Is a space heater really more efficient than your HVAC system?
When the temperature dips into the 30s and 40s, you may be tempted to break out your space heater and use it in place of turning up your furnace. But, is that really more efficient and will it save you on costly utility bills in the winter months?
The simple answer is that a space heater won’t be as effective as your HVAC system if you use it to try to heat your entire home or large areas, day after day. Space heaters should be used to supplement your HVAC unit and only in one or two rooms in your home.
Additionally, there are a few questions you’ll want to ask yourself before using your space heater for extended periods of time:
- Consider the condition of your current HVAC system. Is it getting older and perhaps not running at peak efficiency? What is your energy bill like now? Will replacing your older system be more cost effective than running one or more space heaters?
- How much energy does your space heater use? Most space heaters are rated at 1,500 watts. How much will it cost you on a monthly basis? You can determine the approximate cost of running a 1,500 W space heater by using the following formula from Consumer Reports:Multiply 1500W by X hours of use (A).
2. Multiply (A) by your electricity rate per kilowatt hour (B).
3. Divide (B) by 1000.
- What areas of your home are you trying to heat? How big are these areas?
- Are there other ways you can insulate your home to help lower your heating bills? For example, adding extra insulation, replacing caulking, resealing windows and doors, etc.
After answering these questions for yourself, you’ll be able to determine which areas of your home could most benefit from space heater usage and if a space heater is the best answer for your heating needs.
Sometimes the most cost effective solution is to upgrade your HVAC system to a new, energy-efficient option. Columbia Heating & Cooling supplies both gas and electric furnaces, from brands like Carrier that use innovative and energy-saving heat technology to help keep you and your family comfortable all winter long.
We can help you determine if a new system is the best option for your home heating and cooling needs. Give us a call today and one of our HVAC experts will be able to help answer your questions and provide a FREE replacement quote.