Is there one room that is too cold? Think about using a portable space heater in just that room instead of running the furnace to heat the whole house.
Often there’s a room at home that is drafty and cold in the winter. Instead of running the furnace to heat it up, consider using a portable space heater to make key spots comfy. With a space heater at hand, you can turn down the thermostat for the whole house. (This suggestion may not create savings in states with the highest electricity rates, such as California or Hawaii, but works for most of the U.S.)
Typically it costs $1 per hour to run a furnace and less than 20 cents per hour to operate an electric space heater. With a 150–200 day heating season (October–March), this small change can save several hundred dollars a year. So, if running the space heater gives the furnace a break, go for it!
Here are a few shopping tips for space heaters:
- There is no ENERGY STAR standard, so evaluate energy savings claims carefully.
- For indoor heating, avoid models that have flames, such as those burning gas, oil, or propane. Electric units provide cleaner indoor air.
- Oil-filled models, in which electricity is used to heat a liquid, are quieter and provide more consistent heating.
- If you’ll be staying in one place in the room, consider a radiant heat model (units that glow orange). It will warm you, and not the air.