Regardless of if you live in a newer home that is very energy efficient or an older home that might have a few drafts, heating your home costs money. If you happen to live in a place with a colder climate heating bills can be a very significant amount of money.
So what can you do to combat this expense?
A lot of people have tried saving money on their heating bills by turning the temperature down at night when they are in bed. So do you really have to lay in bed with your teeth chattering or pile a mountain of blankets on top of your bed to save money to save some money on your heating bill or is there another way.
A lot of people try using heated mattress pads or heated blankets so they can keep warm and comfortable when the thermostat is turned down on the furnace at night, but how much do these electric mattress pads and blankets cost to run and do the people who use them actually end up saving any money.
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How Much Does it Cost to Run An Electric Mattress Pad or Blanket?
Depending on where you look or who you ask people will give you varying answers when it comes to how much it costs to operate a heated mattress pad or heated blanket.
Because there are different variables at play determining the exact cost of using a mattress pad or blanket is hard to determine. Not only are there differences in energy consumption between specific models, but there are also differences between people and how they use these products.
So let’s take a closer look at some of these variables.
Just as it costs more for a furnace to heat a larger home, the electricity required to run a heated mattress pad or blanket goes up as the size of the bed increases.
It is also worth noting that larger sized blankets and mattress pads often have dual zones, which enables the person on each side of the bed to select their own temperature. This means that each side of the blanket or mattress pad could consume a different amount of energy, making it more complicated when trying to calculate energy usage.
How Long It is Running Each Night?
Not everyone is in bed for the same amount of time each night. Some people might sleep 6 hours per night. Other people might sleep 9 hours per night. Still, other people like to go to bed and read or watch television before falling asleep for the night.
Many models feature a preheating option, which allows you to get into a toasty warm bed when you retire for the night. This feature is found on a lot of models and only increases the amount of time the mattress pad or blanket is using electricity.
So as you can imagine there can be quite a bit of variability in terms of how long each person has their electric blanket or mattress pad running each night.
Each of us has our own preferences when it comes to how warm we like to be when sleeping. To help with these personal preferences most heated blankets and mattress pads have multiple heat settings with many models having 10 or more settings to choose from.
As you can imagine, the higher the temperature setting the more energy it uses.
Size of Wires and Age
The size of the wires in a heated mattress pad or blanket can influence its’ energy consumption. Smaller wires have increased resistance, which means that it takes less voltage for them to heat up when compared to larger wires.
Most people prefer smaller wires because you are less likely to feel them. So as time has passed, manufacturers have begun making mattress pads and blankets with smaller wires, which means that the newer models have become more energy efficient.
Cost of Electricity in Your Area
Depending on where you live, the cost of energy can vary. Costs for electricity can vary significantly from state to state. Electricity costs can also be more expensive for people who live in rural areas as opposed to people who live in town.
So How Much Should I Expect to Pay to Use a Heated Mattress Pad or Heated Blanket Each Month?
Despite all of the variables listed above, most estimates say that it costs a couple of dollars per month to operate your heated blanket or mattress pad. So you should feel pretty confident that it will cost less than $5 per month to operate their electric mattress pad or blanket.
Let’s face it using a heated blanket or mattress pad is an expense. It doesn’t save money by itself. The real payoff is in lower heating bills. So let’s discuss what kind of savings you can expect on your heating bill.
So What Are the Real Savings on Your Heating Bill?
Each home has different variables that impact the heating bill each year. These variables include how well the home is insulated, where the thermostat is set during the day, where the thermostat is set at night, and how cold it is outside.
The energy.gov website reports that you can save as much as 10% per year by turning your thermostat back 7-10 degrees for 8 hours each day from its normal daytime setting. Back in 2009 Consumer Reports ran some numbers of their own and found that the average household could save up to $233 dollars by turning down the thermostat by 8°F for 24 hours a day, 25 weeks a year (based on 2009 dollars and fuel prices) thereby confirming that using a heated blanket or mattress pad could help you realize substantial savings when combined with turning down your thermostat.
So go ahead and get that electric mattress pad or electric blanket you have been thinking about. You will feel warm at night and sleep well knowing that you will be saving money.
Image Credits: John Loo, Pictures of Money, and Bobbie Palmer on Flickr