The Best Energy Efficient Space Heater – Guide & Reviews

Every year, it feels like winter creeps out just as you’re beginning to enjoy autumn. With the onset of winter comes the likely appearance of frigid temperatures, causing your home or office spaces to become downright chilly. While your HVAC heating system can likely handle the brunt of your heating in these circumstances, it can never cover 100% of your living or workspaces in a blanket of reliable warmth.

That’s where energy efficient space heaters come into the picture. Heaters, by their very nature, are designed to act as modular supplements to your HVAC heating system, allowing you to maximize your use of isolated spaces during the frigid winter months. 

most efficient space heaters

Rather than search all over the internet for that information, you’ll be able to find everything you need in this concise guide to finding the best deals on the most efficient space heater. 

In this guide, you’ll find reviews of this year’s top-performing models as well as helpful insights into the sizing and use of your new space heater.

Disclosure: It is important you understand that we may receive commissions when you click our links and make purchases. However, this does not impact our reviews and comparisons. All opinions are our own we pride ourselves on keeping our articles fair and balanced. For more info see our disclosure statement.

Space Heaters Comparison Table

ProductDetailsWhere to Buy

Dr Infrared Heater Portable Space Heater

infrared portable space heater

Power: 1,500 watts
BTU's: 5,115
Heat Control: Thermostat with digital interface
Type: Infrared
Check Price

DeLonghi HCX9115 Panel Heater

De'Longhi Convection Panel Heater

Power: 1500 watts
BTU's: 5,120
Heat Control: Adjustable digital thermostat
Type: Panel
Check Price on Amazon

Pelonis Oil Filled Radiator Heater

oil heater

Power: 1,500 watts
BTU's: 5,115
Heat Control: Temperature-controlled/ adjustable temperature settings
Type: Portable radiator
Check Price on Amazon

Lasko 754200 Ceramic Portable Space Heater

Lasko 754200

Power: 1,500 watts
BTU's: 5,115
Heat Control: Eleven temperature settings
Type: Convection
Check Price on Wayfair

Lasko Designer Series Ceramic Space Heater

lasko designer series

Power: 1,500 watts
BTU's: 5,115
Heat Control: High/low with programmable mode
Type: Oscillating convection
Check Price on Amazon

Mr. Heater F232000 Portable Propane Radiant Heater
propane space heater

Power: N/A
BTU's: 4,000 - 9,000
Heat Control: High/low
Type: Radiant
Check Price on Amazon

Energy Efficient Heater Buying Guide

energy efficient space heater list

Any veteran homeowner can vouch for the raw cost of heating a home throughout the coldest portions of winter. Depending on the weather in your area, you could spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars over the course of a single winter simply for the convenience of in-home heated comfort.

Though on a smaller scale, the same goes for space or portable heaters unless they are chosen with energy efficiency in mind.

On the surface, though, it is often difficult to know which popular space heater models are energy saving and which are…less so. As such, you’ll need to spend some extra time during your comparative shopping process in order to come to a full understanding about what features and specifications affect a unit’s energy efficiency.

With that in mind, we’ve compiled a short but informative buying guide to help you cut down your choices and ultimately, get the best heater or heaters in your home. 

The following sections each cover one facet of space heater design and operation that can impact its overall efficiency and cost of operation in turn. 

Different models and brands of heaters can use vastly different amounts of power, so be sure to do your research and find one that is energy saving and suits the needs of your home.

Types Of Energy Efficient Space Heaters

efficient heater types

There are many different types of heaters on the market, with each type working best in certain circumstances. We are going to take a look at a lot of these units and let you know how each suits a specific purpose.

These heaters also use different types of fuel, we will also describe some of the pros and cons of each to you. This way, you can make an informed purchasing decision. We also will not be covering fireplaces, as electric heaters are at least 3 times more energy efficient than them.

