Note – We updated our wattage chart recommendations in 2016 to more accurately reflect a wider range of install situations. We updated the image in this post and some of the content to reflect that.

Cadet wattage chart
Use this chart as a rough estimate to determine how many watts you need to heat a room.

We get the question all the time: What is the right size heater or what wattage heater do I need for my room?

So with our products, heat output is measured in wattage. That doesn’t necessarily mean more is better. Just because you can get a 2,000-watt heater for the same price as a 750-watt one, doesn’t mean you should. If you have too much heat for the room, it could cause the heater to fail. If you have too little heat for the room, it will always be cold.

This post (and the video at the top of this page) will help you determine how many watts you need to effectively heat your room. Our product selection guide will also do this calculation for you.

What’s the right wattage for my room?

The easiest way to figure out what wattage heater you will need is to use our wattage chart (on this page). To do this, match your square footage up with the recommended wattage. (Square footage = room length x room width.)

If you have lots of windows or your exact wattage isn’t listed, go to the next highest wattage. If you live in a warmer climate or have a newer home, go to the next lowest wattage. (That’s right, you’d need more heat in Prudhoe Bay, Alaska than San Diego, California.)

There are a few other things that you might want to also consider when picking your wattage:

More heat for high ceilings

Higher ceilings means more space in your room. That means more air needs to be heated to keep you warm. If you have high or vaulted ceilings, you may want to consider moving up to the next wattage or buy a ceiling fan to help circulate air.

Less heat if using with other heat source

If you’re using a Cadet heater for a little extra warmth in a room that’s already heated by a central heating system or some other form of heat, you can use less wattage. In other words, if you have a 250-square-foot room that’s already heated by a central system, you’d probably be alright buying a 1,500-watt heater. (If that same room had no other source of heat, you’d need a 2,000-watt heater.)

If you have any questions or aren’t sure what to do next, you can always get in touch with our customer service team. They’d be more than happy to help walk you through the process. This also might be a good time to consider walking through the product selection guide on our site, which can help you find the right heater for your room.

Speaking of finding the right heater, be sure to check out our guides on finding the right model for your room and the right voltage heater.

A few tips if you’re replacing an older heater

If you’re replacing an old heater, it’s usually best to match the wattage of the heater that is being replaced. Decreasing the wattage isn’t typically an issue, however if you don’t have enough watts for the room, the heater may run constantly to try to get your room up to the temperature set on the thermostat.

If you increase the wattage of your heater, that can lead to issues with your circuit. Your circuit and wiring might not be set up to handle the increased load, which will most likely result in tripped circuits when the heaters are running.

If you’ve made it this far in the post, you probably understand how important it is to get the right wattage heater for your installation. If you have any unanswered questions or want additional help, don’t hesitate to ask a question in the comments question or reach out to our Tech Support team or check out our Product Selection Guide to have us find the right heater for you.