Are portable space heaters efficient for my home? - South Central Power

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Are portable space heaters efficient for my home?

December 27, 2021

Small space heaters are meant to do exactly as their name says: heat a small space. Unfortunately, many people use portable space heaters to heat their entire home, which can really take a toll on your energy bills. The truth is, whether or not you should use space heaters really depends on your home’s efficiency and energy needs.

If you’re using a space heater to compensate for problems in your home, like inadequate insulation, drafty windows and exterior doors, or an inefficient heating system, space heaters are not a practical solution.

Perhaps your home is energy efficient but you’re cold-natured and want a specific room to be cozier than the rest. In this case, a space heater may work for your needs. A good comparison is ceiling fans — we use ceiling fans in the summer to cool people, not rooms. A space heater can be used in a similar way during winter months. Only use a space heater in small spaces that you’re occupying and, if possible, try to shut off other rooms to contain the warmth provided by the space heater. If you decide to use a space heater to heat a small area in your home, make sure the heater is properly sized for the space.

Tips to ditch the space heater

Space heaters are energy hogs, and older models can be extremely dangerous. This winter, ditch the space heater and try these alternative solutions to stay cozy.

  • Use an electric blanket to keep warm during the night.
  • Caulk and weatherstrip around all windows and doors to prevent heat loss.
  • Consider adding insulation to your attic and around duct work.

From the January 2022 issue of Ohio Cooperative Living.