Are Vornado Heaters energy efficient?

Vornado claims their heaters are energy efficient. They even have an entire savings page dedicated to how much you can save if you use a Vornado heater.

In this article, we’re going to check Vornado heater energy efficiency and how much you can really save with a Vornado heater.

Hi, I am Daniel, an electrical engineer. And I’ve been debunking heating myths on this website for 4 years. So, let’s take a deep dive.

Quick answer: Yes, Vornado heaters are energy efficient. While they are technically equally as efficient as any other space heater, it is possible that you perceive more warmth due to the focused stream of hot air.

Later, I’ll also tell you which Vornado heaters I recommend. So, stick out!

Are Vornado heaters more energy efficient than other space heaters?

Investigating energy efficiency in space heaters is always tricky because technically, any space heater is 100% efficient.

The reason is that all energy is eventually converted to heat.

Energy efficiency, by definition, is

energy efficiency = useful energy ÷ input energy

Because, as we’ve just seen, all energy eventually ends up as heat, useful energy, and input energy always have the exact same value in a space heater.

So, every space heater is technically 100% efficient.

Which renders a comparison between different models pointless. After all, all space heaters have the same efficiency metrics.

Vornado heaters use the same amount of energy as any other space heater. You can achieve the same energy savings with any space heater.

Perceived energy efficiency: Vornado heaters use a vortex stream to focus heat

From everyday experience, we all know that different heaters feel different. Some produce whole-room heat, such as oil-filled radiators. Other heaters produce a focused beam of heat such as infrared heaters.

Even though all of these different heaters have the exact same energy efficiency, they feel different.

So, what really matters in a space heater is not how much heat it outputs vs. how much it consumes (which reflects classical technical energy efficiency), but how it distributes heat in a room.

Perceived energy efficiency measures how well a heater heats you.

Vornado heaters produce a stream of hot air across the room. They heat the whole room, but within the vortex stream temperature is elevated.

Vornado heaters create a vortex that blows air throughout the entire room.

Vornado heaters are both able to 

  • heat whole rooms and
  • focus the heat in any direction you want

Even though they work purely based on convection (the distribution of hot air), I’d say a Vornado heater is more similar to an infrared heater (which is very efficient due to its focused heat distribution).

But instead of beaming hot infrared rays through a room, Vornado heaters blow a stream of hot air into the room.

In real life, Vornado’s vortex does not look like the perfect spiral depicted in the image above, due to obstructions and air movement. But in general, Vornado heaters are able to blow a focused stream of air into the room.

For most people, Vornado heat feels more pleasant than infrared heat.

Vornado are the best of both worlds.

What’s the best Vornado heater?

I can recommend two Vornado heater models. Let’s have a look:

Simple & sturdy: The Vornado MVH Vortex Heater

vornado vortex space heater

This one is my personal favorite:

The best Vornado space heater for most people is this Vornado MVH Vortex heater (click to see it on amazon).

It’s a very simple space heater with heat and fan speed settings. And that’s what makes it great.

The Vornado MVH excels in simplicity: There are no fancy features that stop working. It’s a solid heater that will last you decades. You even get a 5-year guarantee!

Of course, it also comes with all the safety features you need, including tip-over and overheat protection.

A great, solid heater.

High-end with remote: The Vornado TAVH10

vornado tavh10 space heater

Another great Vornado heater is this Vornado TAVH10 (click to see it on amazon).

In addition to the sturdiness and heating power of the MVH Vortex heater, the Vornado TAVH10 comes with multiple advanced features.

It has a built-in thermostat that allows you to control room temperature to a degree’s precision. And additionally, you get a remote control.

The LCD screen makes this heater look much more modern.

Which Vornado heater would I get?

Personally, I like simplicity & sturdiness and I don’t need the advanced features at all. So, I’d get the simpler Vornado MVH Vortex heater.

Both heaters produce the exact same amount of heat. So, spending more money does not result in better heating.

