As cool temperatures descend, it’s always tempting to consider a space heater for auxiliary heating. You may have a cold space you want to warm up without having to heat the entire house or your heating system isn’t ready for routine use yet.
While they are an option, it’s good to be aware of their advantages and disadvantages.
- Affordable. You can find space heaters for less than $50 that may be adequate for room heating.
- Portable. When you’re finished with an area, you can move the heater to another spot in your home for supplemental heat.
- Relatively safe. As long as you follow the guidelines for using space heaters, they can be safe. Make sure you buy UL listed heaters only, and if they use fuel, verify that they’re vented. Tent heaters are safe to use in tents because they’re not airtight.
If you plan to use an unvented gas, propane, or kerosene heater, crack open a window and do not use it for more than an hour without airing out the room. Avoid using extension cords. If you must, be sure the cord isn’t a tripping hazard and it’s sized to handle the heater. Look for its amp and watts and match it to the shortest extension cord possible.
- Can be expensive to use. While an electric space heater is convenient and inexpensive, the cost of operating it adds up. Electric resistance heating is the most expensive kind per unit of energy provided. If you need it for frequent use over the winter, consider a more efficient kind of heater.
- Need close monitoring. While you can leave your home for months with a central heating system running, you can’t with space heaters. Before leaving, even for an hour, be sure you turn it off and unplug it. Space heaters are the leading cause of home fires during the winter.
If you plan to use the space heater for anything but short-term spot heating, contact Aggressive Mechanical Contractors to learn what other heating options you might have. We provide HVAC services for Monmouth County homeowners.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Monmouth County, New Jersey and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).