In winter, many homeowners are concerned about their heating costs. Some people choose to use a space heater in lieu of turning up their thermostat. This might make sense in some cases, and might actually cost you money in others.
You can decide if it’s worth it by learning more about the impact a space heater will have on your energy bill over time compared to using your furnace.
When to Choose a Space Heater Vs Your Furnace
If you are looking for a cost-effective way to heat up a small space within your home, a space heater might be the way to go.
Cheaper Way to Heat A Space
For a small space within your home, using a space heater while in that space might save you some money rather than increasing the temperature in your entire home. The space heater can be turned on and off when you are present in the room rather than being expected to maintain the temperature in the room all the time. The space heater will also change the temperature of the small space pretty quickly as it’s not trying to warm your entire home.
Ease of Use
Space heaters for the home are typically electric because they’re affordable, have one plug-in, and only use power and heat when needed. They’re adjustable for desired temperature settings and automatically go off as the room reaches its desired temperature. They are also usually quite portable and can be moved from room to room as needed.
The Drawbacks of Space Heaters
A space heater can be a great way to heat a small space (or an otherwise unheated space like a garage) but it does have its limitation too.
Space heaters are a suitable tool to use in the winter if you follow these guidelines: never connect them to an extension cord, keep them away from other objects, and be careful of high foot traffic areas like kitchens.
If you have small children or pets in your home, take the right precautions when using space heaters. Fire safety experts recommend children remain at least 3 feet away from space heaters. Several space heaters also come with the option of turning off automatically after a certain time has passed.
May End Up Becoming Expensive
It is important that you find a space heater that will meet both your needs and your space requirements so that you can enjoy warm temperatures during the winter. Don’t just think about the size and power source of a heater, but also the maximum temperature for safety and programmable thermostats to adjust automatically. These factors contribute to how well a space heater works in different settings.
Often, people will not realize how much their space heater is costing them electricity until the bill arrives. Space heaters can be helpful in small spaces, but are generally not a cost-effective way to heat an entire home. If your home heat is not sufficient, then it’s probably time to have your HVAC system evaluated, along with your insulation.
The Value of Space Heaters
If you’re thinking of using space heaters to supplement your home’s heating system, it may be time for reconsideration. According to the Department of Energy (DOE), on average, portable heater usage costs anywhere from two-thirds more than an HVAC in terms of monthly energy cost.
As a result, space heaters can create a warmer room in the winter but must not replace an entire home’s furnace. Space heaters are best for those with occasional cold spells or drafty rooms that need some extra warmth. If you use a space heater, choose one that fits the size of your room and can work efficiently when needed in the cold months.