Though Margate isn’t known for temperatures that dip below freezing, many homes still have gas furnaces to keep homeowners warm during the rare cold spell. Heating an entire home is sometimes an expensive ordeal, especially if you live in an older home with little to no insulation. You may wonder if running a space heater or two is cheaper than turning on the furnace and a good way to save some cash. The answer is, it depends. A variety of factors should be considered when deciding how to heat your home and stay warm. In this article, we help you answer the furnace vs. space heater question once and for all.
When It Makes Sense to Run the Furnace
Even in warm climates like that seen here in Florida, home heating still accounts for a large portion of your energy bill. Many people think running the furnace will crank up their bills, but that’s not actually the case. A single space heater often costs more than $50 to run per month. If it’s a small unit. If you’re running more than one, it quickly costs more than it would to run your furnace and heat the entire home. In the majority of cases, a gas furnace is going to be the most efficient heating option.
Another benefit of a furnace is the lack of babysitting you need to do. Space heaters should never be left unattended because they’re considered fire hazards. A furnace provides more peace of mind and safety for you and your family. That’s why most HVAC professionals recommend you use a space heater only as a last resort.
When It Makes Sense to Use a Space Heater
Though a furnace costs less to run per kilowatt-hour, there are still times when space heaters actually end up saving you money. Let’s say you live alone, in a 1000 square foot home. It’s January and the sun warms your house throughout the day since you leave the curtains open, so you feel no need to run either a furnace or space heating device. Night comes, the temperature dips, and the wind picks up: time to get a little warmth going.
If you want to hang out in the main areas of your home, it’s probably best to flick the furnace on. If you’re heading to bed, however, and plan on staying in your room for the evening, a space heater is the way to go. Since you only need to heat a small space for a few hours, the heater will consume less energy and help you keep your utility bills as low as possible.
Improving HVAC Efficiency to Save Money
If you’ve chosen to run your central heating system, there are a few steps you can take to save as much money as possible. First, make sure your furnace has a yearly tune-up, otherwise known as a maintenance appointment. Even if your furnace sees very little use throughout the year, keeping it up to date, clean, and safe is still important. You can do your own maintenance work as well by vacuuming out the vents and changing the filter before the winter begins.
Make sure your home is weatherproofed by sealing cracks and installing weatherstripping around doors and windows. Consider a new application of insulation if it’s been many years since it was last done. These steps will keep the heat your furnace generates inside your home and the cold air outside where it belongs. Insulation will also save you a lot on air conditioning.
Lastly, keep a close eye on your thermostat. On windy, gray days, it’s tempting to crank the temperature up to 70 degrees or more, but running your furnace at these temperatures is inefficient. Instead, keep the temperature between 66-68 degrees Fahrenheit, and a few degrees lower at night. Consider having a programmable thermostat installed as well that can do this task for you.
High-Quality HVAC Services Here to Help
Dr. HVAC Inc is a leading HVAC provider in the Margate, Florida area. Our service offerings include repairs, installations, and tune-ups for both heating and cooling equipment. We’re located on NW 15th Street and would love to have you stop by. As a locally owned and operated business, we’re proud to get to know our customers. Between our licensed technicians, 24/7 emergency repair services, and a variety of financing options, we’re the company you’ll want to hire. Give us a call today and we’ll be happy to answer any questions you might have.