This is our review of the most energy efficient space heater in 2021
If you're like most Americans, you're thinking about ways to reduce your energy bill.
While you could install a new, more efficient furnace or seal up all the cracks in your home, there's a simpler, cheaper way to save energy, and that is to use it less.
One way to do that is by using an energy efficient space heater. These types of heaters don't use much energy, and they put out a lot of heat.
They're so efficient that many models qualify for the Energy Star program, the government-approved energy efficient certification.
This review looks at the nine best space heater brands that you can buy with confidence. If you want to know what to look for when making a buying decision, we have included a buyer's guide later in the article.
If you're in a rush, you can choose from our top three quick picks.
Let's get started.
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This heater has dual functionality of heating and cooling. The blade less design makes it safe to operate while it provides super efficient heating.
Super high energy efficient infrared heating perfect for any room or place. It has tip over and overheating protection. It's very silent indoor heater.
High quality ceramic heater which can be used in the bathroom or any place where you desire it to be. It's safe to use around kids and pets.
9 Most Efficient Space Heater
Multi Purpose Fan
Our Top Pick
Dr. Heater Space Heater is our top pick. It uses infrared technology that is energy efficient to convert electricity into heat.
You get 60% more heat capabilities than other similar units available in the market. It has several safety features, such as tip-over heat protection and overheats shutoff.
This makes it safe to use both indoors and outdoors. Overall, it's a great heater that can be used in any small to medium-size room.
What You'll Learn
What is an energy efficient space heater?
A space heater is a small appliance that heats a little personal space. It's not intended to heat your whole house but a small part of it.
But if you live in a small size house or apartment, you can also use it as your primary heating source during the cold season.
There are many different types of heaters available, each with its pros and cons. Some are specifically designed for heating large rooms, while others are intended for heating a small area.
Some heaters heat the air, while others work by heating an object in a room, like a chair or bed.
This can be a great help when you want to warm up a specific part of a room rather than the entire room.
You may also prefer to use it when you want to keep the home temperature low but warm the particular area.
As a general rule, the best heaters are portable, easy to operate, and heat room efficiently without wasting energy.
We will discuss all these factors individually later in this article.
Most Efficient Space Heater Review
#1. Lasko Designer Series Ceramic Space Heater
If you want a designer heater, you should consider the Lasko space heater. It has a modern design that will blend perfectly with your interior decoration.
It's a 1,500-watt room heater that is sufficient to heat up to 100 square feet of room.
The adjustable thermostat lets you choose temperatures from 60 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit. The bright LED temperature indicators display the current temperature.
You can use the built-in time to program the heating schedule from 1 to 7 hours to save on electricity.
The overheat prevention production module automatically turns off the heater after a certain period.
The ceramic body of the heater keeps the exterior cool to touch even after several hours of use.
This is a great feature, especially if you have a child or pets in the house.
See More information on Lasko Designer Series Ceramic Space Heater
#2. Infrared Dr. Heater Portable Space Heater
Dr. Heater portable heater has a unique retro look and uses a combination of the infrared quartz tube and PTC thermal heating.
It gives you the benefit of energy efficient infrared heat with a comfortable convection heat to warm the whole room.
It has three heat settings, automatic energy-saving mode, 1,000-watt low-temperature heating, and 1,500-watt high-temperature heating.
It has a built-in 12-hour automatic shutoff timer to prevent it from overheating.
You can use an adjustable thermostat to set the temperature from 50 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit. It maintains the selected temperature without manually controlling the fan heater.
The backlit temperature display on this electric space heaters indicates the temperature in the dark at night-time.
It comes with a remote control that allows you to change the temperature, setup time, and power on or off.
It's a low noise generating heater with only 39-decibel noise at medium settings. This makes it great to use in the bedroom, study room, office, or living room.
If you don't like excessive dryness in the room due to the heater, you can pick Dr. Infrared heater with a humidifier model.
Overall, if you're looking for lightweight (24 lbs) convection space heaters that deliver more energy efficient heater, you should consider buying this.
See More information on Dr Infrared Heater Portable Space Heater
#3. DeLonghi Safe Heat Oil-Filled Radiator
DeLonghi Safe Heat is an oil-filled heater that saves energy without compromising in heating performance.
It provides fast and effective heating for a small to medium-size room.
It's a 1,500-watt oil filled heater that can heat a room quickly.
At the front, the mechanical temperature control dial allows you to set your desired temperature. The high-quality heater oil gets hot quickly.
The unit has a maintenance-free design as there are no moving parts. This improves the life of the heater as there are no parts that need to be replaced.
The oil inside the panel is permanently sealed to stop any leakage. The only drawback, ike other oil heaters, you need to temper it first; else, you will have a lingering burning smell in your room.