These are the most energy-efficient space heaters available today:

Gas Or Oil Filled Space Heater – Are They Efficient? 

oil filled heater

Oil-filled heaters are sometimes forgotten about since they resemble the electric radiators of the past. Oil heaters, especially portable heater models, have a completely different heating system than those old electric radiators, making them much more efficient.

You do not need to worry about changing the oil in the machine- it will never need to be drained and replaced. This liquid is designed to get very hot, which makes the radiator warm, heating your room without increasing your energy or electricity usage. 

Why are they so efficient?

This is because the liquid in the machine is what is designed to get hot, the metal is warmed by the liquid. Even if you were to turn off the machine, it would continue to radiate heat for a while without using any additional power.

This is why oil-filled space heaters are some of the best heaters to use at home. They are suited for heating smaller rooms, but once you feel that the room is warm enough, you can shut them off. They continue to keep the room warm for a long time after they stop using power.

Pros

  • Amazing efficiency
  • Continue to heat the room after being shut down
  • Do not need to be refilled
  • Easy to move with wheels

Cons

  • Only suited for small room

Electric Infrared Heaters

comfortzone electric heater

These are the most popular space heaters, so you have likely seen them before. They come in a ton of sizes and colors, so you should be able to find a style that matches your room. As for fuel, you just need to ensure that they are plugged into a good outlet to get them running. Like infrared heaters, ceramic models run on electricity. 

They are typically made from 2 main materials- aluminum and ceramic.

Since heat is emitted from the ceramic materials, the process is also very safe, especially for electrical heating. Ceramic is a durable material that has a resistance to electricity and heat, which only builds when a stronger current is run through it. Aluminum can then do its job.

This includes absorbing the heat and transferring it to your room through a fan. This heating system works quite efficiently, as they can be placed to direct the heat to where you want it the most. They heat an area of at least 200 square feet, which can cover a lot of room sizes in many homes as well.

Pros

  • Good efficiency
  • Can be used to direct heat
  • Very safe

Cons

  • Can take a while to heat up

Ceramic Heaters

ceramic heater

These are the most popular space heaters, so you have likely seen them before. They come in a ton of sizes and colors, so you should be able to find a style that matches your room. As for fuel, you just need to ensure that they are plugged into a good outlet to get them running. Like infrared heaters, ceramic models run on electricity. 

They are typically made from 2 main materials- aluminum and ceramic.

Since heat is emitted from the ceramic materials, the process is also very safe, especially for electrical heating. Ceramic is a durable material that has a resistance to electricity and heat, which only builds when a stronger current is run through it. Aluminum can then do its job.

This includes absorbing the heat and transferring it to your room through a fan. This heating system works quite efficiently, as they can be placed to direct the heat to where you want it the most. They heat an area of at least 200 square feet, which can cover a lot of room sizes in many homes as well.

Pros

  • Good efficiency
  • Can be used to direct heat
  • Very safe

Cons

  • Can take a while to heat up

Convection Heaters

convection heater

These efficient heaters work quickly, without making a lot of noise. Plus, if dry air bothers you, they do not suck the moisture from the air. They come with plenty of benefits as well.

Convection heaters do not stir up dust, fight mold, and keep your skin from drying out. They attach to your wall and work on heating the room from the top. They heat the room by warming air as it travels over one of their heated coils, then returning it into your room.

One of the downsides is that they are not portable like the other types of heaters that we talked about. They often weigh about half as much more than the other types. They also do not keep the room warm when they are turned off. So, you want to be sure that the room is at a good and stable temperature before you shut it down.

As for fuel, they simply use electricity from your home to heat their coils. They do not require any other products to be used to keep them running. They also can be used to heat larger rooms, although they might be slower if the room is extremely large.

Pros

  • Work quickly
  • Good efficiency
  • Do not make a lot of noise
  • Do not steal moisture

Cons

  • Not portable, only heat one room
  • Very heavy
  • Heat drops when turned off

Lowering Energy Costs: Choosing The Correct Heater Size For Your Home

warm efficient house

One of the single biggest mistakes many homeowners make when purchasing a space heater is opting for a model that is either too large or too small to fit the demands of their regular use space. 

