Winter is coming and when you start talking about heater efficiency and saving money, you’ve really got my attention. I live somewhere in the United States that gets really, really cold during the winter, and it’s not uncommon to wake up to outside temperatures well below 0 degrees. On top of the cold weather outside, it’s a rental house – so there is only a minimum amount of things I can do to make the house itself more energy-efficient. I could run the oil burner in the basement all day and night, but then I would have to pay an oil bill that would probably equal the cost of the rent. Is that what you do too? Fortunately, there is a better alternative. You could figure out a different way of heating that A. uses less energy, B. costs less money, and C. keeps you even warmer than an oil burner would anyway. You could heat yourself not your home.
And that’s where space heaters come into play.
The idea that we have to heat our entire home all winter long is crazy. Why pay to heat all that empty space you aren’t even occupying? Of course, we don’t want our house temperature dipping below freezing as we don’t want pipes to burst or our belongings getting ruined. But there is absolutely no need to keep an entire 2,000 square foot home a toasty 70+ degrees, especially if you are at work all day or on vacation for a week. Instead of using all that energy to heat up empty space, the best thing to do is to heat yourself not your home, the way that the Japanese do. They don’t use central heat to keep themselves warm; instead, they use different kinds of space heaters which move with them throughout their home.
Right now, electricity rates are much cheaper than oil, propane, or kerosene. Natural gas is low too, but again, if you have natural gas you are probably still using a forced-air system to heat your entire home. So a space heater, plugged directly into a wall socket in the very room that needs heating, not only reduces the amount of fossil fuels you burn but is also much more efficient at keeping you warm, rather than your house.
I currently own three space heaters for my home – one for the bedroom, one for my office, and one that goes behind the couch in the living room. All of them are only turned on when I am in the room I am hanging out in, and my oil-burning furnace stays set at a much less expensive 60 degrees. Running a space heater while keeping the oil burner set so low means my heating bill in “cold country” isn’t sky-high like most people’s is. The last one I purchased, the Eco-heater 602 High-Efficiency Electric Panel Heater, goes behind my couch and keeps me warm anytime I am watching TV or reading a book. No need to heat the upstairs guest room if I am downstairs watching TV, right?
If you live in a colder climate, I highly recommend you pick up a space heater or two for your home. Heat yourself not your home isn’t just a catchy phrase; it can save you a ton of money on your heating bill. Would you rather have a $400 oil bill every month or another $25 tacked on to your electric bill from space heaters? It saves money, saves the environment, and also helps to keep the air inside your home free of the dust particles that often come from forced-air heat. The choice is kind of a no-brainer.
How do you heat your home in winter?