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Are Space Heaters Really A Good Money-Saving Investment?


It’s getting to be that time of year again. The temperature is dropping fast, and we’re only a few weeks out from the coldest time of the year. With that in mind, you’re probably wondering about your heating situation.

There are so many options, it can be difficult to decide what’s best for you. Far and away however, two of the most popular home heating methods have sparked a healthy debate more than any others. These two methods are traditional, central heating systems, and a series of small electric space heaters.

The main issue here seems to be whether or not space heaters can save you money while still providing the best home heating option. To really get to the bottom of the issue, we’ll have to take a closer look.

The Truth Space Heating

Space heaters are small, sometimes portable heating devices that lack transfer ducts like those found in a traditional central heating system.

Most space heaters rely on electricity, a particularly expensive way to generate heat throughout your home. Others use a combustion method, which is a serious fire hazard if left unattended and can release toxic gases as a result of burning fuel.

By far, the most cost-effective electric space heater uses a radiant method. In this method, the machine will emit infrared radiation to its direct surroundings. This can heat your space up dramatically in a rapid manner, but it will rarely maintain an even temperature to spaces larger than a few square feet.

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, space heaters are responsible for roughly 25,000 house fires each year. Some older homes are usually ill-equipped to handle space heaters due to the massive amounts of power they draw. They can cause breakers to flip, increasing fire risk and potentially putting your home out of power.

The truth is, electric space heaters can provide a lot of heat to small spaces in very little time, but if you’re looking to evenly heat a large space, they aren’t as cost-efficient as traditional central heating system. Space heaters can be useful in a pinch, but because of the costs involved and the fire hazard they pose, it’s really best to invest in central heating — and here’s why.

Why Central Heating is a Better Investment

Central heating is generally part of a larger HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) system. This system is usually powered by a furnace and is particularly adept at heating large spaces as evenly as possible.

These systems can run off of a variety of fuels, including oil, wood, and electricity. According to Stanford Magazine, about 40 percent of U.S. homes burn coal or natural gas in their central heating systems. This fuel is consumed to generate heat, and then is forced through air ducts or baseboard vents to all desired areas of your home. Central heating is the most popular form of home heating in the U.S.A.

“…In terms of energy per heat output, small space heaters will rarely ever be as efficient as a central heating system,” said Tom Simchak, a senior policy-research associate at the Alliance to Save Energy. “There would be few situations where putting space heaters in every room and turning them all on would be more efficient than a properly-operating and relatively modern central system,” he added.

If you’re interested in exploring your central heating options, Schuler Service is the best in town! Don’t hesitate to contact us with any and all of your home heating needs!

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