The best way is to turn the temperature control dial to the high and leave it outside for 1 to 2 hours. The tempering burns the outer coating of oil pipes. The preventing outer layer prevents rusting.
You only need to do it once, and after that, you can use it indoors without any odor. It's a durable and long-lasting oil heater that radiates heat for a while after switching off the heater.
This is great to use in RV or camping where there is no reliable, uninterrupted power source.
The automatic cut-off prevents the heater from getting overheat. The smooth-moving wheels make it easy to roll it around.
See More information on DeLonghi Safe Heat Oil-Filled Radiator
#4. Dyson Hot + Cool Fan Heater
If you want a single climate control unit that you can use in winter and summer, consider the Dyson AM05 heater.
The dual functionality allows you to change the heat and cool setting with a flip of a switch. It has a bladeless heater design, which means it's entirely safe for use around pets and kids.
Dyson using a proprietary Air Multiplier technology to provide streamlined warm air in the space.
The electric heater has an inbuilt thermostat to regulate the temperature. If you're using it on a hot summer day, the powerful airflow and high air velocity will quickly cool you down.
You can save on electricity by using an auto temperature control feature that self-regulates the temperature.
You can set the temperature in the low range of 33 degrees to a high range of 99 degrees, suitable for the hot and cold seasons.
You can also tilt the fan at an angle to allow the air to blow directly at you. It comes with an infrared remote control to set the oscillation, airflow, temperature, and power setting with a push of a button.
The unit has two years of parts and labor warranty and weighs merely 5 lbs.
See More information on Dyson Hot + Cool Fan Heater
#5. Lasko Ceramic Tower Heater
If you're looking for a high energy efficiency ceramic-based electric heater, the Lasko heater is a great choice.
It's a self-regulating ceramic heater with 1,500-watt power heating coils. The built-in safety feature prevents overheating of the unit.
You can choose low or high-temperature settings that work with unit oscillations in the desired direction.
Its low-profile curved design saves space, and you can place it anywhere.
The controls are at the top that you can operate with a single push of a button.
It comes with a wireless remote control that allows you to set heat, oscillation, and timings. The automatic shutoff timer protects it from getting overheat.
As it's a ceramic heater, the exterior remains cool on touch. This is an excellent protection feature if you have pets and kids in the home.
You can use the back handle to move it around. The bright color-coded LED display at the front makes it easy to know the set temperature.
See More information on Lasko Ceramic Tower Heater
#6. Mr. Heater Buddy Propane Radiant Heater
Mr. Heater Buddy Radiant is a propane gas space heater that is good to heat room up to 225 square feet.
You can use it indoors and outdoors as it uses smokeless propane gas.
It comes with several features such as an auto shut off timer, tip-over protection, and low oxygen-level detector.
It prevents the deadly carbon monoxide gas when using it indoors. The propane-based heater is suitable over unreliable electric power sources such as during a camping or power outage in winter.
The heater has two temperature settings at 4,000 and 9,000 BTU, which is technically a low and high-power setting.
You can attach the propane gas cylinder through its convenient swivel regulator. You can use any propane cylinder from 1 lb to 20 lbs capacity.
However, if you're using a gas cylinder larger than 1 lb, you have to use an optional hose connector. The heater is simple to operate as you need to rotate the knob and push the piezo ignition button that generates the spark to ignite the gas.
The heater has several features such as wires guard the hot elements inside and tip-over protection that shuts the heater if it falls.
The fold-down handle makes it easy to lift the unit and fold it back into the storage. It comes with a 1-year limited warranty.
See More information on Mr. Heater Buddy Propane Radiant Heater
#7. Lasko Bathroom Space Heater
Lasko bathroom heater is a versatile space heater with 1,500 watts of power. You can quickly set it up in a bathroom, small office, or bedroom.
1,500-watt heating power is sufficient to heat to 225 square-foot room. It includes several protections features, including 1-hour auto power off.
There is a red light at the front, which indicates whether it's turned on and ready to use.
It uses the ALCI rated safety plug to make it safe to use in a bathroom. The unit uses a ceramic element to generate heat, and a small fan blows the hot air outside.
It has a compact, sturdy design that allows you to put it anywhere in the room. The low-profile design reduces the chance of accidental trip over.
To prevent overheating, it automatically powers off. The ceramic design makes the exterior remain cool to the touch.
There are two temperature settings, low and high. This makes it very simple to operate, and you don't have to worry about programming it to make it operational.
The controls are at the top of the unit, which makes it easier to operate. We liked the simple yet functional design, and the white color blends with any room color.
