this list, but this TaoTronics heater certainly isn’t the least effective. It heats evenly and effectively yet it’s compact and easily portable.
Suitable for heating bedrooms, home offices, and your living room, this space heater performs well but also quietly so as not to distract you.
You can use the programmable thermostat to monitor the temperature of your room and it features an energy-saving eco mode to reduce the cost of your bills.
The 12-hour timer allows you to control your temperature for a timed period which also helps to reduce energy waste.
Most Energy Efficient Space Heaters Buyer’s Guide
Space heaters are a great way to quickly and effectively warm your room of choice.
They use far less energy than central heating systems require, meaning they’re less expensive to run.
Types of Space Heater
Space heaters all come in a variety of shapes and sizes with different levels of energy efficiency.
Certain models are naturally more energy efficient due to their heating system and design, but even then it can vary between models.
The 3 most energy-efficient types of space heaters are convection, oil-filled, ceramic, and infrared.
Convection heaters are typically the best for large, enclosed spaces as they warm the surrounding air which effectively heats the entire room.
They pull cold air in and use convection currents to evenly distribute warmth in a way that is similar to thermal conduction. Because of this, they retain heat well which contributes to the room’s temperature even when there’s no longer electricity powering it.
Typically they’re cheaper to run than electric heaters as they use less energy.
Oil-filled heaters have a slightly outdated design but their heating system is much more modern, and they’re one of the most energy-efficient options available.
They’re a great heat source for medium-sized rooms such as a bedroom or living room. Instead of being fan-assisted, the fins warm up once the oil inside is heated, so they’re also much quieter than other types of space heaters.
Because the liquid oil retains heat well and as warmth is distributed throughout the room via convection, the metal fins are able to continue heating the room even after the power has been switched off meaning they're a more efficient choice.
Ceramic is one of the safest materials for space heaters due to their ability to handle high levels of power and heat. Despite their effective heating ability, the outside casing remains cool for extra safety.
In addition to ceramic, aluminum is used in the manufacture of these types of space heaters. This is used for the baffles which are part of its energy-efficient design. They absorb heat from the electrically heated ceramic, which the fan then blows out into the room.
The great thing about ceramic models is that they’re easily portable due to a compact design. They’re also one of the more energy-efficient choices, which is great for anyone to reduce their carbon footprint.
Infrared space heaters focus on heating objects rather than air, which is why they’re one of the most energy-efficient models.
Instead of wasting energy on heating an area that you’re not using, it heats the objects closest to it (including yourself!) using rays to provide natural, cozy warmth.
If your goal is to fill an entire room with warmth then infrared heaters are a less suitable option due to this type of heating system, which leads us neatly onto our next point…
What Rooms Are You Heating?
The size of the room you want to heat will influence the type of space heater you need, so it’s important to consider this before your buy.
Firstly, think about where your space heater is going to be placed in your room. Some models require a location that is a certain distance from walls or objects, whereas others work best in enclosed environments.
Secondly, is your aim to increase the overall temperature of the room, or to warm a specific area?
Oscillating fans are great for distributing heat throughout the room and maintaining a consistent temperature, whereas if you’re happy to heat the spot you’re sitting in, an infrared heater will do the job perfectly well.
If you have young children or older family members, choosing a space heater that has protective features in place will ensure their safety (as well as yours!) and prevent damage to your heater and home.
Fire safety is the biggest concern, so most quality space heaters will have an overheating prevention feature as standard. Additional features can include automatic shut-off if the heater is knocked over, and a cool-to-touch outer casing to prevent burns.
It’s also important to purchase a space heater that’s compatible with your power output, otherwise, it can damage your sockets. Try to avoid using power strips to plug your space heaters into as these are easily overloaded.
Other Ways to be Energy Efficient
Space heaters are a great start, but there’s even more you can do to make your home more energy-efficient! Here are some examples of easy changes you can make:
- Wrap up warmly - cozy blankets are your friend!
- Clean your heaters regularly
- Use curtains to insulate the room in the evenings
- Block drafts and draughts
- Reflect heat using tinfoil (particularly effective with infrared or oil-filled heaters)
Frequently Asked Questions
Can space heaters be used outdoors?
You can use your heater wherever you plug it in, but they might not be as effective or as energy-efficient if used outside.
There are space heaters specifically designed for outdoor use, so we would recommend purchasing one of these.What’s the best temperature to set your heater to? Most people would agree that 21 degrees Celsius is the optimal temperature for your living room, as this is toasty without being stuffy.