Central Iowa has started the new year with record-breaking snowfall, and you may be finding yourself more home-bound than ever as you work from home and only venture out into the cold for essential errands. All of the time spent at home begs the question of how to stay warm while being as cost and energy-efficient as possible. Before cranking up your thermostat or buying new space heaters for every room in your home, it is important to consider that the most cost-effective and energy-efficient option for staying warm depends on a number of factors and varies for every household. Read on for things to think about when deciding how to stay warm and save money this winter.

Will a space heater heat up the size and number of rooms that I have?

How many rooms are you wanting to heat up? How big are those rooms? While space heaters consume less energy than central heating systems, they are not as efficient if you are trying to heat up an entire floor of your home, for example. It is also important to consider how long you need to keep the space(s) warm. While it may be best to just turn up the central heat to keep your basement warm for your weekend guests, a space heater could do the trick to keep you warm for shorter periods of time.

Is your central heating system running well?

Perhaps the most important element of efficiently warming your home is the condition of your home heating system. If you can’t remember the last time your home furnace was serviced or the last time you changed out the filter, there is a good chance that you are losing money in the loss of energy efficiency. 

To make sure your central heating system is working properly, it is important to get a routine service check. Ensuring that all parts of your furnace are in good shape can not only save you money on energy-efficiency, but can also prevent costly unexpected problems and keep your family safe. 

Which type of space heater will work best?

There are many different kinds of space heaters available on the market that meet different heating needs, but in general the following heaters work for these types of applications:

  • Convection heaters are best for heating large spaces, but get hot to the touch
  • Fan-forced heaters are popular and perfect for smaller spaces like an office and often come with multiple settings
  • Radiant heaters are the fastest at warming up objects quickly and may be ideal for medium-sized rooms

When selecting a space heater, it is important to not only consider its efficiency, but also its safety in the environment you plan on using it in. It is not advisable to leave a space heater on unattended, especially for older models that use combustion as a means of functioning. Certain types of heaters get hot to the touch and should be kept away from children and pets.

How does your home affect your heat & energy-efficiency?

A final consideration to make when discerning the best way to heat your home in the winter is to evaluate its condition. If your home is old and poorly insulated, then you are guaranteed to lose efficiency regardless of your heating mechanism. To maximize the efficiency you get out of heating your home, it is helpful to cover windows with plastic insulation, replace the screen in your storm door with glass, use a weatherstripping device to seal spaces around your exterior doors, consider insulating your attic, or even invest in thick curtains.

Service Your Furnace with a Professional HVAC Technician

It is hard to know whether you should crank up your central heat or use a space heater when you are not sure of the health or capabilities of your home furnace. Contact Wyckoff today to inquire about a service check or sign up for our Peace of Mind Service Plan to receive discounted semi-annual appointments.