I have tried a few electric heaters but they are not strong enough. My electric stove emanates more heat that those portable electric heaters. So Perhaps I am not looking for the right thing. What is the right heat measure for indoor radiant infrared/ceramic heaters (without fans)? (regardless of energy efficiency) and can they be used on normal outlets.

  • What does "the right heat measure" mean? Are you trying to calculate need?
    – isherwood
    Dec 15, 2016 at 22:24
  • Are there portable heaters without a fan? A fan will help them heat up the room, if only a little bit. Without a fan you would have to be pretty close to the heater to feel its effects.
    – stannius
    Dec 15, 2016 at 23:15
  • I rather enjoy the long fanless convection style of space heater. homedepot.com/catalog/productImages/1000/20/… Completely silent. But once it heats up there's a pretty good flow of hot air rising off of it. Dec 16, 2016 at 2:29
  • @BillyC., completely silent, if you ignore the sounds of differential thermal expansion.
    – Mark
    Dec 16, 2016 at 3:17
  • In a completely silent room you can hear the thermostat click in and out when it does, but other than that, mine is pretty silent. Nothing with a fan can even remotely compare. If you want to reduce the noticeability of the thermostat you can keep it on low once the area is at temp. Dec 16, 2016 at 4:10

2 Answers 2


Well stoves aren't space heaters. Remember that.

If you think your stove heats better, its probably due to your stove having 50 AMPS at 240V available to it. That' 12,000 watts.

Any portable cheap electric space heater that you can plug in to mere common outlets will be limited to 1800 watts, but more often 1200 or 1350.

It's about the amount of energy available

Stoves have bigger wiring, bigger outlets, and access to more power.

In contrast my home electric furnace is hard wired and can draw up to 28,800 watts with an additional 2500 via the heat pump.

What it comes down to is this...

Heaters gonna heat

Install an appropriately sized heater. If you want more heat you should buy one with a higher wattage rating, and it will probably need to be hardwired. Don't use your stove for heating.

  • 3
    There's an old physics joke (which is technically correct) that "All heaters are 100% efficient" because energy wasted as heat is still heat. Dec 16, 2016 at 2:28
  • @BlueRaja-DannyPflughoeft - That's only technically correct for electric resistance heaters inside your house. A gas heater that's burning inefficiently is going to waste chemical energy that would have otherwise generated heat, so it's less than 100% efficient. Likewise, waste heat up the chimney is not the same as waste heat from a fan from a space heater in your room where the heat is still heating your house. A heat pump can be greater than 100% efficient (even though it's generating some waste heat outside from the heat pump)
    – Johnny
    Dec 16, 2016 at 4:59
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    @Johnny I suspect BlueRaja-DannyPflughoeft is aware of that, but your electrical description only holds from where the power reaches your house - generating and transmitting electricity isn't very efficient.
    – Chris H
    Dec 16, 2016 at 12:55

Power (heat) is measured in watts. A heater with a higher wattage will put out more heat than a lower wattage heater. In the USA, most portable heaters will be limited to around 1500 watts due to typical 120V/15A home wiring. Permanently installed electric heaters are often higher.

Note that a single large electric stove burner could well be more than that: up to 3000 watts. This is possible due to the special wiring that is necessary for stoves (more amps) and 240V instead of 120V for most other household outlets.

Also all electric heaters have essentially 100% efficiency, so that should not be a meaningful comparison point.

  • In contrast, heat /pumps/ run anywhere from 150%-450% efficiency. Put 1000 watts in, get 3500 watts of heat out (indoors). Dec 15, 2016 at 22:21
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    That depends an awful lot on ambient air. I know of a Canadian 1200sf apartment heated by a heat pump on a 20A breaker. Not magic. It exchanges into a facility-wide coolant loop heated to 90F. If you are interchanging with -10F air, the heatpump not only has to work so hard it may fall below unity, it may also have the wrong Freon (wrong boiling point) in it. Dec 15, 2016 at 23:24
  • @Harper Do Canadian installations not use ground-source heat pumps? Dec 15, 2016 at 23:39
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    @chrylis, apartments frequently don't have access to the ground.
    – Mark
    Dec 16, 2016 at 3:19
  • thanks .. I wanted to understand is why in different countries I have encountered electric heaters that are stronger than the ones in the US. It most likely had to do with the voltage being 240 instead 120.
    – awm
    Dec 16, 2016 at 14:41

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