Low Cost Energy Efficient Heaters for Large Rooms


With energy costs on the rise, finding an efficient and affordable way to heat a large room can be a challenge. Having the right space heater can help keep energy bills in check while still providing the warmth you need. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the benefits of energy efficient heaters for large rooms and provide recommendations on the best budget-friendly models.


Heating a spacious family room, open concept living area, or basement recreation room poses some unique challenges. Large spaces need a heater powerful enough to warm the entire area, which often means higher energy consumption. Older, inefficient space heaters can be major energy hogs, quickly driving up electricity bills.

The good news is that technology advancements have led to a new generation of space heaters that provide ample heating capabilities for less. By choosing an energy efficient heater sized appropriately for your large room, you can stay cozy without the sticker shock of high utility bills.

In this guide, we’ll cover the advantages of energy efficient space heaters, factors to consider when choosing a model, and provide reviews of the top low cost heaters suitable for heating big rooms. With some tips for maximizing energy efficiency, you’ll be on your way to affordably heating your large spaces.

Benefits of Energy Efficient Heaters

Switching to an energy efficient heater provides a few compelling benefits:

Lower Energy Bills – Energy efficient models convert a higher percentage of electricity into heat, rather than losing energy through waste. This means you get more heating power per kilowatt-hour for a lower cost.

Eco-Friendly Operation – Energy efficient heaters consume less electricity overall, which leads to lower carbon emissions from power plants. This makes them a greener heating choice.

Advanced Safety Features – Modern space heaters have more advanced safety technologies to prevent fires and overheating, giving you peace of mind.

Customized Temperature Control – Many energy efficient heaters provide thermostat controls and timers, allowing you to customize heating and further reduce electricity waste.

Zone Heating Ability – Because they’re portable, you can move energy efficient heaters room to room and only heat occupied spaces. This eliminates waste from heating empty rooms.

What to Consider When Buying an Energy Efficient Heater

If you’re looking for an efficient and affordable way to heat your large open spaces, keep these key considerations in mind:

Room Size – Carefully measure your room’s dimensions and ceilings to determine the square footage. Look for a heater rated to heat at least that size room. Undersized heaters will struggle.

Heater Type – Convection and radiant heaters are typically the most efficient types for heating large, open areas. Ceramic and infrared heaters work better for more contained small to mid-sized rooms.

Power Output – Focus on purchasing a heater with a higher output range between 1,500-4,000 watts. This gives it enough power capacity to heat up a spacious room.

Energy Efficiency Ratings – Look for heaters with an Energy Star rating or high Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) percentage, typically above 90%.

Safety Certifications – Choose an electric heater certified by independent testing organizations like ETL, UL, or CSA for meeting the highest safety standards.

Thermostat/Timer – Programmable thermostats and timers allow for scheduling heating automatically around your patterns, reducing energy waste.

Reviews – Best Low Cost Heaters for Large Rooms

Low Cost Energy Efficient Heaters for Large Rooms

Now let’s review some of the top energy efficient space heaters ideal for heating big rooms on a budget:

1. De’Longhi TRD40615E Oil-Filled Radiator

This De’Longhi oil-filled radiator provides energy efficient convection heating for large rooms up to 408 square feet. It uses an oil-filled thermal system that evenly circulates heat through natural convection. The power output adjusts from 600-1500 watts.

The built-in 24 hour programmable timer allows you to customize heating schedules for further energy savings. This heater retails for around $$120.

2. Heat Storm Phoenix Infrared Space Heater

This infrared space heater uses energy efficient carbon fiber heating technology to warm large rooms up to 800 square feet. The Heat Storm Phoenix has a power output ranging from 1000-1500 watts on a 13 amp circuit.

It provides zone heating so you can move it room to room and has a remote control for adjusting the thermostat. The infrared waves heat objects directly, reducing wasted heat. Priced around $130.

3. Dr. Infrared DR-968 Portable Space Heater

The Dr. Infrared DR-968 efficiently heats rooms up to 300 square feet with an energy saving Auto Energy Saving mode. This portable convection heater has high and low heat settings from 600-1500 watts.

The blower delivers high velocity warm air flow for heating bigger spaces. Designed with overheat protection and a 12 hour automatic shut off timer. Retails for approx. $105.

