Stay warm, and don’t get fleeced

By Mir
November 3, 2008
Category Quick Tips

I was surfing around for some information on space heaters—basically trying to figure out if they do save you any money on your heating bill—and came across this little news piece out of Syracuse (my old stomping grounds; forever in my memory as the place where my nose hair froze while I walked up to campus).

The bottom line? Don’t ever buy a “fancy” space heater; they’re likely a waste of money. A small (inexpensive) ceramic heater may be worth it, if you use one room much more than the rest of your house, and can turn the thermostat way down while using it. But space heaters are pretty expensive to run, too, so while turning the thermostat down 10 degrees in a 2000 square foot house in favor of a single heater will save you money, keep in mind that turning the thermostat down and then using four or five heaters will not.

You can calculate the relative costs of using a heater vs. running your whole-house heating system, or—if you’re lazy—you can simply do a month-to-month comparison, using heaters or not.

But the very best advice for cutting heating costs? Put on more clothes during the day, and more blankets on your bed at night. (You’re welcome!)


  1. ha ha, my Dad always said, “It’s not THAT cold, you can barely see your breath! Besides, how will you appreciate the warmth of summer if you aren’t cold in the winter.” Ahhh, frozen memories I will pass along to my kids! 🙂

  2. Timing! I was just trying to sort that out. I like a cool house but it’s rather difficult to winkle Children out of bed if it’s a toasty 61 in the mornings. Also one Child went and got itself parakeets who don’t appreciate my idea of balmy. So for now, that Child has a heater in its room (and helps pay the bills) and I’m considering a small ‘nother one just to take the frost off in the mornings.

  3. Ah, I spent years stomping around Syracuse as well! Wish I had known that particular pearl of wisdom back them. I shudder to think how much $ I wasted when living in the virtually uninsulated house off campus…

  4. Ahh…a native Syracusan here who relocated to perpetually sunny, if occasionally chilly, Colorado! I laugh when people complain its “cold” in Colorado – wimps!!!

  5. ah, another fellow SU grad here. . . frankly I miss those snowy campus stomps. how is that possible? I must be sick. I’m also far too wimpy to leave my house so cold I’d need a space heater . . . I pay dearly for my wimpyness.

  6. For some unknown reason my daughters room is much warmer in the summer compared to the rest of the house, and much much colder in the winter. Adjusting vents, etc does no good. I’ve even had the ‘experts’ out to test the system. We had to buy a small ceramic heater for her room last year. Works great for keeping my little angel warm!

  7. I had one for my feet under my desk back in cube-world (as the official heating system air never made it down there). Now I still use at home when having a steamy soak in the tub (as the house is kept at 60 degrees in winter), it keeps the bathroom walls and mirror from turning into a rainforest.

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