Using a Furnace Versus a Space Heater: What You Should Know

March 17, 2022
Space Heater in Colorado Spring, CO

If you are dealing with furnace issues or are looking to save money on heating costs, you may be wondering if you can simply use a space heater to keep yourself warm. While space heaters are portable, compact, and affordable, using them in lieu of a furnace won’t necessarily save you money or keep you warmer. Here are a few things you should consider before buying one or more space heaters to rely on instead of a furnace.

Space Heaters Heat a Room at a Time

Many people who start out using space heaters are basing their heating plan on the fact that they use one or two rooms for most of the day. They think that heating the rest of the house may not be as important. It can seem like a great idea for your budget to just heat a couple of rooms and leave the rest of the home cooler than you normally would.

This can save you money if you only heat one or two rooms on occasion or just want supplemental heat for a small space like your home office. If you rely on space heaters for multiple rooms or use one continuously, however, you are definitely going to see this reflected on your monthly electricity bills.

Space heaters use a lot of electricity for the amount of heat they create. Also, the simple act of opening doors to a room heated with a space heater will drop the room’s temperature, requiring more electricity to reheat the space.

Furnaces Are More Efficient

Of course, furnaces have many times the power of space heaters. They are designed to keep your whole house heated on just a small amount of gas or electricity per day. Modern furnaces are designed to be even more energy efficient, making them a much better option than heating your home with space heaters.

If you find that your furnace isn’t keeping your home evenly heated or your energy bills are going up from month to month, there are things you can do to improve its efficiency. Ensuring that you get regular furnace maintenance from a qualified company like Home Heating Service, Inc. will keep the unit operating optimally. Regularly changing furnace filters (at least every three months) will also keep your furnace efficient.

While it is an investment, replacing your old furnace with a new model with modern features and improved efficiency may also be a wise choice. You will see lower energy bills each month while enjoying a comfortable, evenly heated home. If your furnace still has life left in it, consider purchasing a programmable smart thermostat to help you manage your energy usage. Many programmable thermostats can be purchased for the price of a space heater, and they can result in significant energy savings.

Furnaces Are Safer to Operate

In addition to being more efficient than space heaters, furnaces are much safer to operate than space heaters. If you get regular maintenance and timely repairs, you can be assured that your furnace is completely safe. The main safety concern with a gas furnace is a carbon monoxide leak, but this can be addressed by placing a carbon monoxide detector near the unit.

Space heaters have also become safer over the years thanks to features such as child detection and auto shut-off. However, they still present a significant risk in your home. According to recent statistics, space heaters are responsible for approximately 1,700 home fires each year. They can also potentially cause burn injuries if not handled correctly. What’s more, unlike a furnace that you can set and forget, you can’t simply turn on your space heater and leave it unattended without putting you and your family at risk.

Space Heaters Can Be Appropriate in Some Situations

While we’ve established that furnaces are typically the better option for heating your home, there are some situations in which you may want to consider using a space heater. If you have a small apartment, a space heater may be all you need to stay warm. Space heaters may also be a good option during the spring when the weather begins to heat up but you still need a bit of warm air in your home. Homes with basements, attics, or other areas that lack HVAC ducting can also benefit from using space heaters for supplemental heating.

At Home Heating Service, Inc., we provide a full range of heating services, including furnace repairs, maintenance, and installation. If you need a new furnace or want to improve the efficiency of the one you have in your Colorado Springs home, we can help. Our team also works on cooling systems and provides additional services, including home energy audits, indoor air quality solutions, and water heater installation and repair. Contact us today to set up an appointment.