Looking to purchase a 500 watt heater to heat a small space in your basement? Concerned about the likely energy draw on your off-grid system?
500 watt heaters are lightweight portable heaters suited to heating small spaces about 400 sq. feet.
They are usually light and small enough to be mounted on a table or countertop.
Read on for how much electricity the heater uses and what tips you can use to conserve electricity consumption.
Quick answer: A 500 watt heater can draw up to about 12kWh of electricity a day assuming it is set to the maximum temperature and heats nonstop for 24 hours.
Note: actual consumption can be less depending on whether the low, medium, or high setting is used and the actual time it is on for.
Some heaters cycle on when the room temperature falls to the lowest temperature setting and automatically switch on again when the maximum temperature is attained.
Is 500 Watts a Lot of Power?
This really depends on the context – for example, whether you are using utility power or a battery system. If using a limited offgrid power system, 500W can exert a considerable power draw from a small battery bank.
Looking at the capacity of home heaters though, the 500 watt heaters are the smaller, low capacity heaters you’re likely to use to heat smaller spaces.
How Much it Costs to Run a 500 Watt Heater?
Daily energy costs
A 500 watt heater costs up to about USD 1.44 a day to run assuming it is run at maximum power for 24 hours. This assumes an electricity tariff of 12 cents per kWh.
Daily energy costs = 500 watts x 24 hrs = 12,000 watts or 12kWh. At 12 cents per kWh, the running cost of a heater is USD 1.44 from 0.12 USD x 12 kWh.
Actual energy costs can be lower if, for example, the heater is used at medium or low power instead of high, run for a shorter duration, or both.
Hourly energy costs
A 500 watt heater costs up to about 6 US cents to run per hour.
Hourly energy costs are calculated from:
500 watts x1 hrs = 500 watts or 0.5kWh. At 12 cents per kWh, the running cost of a heater is USD 0.06 from 0.12 USD x 0.5 kWh.
Monthly energy costs
A 500 watt heater costs up to about USD 43.2 a month to run assuming it is run at maximum power for 24 hours every day for a month.
This assumes an electricity tariff of 12 cents per kWh. This is from 500 watts x 24 hours x 30 days x 12 US cents
How Large an area a 500 Watt Heater Can Heat?
Depending on the design of the heater, a 500 watt heater can heat spaces ranging from 100 to 400 sq. ft.
It usually has a fan that circulates the heated air in the room.
Note: This is only a guide and you should check your heater’s owner manual for the space it is suited to heat before buying it.
Tips to Save Energy with a 500 Watt Heater
While the monthly energy bill of the 500 watt heater is under USD 50 you may still be interested in how to lower its energy consumption.
This can be of interest if you are powering it from a battery source.
To minimise its energy draw, you should look for ways to minimize energy losses.
Here are a few suggestions that you may find helpful.
#1. You can minimize the amount of heating required by minimizing the windows door opening.
By maintaining a steady temperature, you may be able to use a low or medium setting. In a medium setting, for example, the heater only uses 50% of the rated energy.
#2. Is your home or space where heating is required insulated? You can get a professional to assess this.
If not, adding insulation to your room can minimize heat loss and usage of your electric heater.
What It Means if a Heater Is Specified as a 500-Watt Heater?
A 500-watt heater has an estimated heating output of about 1700 BTU. It may be rated 110V with an estimated power draw of about 4 – 5 amps at that voltage.
If using 240V, the current draw is about 2 amps at full power.
You can expect a 500 watt heater to consume about 12kWh of electricity a day if running continuously at full power.
Estimated daily and monthly energy bills when using the heater at full power assuming it is being run continuously are USD 1.44 and USD 43.2 respectively.
This assumes an electricity tariff of USD 0.12 per kWh.
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