Winter calls for more indoor time, thanks to the cold weather outside. Luckily, we have space heaters to beat nature and evoke coziness. However, most homeowners wonder how long they should run the heater in the winter. After all, you are trying to save money, avoid wastage, and, most importantly, preserve your HVAC system.

But no one answer is suitable for this question, as each home has different heating requirements with your home’s insulation properties also being at play. For instance, larger homes may require the heater to stay on for longer to achieve the desired indoor temperature. Besides, the age and medical needs of the occupants are something to consider. However, other issues may affect how long your heater can run.


What are the cycles of a heater in the winter?

The cycles refer to the on and off duration, while running is the length of time the winter warm heater takes to reach the comfortable temperature. This way, if you set the temperature at 60 degrees, the heater will run for a cycle for the specified amount of time to achieve the temperature and shut off afterward. A drop in temperature will follow. The heater runs again for another cycle to restore the set temperature. With the cool temperature outside, it’s likely to drop more often, therefore more or longer cycles.

What if you set the temperature at 50 degrees, and the room temperature is above, say, 55 degrees. Your heater won’t run because the temperature is already higher than the setting. To maintain a particular temperature, the heater may run several times per hour.

Depending on the number of times, you may establish if your furnace is working correctly or experiencing technical issues.


What is the industry-recommended winter heater cycle?

According to industry research, the heater should run for ten to fifteen minutes per cycle. No worries, if yours extends to twenty minutes or goes as low as seven or eight minutes. You have to factor in other variables which may cause the deviation.

Since it’s winter, the outside temperature may influence space heaters’ cycles. Fortunately, Florida doesn’t experience cruel icy weather like other states. Such weather should contribute to longer cycles, while mild temperatures outside influence shorter cycles as it’s not far from the set temperature.


Does shutting the heater off save money?

No, it won’t! Although you may not be home all day or are out on your vacay, HVAC experts recommend that you shouldn’t turn off the heater. Take it this way, when you switch it off, your walls, furniture, floors, and generally everything gets cold. Reheating the house will call for extra effort on its part, and you will likely feel the pinch when you have a higher energy bill to pay.

But that shouldn’t stop you from turning down the thermostat by a few degrees when no one is home. Per the U.S Department of Energy and Pepco, getting your room heater for winter seven to ten degrees lower for roughly eight hours will save on your energy bill. So, if you are at work or away, what is the best temperature to set? Anything around 55 degrees will do. Although technically, your thermostat can’t get any lower than that.


Winter heater price

Your home will influence the space heater’s size, which in turn is dependent on climate, insulation, and square footage. However, the average price of a new unit lies between $4000 and $6500. For the installation, the costs may lie around $5000—the efficiency of the system, size, and warranty influence this cost. For instance, a home with 2000 square feet may cost between $3000 and $4000.


Tips on using your heater in the winter

  • The bottom line is turning your heater in the winter on and off will not save you money, but a few degrees cooler will.
  • It is crucial to keep your house temperature at the level where it meets your comfort.
  • If your HVAC needs a replacement, installing a new unit is quite a price tag but necessary when the temperatures go low.
  • Before the winter starts, ensure you check your HVAC system to ensure it is functioning correctly to avoid last-minute repairs and inconveniences.