Many people turn to space heaters for additional warmth during the winter months. Using space heaters isn’t always cheaper or more efficient than running your furnace, though. If you don’t know which is better for your family, check out these three situations when it makes more sense to run a space heater instead of turning up your furnace.
Your Family Can’t Agree on a Temperature
In the winter, you’ll save the most energy by keeping your home’s temperature at 68 degrees. Some family members may argue that this temperature is too low, though. If multiple family members disagree on a comfortable temperature, you might end up adjusting the thermostat constantly. To resolve the problem, give a space heater to each family member who prefers a higher temperature.
A space heater is a great solution for family members who tend to be cold because it gives your furnace a break while keeping everyone comfortable. Just make sure your family members know to turn off the space heater when they leave the room to save energy and prevent fires. Mother Jones reports that 25,000 house fires start every year because of space heaters. Make sure to purchase a model with an automatic shutoff system and other safety features.
One Room Gets Colder Than Others
Your HVAC system should eliminate the need for space heaters because it disperses warm air throughout your home. If you find that one or two rooms never feel as warm as the others, however, a space heater can help boost the temperature until you figure out why the room gets cold.
Call in an HVAC tech to examine your furnace and insulation for inefficiencies, and then make changes based on professional recommendations. If your home is properly insulated and your HVAC system works efficiently, you shouldn’t need a space heater. Older homes are notorious for heat loss, though, especially if they have outdated insulation in the walls, floor, or ceiling. It may be necessary to add or replace the insulation in your attic or walls to eliminate air leaks and keep your home cozy and warm.
You Want Different Temperatures Throughout Your Home
If you have a large home, sometimes you don’t want the whole house to be the same temperature. For instance, in a three-story house, your bedroom might be on the main level. That means you might use the second floor and the basement only on rare occasions. In this case, you might consider setting your thermostat to a cooler temperature and using space heaters to warm up the main floor.
If this sounds familiar, you should consider a long-term solution, too. Have an HVAC professional install thermostats on each level so you can adjust the heat as necessary throughout your home.
In general, you should avoid space heaters, but there are some instances when they come in handy. Always consider the costs before you turn up the heat, and try to rely on your furnace, since your heating system offers a more efficient and effective way to keep your whole home warm.
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