Choosing the correct sized heater not only leads to a comfortable cold season, but it also keeps the costs of running it to a minimum.

In order to avoid this future problems, you should always perform pre-purchase calculations that highlight what size space heater is appropriate for your home or office space.

Each of the following steps will help you accomplish this task with efficiency and precision by taking into account everything from the size of your room to your room’s relevant features:

Measuring Your Space

There’s an old saying in crafting circles about “measuring twice and cutting once.”

The same goes for shopping for energy saving heaters for your home. You should always start by measuring the length and width of your intended use space in square feet.

For example, a 10 foot by 10 foot room would require a space heater with at least 100 square feet of coverage space to ensure optimal comfort.

Calculate Wattage and BTU Needs

After measuring out the room that you intend to use your space heater in, you’ll need to use a special formula to determine the number of watts needed to reliably and efficiently warm that room.

This can be accomplished by multiplying every square foot measured in the previous step by 10 watts. Accordingly, the example room from the previous step would require 1,000 watts of power to maintain its peak heating capacity while in use.

Then, you’ll need to take out a calculator and multiply that watt-based sum by 3.41. 

This is because approximately one watt of electricity can be converted into 3.41 BTUs (British Thermal Units) of heat. You’ll likely see BTUs listed among each space heater unit’s specifications, allowing you to gauge precisely how much heat it is able to produce when receiving an optimal volume of power.

Evaluating Room Features

Next, you’ll need to take into account major features within your target room.

For example, if there are any large pieces of furniture or areas with unusual airflow, you may need to look for a space heater with slightly more capacity than the dimensions of your room would dictate. This is especially the case if you intend to use heaters in a room where a door is routinely left open, such as in an office or automotive garage.

Also, your room feature evaluation should also take into account the contents of your target room’s walls. Specifically, you should take into account the presence and age of your target room’s insulation.

If your room has old insulation or lacks insulation entirely, you will absolutely need a beefier space heater to make up for the warmth lost to contact-based heat transfer. If not, the heater, no matter what energy saving feature it has, will consume more electricity, costing you more money

Accounting for Safety

Energy saving features shouldn’t be your only buying factor. Due to their self-contained nature, warm space and portable heaters can potentially represent a safety hazard. This can especially be the case if the unit is left alone or is plugged in to a faulty electrical socket (in the case of an electric model). This can cause unintended burns at least, if not a fire outright due to sparking.

As such, you should choose a space heater with safety features appropriate to both its size and power source.

For example, prospective buyers should look for an auto-shutoff mechanism in tall heaters (especially those used in rooms with pets or children). When accidentally tipped down, this safety feature saves you and your family from fires. 

Also, overheating prevention modules are a great safety feature that can help waylay the chance of contact burns from a space heater that has been operating for several hours.

Most of the best energy efficient heaters have a built-safety feature of some sort but it doesn’t hurt to double-check the advertised features. More premium and smart heater models have a built-in thermostat to ease most homeowners’ worries. 

Choosing a Correctly-Sized Model

Once all of these factors are accounted for, you’ll be ready to pick out an appropriately-sized space heater that will keep you optimally toasty while also preventing its own unsafe operation.

Many leading brands offer several sizes of their most popular models, making it easier to find an affordable option that meets your individualized functionality requirements.

Keep in mind that larger and more powerful heaters (especially those relying on convection heat dispersion) tend to operate more loudly. As such, you should also keep an eye out for a quiet space heater that still provides enough heating capacity to match your space’s dimensions and features.

Efficient and Energy Saving Space Heaters Review

heating costs

If you’ve just begun your digital search for energy efficient space heaters or have already checked all of your favorite online retailers, then you’ve come to the right place. That’s because this guide contains reviews covering seven of this year’s most popular models.

As such, you’ll be able to easily compare each of these industry-leading models side-by-side based upon their core specifications and features.

