Is Oil Filled Space Heater Better?

Are Oil Filled Space Heaters Better? (13 Untold Facts Explained!)

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“Oil filled space heaters are better for

  • Overnight operations
  • Extreme longevity
  • Clean, odourless & noise-free heating and
  • Energy efficiency in extended runtimes.

But, like all other space heaters, you will feel the air dry while using it.”

Efficiency & Moisturized Air are the two common buzzwords that the brands prioritize while promoting their oil filled space heaters/radiators. 

But do they really more energy-efficient than others? 

Theoretically, their wattage is similar to infrared, fan forced, ceramic, mica panel and other shorts of household space heaters. But, their energy efficiency leads by the temperature raising procedure instead of low power consumption. 

Comparatively, the oil-filled space heater’s operational cost is slightly cheaper, but there’s no massive difference between the cost of others.

I’ve described it below in detail, including an hourly test result.

Secondly, do they really raise the room temperature without DRYING the air? 

Here are many things to explain. Hot air can store more amount of moisture. But when a space heater raises the room temperature, the moisture level remains unchanged, so the hot air demands more water vapour. 

Then if a fan-forced heater circulates the air, we feel it drier.

Instead of hot air circulation, oil filled space heaters radiate the heat towards the room. So our skin feels less dry comparing a fan-forced one. 

But again, you won’t get a day-night difference between other types of heaters, and I wouldn’t suggest you skip using a humidifier!

I’ve explained more scientifically below.

Let’s dive in…

1. Are oil filled space heaters better? Let’s Calculate!

Are Oil Filled Space Heaters More Efficient?

99% oil filled space heaters come with 1500W max wattage. The fact is, infrared, ceramic, micathermic, fan forced, and all other familiar household heaters come with 1500W max wattage for the United States.

So, there’s no way to consume less electricity comparing others. Even for the first 15 minutes to 1-hour oil filled space heaters consume slightly more electricity comparing mica panel and infrared items.

Not only that! Oil filled devices heat the room slower than others too!

Then why it’s better and more efficient?

The game of efficiency begins after a while. As you know, oil filled space heater contains diathermic oil inside and that liquid stores the temperature. 

The oil gets hot and holds the temperature for almost 2 hours! 

So, the oil-filled space heater consumes max power at the first step, and the diathermic oil gets fully hot. At my test, this session took around 1 hour. Then the power consumption had decreased dramatically.

The power consumption remains minimal throughout the next operating session, and the average room temperature remains too stable.

Considering stability, “oil filled space heater” maintains room temperature massively better than the rest of the other models. I had set the thermostat at 75°F in my 200 square feet room, and the oil heater kept it around 73°F~76°F through the whole 14 hours. 

Note: The outside temperature was around 55°F, and my oil filled space heater took about 1 hour to raise the entire room temperature.

How much does it cost to run a 1500 watt heater for 24 hours?

24 Hours Cost Calculation of oil Filled Space Heater

I’ve tested my Pelonis-NY1507-14A from the evening (6:00 PM) to morning (8:00 AM) to calculate the highest possible power consumption a day, and hopefully that 14 hours runtime is far more sufficient for you.

  • Location: Phoenix, Arizona
  • Month: January
  • Average Environment Temperature: 45°F to 65°F
  • Heater’s Thermostat Preset to 75°F
  • The meter I’ve Used to Measure Power Consumption: Poniie PN2000
  • Electricity Bill Per Unit (KW.h):  $0.107

Here’s the power consumption from time to time with MAX Power (1500W).

  1. (6:00 PM – 7:00 PM):  The oil heater consumed 1.11KWh through the entire hours, the room temperature got raised to 76°F, and the thermostat got turned off. So, the first-hour operational cost remains around $0.11877
  2. (7:00 PM – 8:00 PM): This hour, the heater consumed only 0.555KWh cause the thermostat got turned ON/OFF multiple times. So the cost was only $0.0593 
  3. (8:00 PM – 9:00 PM): Power consumption was 0.687KWh for this third hour, and electricity cost comes around $0.0735 
  4. (9:00 PM – 10:00 PM): Power consumption was around 0.675KWh for the fourth hour, and the cost remained around $0.0722
  5. (10:00 PM – 11:00 PM): Power consumption raised to 0.725KWh and cost remainded around $0.0775
  6. (11:00 PM – 12:00 AM): This hour, the heater consumed 0.825KWh, so the cost remained around $0.882
  7. (12:00 AM – 1:00 AM): Power consumption was 0.875KWh, so the cost was about $0.0936
  8. (1:00 AM – 2:00 AM):  Power consumption 0.850KWh and operational cost $0.0909
  9. (2:00 AM – 3:00 AM): Power consumption 0.890KWh and operational cost $0.09523 
  10. (3:00 AM – 4:00 AM): Power consumption around 0.876KWh and operational cost $0.0937 
  11. (4:00 AM – 5:00 AM): Power consumption was 0.915KWh and cost remained $0.0979
  12. (5:00 AM – 6:00 AM): Power consumption 0.885KWh and cost remained $0.0946 
  13. (6:00 AM – 7:00 AM): Power consumption 0.893KWh and cost remaind $0.095 
  14. (7:00 AM – 8:00 AM): Again, the power consumption dropped to 0.850KWh, and the cost was about $0.090

