How To Choose Between A Space Heater And Your Furnace

When the weather gets cold you may find yourself trying to choose between comfort and low gas and electric bills. Alternatively, you may turn to a space heater to try to keep yourself warm while keeping your energy costs down. While it is true that using a space heater can help you save money, the most important consideration is not what you use, but how you use it. After the consideration of a few different factors, you may find that it's less expensive to continue using your furnace. 

Consider Gas vs Electric Costs

A space heater is often an attractive option for heating because it's designed to heat a much smaller area. If you only want to heat one room in your house, a space heater may be better than using your house-wide furnace. The tradeoff is that electricity is far more expensive than gas. You may end up paying three to five times more per BTU for electricity than you do for gas. Consider how much you use your furnace and how much you would need to use your space heater to be comfortable and whether the costs would be worth it.

Use One, Not Both

One of the main reasons that space heaters drive up costs is that they are used in conjunction with a gas furnace; people keep their furnaces low to save money, then get the rest of their heat from their space heaters. This is inefficient and expensive. If you're going to use one or the other, choose one and use that as your main heating method. For example, if you want to use a space heater, turn your furnace either off or down, and stick to heating only the rooms you need. If you decide to use your furnace, you can bump it up a few degrees and keep things affordable so long as you avoid also using your space heater.

Fix Heat Loss Problems

If you are considering a space heater because your furnace doesn't seem to work very well, it may be most cost efficient to figure out why instead of just using a new heating method. For example, if you have leaks in your duct work or need to replace your house's insulation, those are problems that should not be overlooked. If you have insulation problems or leaky windows and doors, you'd still have the same heat loss issues with a space heater.

Consider Living Space

If you live in a small home or just want to heat a small room, a space heater may be a good option for you. If this is your goal, remember not to buy a space heater that's too big. A small heater can quickly heat up small rooms and doesn't use as much energy, and you may only need to run it for a few minutes every few hours. Just keep your door closed to keep the heat in.

For more information on getting the most out of your heating system, contact a company like Provo Heating.