You have to weigh some pros and cons when you consider buying a portable (plug-in) electric heater. The portable electric heater is a good solution for warming a garage or a single room. But it’s not a long-term solution for heating an entire house.

Although electric heaters are inexpensive to buy, you may see your electric bill jump. As notes: “They convert electric current from the wall socket directly into heat, like a toaster or clothes iron… it takes a lot of electricity to deliver the same amount of useful heat that natural gas or oil can provide onsite.”

“A 1,500- watt plug-in heater will use almost the entire capacity of a 15-amp branch circuit; thus, adding much additional load will trip the circuit breaker or blow the fuse.”

The cost to operate a 1,500-watt unit for an hour is simple to compute: it is 1.5 times your electricity cost in cents per kilowatt-hour. At national average rates—12¢ kWh for electricity— that heater would cost 18¢ per hour to run—and quickly cost more than its purchase price.”

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