4. Lasko 755320 Ceramic Space Heater

The Lasko 755320 uses ceramic heating elements to provide energy efficient warmth for rooms up to 300 square feet. This adjustable thermostat model has high, low, and fan only settings and 1500 watts of power.

It has overheat protection, cool touch exterior, and built-in carry handle. The Lasko Ceramic Heater is very affordable at around $50.

Tips for Maximizing Efficiency

  • Only heat rooms you are occupying and turn off the heater when leaving
  • Close doors and windows to retain heat
  • Use insulating window treatments to minimize heat loss
  • Set the thermostat to the lowest comfortable setting
  • Use smart plugs to program heating schedules that match your routine
  • Clean filters and replace old appliances with energy efficient models

How to Calculate the Cost Savings of Using a Space Heater

To calculate the cost savings of using a space heater, you can follow these steps:

  1. Determine the cost of heating your home with your current heating system. You can find this information on your energy bill or by contacting your energy provider.
  2. Estimate the cost of using a space heater. You can estimate the cost by multiplying the wattage of the space heater by the number of hours you plan to use it and the cost of electricity per kilowatt-hour (kWh).
  3. Compare the two costs to determine the potential savings. If the cost of using a space heater is lower than the cost of heating your home with your current system, then you can save money by using a space heater.

It is important to note that the energy efficiency of the space heater also plays a role in cost savings. Energy-efficient space heaters spend less electricity and reduce heating costs. To make electric space heaters more energy-efficient, you can correlate the heating needs as close as possible with the heater heating output. Lower-wattage models have become increasingly popular in recent years as more people rely on them for personal portable heating in places like offices and shared housing.

In conclusion, calculating the cost savings of using a space heater involves determining the cost of heating your home with your current system, estimating the cost of using a space heater, and comparing the two costs. Additionally, choosing an energy-efficient space heater can further reduce your heating costs.

Considerations for Placement

When installing a space heater in a large room, placement is key for safety and effective heating. Be sure to locate the heater on a flat, stable surface away from foot traffic to prevent tripping. Keep a clearance of at least 3 feet on all sides to prevent fire hazards. Never place the heater beneath furniture or near fabrics and drapes that could catch fire if the heater tips over.

Ideally position the heater along a wall towards the center of the room to allow for circulation. For the most efficient spot heating, angle a radiant heater so it directly faces where people gather in the room. Turn on the heater about 30 minutes before the room will be occupied so it can get to temperature. Carefully read the manufacturer’s guidance on safe placement before permanently installing the heater.

Looking at Ventilation Needs

When using a fuel burning space heater, additional ventilation is crucial. Vent-free heaters can release carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide, and excess moisture into the air if oxygen levels drop too low. Prior to using a vent-free propane or natural gas heater, consult with an HVAC specialist to assess air exchange needs.

They can help determine if additional ventilation from screened windows, doors, or fans is required. Use a carbon monoxide detector and refrain from using vent-free heaters overnight or in tightly sealed rooms. Proper ventilation will allow for fresh oxygen circulation to support safe combustion.

Checking Electrical Loads

When installing a new high wattage space heater, especially in an older home, checking the electrical load capacity is wise. The total wattage of appliances, lights, and electronics powered on a single circuit cannot exceed the amperage rating. Exceeding this can blow fuses or trip breakers.

Sum up the wattage of all devices on the circuit and calculate if there is enough additional capacity for the heater. A licensed electrician can assess if wiring upgrades are needed to support the added electrical demand safely. Use heavy duty extension cords rated for the heater’s power needs.

Adjusting Other Heat Sources

For the most comfortable and efficient heating, balance the space heater with your home’s existing heating system. Turn down the thermostat on central heat by a few degrees and rely on the area heater for supplemental warmth. Close heating vents in rooms not being used to focus heat where needed.

In rooms occupied for short periods, opt for spot heating from the space heater rather than constantly reheating the full space with central heat. Integrating the space heater as part of a whole home heating strategy can optimize energy savings.


Staying cozy doesn’t have to come at a high cost, even when heating larger open spaces. Energy efficient space heaters today provide an affordable and eco-friendly solution. Models like oil-filled radiators, infrared, and ceramic heaters can quickly and comfortably warm rooms up to 400 square feet without excessive energy use.

Follow the tips above to choose a properly sized, highly efficient heater. With smart use focused only where and when you need it, you can take the chill out of your large rooms this winter for less.

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