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Is a Gas Space Heater or Electric Space Heater More Efficient for a Work Space?

Updated on December 17, 2009

This is actually will surprise most people. Gas heat is much more efficient that electric heat for small or large work spaces alike. Electricity costs roughly $.11 per kWhr and natural gas costs roughly $.13 per therm.  Let's break down the math on this.

Electric Space Heater

Electrical space heaters (using 120 voltage) will use about 11 kWhr a day if used for 8 hours.  This is about $1.21 per day or $36.30 per month. If this is a workspace that cannot go below 50 degrees, then the daily usage is about 18 kWhr a day.  This is about $1.98 per day or $59.40 per month.

Gas Space Heater

A gas space heater (using natural gas) will use about 5 therms heat per day if used for 8 hours.  This is about $.65 per day or $19.50 per month.  If this is a workspace that cannot go below 50 degrees, then the daily usage is about 10 therms of heat per day.  This is about $1.30 per day or $39.00 per month.

One of the main reasons that the gas space heater does not use as much energy is because it shuts off once the temperature gets to a certain point.  Electrical heaters are drawing power even when the unit is on standby wasting a lot of energy.  So which is more efficient?  Obviously the gas space heater.  Is it more applicable? No.  The electrical heater does not need ventilation and is fairly portable while the gas heat requires a gas line being run to the unit, fire code considerations, and proper exhaust.  But since the questions asked was efficiency, the winner is the gas space heater.

 

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