With winter in Utah entering full swing, homeowners around the state are looking for ways to stay warm without raising their monthly heating bills. Varying people try different tactics here, one of which is the use of specific indoor heaters, often known as space heaters, to supplement the HVAC system already in place.
At Action Plumbing, Heating, Air & Electrical, we’re here to offer some warnings and words of caution when it comes to these items. Not only are space heaters and related products often a major cost increase on top of your HVAC bill, they also tend to address issues you could solve for a much cheaper price – and with far less hassle – using standard furnace inspections, furnace repairs and other services we offer around the clock. This multi-part blog series will dig into many of the overall and specific issues with indoor heaters and why you should use caution or avoid them altogether.
The primary reason we tend to recommend against many of these heater types comes back to personal safety. These heaters are known to cause several dangerous situations, from increased fire risks to certain health risks that may be present using certain kinds of systems.
On top of this, many such heaters are actually raising your heating bill significantly, not lowering it. Many of these items use massive amounts of electricity to function, so while the increase in your bill might not directly show up in heating areas per se, it’s definitely present. Many people find that even occasional use of these items will cause their monthly utility bills to skyrocket.
Our next several sections will go over several of the specific indoor heater options and the issues they pose.
For those heating larger spaces, fuel-burning heaters are often used. They do an effective job, but it’s important to realize that you have to pay for the fuel they use – this is an added expense that will add up.
In addition, fuel-burning heaters emit carbon monoxide. This is a harmful gas to humans, but one that we can’t smell, see or taste, meaning it may linger without us even being aware of it. This is a risk that often isn’t worth it, especially given that there are other HVAC-based heating solutions that prevent the need for such a heater to begin with.
Radiative heaters, on the other hand, work in a different way. They emit radiation to warm the area directly. But they take a long time to heat up, meaning they don’t help in many situations, and they also get extremely hot – if you have children or animals in the home, these heaters frankly are not safe to have around. The risk of major burns or other injuries is too great in such situations.
For more on the issues with indoor space heaters, or to learn about any of our alternatives in the HVAC world, from new furnaces to mini-split ductless heating systems, speak to the staff at Action Plumbing, Heating, Air & Electrical today.