space heater

Space Heater vs Central Heat: Pros and Cons

Heating your home can be costly, so it’s important to use the most efficient method possible. Winter’s biting cold can be merciless to your household if you don’t have the right heating system. 

For some, that means using a space heater. For others, central heat is the better option. 

But which is better? 

Here is a review of these two heating options, showing the main pros and cons of each to help you decide. If you’re on the fence between a space heater vs central heat for your home, read below for more information on both.

Space Heaters

Space heaters are smaller and more portable heating options for your home. They are often used to heat smaller spaces and don’t require ducts to distribute the heat within the house. 

They are meant for localized heating, meaning they can only heat a particular space at a time. Some space heaters use combustion to heat your house, while others use radiant heat.

Pros of Space Heaters

In the cold winter months, space heaters provide a quick solution for chilly rooms. Here is what makes them unique:

  1. They can be used in specific rooms

Space heaters are not centralized. This means that you can have a space heater in any room you need. As such, they offer an excellent way of heating some rooms without heating the rest of the house.

  1. Cheaper to run

Does a space heater save money? This is often a key question for many homeowners. Running space heaters can sometimes be cheaper than running central heat. This is because space heaters only need to be used in certain areas of the home.

This way, you avoid the extra cost of having to heat the entire house or space, especially where heating is not required. In addition, the upfront cost of space heaters is much lower. If you’re looking for some ways to lower your winter heating bill, consider a space heater. 

  1. Easier to install

Unlike a central system that requires a lot of work and professional knowledge, space heater installation is quite easy. All you need is to buy the appliance and plug it into a nearby socket in the room you want to heat. The heater will start heating up the room as soon as you turn it on.

So, if you’re looking for personal comfort and budget savings, space heaters are an excellent choice.

 Cons of Space Heaters

Space heaters can be a tempting choice when the weather turns chilly, but they are not always the best solution. Here is why:

  1. Can be a fire hazard

One of their major drawbacks is the potential for fire hazards. This can result from incorrect use or the space heater safety protocol not being followed. Always keep your space heater away from loose fabrics, furniture and water, and unplug your space heater when it is not in use. 

  1. If not used properly can increase your power bill

Depending on how many heaters you have and how often they are used, space heaters may end up costing you more money in electricity than standard central heating systems. So, to decide which heating option is best for your home, consider space heater vs. central heat cost based on your use to see which method is cheaper in the long run. 

By doing this, you can avoid wasting your money before you commit to one system. 

Central Heating System

With a central heating system, heat is generated from a central point. From here, the system distributes the heat throughout the house using ductwork to warm the required rooms.

The main heat distribution agents here include air, water, or steam, and they are ideal for colder climates and large indoor spaces.

Pros of central heat system

  1. Heat is more evenly distributed throughout the house

Central heat is a great choice for your home due to the even heat distribution throughout the house. With a central heat system, you are able to control the temperatures of your entire house or space from a central point. Therefore, you are guaranteed comfort for your entire house.

  1. Ideal for large spaces

Central heat systems are quite efficient when heating large spaces. If you are looking for a system that will heat the entire house or office, a central heating system won’t disappoint.

  1. Long-term savings

Modern systems allow you to schedule them to turn off when you are not in the house. This helps save a lot of money on monthly bills.

For this reason, while central heat may cost more up-front than space heaters, they allow you to save more money over time. The even distribution of heat, plus the automatic turning off of the system, ensures that energy is not lost and you get the comfort you need.

Ultimately it’s up to you as to which option – space heater vs central heat – would suit your needs and budget better. But with all things considered, central heating makes for a much more comfortable and cost-efficient long-term investment for your home.

Cons of central heat

Making the decision between space heaters and central heat can be a difficult one for anyone looking for an effective yet economical way to warm their space. Here are some drawbacks of a central heating system.

  1. It’s more expensive to run

One major con to central heat is its cost. For starters, purchasing and installing a central heating system costs more. So, when comparing the acquisition cost of space heaters vs central heat systems, centralized systems will require you to dig deeper into your pocket.

  1. It takes longer to warm up a cold house

Heating takes longer with central heating as they are warming up an entire house as opposed to a targeted area. However, if you want a warmer space more consistently over an extended period of time, running a central heating system may be cheaper in the long run. 

Ultimately, weighing your comfort against costs is key when deciding which heating method is best for you.

Overall cost: Is it cheaper to run space heaters or central heat?

Most homeowners have to decide between space heaters or central heat. While space heater systems cost less initially, they aren’t as cost-efficient over a long period of time. Space heaters typically require a lot of energy to maintain a comfortable temperature. And if they are constantly running, depending on how many you have, it can cost more than a central heating system.

Central heat runs on a larger system and can cost more upfront, but its efficiency in terms of heating costs makes it much more economical. 

Ultimately you know what you need for your home, so consider your needs and budget to decide which one you think would work best – central heat vs space heater. 


If you are still unsure, consider contacting a professional HVAC technician to help you. They can help you assess your home and find the best heating solution for your household.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top