While the debate over whether an electric blanket or space heater is more effective at keeping you warm may not compare to the likes of Freddy vs. Jason or Alien vs. Predator, it can still be quite entertaining. This is especially the case if your family is divided into rival camps.
Comparing the benefits of an electric blanket to those of a space heater is something to think about even if you already have central heating or if you only use such goods occasionally. There are a number of factors to think about, the most crucial of which being safety.
- Perspective: Electric Blankets vs. Other Space Heaters
- The Definition of Electric Blankets
- A Space Heater Is a Type of What?
- Which Is the Better Choice?
- A Look at Some Frequently Asked Questions
Overview – Electric Blankets vs. Space Heaters
The first question you should ask is whether or not you really need either one. Putting on more clothes to keep warm could help you save money. To keep as much heat as possible inside your house, you should also inspect the weather stripping and insulation.
The added warmth of a premium pair of socks is nice, but there’s something to be said for being encased in a layer of warmth that goes above and beyond that. For instance, there is nothing better than getting into bed and snuggling under a warm blanket.
When used properly, a space heater can rapidly and affordably warm an entire area.
You can decide to have both in your house and use them in different ways depending on your goals.
What Are Electric Blankets?
The term “electric blanket” refers to a blanket with an electrical heating element. It appears to be an ordinary blanket at first appearance, but it actually contains wires that generate heat. There’s also a wall plug and a dial for adjustments.
Timers, made possible by modern advances, are a crucial safety element. The development of cordless, wireless devices that can be operated by remote control is another recent development.
These gadgets can keep your personal space toasty even if the rest of the room is frigid, which is great if you tend to get cold at night or want some extra heat for a movie night on the sofa.
This innovation dates back to 1912, when a doctor was struggling to provide adequate heat for his sick patients. It wasn’t until the 1920s that the early prototypes saw significant improvements that allowed them to be sold to the general public.
Check Out Our Comprehensive Guide to Electric Blankets
Between 200 and 400 watts are required to power a typical blanket. If you left it on the entire time you slept—which is not advised for safety reasons—it would cost between 25 and 50 cents a night to use.
Generally speaking, the interior design of these units conforms to industry standards. The blanket’s heating element is made up of wires that are scattered throughout the fabric and get hot when turned on. The exterior can be created from a variety of materials, including soft fleece, acrylic, wool, and other synthetics.
You can find them in a wide variety of colors and designs, and there are several different sizes to pick from depending on the size of your mattress. More recent models come with timers and automatic shut-off features, which save on energy costs and also improve safety.
- You can find them in a wide variety of colors and designs, and there are several different sizes to pick from depending on the size of your mattress. More recent models come with timers and automatic shut-off features, which save on energy costs and also improve safety.
- Depending on the sort of mattress you have, you can choose from an almost infinite array of colors and designs, as well as a variety of sizes. More current models come with timers and automatic shut-off functions, which save on energy expenses and also improve safety.
- These can be purchased in a wide variety of colors and designs, and several sizes are available to accommodate a wide range of mattress thicknesses. Some newer models have safety and energy-saving features including timers and automatic shut-offs.
- Gives out heat evenly
- Choose your own color scheme, fabric, and size!
- Timers, auto-off switches, and temperature settings are available on some models.
- Make yourself a warm cocoon without making the rest of the room uncomfortable.
- However, there is scant evidence to support the claim that exposure to electromagnetic fields is hazardous to living organisms.
- Models that are too old provide a fire hazard.
- New models can also burn the user if the blanket is not used properly.
If a modern blanket is used incorrectly, it can also cause burns to the user.
The second is related to protecting yourself from harm. Especially if you’re sound sleeping, you might not feel a blanket become too hot.
The last issue involves wrapping yourself in an electric field. There is no conclusive evidence linking electric blanket use to diseases like cancer, and there is conflicting research about the safety of this practice. There are almost probably more dangerous electrical devices in your house or workplace.
Do Electric Blankets Pose a Health Risk?
