Last winter our members experienced record cold temperatures over a span of several days, forcing some to take drastic measures to stay warm.
Some bumped up their HVAC and relied solely on heat strips to warm their homes, while others bundled their families into one room in their home and relied on space heaters for warmth. But which is the best option when it comes to heating your home for less?
When you’re dealing with extreme temperatures like we experienced last year, neither option is energy efficient enough to keep your heating costs down.
However, in a normal southeastern North Carolina winter, your HVAC system is the most energy-efficient option for warming your home. Space heaters, while helpful when used in small spaces for a short period of time, should not be used as the primary heat source for your whole home, especially if you want to save money on heating costs.
While space heaters are not as economical as a central heating system, they do come in handy when you need a little extra warmth in one room of your home. If you use one, make sure you use it wisely to ensure you’re not using more energy and spending more money heating your home than necessary. Here are a few tips from your cooperative:
- Purchase an energy-efficient model designed to heat a room the size you plan to use it in.
- Turn down the thermostat slightly for the rest of the house when the space heater is on. But don’t turn it too low or your water heater may have to work harder, costing you more overall.
- Dress warmly at home so you can increase your personal comfort without increasing your heating costs.
- Never leave a space heater unattended as that can pose a serious safety risk.
Learn more about space heaters and how to use them wisely at energy.gov.