Among these reviews, you are certain to find a space heater model that is fully capable of providing warmth to your target room without burning a hole in your wallet.

After reading each of these reviews, you’ll be just a few clicks away from bringing comfort back into your favorite living spaces or office, especially when the bitter cold winds roll back in this winter.

Dr Infrared Heater Portable Space Heater

Dr Infrared Portable Space Heater

Key Specifications

  • Dual heating system
  • 12 hr. automatic shut-off
  • Low-noise blower (39 dB)
  • 1,000 sq. ft. coverage
  • 50° – 86° F range
  • Bottom-mounted caster wheels
  • Overheat protection
  • Tip-over protection

Before all else, let’s make one thing clear – the Dr Infrared Heater Portable Space Heater might just be one of the safest heaters on the market today. That’s because this model brings a lot to the table when it comes to built-in protections. For example, this model’s overheat protection is able to keep its internal components from damaging themselves, even after many hours of operating at the far end of its 50° – 86° F temperature range.

Self-preservation isn’t the end of this safety story, though. In fact, this Dr Infrared space heater also comes standard with tip-over protections that ensures an instantaneous shut off if it is upended on accident. Should you or another user leave the room while it is still operating, you can rest assured because this model’s 12 hour automatic shut-off switch will kick in and prevent a dangerous situation from precipitating.

dr heater heater with safety controls

As for the rest of this model’s features, they’re also fairly noteworthy. One prime example of this energy-efficient heater is its 1,500 watt advanced heating system that runs at a whisper-soft volume – 39 dB, to be precise. Interestingly enough, this same heat production system is actually made up of two prime components, that is, a PTC and quartz infrared element. Combined together, you can expect this space heater to provide enough heat to cover a 1,000 sq. ft. room (and beyond).

DeLonghi HCX9115 Energy Efficient Panel Heater

DeLonghi Digital 1500W Convection Panel Heater

Key Specifications

  • Wall mounted or stand-alone (on wheels)
  • Slim form factor
  • Internal tip-over switch
  • 300 sq. ft. coverage
  • Silent operation

At first glance, you might look at the DeLonghi HCX9115 wall mountable electric heater and assume that it’s a low powered personal heater that could do little to warm up a regular-sized room. But that assumption would be faulty, as it turns out, because this panel space heater’s slim form factor hides an impressive heating capacity of around 5,120 BTUs.

What’s more, the DeLonghi HCX9115 provides its users with fully recognizable options when it comes to energy efficiency and cutting utility costs. Specifically, this model’s multiple heat settings and an ECO mode actually modulate the unit’s overall power input between 750 and 1,500 watts. As such, you can still use the DeLonghi HCX9115 if you are looking to reduce your wintertime electricity bills without giving up your in-home comfort.

Delonghi silent space heater with 3 year warranty banner

Traditionally, panel-style heaters have been relegated to wall-mounted installation only. In that regard, the DeLonghi HCX9115 maintains its class-based standard by allowing for installation on almost any interior room wall. However, the DeLonghi HCX9115 is wholly unique in its ability to stand on its own two feet (or four wheels, as the case may be).

In this freestanding orientation, this model can become a bit top-heavy and prone to tipping. But on that front, manufacturers DeLonghi have thought ahead because the HCX9115 comes with built-in internal tip-over kill switch. As such, you won’t need to worry about leaving this space heater out to warm your 300 sq. ft. room, even if your kids or pets are bouncing around it.

The DeLonghi HCX9115 Convection Panel Heater is available from Amazon.

Pelonis Oil Filled Radiator Heater

pelonis oil filled radiator heater

Key Specifications

  • 3 Heating modes (Hi/Lo/Eco)
  • 5 Temperature settings
  • Castors make it easy to relocate
  • Silent operation

In terms of getting bang for your buck, the Polonis Oil Filled heater is one of the best space heaters that money can buy. It provides both in terms of construction and in terms of operational efficiency. The price point that this model is sold at offers unbelievable value for money – with enough heat settings to make it easy (but not over complicated) to get your space heated to the right temperature, and it won’t cost you much to do so.

