Summers in Austin, TX, are hot, and winters can be frigid. For most Austin homeowners, more than 50% of their energy expenditure is cooling or heating their home. It only makes sense to want to heat your home in the most energy-efficient way possible.
Many people have been told that it is less expensive to heat their home with a space heater instead of a furnace. The following factors can influence how much money you will save by using a space heater over a furnace.
The Pros and Cons of Space Heaters
Your furnace is going to heat all parts of your Austin home. Furnaces are popular because they are easy to use and provide even heating. Central heating can be powered by gas or electricity. Less common fuels are used in some parts of the country, such as coal, wood, or oil.
Electricity is by far the most expensive energy commodity in the United States. Heating your home with electricity will be the most costly choice. In addition to being expensive, electrical heat has a high carbon footprint.
Small space heaters typically use electricity. Newer and more cost-efficient heaters use radiant heat. They emit infrared radiation toward objects in their line of vision. They are efficient because they don’t heat an entire space but focus on one object. If you plan on staying in one place, such as at your work desk or on your bed, smart heaters could be a cost-efficient option.
However, if your goal is to heat the entire room or multiple rooms, space heaters become the least efficient option. According to the Energy Department, heating your home with a space heater can cost 43% more than using a gas furnace.
Most professionals recommend only using a space heater as a last resort. If something malfunctions with your furnace, contact Totally Cool Heating & Air. We will get out there quickly to get it fixed. In the interim, a space heater may be able to keep your family warm until our technicians arise.
The Pros and Cons of a Gas Furnace
The upfront cost of purchasing a furnace depends on its complexity, size, and additional functions it might have. Buying a natural gas furnace can be expensive to install and may require plumbing for the natural gas line.
Although it is expensive upfront, a natural gas furnace is less costly because of its lower fuel cost and improved energy efficiency. A natural gas furnace will help your home reach the desired temperature quicker than an electric space heater. It consumes less fuel as it heats up. This leads to noticeable long-term savings.
Before purchasing a new gas furnace, you should know where it rates on the annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE) rating scale. A significant efficiency furnace will have a rating of 80 to 85%. High-efficiency furnaces will have a rating of 90 to 98%. The higher the rating, the lower your energy cost.
Two-stage furnaces and modulating furnaces are the most efficient types on the market. They help you reduce the electrical energy needed to operate the furnace and provide a more consistent temperature.
Gas furnaces have improved drastically in recent years thanks to an increase in quality regulations. However, in the same way that you have to maintain your car to keep it working efficiently, you have to have your furnace cleaned and checked by a professional technician each year.
At Totally Cool Heating & Air, our technicians take pride in helping our customers keep their furnaces working at maximum efficiency. We can help you choose the right furnace based on your needs and keep it running longer. Most furnaces have a useful life of 15 years. If your furnace is 12 years or older, let us help you find ways to reduce energy use and maximize home comfort with a modern furnace solution.
Determining If a Furnace or Space Heater Is Right for You
If you are looking for a temporary heating solution or want to heat one room for a short amount of time, a space heater might work. However, if you want even, safe, and affordable heating all winter long, then an energy-efficient furnace is your best bet.
At Totally Cool Heating & Air, we have been helping Austin residents by providing professional heating and air conditioning services. We are proud to offer emergency HVAC repair, installation, maintenance, and tune-ups. Contact Totally Cool Heating & Air today for all of your HVAC needs.