Larry Cook

Safe Space Heater Alternatives to Keep Warm This Winter

Did you know that space heaters contribute to more than a thousand home fires every year? (Source: https://onsafety.cpsc.gov/blog/2017/01/13/your-space-heater-needs-space/). According to the National Fire Protection Association, space heaters are the culprit of approximately 43% of residential fires in the heating related category, which accounts for items such as fireplaces, water heaters, and space heaters. The data is clear that space heaters pose significant risks! 

Before plugging in a space heater to warm up your home this winter, we encourage you to consider the HVAC tips and options outlined in this article as a safer alternative to using a space heater. 

Space heater

HVAC Tips to Increase Warm Air

Improving Warm Air Flow

Cold spots in your home? Instead of plugging in a space heater, consider taking these simple but effective steps.  

Look for Closed HVAC Registers and Blocked Heat Sources

It may seem obvious, but make sure that all of your air registers are open. If you have closed air registers in a room, then you aren’t distributing the heat throughout the room as effectively as you could be. We’ve found that when air registers are open in the proper position, customers are more satisfied with the temperature in their home. 

Also, be sure to check if you have any furniture or other objects blocking heat registers in your home. Any objects that are blocking air registers are likely blocking necessary airflow. Take the time to walk around your home and check under large couches, rugs, and furniture to ensure that these items are not blocking airflow. 

Close Fireplace Dampers

In some homes, the ductwork itself will have dampers that can be opened and closed to adjust the amount of airflow being disbursed. If your home has these dampers, adjust the dampers so that the dampers are in the “winter” position. The winter position means that the damper should be parallel to the duct. 

Change Furnace Filters

Have you been changing your furnace filters on a regular basis? We recommend checking your furnace filters monthly and replacing them with new furnace filters if the filters are dirty. The filters within an HVAC system have an extremely important role of filtering out dust and debris from the air so that your HVAC equipment runs properly. If your HVAC system’s air filters are dirty and clogged, then you can be certain that the air flow to your furnace is diminished. If you’re not sure what replacement air filter you should use for your HVAC system, or how to properly change the air filter, call a professional HVAC company to help you. 

Change air filter

See our article on the best air filters in 2022 

Leaky Air Ducts

Consider when the last time your ductwork was inspected, especially if you have an older HVAC system. During a ductwork inspection, an HVAC professional will check for ductwork problems, such as leaks or large holes within the ductwork. If your ductwork has leaks or holes, then it is no wonder that you may be experiencing cold spots throughout sections of your home. In addition to cold spots, leaky ducts also are incredibly inefficient because the warm air being generated from your HVAC system is simply escaping into your ceilings and walls. 

Fall HVAC Maintenance

Have you had your furnace maintained recently? The majority of furnace problems could be prevented if discovered early. During HVAC maintenance appointments, a professional technician will clean the HVAC system, inspect all equipment, replace dirty filters, inspect safeties, lubricate moving parts, inspect and adjust thermostat, and more. If you haven’t had your furnace maintained recently, take the time to schedule a maintenance appointment with a professional HVAC company. 

See our article about signs your HVAC systems needs maintenance.

Affordable Space Heater Alternatives 

If you’re looking for other space heater alternatives, consider the following. 

  • Draft Weatherproofing.  If you live in an older home, take a look around your house to see where it feels drafty. Often in older homes, heat is lost through leaky windows or floors and walls that are not insulated well. Simply caulking around the windows and adding window insulation sheets can have a significant impact. 
  • Baking and/or Cooking. If it’s especially cold outside, spend time in the kitchen baking or cooking. We know that this isn’t realistic to do all the time, but if you only experience a desire to use a space heater on extremely cold days, this may help (and you’ll have something warm to eat, as well!). 
  • Duct Booster Fans. Another alternative to using a space heater is using a duct booster fan. Duct booster fans are blower fans designed to increase airflow through the ductwork. They can be a great help for those hard-to-heat rooms. 
  • Add Vent Fans. Do you have a room in your home that is very warm, and others that are cold? Room-to-room fans, sometimes called wall vent fans, may help. These are vent fans that are installed on the wall of a warm room with a diffuser that serves the purpose of distributing air to an adjacent room. These also help with moving cool air from room-to-room during the warm summer months.

Space Heater Alternatives That Are More Expensive

If it’s in your budget to tackle a large project, you could have great payoff in the form of a comfortable climate in your home without space heaters. 

  • New Windows. If your home has single paned windows, you should know that your windows are not providing the best insulation protection from the weather. Consider investing in double-paned insulated windows to have a better insulated home which can ultimately help reduce energy bills and improve overall comfort.   
  • Furnace Replacement. Depending on the current condition of your HVAC system, it may be worth considering a full replacement of your HVAC system. At Larry Cook Heating and Cooling, we offer no obligation free estimates. 
  • Radiant Floor Heating. Radiant floor heating is a popular option for customers who are looking to add warmth to a specific room. Radiant floor heating warms the floors. Customers love this option, as it can be installed under tile, carpet, laminate, or engineered hardwood floors. There are also radiant heating options available for walls and ceilings. 

Furnace Maintenance Can or Reduce Need For Space Heaters When it comes to indoor comfort, it’s worth repeating just how important regular furnace maintenance is. The HVAC professionals at Larry Cook Heating and Cooling recommend HVAC maintenance four times a year, every season. This is especially important in Kansas, as it’s common to experience extreme weather conditions in all seasons of the year. All furnaces and air conditioners require maintenance during their lifespan. Maintenance is essential to have a long lasting and efficient heating and cooling system. Contact Larry Cook Heating and Cooling today to learn more about our HVAC maintenance packages and options. We also offer free estimates! You can reach us at 316-322-5668. 

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