As frigid temperatures start to tax home heating systems and utility bills soar, homeowners are turning to portable space heaters to reduce heating costs. To get the most out of them, it helps if consumers understand how they work, which types are most appropriate for which rooms, and the best ways to use them to reduce heating costs. There are many types of portable space heaters on the market, but some are better than others, depending on specific goals.
Before purchasing heaters, consumers should think carefully about their needs. Someone typing on a computer while sitting at a desk may simply need a small energy efficient heater, one that can keep feet from feeling cold or prevent drafts from entering the workspace. Others may need supplemental heat for entire rooms. There are portable heaters that can warm rooms so well that the thermostat can be set back to 65 degrees or lower – or even turned off in that room – with the potential for super savings! So be sure to ask the square feet or area a space heater can warm while shopping for one.
Next, think about the room where it will be used as well as the family members who will be using it. If there are infants or small babies who are likely to be in the room, get a brand that has a guard that prevents small fingers from getting burned. There should also be a safety feature that automatically shuts off the appliance if it is tipped over, preventing fires. That safety feature is also essential if pets are a part of the family or enter the workspace.
How can homeowners, office workers and others get the most out of portable space heaters? In many homes or offices, one room may be primarily used for the majority of the day. An effective heater can keep the entire area warm, allowing temperatures to be much lower in the rest of the house or business. The savings can be incredible. If used in a medium to larger space in conjunction with a ceiling fan, even larger rooms can feel much warmer.
Some rooms are poorly insulated or have exterior walls with water pipes nearby, putting them at risk of freezing. Portable space heaters can help to keep pipes thawed, preventing a costly water leak or even the danger of pipes bursting. Ironically, not all sunrooms stay warm in the winter or are appropriately insulated and space heating appliances may be particularly effective in those rooms, especially if plants are a part of the decor. Temperatures may need to be in an ideal range to keep plants alive, and people are feeling comfortable as well.
Many homes have rooms that are rarely used, perhaps a guest room, occasional workshop, or storage area. If these areas tend to be chilly, a space heater can save the day (or night) by keeping temperatures within a suitable range. That way, the heating system doesn’t have to be cranked up. The result? More money saved.
Of course, safety should always be a prime concern. Even though today’s space heaters have more safety features than ever before, consumers should still use common sense. Don’t leave babies or small children alone in rooms with space heating appliances. Be home while using portable heating systems and don’t leave them unattended (and never while on vacation).