See More information on Lasko Bathroom Space Heater
#8. Vornado Vortex Heater
Vornado Vortex heater is a very quiet indoor heater. It provides excellent heating for a small to medium space.
The Vornado's vortex action airflow system circulates warm, gentle spiraling heat through its angled exterior wire mesh. You can choose a low (750 W) or high (1,500 W) temperature setting.
For better control of heating, you can use the thermostat to set your desired temperate. You have far greater flexibility as you can control both the heat and fan speed individually.
There are several standard protection features, such as automatic shutoff and tip-over protection.
The controls are at the top of the unit that makes it easy to operate. The low noise fan circulates uniform air around the room to get the same temperature everywhere.
It's a lightweight (5 lbs) heating unit and has an integrated carrying handle that makes it easy to move it around.
There is hidden cord storage for safe storage and to reduce the tripping hazard where you can wrap the excess cable. It comes with a 5-year warranty.
See More information on Vornado Vortex Heater
#9. De'Longhi Mica Panel Heater
De'Longhi Mica Panel baseboard heater comes with a 1,500-watt heating power that gives instant heat. It's a slim profile and lightweight heater.
One of the benefits of the panel heater is its high flexibility and low profile.
You can keep it on the floor and move it around on its attached wheel. You also have the option to wall mount to save floor space.
The automatic shutoff feature turns it off if it falls over. This is a great safety option if you're going to hang it on the wall. The inbuilt thermal cut-off shut down the unit to prevent overheat. This reduces the risk of damaging the unit or cause an accidental fire.
It's a well-designed super slim heater due to the use of Microthermic technology. You can also remove the wheels and get the panel out to mount on the wall to save space.
This is a great wall heater option as wall-mounting prevents kids or pets from touching the heating unit.
It has no fan, which means it runs silently. This is an excellent option if you plan to use it in a bedroom or office where needs undisturbed focus.
It's an ideal heater for people with allergies as it uses the room's natural air to circulate the heat rather than a fan that moves dust and other allergen particles.
See More information on De'Longhi Mica Panel Heater
What kind of space heater uses less electricity?
Infrared heater uses 20% less electricity than other conventional heaters.
There are several types of heaters available in the market, depending on the energy consumption and heat generation capacity.
Here are some popular heaters and alternatives to electric heaters.
The petroleum-based heater uses oil, natural gas, kerosene, and gasoline. These are the most fuel-efficient as the fuel burns entirely, and the majority of fuel gets converted to heat.
But as a downside, these space heaters produce smoke and need proper ventilation when using indoor.
The natural gas heater is convenient and most commonly used in homes. It uses the gas supplied to the house, and many people also use it as a primary heat source.
You can directly attach the natural gas connection to the heater, but doing so reduces the heater's portability.
The propane gas heater uses propane gas to generate heat. It's very convenient as you can also use it outdoor with recommended safety tips.
Kerosene is a cheap fuel and far easier to handle than propane.
These use kerosene, but you shouldn't use it indoor due to lingering kerosene smell, but it works to heat garage workshop.
Electric space heater
These are highly portable and safe to use. However, these are less efficient than the petroleum-based heater.
An electric space heart's most significant advantage is that it doesn't generate any emissions and safe to use in an enclosed room.
The electric heater comes in different variations. Here are some popular electric heaters.
Do you save money when using a space heater?
The space heater is a great way to save money on utility bills and electricity bills as you don't have to use your central heating unit to increase your whole house's temperature.
You can use it to heat only a small size room or get heat to yourself only.
If you want to know how you can save money when using a heater, you must first understand its works.
1. Heat generation
2. Heat distribution, and
3. Heat control
You can generate heat using electricity, oil, or gas. Most heaters use electricity to produce heat.
The heat is generated when electricity passes through the heating coil that resists the flow of electricity.
The heat gets distributed through the fan or fanless design. You control the heat through a thermostat that keeps the heater at the desired temperature range.
You should use the right power rated heater to save utility costs. Any underpower or overpower heater won't be suitable for you.
Most heaters come in either 750 W or 1,500 W power rating. Here is how to find out which power rating heater you should buy.
Step 1: Measure the room's length and width where you plan to use a heater and multiply it together to get the area.
Step 2: If you have an 8-Foot Ceiling
The wattage required = Area X 10
For ceiling higher than 8 Feet
The wattage required = area x Height x 1.25
Let's imagine your room is 20 feet by 20 feet in size,
The area becomes 400 sq. ft (20 feet x 20 feet).
If you have an 8-feet ceiling, then the space heater wattage required is
Area x 10 or 400 sq. ft x 10 = 4, 000 watts or 4 Kwt (Kilowatt)
For over 8 feet ceiling such as 9-feet, the wattage required is
4,500 watts (400 x 9 x 1.25), or 4.5 Kwt.
