Space Heater vs. Central Heating: Which is Better


When it comes to heating, there can be several options. You can either use a portable electric heater to keep you warm where you sit. Or, you can use your central heating system and keep everyone warm at the same time. So space heater vs. central heating: Which is better?

Actually, it depends on many factors. Really, your situation and the quality of your heater can affect your choice of heater and can determine which one is more suitable for you.

The House

Assume that your house has several different rooms and a central heating system already installed.

Again, which one would be a better choice for you?

To answer this question, ask yourself: are you going to use a lot of rooms or just a few?

Use Many Rooms

If you are using many rooms in your house, stick to the central heating system.

If you are using many rooms in your house, stick to the central heating system

Image source: Complete Electrical Solutions

Although it may cost you more to run the whole system, you would be able to feel warm wherever you move.

Actually, it won’t cost you much more money if you turn the thermostat a bit low.

Also, there are a lot of movements around the house as you are using all the different rooms.

Cold air can be transferred from one room to another. As you open doors, the temperature of the warm room that you have previously used will also be reduced. So it is important to keep the temperature of all the room at a certain level.

Just a Few Rooms

You spend the majority of your time in your own rooms and there are not a lot of activities happening in other rooms. It is best to stick to a space heater.

If your house has a few rooms, stick to a space heater

Image source: IMN

It is small and can be carried around. So for instance you can have your heater to sit by your side when you are working and later carry it out to the kitchen where you cook and have your dinner.

Using a small space heater can really save you a lot of money as you are only running one small unit.

You are not going to use the other rooms anyway so it is not so crucial to keep them all warm. Just make sure that you close the doors and windows of the unused room. Thus, you can prevent cold air from slipping in and warm air from moving away.

The People Living With You

A Few People

Your choice of heater should also be based on how many people are there sharing the house.

If there are only a few people sharing a same large room (studio apartment, living room), stick to a convection heater. It can help you to warm up the air of a room quicker than your central heating system.

At the same time it makes sure that everyone would feel warm as it won’t be leaving any cold spot in the room.

Also, your convection heater provides you with comfortable heat and cozy feelings rather than your panel heaters.

Many People

If there are a lot of people living in the house and they are all sharing different rooms, nothing can beat the efficiency of the central heating system.

Similar to large apartment buildings, every room shares a same central heating system that produces a same amount of heat to all the room. You can still turn off the thermostat for unused rooms so that other rooms would receive more heat.

Using one shared heating system rather than using many different small heaters in different rooms can save you a lot of money. The system would require energy for one large generator only.

Portable Space Heater

Portable Space Heater

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  • Quite light in weight and can be carried around
  • Can be switched on / off while not in use
  • Can heat up a space quickly while consume less energy compared to a panel heater.
  • Easy to clean and maintenance


  • Consume more energy when used in large number.
  • Take up more space compared to a panel heater
  • Can produce a lot of noise while operating so it can be annoying when you need some quiet moments.
  • Associated with fire hazards and Carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Some of the heaters use radiant heating method so they are unable to heat up the whole room. So, there will be many cold spots in the room.

Central Heating System

Central Heating System

Image source: Air Conditioning Edmonton


  • Can save you a lot of money if there are many people using one heating system
  • Keep the house over all temperature low so that you won’t be shivering if you need to move around the house
  • Can keep all the objects in your house in good condition if they are unable to stand against the cold weather
  • Safe to use as people don’t have to sit next to a running heater (the generator is in another place)
  • Produce unnoticeable noise so that you can enjoy your cozy peaceful moments.


  • Everyone sharing one system means that if there is anything happen to one room or the generator itself, the whole house mean of keeping warm will be down.
  • Associated with carbon footprint so it is not safe for the environment.


Central heating is the conventional way of keeping yourself warm. It is safe and can benefit you a lot when there are a lot of people around. On the other hand, space heaters are quick and efficient when there are only a few people. It is your job to determine which one is more suitable for you due to your circumstance.

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