Moving over to its core operation, the Pelonis Heater is fairly impressive for a unit that bills itself as a “maintenance-free system.” However, this high billing has a strong air of truth about it because this radiator-style space heater’s diathermic heat transfer fluid does not ever need to be replaced or refilled. Instead, it is able to function optimally throughout this unit’s lifespan, even if you regularly use it at its 1,500 watt maximum power setting.

radiant oil heater

The beauty of an oil filled heater is that once heated up to temperature, they require very little electricity to maintain the heat and this is by far the cheapest way to keep a room warm in the long term.

The usual safety features are in place to keep your home and family out of danger, so you can have the peace of mind to leave this heater running long term unattended.

Lasko 754200 Ceramic Portable Space Heater

Lasko 754200

Key Specifications

  • Affordably priced
  • Three fan speeds
  • Top-mounted carrying handle
  • 300 sq. ft. coverage
  • Overheat protection
  • Cool-touch exterior

At some point in time, ceramic space heaters began to gain a bad reputation. Some folks say that they tend to dry out the air and aggravate the allergies of users throughout the winter months. But clearly, those folks haven’t used energy saving and efficient heaters from Lasko before. 

For a personal space heater with an affordable price tag under $40 dollars, you might expect this model to put out a sub-par quality of unreliably warm air. But quite the contrary, the Lasko 754200 can be counted on to engage its 1,500 watt convection heating elements to provide up to 300 sq. ft. of warmth in your bedroom or home office. This model is even compact enough to be placed safely on the countertop of your outdoor workshop or shed.

lasko classic design heating controls

Speaking of picking up the Lasko 754200, this space heater is a breeze to move from place to place thanks to its top-mounted carry handle. This handle, like the rest of the unit, will be cool enough to touch whenever you need to move it – even after several hours of continuous use at the highest of its 11 adjustable temperature settings.

Also, unlike many other convection space heaters, the Lasko 754200 allows users to control both its fan and its heat settings separately. Moreover, this model makes use of three separate fan settings (high heat, low heat, and fan only), each of which are quieter than comparable fans in other convection space heaters. Using these settings, you’ll be able to disperse this unit’s heat even after shutting it off and unplugging it safely.

The Lasko 754200 Ceramic Portable Space Heater is available from Wayfair.

Lasko Designer Series Ceramic Space Heater

Lasko Designer Series Space Heater

Key Specifications

  • Art-like exterior
  • 60° F to 85° F range
  • Built-in timer
  • Overheat protection
  • Wireless remote control
  • Color-coded LED controls

This Lasko Designer Series unit has taken the term “ceramic space heater” and advanced it to the next level. Indeed, while it makes use of ceramic convection components internally, the real attention must be directed to this model’s ceramic exterior. Made from an earth-toned clay, this model’s exterior is designed to blend in with almost any décor due to its artistic aesthetic appeal.

Naturally, though, everyone in the vicinity of this Lasko Designer Series space heater will feel the warming effects of its 1,500 watt heating system. You’ll be able to take full advantage of this model’s 60° F to 85° F temperature output range as well as long as you take a little time to learn how to operate its programmable, color-coded high/low settings. 

ceramic space heater remote control

Interestingly enough, this Lasko Designer Series space heater is even able to spread the warmth around using its built-in oscillation system. With this oscillation system engaged, you can kiss cold corners goodbye! You won’t even need to get up to kick on this heater either, as long as you have its compact remote control nearby.

That remote can actually control almost every major function of this space heater, including its timer system. Should you forget to set a timer, though, this Lasko Designer Series heater will be able to shut itself off and keep its surroundings safe using its overheat protection mechanism.

