As the weather cools down and we switch to using our furnaces, questions about space heaters increase. Many people wonder whether it would be more energy-efficient to use space heaters to heat their homes instead of central heating. Others hear about the high fire risk with personal heaters and want to know how to use them safely.
It can be a good idea to supplement your furnace with a space heater, but there are important considerations to bear in mind in order to stay safe and save energy. Here’s what you need to know about using space heaters with furnaces.
Can You Use Space Heaters Instead Of Central Heating?
Technically, yes, you can, if you don’t mind exorbitant energy bills. Personal heaters are not meant to take the place of your furnace. While they may seem like a more cost-effective option, this is only when used to heat one room of your house if the thermostat is turned way down low for the rest of your home. If you have little heaters running in each room, this not only poses safety risks, but it would cost you far more than central heating would on your energy bills.
Does Needing A Space Heater Mean You Need Furnace Repairs?
This very much depends on your situation. Many people who are sensitive to the cold use space heaters because they like their room to be warmer than other people in the house do. If the reason why you need a space heater is that you simply need it to be warmer than other people in your family do, then this is a matter of personal preference.
However, if you find yourself pulling out the personal heaters because no matter how high you set your thermostat, your home just doesn’t seem to get warm enough, then this is a sign that you likely need thermostat or furnace repairs.
When Is It A Good Idea To Use A Personal Heater?
When you have a room that you like warmer than the rest of your home! Personal heaters are only meant to heat a small space, which makes them ideal for when someone likes their room warmer than other family members do. However, you should not use these little heaters to try to compensate for problems in your home, such as drafty windows, a failing furnace, or poor insulation.
Can Using A Personal Heater Cut Energy Bills?
If you turn your thermostat down low and only use your personal heater for one room of your house, then yes, it can help you save money. You will want to ensure that your windows and doors in the room the heater is in are closed, for the best results.
However, central heating generally tends to be more cost-effective and more efficient at heating your home than personal heaters are. It’s what they’re meant to do after all. Space heaters are only meant to heat a small space, while your furnace is meant to heat your entire house.
If you notice higher energy bills as a result of using your furnace, this could be because it needs maintenance. It’s a good idea to have your furnace tuned up every year so that it runs at optimal efficiency.
Is Using Personal Heaters Safe?
Yes, it can be safe to supplement your central heating with a personal heater, as long as you follow the proper precautions. Generally speaking, it is perfectly safe to use one of this little heaters, but as they use heat and electricity, you need to be careful to use them correctly to avoid potential dangers.
Some safety tips for using personal heaters include:
- Place the heater on a hard, level, non-flammable surface.
- Ensure that the heater is 3 feet away from combustible materials.
- Never place a personal heater in a child’s room.
- Never leave a personal heater unattended.
- Never leave a personal heater on while you are sleeping.
- Unplug the heater when you are not using it.
- Never plug the heater into an extension cord, as this can cause overheating and explosions.
- Ensure that your smoke alarms are working properly and that you test them each month.
- Do not use personal heaters around paint, gas cans, or matches.
- Don’t place the heater or its cord somewhere that people could trip and fall over it.
- Ensure that it has appropriate safety features, such as a tip-over switch.
- Only use it for supplemental heating, never for other purposes like trying to dry your clothes.
Is Your Furnace Running Efficiently?
As you can see, personal heaters can be an excellent choice for providing extra heat in a room, but they’re no replacement for your central heating system. If your central heating system is not running as it should, R & D Heating And Air is here to help! We provide all manner of heating services, from replacement to repair to installation to routine maintenance and more. If you need to have your heating system looked at, contact us today to schedule a service.