How Much Electricity Does An Oil-Filled Heater Use?

Modern electric oil-filled heaters tend to run at a maximum of 1,500 or 2,000 Watts. They can also be adjusted to run at lower power down to about 600 Watts.

Most oil-filled heaters come with a thermostat that makes them very efficient at using electricity. The thermostat monitors the temperature of the room.

It can reduce the electricity being used when the right heat has been reached.

How To Know How Much Electricity Your Oil-Filled Heater Is Using

To know how much electricity your appliance is using, you need to find the Watt setting for your normal use.

This info is on the box that the heater was in when you first bought it. However, most of us dispose of the box once we’re satisfied the unit is working.

This somewhat grainy picture shows the controls on my current heater (sorry, it was bad lighting!):

The settings just say Min and Max at the top and “I” and “II” at the bottom. There is no sign of the number of Watts.

But if you can’t find the wattage, you will be able to get this information online.

The easiest way is to search for an online listing of your unit on any marketplace. The specification will have the number of watts.

The number may be specified in KW, which is simply a thousand watts. In other words, 1KW is 1000W.

What if the measurements are in amps and volts?

Some brands don’t show the number of watts. Instead, they display amps and volts.

This is an easy calculation to convert into watts. Simply multiply the amps times the volts. That is your answer.

Do you need to convert amps to watts?

Do you need to know the number of amps your appliance is drawing?

Check out our article on how many amps electric oil-filled heaters use. It has a set of tables that you can check against the specification of your own heater.

Oil Filled heater

Oil-Filled Heaters Convert All Electricity To Heat

Oil-filled heaters are close to 100% efficient in converting electricity to heat.

If you run a 1kW heater for an hour, the 1,000 watts of electric power are converted to 1kW of heat. There should be no loss or waste of electricity.

In our review of electricity usage of fan heaters, I mentioned that low-quality units can have issues with the casing that obstruct some of the heat from getting into the room.

You should have no such worries about oil-filled fin heaters. Regardless of the brand and price, there won’t be a difference in heat coming from the fins.

Do Oil-Filled Heaters Use More Electricity Than Other Home Appliances?

If you look around your home, you’ll probably find that your electric oil-filled heater uses more electricity than other modern appliances.

These appliances use more watts than:

  • a cell phone
  • an electric doorbell
  • an electric food mixer
  • a wide-screen television
  • a refrigerator

Your refrigerator is often the largest electric appliance in your dwelling. But most use significantly less electricity than an oil-filled heater.

However, fridges still probably have the biggest consumption of electricity in your house over a year.

That’s because your fridge is running 24×7 every day of the year. In contrast, we use the fan heaters in short bursts and probably not at all during the summer.

To be fair, the devices I’ve mentioned aren’t designed to convert electricity to heat. How does your heater measure up against appliances that produce heat?

It uses about the same as these units:

  • an electric clothes dryer
  • an oven
  • a toaster

Are There Heating Appliances That Use Less Electricity?

I love electric oil-filled heaters, but they don’t heat a room as fast as fan heaters do.

However, fan heaters use the same amount of electricity if their wattage is the same as the oil-filled versions.

Is there any appliance that produces more heat with less power?

The answer is that appliances based on heat pump technology are even more efficient. These have the additional complexity of a compressor and heat pump.

The electricity powers the heat pump which uses refrigerant to distribute the heat more efficiently around your house. You do get more heat for the same amount of money.

Of course, these are more costly heating solutions to install. If you’re thinking about this major purchase, check out these articles:

Of course, you can also use heating units that don’t rely on electricity at all. Browse through our extensive set of articles on wood stoves.

Dean Casey
About Dean Casey

Hi, I'm Dean Casey, the founder and chief editor of

With over 15 years of experience in the HVAC industry, my passion is helping homeowners achieve optimal comfort and energy efficiency in their living spaces. As a certified HVAC technician and consultant, I have developed a deep understanding of home heating systems, insulation, and energy-saving practices.

I started this blog to provide well-researched, practical advice to homeowners looking to improve their home's heating performance and reduce energy bills. Whether it's comprehensive guides, hands-on product reviews, or expert tips, my goal is to share valuable information with you, my readers.

I enjoy spending time with my family and exploring the great outdoors when I'm not busy writing and researching. I'm also an avid DIYer, always eager to tackle new home improvement projects and share my experiences with you.

If you have any questions or comments about home heating, please don't hesitate to reach out through the contact page on the website. I'm always happy to help!

View more posts