During the winter in Mishawaka, IN, heating your home can get expensive. You might be wondering whether a space heater or a furnace is the best choice. The answer isn’t always apparent, but there are some situations in which a both options will be optimal. Most of the time a furnace ends up being the best choice for heating your home. Let’s take a look at when to use a furnace versus a space heater for indoor comfort during the winter months.

Heat a Rarely Used Space

If you need to spend several hours in one area of your home that you rarely use, a space heater is a good option for staying warm. It is strong enough to keep you comfortable while not expending excessive energy heating areas that are not occupied. This applies to formal dining rooms, theatre rooms, garages, or other rooms that are not used often.

Warm a Small Area

When you spend most of your time in just one or two rooms in your home, you may not need to heat the entire house. Using a space heater could save you money if you only want to heat one bedroom overnight or a home office for several hours. Space heaters come in handy by being portable and strong enough to warm a room in minutes.

Customize the Temperature

If one member of your household or your overnight guest prefers a warmer room for sleeping, a space heater allows them to enjoy their own preferred temperature. You don’t have to use the furnace to heat the entire house to that level of warmth. In this case, the space heater functions as a type of zoning system for your home.

Heat Rooms Without Ducts

Many older homes have one or more rooms without ducts. You may also have an enclosed patio or similar space that’s not connected to your central heating and air conditioning system. Using a space heater in rooms without ducts keeps you comfortable, and you don’t have to deal with retrofitting ductwork or installing a ductless heating system.

Avoid Frozen Pipes

If one area of your home is prone to frozen pipes in the winter, utilizing a space heater lowers the risk of a burst pipe by keeping that room warm and not allowing pipes to freeze. It’s also important to weatherize your home. Insulating your home’s walls and the pipes, sealing cracks and applying weather stripping keeps the warm air inside your home and lessens the chance of frozen pipes.

Maintain Consistent Temperature Control

Furnaces maintain a consistent temperature throughout your home. Electric space heaters only radiate warmth directly in front of the unit, so the rest of a large room won’t be as warm and cozy compared to using a furnace for heat. When you move about your home from room to room, you won’t have to worry about shutting each door behind you in order to avoid letting out the warm air. If your household includes several people who each spend time in different rooms, using a furnace for heat is safer and more cost effective than setting up multiple space heaters.

Enjoy Energy-efficient Heating

Gas furnaces are more energy-efficient at heating a whole home compared to running multiple space heaters. Newer furnaces offer up to 98% annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE). If your current furnace has lost efficiency or is more than 20 years old, investing in a new one with a high AFUE rating could lower your monthly heating costs and your home’s carbon footprint.

Save Money

When you need to heat an entire house, using a furnace costs less than using space heaters in every room. A space heater costs up to four times as much to heat a home compared to a gas furnace. To keep your furnace operating as efficiently as possible, be sure to change its air filter at least every three months, and schedule an annual tune-up.

Stay Safe

Space heater cords are a tripping hazard. You must keep combustible items away from space heaters in order to prevent a fire. Space heaters that use propane must be ventilated to the outdoors.

Gas furnaces use a flue to ventilate the byproducts of combustion. Properly maintained furnaces are safe.

Not in need of furnace services today? We also offer air conditioning maintenance, installation and repair. If you’re a business owner in the Mishawaka area, our commercial heating and air conditioning services promote year-round comfort and energy efficiency. For more information or to book an appointment, contact us at Tyler’s Heating & Cooling today!

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