Electricity Saving Tips For Homes And Offices

Room Heater in India: heating as expensive as cooling

By on January 21, 2014

Room Heater Most places in North India experience extreme climates during summers and winters. Summers are extremely hot and winters are extreme cold. This makes it important to have both air conditioners as well as room heaters. It’s a common knowledge that air conditioners consume a lot of electricity and cause increase in electricity bills. But in northern India electricity bills due to heating in winters can be as high as that for cooling and in fact can be more. A recent trip to New Delhi provided us some opportunities to measure room heaters for power consumption that gave us the idea to write this article.

Room Heaters and their wattage

An analysis of room heaters suggests that wattage of room heaters vary from 400 W to 2000 W (or 2 kW). If the wattage is less, it will emit less heat, if the wattage is more, it will emit more heat. It is important to note that if a 400 W heater runs for 1 hour it will consume 0.4 units whereas a 2000 W heater will consume 2 units if it runs for 1 hour. So more the heat, more the wattage and thus more the units consumed.

Impact of wattage

The heat moves in the room through thermal conduction, which in turn depends on the temperature gradient in the room. If a 400 W room heater is used, the heat from it will not spread wide and thus one has to be close to the heater to feel the warmth. It will be good for a smaller room. A 2 kW system instead will be far more effective in heating a bigger room, as it will emit more heat.

Benefits of a room heater with thermostat

As we have discussed in a previous article on ideal air conditioning temperature, ideal temperature for thermal comfort of humans is 25 degrees. But if we leave a heater on for longer duration, the temperature might increase beyond that. This not only makes the environment un-comfortable but also increases electricity consumption. A room heater with thermostat with temperature setting will cut off power consumption when the desired temperature is reached.

We measured a room heater without thermostat by keeping it on for 8 hours; it consumed 10 units and was consuming electricity at a constant rate of 1.3 kW (or 1300 W). 10 units at average rate of electricity in the country of Rs 5 are about Rs 50 per day or Rs 1500 per month. (You can check per unit rate applicable to you using our calculator: Online Electricity Bill Calculator – For all states in India). Had we used a room heater with thermostat, electricity consumption would have been lower because the room was quite hot after 8 hours.

A room heater with fan

A fan will help heat reach out to a larger space, as it will increase airflow and heat flow. If the room heater does not have thermostat but has a fan, then it is better to keep room heater at lower temperature. Fan will make sure that hot air reaches across the room and lower temperature will make sure that the power consumption is less.

A room heater with variable wattage knob

Many room heaters have a variable wattage knob using which wattage can be adjusted. As we discussed earlier, higher the wattage, more will be the heat from the heater and larger the reach of the same. So if knob is kept at higher number the room will heat faster and will heat more, but the electricity consumption will also be more as compared to lower knob setting. So to save electricity it is better to keep room heater at as low settings as possible. Keeping it close to the people sleeping can help reducing the wattage (just make sure that the distance is safe and no one gets burnt).

For room heaters it is always better to buy one with thermostat as it keeps temperature in control and reduces excess electricity consumption. It also makes sure that the environment is comfortable for humans to sleep. Also it is important to keep the right insulation in the room to keep the electricity bills for heating in control.

References

http://www.consumeradvice.in/Download/Room-Heater.pdf

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There Are 7 Comments

  1. Prasad says:

    Really a good info, it helps me to know which heater i can choose for my house. If you have a information which Shweta suggested for, please update it.

  2. Shweta Jain says:

    Hi, As the winter has approached in Delhi, i am looking for an option for room heater which is good for health and also energy efficient. Although, the article says that room heaters with thermostat are more efficient and also mentions about the room heaters with fans. However, I have experienced that room heaters with fans absorb the moisture in the air, thus making the skin and lungs dry, which are not at all good for health. If you could provide various types of heaters (technologies- fan, heating coil, heaters with a liquid etc…) available in the market, the companies which produce them, cost and energy consumption comparison, that will be of much help.

    • Abhishek Jain says:

      Hi Shweta,

      Cold air holds less moisture than warm air and thus when cold air in a closed room is heated by the room heater, the air feels dry. If a room heater does not have fan then the hot air will remain locally near the heater, in case of room heater with a fan, the warm air will circulate around making the whole room warm and the air will become dryer as well. Many people in the western countries use a dehumidifier along with a room heater. Electricity consumption of a dehumidifier is much less than that of a room heater. Also if you have a room heater without a fan and if you try to keep it close to a human body, the hot air near the human body will become dry.

      Thanks for the suggestion. We are surely working towards compiling such information. We have started a top ten appliances section on the website where we are trying to collect brand and model specific information. We will keep you updated on the same.

      Regards,
      Abhishek

  3. Gautam 'n' Shashi says:

    very basic information. You should have mentioned various type of room heater and given their efficiency in heating and electricity consumption comparison them.

    • Abhishek Jain says:

      Hello,

      We try our best to provide the most reliable research on appliances. We either use university sources, government sources or our own research through experiments to provide information. Also we constantly update the information we publish as we get more reliable research. This article was published based on the best research we could get over the internet and our own tests. If you know or find sources that are good and can be useful, we will be more than glad to update the information. Our aim is to help people reduce electricity consumption and anything that helps we would certainly try to do it. With participation and inputs from people like you, we would certainly be able to make a difference.

      Regards,
      Abhishek

  4. Sudarsan Ravi says:

    Interesting article. It helped my decision making on which Room heater to buy for my parents in Bhopal. Keep up the good work

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