Buyer beware when it comes to electric space heaters. Manufacturing companies may promise massive reductions in heating costs (up to 60 percent) by turning back the main heating system and using the space heater. Some feature "exotic" sounding technologies to create the heat. Here is what you need to know:
- Any space heater will produce the same amount of heat as another. Electric resistance heat has an efficiency rating of 1.0 and advertised new technologies only add to the cost. Buying a $40 model will heat just as well as the one costing $400.
- The maximum saving you can expect with using space heaters is around 10 percent.
- Do not let them run continuously as a single 2,000 watt heater can add over $159.00 per month to your electric bill if the electric rate is $0.11 per kWh.
Electric space heaters do have their place. If you turn your central system back to around 60 degrees F. and supplement with a space heater, you can expect that 10 percent or so in savings. But you must use it only when people are in the room.