A heated blanket’s minimal electricity consumption is more than justified by the comfort it provides. They are more cost-effective than using a gas fireplace, central heating, or an electric space heater.
Unit costs are very variable and rely on a number of factors, including but not limited to the item’s construction, dimensions, features, brand name, and quality. They may be purchased for as little as $30 or as much as $200, so do your research.
What Are Space Heaters?
These compact heaters can be moved to different parts of a room to give localized heating. You can save a lot of money on heating costs by installing one of these units in the room of your house where you need it most.
Different shapes and sizes are available, from coiled red devices to sleek and contemporary ones. While more expensive than electric blankets, they can be shared by the whole family.
The power is typically double or triple that of a standard electric blanket. Because of this, the cost of running a space heater in your house might vary widely.
Again, there is a huge range here. There are compact units the size of a toaster, and there are also enormous structures that can be several feet in height. And then there’s the whole range of possibilities in between. Some more expensive models have temperature controls that allow them to act as a thermostat with more than just “high,” “medium,” and “low” settings.
In addition to the standard manual controls, an automated shut-off is available as an additional precaution. This is crucial if there’s any chance the heater will be toppled over. A fire hazard exists if it doesn’t shut off in that case.
A fan function is included in some designs. This breakthrough is revolutionary because it eliminates the extreme temperature difference between the first 10 inches around the heater and the rest of the room, creating an environment more akin to an igloo.
- Energy efficient to some extent
- Multiple users are supported.
- A Different Way to Heat Your Home
- Fire danger is increased.
- A greater initial investment is required
- It’s hard to heat a room evenly.
- Do not feel safe leaving unattended, especially if there are young children in the vicinity.
The data on the safety of space heaters is somewhat disturbing. For the vast majority (79%) of deadly house fires, the offending item was one of these seemingly harmless everyday items. This indicates that they are frequently left on and unattended, even when people are sleeping.
Thankfully, this figure should decrease as more people switch from older models to newer ones that turn off automatically if they fall over or have been on for too long.
Keep the unit at least three feet away from combustible materials including beds, clothing, curtains, and furniture to improve safety.
Find Out Extras: Is It Safe To Use A Space Heater?
The cost of the devices themselves is minimal, beginning at around $20. Premium models can cost $100 or more. The amount of electricity consumed should be the primary factor.
It is possible to anticipate how much money you will spend on heating costs based on the rating given on the product’s label. Costs associated with using a modern unit should be lower than those of using central heating or a heater that is permanently installed in a wall.
Checking into the Cost of Operating a 1500 Watt Electric Heater.
Which One is Better?
The best way to answer this question is to consider what you like best. If you’re looking for a way to stay warm without overheating the room or everyone else in it, an electric blanket is your best bet.
However, a space heater may be the best option if you’re looking to warm up a whole room without getting too cold to move around in.
There’s no right or wrong answer to this question; it’s purely a matter of preference. Both are necessary during the winter’s chilliest months.
Calculate Electricity Consumption
Kilowatt-hours are the standard unit of measurement for domestic power use by utility companies. Since 1 kilowatt is equivalent to 1,000 watts, multiplying the wattage of an appliance by the number of hours it is used each day yields the kilowatt-hours consumed.
Determine Electric Blanket Wattage
Check the labels on your electric blanket or the handbook to learn how much power it uses. The wattage should be listed somewhere on the label or packaging of a new electric blanket. SleepAdvisor.org estimates that a single electric blanket uses roughly 400 watts of power, though this varies depending on size and brand.
A low-wattage electric blanket used for 8 hours each night consumes 3200 watts of power. Then 3.2 kilowatts is the answer when you divide by 1000. The cost of electricity varies widely around the United States. As of December 2020, according to Electric Choice, the national average price of a kilowatt-hour of electricity for household consumption is 13.31 cents. In case you use an electric blanket every night, that comes to 42.5 cents.
