An electric blanket (also called a bed warmer) is a small domestic appliance consisting of a blanket with an electric heater inside. An electric blanket generates heat, which is evenly distributed over its entire surface. It is usually placed on top of the sheets. There are also electric blankets designed to be spread out under the bottom sheet. It is important to know which type you have and to read the instructions for use, since those blankets manufactured to be placed on top of the sheets should not be spread out under the bottom sheet.
The main function of an electric blanket is to heat its surface, either with the intention of preheating a bed before sleeping in it, heating it while you are in it or to provide heat to a specific area of the body of a person or animal, always provided that the skin is covered by another textile, since with direct contact there is a risk of burns.
How does it work?
An electric blanket has a plug that needs to be connected to the network. There is also a thermostat that regulates the temperature. They transform electricity into heat through the cables that are evenly distributed throughout the surface.
In more up-to-date models, these cables are made of fibreglass, and these are thinner and more flexible. The heat generated by fibreglass is infrared, which is much safer and more efficient.
How much does an electric blanket consume?
Electric blankets usually have between 100 and 150 watts of power. If you make reasonable use of an electric blanket, it really does not consume very much.
If you use an electric blanket with 150 watts of power a total of 6 hours every night for 4 months a year, the consumption will be 108 kWh per year.
If you compare this with other domestic appliances, it does not represent a remarkable consumption. Using a washing machine with 1,500 watts of power daily with a programme of 1 hour for one year represents an annual consumption of 547.5 kWh.
Taking the average price per kWh in the last 12 months, 0.143 euros: keeping the bed warm throughout the winter would have cost 15.44 euros a year, in accordance with the above example. If we make a study of other heating methods, you will see that it compensates financially. According to data from the Institute for the Diversification and Saving of Energy (IDAE), an apartment generates an annual cost for electric heating of about 2,670 kWh, which is equivalent to spending 381.81 euros.