Three Myths About Electric Space Heaters

Fearing the recent outrageous price increases for energy, you might be considering a electric space heater to help you keep warm this heating season. I’ve done a lot of research on this subject over the last few years. If you want to save money with an electric heater then read this article.

� Myth # 1 : Electricity is too expensive,

We all grew up with electricity being our most expensive utility. While the price of electricity hasn’t gone down any, the prices of natural gas and fuel oil have skyrocketed in the past few years. This can make electricity very competitive if not cheaper in many parts of the country.

If you would like to prove this to yourself, get your current electric bill and find out what you are paying per kilowatt hour. Then get the price for your natural gas or heating oil. Use the two links below to compare the heating methods.

Granted, this is a rough estimate because many factors come into play. But unless the electricity is much more expensive than your main heating source, you probably can save money by the judicious use of electric space heaters. That means turning down your main thermostat and only using the electric heaters when necessary. Safety is a prime concern. If you are a careless person or have small children or pets, you might want to reconsider space heaters.

� Myth # 2 : You have to buy a really good electric heater.

The manufacturers of space heaters will enthrall and confuse you as to the merits of their product. Don’t believe any claims about increased efficiency. All electric heaters are very close to 100% efficient. Ceramics and oil don’t increase efficiency. You still have to heat up the ceramic or oil first. If you want to save the most money, go with the cheapest heater you can find.

The largest plug-in heater you can buy in America is 1500 watts. That heater will put out 1500 watts of heat whether it cost you $10 or $500. My favorite electric heater is made by Lakewood. It is all metal, has a thermostat and cost me all of eight dollars.

If you want all the bells and whistles, if you want style or you like some other feature of the more expensive models then go for it. Just remember it will increase your payback time on any savings you might realize.

� Myth # 3 : Electric heat is dry.

If your house is too dry during the heating season, that indicates that you have not done enough to seal out the outside air. A properly insulated house should actually lean towards being too damp. The normal activities of a family during the day, showering, washing clothes, cooking even breathing should generate enough moisture for the average home. Stop trying to save money on heating methods and start sealing up your house. you’ll save more money that way.

And please safety first. It’s claimed that electric space heaters cause thousands of fires every year. I’m not sure why. I’ve taken paper towels and draped them over space heaters just to see what would happen and nothing happened. But as I said some people are really careless. Make sure you are not overloading your electric circuits. Only one heater or other major appliance per circuit please. Be careful with the cords. No extensions. Don’t run the cords under the rug. Inspect the heater for damage and throw it away if you find any. Unplug the thing if you are not at home. Don’t be a statistic.

Happy Heating!

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