Electric Blanket Consumption
The cost of electricity varies widely from one state to the next. According to Electric Power Monthly, the average price per kilowatt-hour in the United States was 13.35 cents in November 2020, while in California it was 22.26 cents. At these rates, the cost to operate your electric blanket in California would be 71.2 cents per day (3.2 times 22.26 cents), or roughly 42.7 cents (3.2 times 13.35 cents) per usage based on national average electricity rates.
If you use California’s electricity rates (22.26 cents x 365 days), or the national average (13.35 cents x 365 days), the annual cost comes to roughly $71.23. To find out the precise price per kilowatt hour of electricity in your area, check your utility statement. Of course, the electric blanket is probably only going to get used during the winter. If you only use your electric blanket for half the year, the annual usage rate should be reduced by half.
Electric Blanket vs. Heater Cost
The price of an electric blanket was compared to that of a heater in a study funded by the United States Department of Energy. The electric blanket was the overwhelming favorite. The wattage of a space heater will vary with the heater and manufacturer, but the Department of Energy lists heaters as using 750 to 1500 watts, and they confirmed that electric blankets consumption is the much lower 400 watts, as was used in the calculation examples above.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does an electric blanket use too much electricity?
To compare the prices of electric blankets and space heaters, the United States Department of Energy ran a study. The electrified blanket was a resounding success. The Department of Energy estimates space heaters to use between 750 and 1500 watts, and they confirmed that electric blankets consume only 400 watts, the amount used in the aforementioned samples.
Which is easier to use?
They’re both easy to use, but a space heater has the upper hand. In other words, you can just flip a switch and bask in the warmth. An electric blanket requires contact with your body, and if it has a cord, then you’re restricted to a specific area.
Are electric blankets safe to leave on all night?
While both are straightforward, a space heater has the upper hand. Simply turning it on and sitting back to relax in the warmth is all that’s required. An electric blanket requires contact with your body, and if it includes a cord, then you’re constrained to a specific region.
What are other alternatives?
Although they are both straightforward, a space heater has the upper hand. Simply flip the switch and relax in the warmth. An electric blanket needs to be in close proximity to your body to be effective, and if it’s corded, you’re limited to a certain spot.
- A wall heater is a heater that is permanently installed on the wall. It’s likely to be more potent, but also significantly more expensive.
- These wonderful inventions, known as ceiling heaters, distribute heat across a space by suspending wires from the ceiling. They function similarly to conventional wall heaters but are installed in the ceiling.
- If your feet and toes are cold throughout the workday, a heated footrest could be a lifesaver, especially if your office is chilly and the usage of portable heaters has been outlawed ever since your coworker’s office caught fire.
- What will they think of next, I mean, heated shoe insoles? Your toes should stay toasty in here, and no one needs to know!
- Menstrual cramps and cold weather are both treatable with the help of a hot water bottle.
- Similar to foot warmers, but for the hands, are hand warmers. Place them in your pocket to stay cozy on chilly days.
- Similar to foot warmers, but for the hands, are hand warmers. Place them in your pocket to stay cozy on chilly days.
- The concept of hand warmers is similar to that of foot warmers, except that they target the hands instead than the feet. Keep warm by putting them in your pocket on cold days.
- It’s clear, but it’s also important to note that there are layers beyond those already there. Layer up your clothing or blankets if you’re cold and need to conserve money.
How do space heaters cause fires?
In most cases, fires are started by someone leaving flammable materials too close to the heater. Please keep flammable items at least three feet away from the unit. Everything from clothes and furnishings to curtains and beds falls under this category.
Another potential problem is that the heater does not have a built-in safety feature to turn itself off if it is accidentally knocked over.
Almost nobody appreciates a chilly climate. But it’s not always easy to get everyone in the house to agree on what feels right. Like Linus from Charlie Brown, if you like to be toasty and warm but your family or significant other starts to perspire when you turn up the heat, you might want to consider always having a blanket on hand.
However, if everyone in your home shares your complaint of the chilly air, space heaters can be a practical solution.