Can a space heater really help you save money on your winter heating costs? This is one of those seemingly age-old questions that never seem to get a straight response. In short, the answer is yes—but you should follow a few important guidelines in order to get the most savings. Otherwise, you could actually end up increasing your heating costs, and nobody wants that! With winter in full swing and many Americans shivering in their socks looking for more frugal ways to stay warm, here are a few tips to help you save on heating costs with a portable space heater.
Turn Down the Thermostat
One of the main advantages of using a space heater, other than boosting your coziness and warmth, is that it helps offset the costly operation of your central heating system. That is, as long as you remember to turn down your thermostat. Typically, for each degree you lower your thermostat, you’ll save 3% on your heating costs. Researchers at the Good Housekeeping Institute recently put this strategy to the test and found that you can save as much as $200 if you lower your thermostat to 62 degrees F and supplement your room with a space heater.
Heat Only the Rooms You Use Most
For the most energy savings, be sure to use a space heater only in the rooms you use most. This may be your bedroom, living room, or den. Today’s space heaters are remarkably lightweight and easy to move from room to room, so you’ll get focused heat right where you need it. To help prevent heat loss, try closing off spare rooms and other areas you don’t plan to heat.
Choose a Programmable Space Heater
Newer space heaters include many advanced features that give you more control over heater operation and energy usage. One feature to look for is a programmable thermostat, which allows you to program your desired temperature and the heater will maintain that temperature by cycling operation on and off. This helps conserve heating energy when it’s not needed. One of our most popular heaters, the Vornado TVH500 Touchstone Vortex Heater, includes this feature as well as a programmable timer.
Look for a Heater with an Energy Saver Mode
Energy-saving heating modes have also become popular space heater features in recent years. These operating modes are designed to keep you warm and comfortable while reducing overall energy consumption. Another top-rated model, the Honeywell HZ-3750GL Cool Touch Tower Heater includes an Energy Saver mode that reduces energy consumption by 40 percent. To maximize savings, operate your heater in energy-saver mode most often and use the regular operating mode only when you need a quick boost of heat.
For more ways to save when using a space heater, read our article Save on Heating Costs with a Portable Heater.