The Lasko Designer Series Ceramic Space Heater is available from Amazon

Mr. Heater F232000 Portable Propane Radiant Heater

Mr. Heater F232000 propane

Key Specifications

  • Durable nickel and steel construction
  • Nearly 100% efficient
  • Approved for outdoor use up to 7,000 ft.
  • Shock absorbing insulation
  • Tip-over shut-off protection
  • Oxygen depletion sensor (ODS)
  • Piezo igniter
  • Swivel regulator

Like a good pick-up truck, the Mr. Heater F232000 has been built with durability in mind and is one of the best propane heaters. Specifically, you’ll find that this model’s frame has been built with steel, nickel, and high-grade plastics. All of those resilient materials are further supported by shock absorbing insulation within the unit’s case. As such, you’ll be able to take this space heater to a job site or off-site workshop without worrying about it breaking after a single hard impact.

While outdoor use may not be the most efficient use of a space heater, you’ll be glad to know that the Mr. Heater F232000 has been rated for safe and effective use at up to 7,000 ft. of altitude. When used inside, though, this model is nearly 100% energy efficient when it comes to burning its propane gas source on either the low (4,000 BTU) or high (9,000 BTU) operational setting.

propane heater being used outdoors in the snow

Finally, the Mr. Heater F232000 deserves some extra commendations for its use of safety features. At a base level, this safety suit includes a tip-over shut-off protection switch internally. But most importantly, this model includes an oxygen depletion sensor (ODS) that enables it to automatically switch as soon as it detects insufficient airflow (which could cause the production of dangerous carbon monoxide).

The Mr. Heater F232000 Portable Propane Radiant Heater is available from Amazon.

Tips for Using Your Space Heater Efficiently

While many modern heaters are able to regulate their own fuel usage to a degree, you’ll still need to put in some leg work if you’re hoping to use your new unit efficiently. While many of the following tips, recommendations, and considerations are focused on small details, they can make a big impact when it comes to minimizing your space heater’s fuel usage and resulting upkeep cost.

Place Your Heater Strategically

In all rooms, regardless of size or shape, you should place your space heater where it is strategically able to provide the most warmth to its target group. So, if you are making use of a personal space heater, you should place it at a safe distance while pointing the unit’s operating end towards you. Alternatively, those using a room heater should place their unit in a corner and allow its operating side to face outwards for maximum coverage.

Also, try to avoid placing your heater near a location with a known draft. Doorways, in particular, can draw out heat through pressure differentials, causing the user to miss out on their heater’s peak heating capacity.

Restrict Heating Space

Whenever possible, minimize the overall dimensions of the space you intend to heat. This includes sealing up any outlets to the cold exterior, such as a door or window.

This allows your space heater to more efficiently heat the room by minimizing how often it needs to operate at full capacity.

If necessary, you may choose to install temporary insulation (curtains) over windows in order to prevent heat loss in areas such as outdoor workshops or sheds.

Set a Lower Temperature

When you turn on your space heater for the first time, you should always start at the lowest comfortable temperature. Then, as your desired temperature changes (or the outside temperature fluctuates), you’ll be able to moderate how hard your unit needs to work.

This is doubly the case with electric space heaters, which can become expensive to operate if you routinely set them at a higher-than-necessary temperature threshold.

Use the Timer Feature

If your space heater includes a timer feature, make use of it whenever possible. These simple yet productive timers allow you to ignite your space heater and leave it running without worries about it running indefinitely.

In turn, a timer can cut down on the cost of using a space heater, especially when occupants are routinely cycling in and out of the targeted room.

The Final Word

All in all, there’s a lot to take under consideration before you purchase a space heater. Naturally, you’ll want to compare each model’s features and specifications first in order to establish their overall operational efficiency. Then, you’ll need to consider where you intend to use the space heater to further ensure that it can be efficiently and safely placed at that location.

Only then will you be ready to read the reviews for this year’s top-tier space heaters featured in this guide. As long as you apply everything that you’ve learned in this guide, you’re sure to possess the savvy needed to find precisely the right efficient space heater to fit both your needs and your budget.

About The Author

Aaron is the founder of and Essential Home and Garden. He likes to spend his spare time with his family, and doing DIY projects in the home and garden.

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