Oil Heater Power Consumption & Running Costs

Once the temperature starts to drop, the need for artificial heating inside the home gradually increases. Oil-filled radiators or oil heaters are quite in demand because of their performance in combating the cold as well as energy efficiency.

But if you do not have an oil heater and are looking to buy one, several questions can plague your mind. Such as oil heater running costs, utility bills, and such.

A simple statement saying that oil heaters are quite efficient is not enough to persuade anybody into buying them. That is why this article aims to answer some of the most frequently asked questions about oil-filled heaters and their usage.

Do oil heaters use a lot of power?

An oil heater uses an average 1500W of power to run. That is almost equivalent to the wattage of two Vacuum cleaners and can be considered as quite a lot of power consumption.

If you conduct comparative research about the power consumption of different types of space heaters or simply different brands of oil-filled electrical heaters, you will know that almost all of them consume similar amounts of power because this is the standard amount needed for space heating. This is because artificial heating itself is cost-intensive.

To put it in another way, 1500 W is the maximum amount of power you should be pulling from a plug and since heating is the most expensive form of energy, it makes sense for the heaters to pull maximum power to keep the place warm and heated up for as long as possible.

Therefore, to answer the question, yes oil heaters do use a lot of power but that is because it is the standard to get a well-heated space during chilly winters.

Few oil heaters consume less or more than 1500 W. In that case the cost of power will be adjusted accordingly.

How Many Watts and Amps Does an Oil Heater Use?

How Many Watts and Amps Does an Oil Heater Use
Maryia_K / Bigstockphoto.com

Although the standard oil heater oil consumption is 1500 W, not all spaces may need that amount. If you are planning to buy an oil heater for a small room with not much space then even a 500 W heater will be sufficient.

This is why we have curated a list of some of the best oil heaters across different brands with a range of watts and amps to suit all types of circuits that homeowners have.




Air Choice Oil Filled Radiator with Thermostat

700 W

5.8 amp


500 W

4.1 amps

Rellorus AOH021

1500 W

12.5 amps

Dreo Space Heater for Indoor Use

1500 W

12.5 amps

De’Longhi KH390715CB

1500 W

12.5 amps

The amps here have been calculated keeping in mind a standard supply voltage of 120 volts. There are many choices when it comes to oil filled heaters but it is important to compare different options since the settings vary in all of them.

Some heaters come equipped with three to four heat settings so that owners can change it according to the weather.

How much does an oil heater cost to run?

How much does an oil heater cost to run
Aleksandr Anatolyevich Potashev / Bigstockphoto.com

This is the most burning query that persists among consumers about oil-filled electrical heaters. To put it simply, the cost totally depends on the power or wattage of the heater in question.

As already mentioned, the standard power (in watts) consumption of an oil heater is 1500 W and this amount may vary depending on the device itself. This is to say, if you are buying an oil heater for a room that may be considered large, then the device has to have a high wattage in order to heat that space and keep it heated.

Such a requirement may sometimes exceed the standard amount of 1500 W consumption.

If we go by the average rate, which is around 0.12$ for every kWh, then an oil heater with a power of 1000 kW if used for one hour will cost you around 0.12$.

But the rates cannot be fixed across all regions and states, it is bound to vary in different places. That is why a table listing different rates and wattage and the subsequent cost of using an oil heater for an hour has been made for ease of understanding.

Wattage | Rate










































These prices were calculated assuming the device was used on maximum capacity. Since there are multiple heat settings, it is possible to get a lower amount in the energy bill if the device was used at a lower heat setting.

You can use these hourly rates to calculate the daily cost and monthly costs.

How to Calculate Amps Your Oil Heater Uses?

It is fairly easy to calculate the amperage of an oil heater. The amp consumption of any device required for knowing the breaker sizing, wiring, and generator sizing. Calculating the amp of an oil heater basically needs two parameters- the wattage and voltage.

There is a simple equation formula to find out the amp-

P= I x V; where P stands for Power expressed in Watts and I stands for current measured in amperes or amps. V is for voltage.

Therefore, it can be seen that the Power of any electrical device can be calculated simply by multiplying the Current consumed by the device and its voltage. But in case, the number for the current consumed or amp is not available, all one has to do is find out the wattage and voltage and divide the former by the latter.

Simply put, I = P/V.

Let us explain this further with the help of an example. Suppose a particular brand of oil-filled electrical heaters are 2000 W and 120V, then the amp of those heaters will be 16.66 amps.

How many amps does a 1500-watt oil-filled heater use?

1500 W is the most commonly seen wattage for most oil heaters. The voltage determines the amps but on average most households have a 20 amp circuit which means that the amp for an oil heater of that wattage will be 12 or 13 amps. Considering a 120 V oil heater, the amp will be 12.5 amp.

If you have a 20 amp circuit, one 1500 W heater can easily be run on it.

The standard supply voltage is 120 V but says you have a 1500 W oil heater and a voltage of 110 V, then the heater will draw approximately 13.6 amps.