As you can see, power consumption remains at the highest level at the first hour; then, it gets dropped. But once the environmental temperature starts falling further down, the power consumption starts rising slightly.

On average, the hourly cost remains around 0.08 cents only!

Note: I’ve selected few real energy efficient oil filled space heaters comparing others. You may have a look to them.

Which is cheaper to run a convector heater or oil filled radiator?

A convector heater like ceramic, fan-forced or infrared heater heats the room faster than oil filled one. But as you’ve seen, the power consumption of oil filled space heater drops over time and remain minimal for more extended operations.

So, for a long session, the convection heater’s operational cost is slightly higher but not very noticeable. 

If oil filled space heater costs you hourly $0.08 on average, then a convection heater will cost around $0.082, which you even can’t notice!

But, oil filled space heaters are super silent, long-lasting, and a permanent solution to heat your room. So you may prefer this instead.

Are oil filled space heaters the cheapest way to heat a room?

Is oil filled space heater cheapest to run?

YES and NO, depending on circumstance.

If your room is highly insulated and heat doesn’t pass away through ventilators, then an oil-filled space heater beats everything else. But as I’ve already explained, this heater raises room temperature slower. 

On the other hand, the MICHA PANEL heater or Michathermic heater raises the room temperature 3X faster, though the power consumption remains slightly higher. 

But for uninsulated or less insulated rooms, Michathermic heaters are the cheapest solution to heat your room.

Note: Both the Michathermic and Oil Filled Space Heater work the same way, but the oil heater’s surface remains colder and safer to touch than the Michathermic one.

Depending on the MAX/MIN setup, the oil-filled space heater’s surface remains about 150F to 240F. In contrast, Michathermic’s body temperature might rise about 420F, which is dangerous to touch.

Here’s a youtube video where you will find few cost analytics of space heaters from different categories!

2. Are oil filled space heaters better for not drying the air?

Do They Dry The Air? Explained!

Firstly, I want to state, “NO SPACE HEATERS DRY THE AIR AT ALL!”

Don’t think like a dump, and listen to those salesmen who claim oil filled space heaters are the only heating solution that doesn’t dry the air. 

Let me explain more scientifically with real-life examples.

Ever have seen water drops on the glass of icy water? Or water drops on the grass in the early morning? 

Why haven’t you seen condensed water on warm water glasses? It’s not like the air moisture gets disappears due to the rise of temperature. But here’s the fact…

Cold air can store less amount of water vapour. So if you start increasing water vapour keeping the temperature constant, the water vapour will begin condensing at a point.

Similarly, if you start increasing air temperature and keeping the amount of water vapour constant, the surrounding water will tend to get vaporized!

And that’s the “WHY” you feel dry air!

At cold temperature, your skin moisture remains on the skin, and you feel oily or moisturized. When the space heater starts increasing the room temperature, your skin moisture starts getting vaporized. However, you feel dry.

You may read article about “Relation between temperature and humidity” from here.

Do I need a humidifier with oil heater?

Yes, obviously, you need it! 

If your environment humidity doesn’t seem like the rainy season, you will require a humidifier no matter which type of space heater you use.

The reason why brands claim oil filled space heaters don’t dry the air?  

As I’ve explained, the oil filled space heater raise temperature slower, and there’s no airflow to spread the temperature. Oil heaters radiate the heat very similar to how fire radiates heat surrounding itself. 

So the skin moister vaporizes slowly if I compare it to the scenario of using a fan-forced convection heater.

That’s why the brands and salesman claim that oil filled space heater doesn’t dry the air. But I’ve already explained what’s the reality.

13 Facts to learn about oil filled space heaters.