I always hear people say that it is more efficient to let a thermostat regulate the room temperature.

Well, I do not have a thermostat, but I have an electric heater with on internal one. Not a exact one, it goes from 1 till 7, unit unspecified.

I tend to turn it on when I feel cold, and turn it off again when I feel warm. I think this is more efficient because the heater will spent less time being on. I even put a timer on it to ensure I never forget to turn it off. The timer counts down from 1 hour, and then turns the heater off.

so my question: in general, what is more energy efficient? Playing thermostat yourself, or leaving it up to a actual thermostat?

  • Efficiency doesn't depend on what device controls runtime. It merely depends on total runtime. If a thermostat does that more effectively, it wins. If you do, you win. There's no single answer.
    – isherwood
    Dec 29, 2020 at 14:16
  • What's the maximum wattage on the timer and the heater? I'm guessing not enough and too much, respectively. It's more efficient to heat just the room you're in with a space heater than the entire domicile. That's what people say, and they're right. - How do you not have a thermostat?
    – Mazura
    Dec 29, 2020 at 17:38

3 Answers 3


If you're single and in and out of the house a lot, playing thermostat can be very efficient. I did it for years and had lower electric bills than any of my friends that had programmable thermostats . If others are in the house, then you take the chance of them leaving the switch on when they should have turned it off so using a thermostat be be a better idea.


Both neither is wrong nor right.

Because it's all depending on your preference after all. If you are likely to turn on/off frequently and making your time to turn on longer than expected it could be more costly.

You can use a power meter to calculate your power consumption for this heater with thermostat regulating and with the manual so you know how big the difference in a year (calculate it yourself)


In your case the thermostat on the heater will turn off once the temp is achieved that and your 1 hour timer will mean you save $ because while sleeping it will be off if you turn it on it will only be on for 1 hour or until the room reaches temp. Resistance thermostats are not variable they are on or off at the value selected like 1000w,1250w or 1500w so your method ends drawing less power for several reasons the largest of is you are only heating the space you are in while awake.

I do not like small heaters because of the fire hazard they present but with a timer that sounds like a good option.

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