Since 1500 Watts is a relatively high power as compared to the wattage so it is always advisable to check all options and be sure of the current being drawn to see if your circuit can support it or not.

The process to calculate the draw current in amps has already been mentioned once but it won’t harm to repeat. So, all you have to do is find out the wattage of the device. In this case, we are supposing the most common one, i.e, 1500 W. Then you have to know the supply voltage of the circuit and calculate the amperes by dividing the figure in watts by the figure in volts.

Therefore, a 1500 W 120V oil-filled heater will draw a total of 1500 W / 120 V = 12.5 amps.

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What Factors Influence Oil Heater Power Costs?

Space heating costs quite a bit of money. Because as opposed to fuel-powered heaters which consume fuel, oil heaters consume electricity which is not as costly as fuel. Besides, electric heaters are also more efficient and easier to use.

Using an oil heater most definitely adds to the energy bill. But exactly how? Let us find out,

The Season

It is not a surprise that the service of oil heaters will increase during colder seasons as compared to when it is still warm and sunny outside. The practice of Home heating rises through the winter months, that is from October to March. Individual consumption is subjective to regions though because not all the regions undergo the same severity of winter.

Some regions may have a permanent system of heating in place because of the generally colder climate, such as in the northeastern regions of the US. But in other regions where the climate takes a severe dip during the winter months, the digits in the energy bill may start to go up due to the usage of devices like oil heaters.

Hours of Usage

This goes without saying but the longer you use an oil heater, the more electricity it is going to consume. But this cannot really be helped if the climatic conditions are extremely chilly and the interior of the house needs artificial space heating round the clock.

This is why oil heaters work best in already insulated rooms. In such rooms, the insulation in the walls already adds a great deal to combat the cold and the oil heater need not be used at a maximum setting to achieve a comfortable room temperature.

Placement of the Heater

Before knowing what placement entails in the context of an oil heater, you should know that an oil heater heats the air inside a room rather than radiating heat constantly, it acts more like an infrared device. 

Therefore, it would make sense to use it inside a closed room where the circulation of air is minimal. Open spots like verandas and balconies or porches will not be able to utilize this device and you may have to operate it on full power to even feel a semblance of the warmth that an oil heater is supposed to provide.

You may be concerned about ventilation in a closed room and this concern is the very reason why oil hearts are best for heating large closed spaces where the air will not get too stuffy after a short time and people will not feel suffocated.


These days most constructions are made with insulated walls whether for the purpose of sound-proofing or for weather resistance purposes. In any case, a pre-insulated closed interior is an ideal spot for operating an oil heater.

An insulated space ensures that the room does not need constant heating on high-temperature settings thus adding to the oil heater power consumption costs.

Reducing Your Oil Heater Energy Consumption?

It is worth knowing how to regulate the oil heater in a way that will not burn a hole in your pocket when paying the energy bills. Let us find out how:

Setting the Thermostat

The thermostat plays an important role in determining the heating cost as a simple decrease in the set temperature, even if it is by a single degree can save as much as 4% of electricity.

So the best way to make sure that the oil heater consumes too much electricity is by properly setting the thermostat.

Setting it too high will make the heater run on full power and for a longer period as it needs to compensate for the higher rate of cooldown of air inside the room. This will lead o a continuous loop of heating and reheating which eventually raises the energy bill exponentially.

Choosing the right place to use the heater

This has already been discussed above and as you no doubt know by now, open spaces will push an oil heater to its limits and consume large amounts of  energy. This is because the air that is being heated is also escaping away outside the space.

This is why closed and insulated rooms work best with an oil heater where you do not have to maximize the heating power of the device to warm the room.

Do not Ventilate right after heating

If you turn off the heating and immediately open the windows for ventilation then all the heated air is going to escape through the windows and the room will cool down faster. A cold room will take much longer to heat up the next time around and will also consume more heat to do the same.

But ventilation is still important, so it is best to ventilate the room an hour or so after turning off the heater so that the warm air gradually dissipates instead of moving right out.

Wear proper winter clothing

Technically, the clothes you wear do not have anything to do with how much the oil heater adds to the energy bill but think about it, if you are naturally protecting yourself against the cold with a layer of winter garments then the need for artificial heating will go down and you will not need to operate the oil heater at maximum heat settings, thereby lowering the energy bill even if by a bit.

Do not use the heater through the night

If you have used an oil heater before then you will know that they heat up a room pretty fast. Therefore there is no need to keep it on though the entirety of the night. Most models of oil heaters have a timer that you can use and set so that the device turns off on its own after a few hours of heating.

If the room in question is closed without any cracks and holes and also insulted, then the heated air will stay inside your room and it will be a while before it completely cools down. By the time you wake up in the morning, you may still be able to feel some of the warmth.

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Final Words

Oil heaters are definitely cheaper than other space heaters out there but only when used in the correct manner. Insulated closed rooms often get the best results from oil-filled electric heaters.

There are also other factors that affect the efficiency of an oil heater and as a consumer, you should carefully assess the products in the market in order to get the one that best suits your situation.

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