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How Many Amps & Watts Does a Space Heater Use? (Explained)

Space heater has become a necessity in most households, especially during winter. We cannot seem to do without it. But how much electricity does it draw? This still remains a common concern.

In this article, we will walk you through the various aspects associated with a space heater.

We will also discuss how many amps and watts a space heater uses so that you can have a clear insight into the device. So without further ado, read ahead to learn more about space heaters.

How many amps & watts does a space heater use?

A typical bedroom generally has a space heater that draws 15 amps. On the other hand, if you consider a space heater that operates on 1500 watts, it will draw about 12.5 amps of electricity. Needless to say, the amps and watts varies with different features and voltage capacity.

During the winter season, you will need to bring in a space heater that can keep your home warm and cozy. It has become a staple for our homes. But many people hesitate to plug a space heater to the circuit because of the amps and watts that it might draw.

Instead of dwelling in uncertainty, it is better to know exactly how many amps and watts a space heater will draw. This will give you a clear idea whether you should plug in the space heater or should opt for something that draws less.

A space heater of 1500 watts will need about 120 volts to operate. It will need about 12.5 amps as well. And you will then need a circuit breaker of 15.6. 

Average electric space heater:

an average space heater uses about 100 watts on average. That is considering that you are operating it for about 5 hours a day.

If you’re considering an average space heater of 1500 watts, then it is supposed to draw about 5000 kW to 30,000 kW per year.

In such a case, you’re going to have to count a bill between 1200 to 6000 USD at the end of the year.

Small space heater:

A small space heater needs about 1000 watts. If you connect it in a circuit of 120 volts, then the space heater will draw about 8.3 amps. This will be a rather cost efficient space heater for a small space.

On the other hand, you can use a space heater of 1500 watts on a small space if the cold is too severe. If you operate the space heater on high setting, then it will draw about 12.5 amps.

Portable space heater:

Portable space heaters come with a range of features. You will find portable space heaters that run on 1500 watts, again some will run on 5000 watts.

Since there is a huge variety, the amps and watts required will also vary. They depend on the watts and voltage of the space heater. If you connect a space heater of 1500 watts to 220 volt circuit, then it will draw about 6.8 amps.

Ceramic space heater:

Ceramic space heaters are growing increasingly popular day by day. If you’re considering to install a ceramic space heater in your house, then you should know that it will draw very little amps.

An average space heater will draw about 12.5 amps if you connect it to 120 voltage circuit. This will cost about 18 cents an hour to operate.

Infrared space heater:

Infrared space heater is one of the most energy efficient space heaters in the market. It provides great efficiency while drawing a very minimal electricity.

This is because these space heaters do not heat up the air in the room. Instead, it warms up all the objects placed in the room through radiation. This mechanism allows the space heater to operate on minimal electricity.

A standard infrared space heater will draw about 10 watts per square foot. Note that these space heaters draw about 30% less energy than an average space heater.

Oil space heater:

Oil space heaters are among the newer models of space heaters. It draws as much energy as a resistive heater when you’re operating it on high settings.

But that said, these heaters use very less energy compared to the other models, in the long run which makes them rather cheap to run. A 1500 watts oil space heater uses about 12.5 amps.

How many amperages do these space heaters use?

The amperage of a space heater mainly depends on its voltage and watts of the heater. Let’s consider the voltage of the circuit to be 120 volts. You can simply divide the watts of space heater by the volts to derive the amperage.

In that case, the following chart for amps will be appropriate:

Space Heater Watt Space Heater Amp
2000 Watts16.6 amps
1000 Watts8.3 amps
750 Watts6.25 amps
5000 Watts41.6 amps
7500 Watts62.5 amps
3000 Watts25 amps
2500 Watts20.3 amps
500 Watts4.1 amps
200 Watts1.6 amps
250 Watts2.08 amps

Does a space heater use a lot of electricity? How much does it cost to run?

There is a common misunderstanding around space heaters that they consume a lot of electricity. But that is not quite true. They are typically quite small in size.

In addition, the space heaters that are available in the current market are very efficient, wasting very minimal energy. So you’re most likely to not draw any more electricity than absolutely necessary.

An average space heater uses about 1500 watts of electricity and bills you about 15 cents to run an hour. The wattage and amperage may vary depending on the size and settings of the device.

Let’s take a look at how much energy do space heaters use and how much it costs to run them.

Watts usage per hour:

There are various types of space heaters, ranging from small ones to very large ones to cover a large space.

An average space heater will draw about 1500 watts per hour. This is appropriate to heat up a typical house room.

But you can opt for smaller space heaters for smaller spaces. There are space heaters that use as low as 200 watts. On the other hand, some of the larger and more efficient space heaters use about 7000 watts per hour.

Watts usage per day:

How many watts a space heater will use in a day mainly depends on the wattage of the heater, its size and features and the number of hours that you run it in a day.

If you run a space heater of 1500 watts for 5 hours a day, then it will use 7500 watts per day.

Electricity usage and cost per month:

The cost to run a space heater mainly depends on the wattage and amperage of the space heater and the number of hours that you run it in a day.

If you consider an average space heater that uses 1500 watts per hour and run it for 24 hours, then it will cost you about 90 USD per month.

Do space heaters draw less electricity on low?

Yes, a space heater will definitely draw much less electricity when it is running on low settings. Space heaters typically draw more electricity during the severely cold days because they are being run on high settings then.

But on days that are not as cold, you can save a lot on electricity because you can run the space heater on low settings.

Can you run a space heater with a generator? What size generator do I need?

Yes, you can run a space heater with a generator. This is quite a common practice. For an average space heater of 1500 watts, you will need a generator of 2000 watts. This will get the job done perfectly. 

How many heaters can you run on a 20 amp circuit?

You can use upto any number of heaters in an 20 amp circuit if the total is around 3500 watt to be on the safe side. This way, you can choose your required amount to keep your house warm.

Do space heaters use less electricity than central heat?

Space heaters are installed in a house when you need to warm up a specific part of the house. It is a more practical choice than a central heater, especially when you wont be using most of the spaces in the house for a significant part of the day.

Space heaters use much less electricity than a central heat. This is a good choice if you need to warm up only a room or two.

But if you install a separate space heater in every room and use them all individually, then you will be using more electricity than central heat. 

Final thoughts

An average space heater uses about 1500 watts. If you connect it with a circuit of 120 volts, then the space heater will draw about 12.5 amps. This is how much amps and watts a typical space heater uses. The numbers will vary according to the size, features and settings of the space heater.