Space Heaters

Are Oil Column Heaters Expensive to Run?

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When the weather turns cold during the winter, an oil column heater is one of the best ways to stay warm. An oil column heater is a portable type that uses electricity to power the blades turning to generate heat, which transfers to the outer part of the metallic column casing, a process known as convection.

Though this might be a great way to heat your home during winter, we anticipate you may have this question: Are oil column heaters expensive to run?

Though oil column heaters are relatively more expensive upfront than convection heaters are, they are one of the cheapest options to run, depending on the usage. If you use your heater only a few hours a day, it can be a significant money-saver. However, running your oil column heater all day would cost more.

Oil column heaters have been around for a while now, but they are now starting to get more people using them during winter. However, the main reason for the high usage of oil column heaters is their portability – moving them quickly.

In the next part of this article, we shall look at the oil column heater extensively; regarding its running cost, electricity, and usage. Let’s delve in!

Do Oil Column Heaters Use A Lot Of Electricity?

A significant doubt people have when buying an oil column heater is whether they use a lot of electricity. 

Many electric space heaters give off the heat with a high resistive element, and oil-filled column heaters are no different. However, they are arguably a better economical choice than exposed element heaters.

The energy generated goes straight into the oil instead of being radiated and lost around the room. Though the oil still radiates heat, it does this at a slower rate. 

The heating element of the oil column heater consumes a certain amount of electricity when you put it on like any resistive heater.

Thanks to the heat sink created by the oil, it does not consume that much electricity all the time it is on. Due to this, it uses less electricity over time than an exposed element heater. 

The highest energy level of the heating element in an oil column heater is 1,500 watts. However, some models tend to have a low energy setting, ranging from 700 – 800 Watts. 

More precisely, using the oil column with the highest heating element, which consumes 1,500 watts, is equivalent to you using two vacuum cleaners simultaneously or three gaming PCs simultaneously. It is fair to say that an oil column heater does not consume much energy. 

Oil Column Heater Running Costs

There are always confusing figures when determining the running cost of an oil column heater. Usually, this is due to the difference in the charge rate of electricity. This part of this article will look at the running cost of an oil column heater based on an average electricity charge rate. 

When the heating element of an oil column heater is on, the heater consumes electricity at a controlled rate. Suppose you pay the national average electricity rate of 13.09 cents per kilowatt-hour.

If you were to run your oil-filled heater for 8 hours a day, that would be roughly $1.47 per day, which is not much. Once you add 30 days onto that $1.40, then it becomes roughly $44.10 per bill cycle.

However, oil columns are mainly used during the winter season, and the higher the heating element in the oil column, the higher electricity it consumes; hence, the more you have to pay.

This implies a high possibility that you might spend more on electricity during the winter season because reducing the heat is not an ideal option. 

To calculate your oil column heater’s running cost, search on the heater for the label that explains the input or capacity requirement.

Also, you need to have an energy bill handy; that way, you will see your usage rate for electricity and gas. You can also find out your rate by visiting your retailer to check out their energy price fact sheet. 

When you have gathered this information, you can calculate the cost of your oil column heater by merely multiplying the input requirement by your energy usage rate. 

Is It Cheaper To Leave The Heating On ‘Low’?

Almost everyone loves the cozy feeling of being inside in the winter, but paying for the heating that keeps you warm during this period is an unavoidable expense we don’t love so much.

Winter is regarded as the most expensive time of the year, and in places like Russia and Britain, they spend a lot of time indoors during this period. 

The idea of having the heating already on when you come home, so you are returning to a toasty house after staying out all day in the cold winter weather, is certainly appealing. However, many would say that leaving your heater on all day results in wastage of energy.

Some people argue that regularly turning the heater off is better, while others have concluded that it is cheaper to leave your heater on ‘low.’ 

According to Martin Lewis in the Money Saving Expert weekly newsletter, the idea that leaving your heating on ‘low’ all day long is cheaper is nothing but a mere myth.

This is because when your heating is left on all day, you still spend money for all that time, even when you may not be in to enjoy the heating.

If you were to ask Energy Saving Trust, you are losing energy when you leave your heating on all day. So, it is in your best interest to heat your home only when you know you need it. 

In summary, leaving your heating on ‘low’ all day is not cheaper because you still have to pay for the heat generated, even when you do not make use of it. So, practically, there is no need to leave it on ‘low’ except if you try to control the room’s temperature. 

Best Oil Column Heater

PELONIS PHO15A2AGB, Basic Electric Oil Filled Radiator,black space heater, 26.10 x 14.20 x 11.00
$73.99 $64.97
Buy Now on Amazon
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
03/11/2024 10:19 am GMT

Several oil column heaters are out there, but the best for us is the PELONIS NY1507-14A Oil-filled Column Heater (check it out on Amazon). This oil column heater has dimensions of 13.8 x 11 x 25, power of 1,500 Watts, and a timer of 10 hours. 

The Pelonis NY1507-14A Oil-filled Column Heater has an efficient heating system and multiple settings. Its heating options are 900 Watt and 1500 Watt modes, which makes it flexible in usage.

It also has five temperature settings, which are; 85G; 80F, 75F, and 65F, offering customized temperature settings and maximizing your warmth and, of course, the efficiency of this heater.

You also enjoy user-friendly features such as the programmable thermostat, an LCD screen, a 10-hour timer, and remote control. 

Another reason why we regard this as the best oil column heater is because it is very portable. The PELONIS NY1507-14A Oil-filled Column Heater comes with four swivel caster wheels capable of a 360-degree rotation.

This gives you an easy means of moving it to any part of your house without stress. Moreover, this oil column heater has a top-class safety feature – the power indicator light shows you when the unit is turned on.

The built-in safety overheating protection and tip-over switch turns off the heater if it is knocked over accidentally. 

This oil column heater gives off little or no noise that can disturb your sleep, meditation, work, chat, or anything else that requires silence, meaning you will have a quiet room while you keep your space cozy and warm.

Lastly, the PELONIS NY1507-14A Oil-Filled Column Heater has a one-year warranty when you buy from Amazon, meaning that based on the terms and conditions of the contract, if it gets faulty, you might be able to return it and ask for a new one.

These are some reasons we recommend this excellent oil column heater. You can find more information if you read the user manual or online buying guide.

We are convinced you will get good value for any dime spent on this appliance. Consider getting one today, and you will be happy you did!


Hubert Miles | Licensed Home Inspector, CMI, CPI

Hubert Miles is a licensed home inspector (RBI# 2556) with more than two decades of experience in inspection and construction. Since 2008, he has been serving South Carolina through his company, Patriot Home Inspections LLC. As a Certified Master Inspector, Hubert is dedicated to providing his expertise in home inspections, repairs, maintenance, and DIY projects.