The Vornado TAVH10 is a great heater, no question. But for most people, the simpler model without all these high-end features is more than enough!

My philosophy is: Heating & safety first. Everything else is just a bonus.

You can even try the simpler Vornado MVH heater first. And, if you like it and you really miss a remote control and precise thermostat, get the TAVH10.

Fact check: Saving heating expenses with a Vornado heater

On their website, Vornado makes some statements about energy savings. Which is very practical since we can fact-check them.

The basic idea is correct: Instead of heating the whole house with a central heating system, you can reduce overall temperature by 5°F.

Then, you can supply heat with a space heater in the rooms you use.

In one of my investigative articles, I already did all the calculations: Do space heaters save you money?

Depending on your house’s size, you can even save up to $400 a year on your heating bill (if you turn down central heating a lot and supply only a little heat with one space heater).

Now, deduct the cost of running a space heater 

Interestingly, both Vornado and I get very similar results.

Vornado states that you can save $176.09 on your annual heating bill.

However, there’s one fundamental flaw: Vornado assumes that one Vornado heater is enough for a whole house.

This is only true if you live alone or if most people are in the same room most of the time.

My result (accounting for the true circumstances in a home):

“Space heaters will only save you money if you reduce your central heating’s temperature by more than 8°F (or 4.4°C) and use 2 or fewer space heaters to supply heat in your home.”

space heater money saving guide

Apply this to Vornado heaters:

Yes, you can save money with Vornado heaters if you turn down central heating. With one supplemental Vornado heater you can save $176.09. If you supply heat with two heaters, you’ll save $103.18.

( Each Vornado heater costs $72.91 per heating season according to Vornado )

The more Vornado heaters you run to supply heat, the lower your savings.

So, you can only save money using Vornado heaters if you have to supply just one, two or three rooms with heat.

After that, it gets unprofitable.

Which heaters are even more efficient than Vornado heaters?

Vornado heaters are not the most efficient heaters if you compare them with infrared heaters.

Infrared heaters radiate heat throughout a room without heating the air. So, they only heat the objects they radiate at.

Which is why you can usually run an infrared heater at reduced power and still feel just as hot as when you use a regular convection-based heater such as a Vornado heater.

For example, I can run my infrared heater at a 400 Watt power setting and feel the same overall warmth as if I run my other space heaters at ~1000 Watts.

Infrared heaters really cut down heating costs. Especially when you optimize infrared heater placement (e.g. place them as close as possible to you).

So, if you really want to get the most efficient space heater, I recommend getting an infrared heater over a convection-based heater.

My recommendation: This Dr. Infrared heater (click to see my review).

Infrared heaters are even more efficient than Vornado heaters. But their heat is not as comfortable to many people.

Not everybody likes how infrared heaters feel. They emit hot infrared rays that feel very “dry” (as an engineer I feel ashamed calling radiation “dry”, so sorry my dear colleagues).

I’d say:

Vornado heaters produce the most comfortable form of heat since they heat the entire room evenly. Infrared heaters produce the most efficient heat because they focus their heat output in one direction.

Conclusion: Are Vornado Heaters Energy Efficient?

To summarize, Vornado heaters are as energy efficient as any other space heater in terms of converting electrical input to heat output. This is a characteristic of space heaters in general, as they operate at nearly 100% efficiency.

Where Vornado differs is in the distribution of heat. Their vortex technology effectively circulates hot air throughout the room.

This leads to a perception of increased efficiency because the heat is more evenly distributed and may feel more comfortable to most users. I call that a “high perceived efficiency”.

Regarding the potential savings on heating costs, Vornado’s claim of an annual saving of $176.09 is not inaccurate, but it is based on specific conditions.

This level of savings is most achievable if you are heating a limited number of rooms with just a single Vornado heater.

Additional Vornado heaters used in the home reduce the overall savings.

In essence, Vornado heaters provide a balanced blend of reliable heat output and effective heat distribution.

They are good quality, reliable heaters and always blast out a nice amount of heat whenever you need it!