That is all you need to know to get the correct estimate of the power rating of the space heater to warm up your room efficiently.
If you don't want to do all those calculations then use the below reference chart to find out the power rating of space heater you need based on the room size.
Room Sq. ft
Note: Some space heater also marks the unit in Btu/hr. You can convert the Btu to watts by dividing it by 3.41.
If you want to know how much energy your space heater will use, you can use this simple calculator.
How to choose the right energy efficient space heaters
There are several types of a heater in the market. Not all come with the necessary features. Here are some guidelines when choosing the space heater.
You can choose a wall-mounted or free-standing heater design choice. The free-standing heater gives you more portability as you can move it to a different room.
The wall-mounted heater design is less portable but saves flooring space and safe use around kids and pets.
Heat output and distribution
The uniform heat output and distribution help heat the full room.
But if you don't want to warm the whole room choose a directional heater that takes less time and energy to heat up.
Safety is a vital consideration when using a space heater. You don't want to risk burning your home.
Look for the heater with safety functions such as overheat protection, trip over shut off, and heating timer.
If you plan to use a space heater in a bedroom, office, or living room, choose that generates less noise. If you're sensitive to noise, select the fanless model of the heater.
Depending on the heating process and materials, some heats up quickly, and some take time to heat up.
For example, a radiant heater is immediate to turn on the radiant heat, but if you're using an oil-based heater, you have to wait a while before feeling the warmth.
Programmable control (optional)
You can choose a programmable heater that you can schedule as per your needs. But these often are more expensive and sometimes hard to control.
Automatic turn on and off timer
The timer in the heater turns off the heater itself if you forget to turn it off manually.
It's a great option to have if you don't want the hassle of setting up a programmable heater.
Fan only mode
The fan-only mode allows you to use your heater during summer or hot weather. This is helpful as you can use the same heater in cold and hot seasons.
Portability is vital if you plan to move around your heater. It helps you avoid buying a space heater for a different room as you can move your space heater.
The size of the heater matters depending on where you want to use it.
If you plan to place heater under the desk in your office or in a close confined space, then pick a heater with a small and slim size.
This will also help you with storing and moving the heater when not in use.
How can you make a central heating system more efficient?
Here are some tips for heating with the central heat system.
Which is the better, infrared or ceramic heater?
Both infrared and ceramic heater has its pros and cons. The infrared heaters are safe and quieter to use without needing much maintenance.
On the other hand, the ceramic heater heats up fast and maintains cool exterior, which prevents any burn if you have kids or pets in your home.
So, as you can see, there is no clear-cut answer which is better between infrared and ceramic heaters. It all depends on your needs and the place you want to heat.
But if you're looking for a recommendation, we would suggest you go for a ceramic heater if safety is your utmost concern.
The ceramic heater has the same energy efficiency as the infrared heater, and some are low noise operation. But in the end, the safety of the ceramic heater trumps over the infrared convenience.
Which heater to use if you forget to turn off the heater when leaving for work?
If you're worried about forgetting to turn off the heater when leaving for work, we suggest that you buy a space heater with a timer or programmable option.
The timer automatically shuts off the heater depending on the time you choose.
This is a great option to give you an added peace of mind that the heater will turn itself off if you forget to manually shut it off. The other option is to use a programmable heater.
You can set the timer half an hour earlier before you arrive at home, and the heater automatically turns off and warm the room. You can also program it to turn off at the time you leave for office.
Can you leave a space heater on all night?
You can leave a heater on all night as long as it has all the essential protective features such as overheat protection, tip-over shutoff, and adjustable temperature thermostat.
You should also follow some proper safety processes whenever using it indoors.
What is the cheapest way to heat a room?
The cheapest way to heat a room is to use a space heater with windows and doors properly shut.
This prevents heat loss, which is one of the most significant energy drains. You can also use a thermostat that automatically controls the temperature and reduces the need to adjust the heating continually.
You can also keep yourself adequately dressed up to avoid heat loss.
You should also use it in a room which you want to heat up rather than turning on the central heating unit that heats the whole house.
Selectively heating a room helps you consume less energy and save on the utility bill.
Now you know that there are many different types of heaters available, each with its pros and cons.
Some are specifically designed for heating medium to large rooms, while others are intended for heating small areas.
Moreover, some heat the air, while others work by heating a particular object in a room, like a chair or bed.
This can be a great help when you want to warm up a specific part of a room rather than the entire room.
We find Dr. Heater Infrared heater to be the best to heat up any small to medium-size room.
It delivers 60% more heat than similar unit that saves you money. Also, it has several features to make it safe to use indoor.
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