Switching your central heating system to space heaters may be the cheapest way to heat your home after solar panels.
Do space heaters save money? The short answer is yes. You can save a lot of money, but the exact amount depends on several aspects, which we will cover in this article. This will help you make smart decisions so your next heating bill doesn’t scare you.
Heat what you need
Switching your central heating system to space heaters can be much cheaper, as long as you use them in fewer rooms.
In many homes, heat can run for hours in rooms that are rarely used. In these cases, using space heaters only in the rooms you spend the most time in can be a great way to save money without getting cold.
Consider that a standard central heating unit provides 18,000 watts. If we compare it with a 1,500 watt space heater, the approximate consumption is only 8% of the energy consumed by central heating.
Choose the heater according to the room
When buying space heaters, keep in mind which room will be used for each. This way, you can choose the best size for each room. For example, the space heater you put in the bathroom will not be the same as the one you use in the kitchen.
Choose the most energy-efficient space heaters, and ask for advice when purchasing them. Not all heaters with the same amount of watts heat the same; some are more efficient than others.
Convection or radiant heaters?
Both models are excellent heating systems, capable of providing the perfect amount of heat inside each room in your home.
However, when combining savings and comfort, both have points for and against. Depending on the characteristics of your home and the use of rooms, one model will be better than the other.
Characteristics of radiant heaters
Radiant heaters produce heat inside through the combustion process, then emanate it from their walls to the outside.
Therefore, the walls of a radiant heater function as transmitters of hot air, capable of absorbing the heat produced inside the stove and diffusing it at lower temperatures throughout the surrounding environment.
Advantages and disadvantages of radiant heaters
A radiant heater is the best way to produce and emit heat. This system can also safeguard your health since users are protected from possible respiratory and allergic problems produced by forced-air heaters.
A radiant heater makes it possible to achieve remarkably high temperatures. In this way, the radiant heater can work throughout the day at a medium or low speed.
Even so, you should protect your furniture and curtains and keep children and pets away from escaping heat. Respect the recommended safety distances to prevent the radiant heater from causing unwanted accidents.
However, while the radiant heater efficiently heats nearby surroundings, it still leaves farther areas rather cold. Considering all of these features, a sizeable radiant heater can be an economical solution for your home’s largest and most inhabited room.
Characteristics of convection heaters
Convection heaters heat the air present inside the rooms. Recycling air this way takes advantage of cold air, transforming it into hot air.
The cold air, coming into contact with the walls of the convection heater, heats up and goes toward the top of the room. Once cooled, the air returns to the stove to restart the movement and heating.
Advantages and disadvantages of convection heaters
Convection heaters are the ideal heating systems for environments where fast and continuous heating is required. It is a high-speed heating system, ideal for rooms we are only in for a short time, such as bathrooms.
The continuous airflow allows heat to be distributed evenly within the rooms, so the placement of a convection heater does not necessarily have to respect a central position.
Unlike radiant heaters, convection heaters reduce the safety distance required for furniture and curtains since the temperature produced is not capable of causing severe and irreparable damage.
For the same reason, convection heaters cool down at the same rate, so they need a continuous power supply. They are also considered less healthy since recycling the air allows dust and allergens to spread through the air, which can affect our breathing.
Considering these characteristics, convection heaters may be the best option for small rooms with little use in your home.
Take advantage of the thermostat
Use space heaters with programmable thermostat settings so you can set them to the lowest temperature possible. This saves energy by pausing or lowering the appliance’s power once it reaches the desired temperature.
The most significant cost savings are achieved when the heater is equipped with a good thermostat and does not raise the heat above the required temperature.
Use it only as long as necessary
To maximize the time of each heater, connect it to a timer. They are very cheap and will allow you to automatically program when they turn on and off.
It isn’t uncommon to leave the room and forget to turn off the heater, especially if it’s running on the thermostat and is paused by the time you leave. With the timer, you can program it to turn off at a certain time, and you won’t have to worry if you forget about it.
Do you want your bedroom to be warm when you go to sleep? You can set the heater with a timer to turn on earlier and turn off automatically, so you won’t have to worry if you fall asleep before turning it off.
Check the insulation of your house
You can also save money on heating by ensuring your home is effectively insulated and doesn’t suffer from excessive heat loss. Make sure the door to your room is closed as well.
If you have large windows in your rooms, consider using heavy curtains to help prevent heat loss through the windows.
Most importantly, check the insulation of windows and doors that lead outside. There are often cold air leaks that can make it difficult to heat the environment.
If you have one or more space heaters in your home, consider these safety tips.
If you use an extension cord for your space heater, ensure the cord is strong enough to handle the wattage of your heater, and don’t share the extension cord with another appliance at the same time. This will avoid placing a significant load on a single outlet.
Look for space heaters that shut off in a failure or accidental tip-over.
Do space heaters save you money? Yes! With just a few changes, you’ll not only save big on heating your home, but you’ll also be helping the environment. It’s definitely worth it!