Usually Your Central Heating Will Cost Less Than Running Space Heaters

11:47 PM, Dec 13, 2012   |    comments
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Triad, NC--  Space heaters aren't so hot in terms of saving money.

Not a winter goes by where we don't report the dangers of space heaters. News 2's Liz Crawford looked into the cost of central heating systems verses space heaters.

If you're running more than one space heater to avoid using your central system, you're likely spending more money.

Brad Fletcher, an Energy Analyst, with the Environmental Solutions Group said, "I would say it's less expensive to run your heat a little higher set point on the thermometer than it would be to bring a space heater in to provide additional comfort."

"Typically what we're telling people is that if you have a newer energy system, HVAC system, it's going to be more efficient because it's either a heat pump or a high efficiency gas system," said Davis Montgomery, a District Manager with Duke Energy Carolinas.

An average space heater is 1500 watts. If you use it for one month, running at 10 hours each day, that will consume roughly $37 for the month.

There are times when using space heaters can help save you money:

- If you have an older home, the heating system is probably not as efficient.
- If you're staying in one room all evening, then one space heater will be a good alternative.
- If your space heater has a thermostat, that's a recommended choice. Set the temperature and leave it there.

Times when a space heater won't save you money:

- If you have a new house, you likely already have an efficient heating system.
- If you're using more than one space heater, switch over to your central system.
- If your heater is over 1500 watts, it's probably not more efficient.

More resources here:

HVAC vs. Space Heaters: Which is More Efficient?
Duke Energy Efficiency


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WFMY News 2, Environmental Solutions Group, Duke Energy Carolinas

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