When winter comes around, it’s usually a slow creep, but there’s a definite moment when you can’t deny that winter is in full force. That’s when you notice a significant drop in the temperature and find yourself relying on your heater to stay warm.
If you don’t have central heat, you probably rely on an electric or gas-powered space heater. Do you know if your unit will carry you through the winter? How did it perform last year? Did it leave you wishing you had something bigger or more powerful?
If you aren’t sure your current heater is good enough, here are some things to consider before winter arrives.
1. Account for the heater’s efficiency
The heater you’re currently using may not be efficient enough to heat your space, especially if you’ve moved since last winter. A simple, small ceramic heater may have been all you needed to keep your office warm. However, if your new place is a bit drafty, that won’t help much.
In a drafty space, if you can’t fix the problem, you’ll do better with an infrared space heater. Not only do they produce superior heat, but they’re also 100% efficient. This means they use every bit of energy to make heat.
How efficient is your heater? Will it get you through the winter if you can’t patch up the drafts, or will you lose most of the heat? If you aren’t familiar with how the concept of efficiency works for each type of heater, check out this heater buyer’s guide from eFireplace Store. If you think your heater won’t be enough, buy a new one with a higher efficiency and more BTUs.
2. Do you have the right size heater?
The size of your heater will make a big difference in terms of how well it will serve you in the winter (or not). Bigger isn’t always better, but sometimes it is.
For example, if you need to keep your heater on for long periods of time, a bigger unit will be less likely to overheat than a tiny desktop heater. However, just because you have a large heater doesn’t mean it will completely heat a big room. Most of the time, it won’t. You might be better off with two medium-sized heaters placed at opposite ends of a big room.
The same logic holds true for smaller spaces. Do you really need a gigantic heater in your small bedroom? If you prefer the temperature on the warm side, then you’re probably fine. However, if your room gets too hot too fast, try downsizing your space heater.
Think about last winter and ask yourself if your space heater left part of the room cold. If so, you probably need a bigger heater.
3. Do you have enough heaters?
Sometimes it takes more than one heater to stay warm in the winter. As we just discussed, big rooms usually require additional units. Another reason to get more heaters is to keep multiple rooms warm. While you can drag one heater from room to room, that’s not efficient or fun. It’s easier to have a designated heater for each room where you spend time.
4. Does your heater’s vent or filter need to be cleaned?
A clogged vent or dirty air filter can make heaters stop working and can shorten the lifespan of your unit. Usually, a heater will give you an error with a specific code for this obstruction, but not always. Before winter, clean your vents and air filters to allow for a smooth air intake. You can use compressed air to blow out as much dust and debris as possible, and don’t forget to clean the casing with a wet rag, too.
5. Do you have a good air filter?
Although it’s not directly related to heating your home, it’s important to keep the air as clean as possible. Since heaters pull air through them, you want that air to be clean so your heater works efficiently. If the air is too dirty, your heater will have to work harder, and will become dirtier faster.
Make sure you have a separate air filter for your home that will clean the air before it gets pulled through your heater. This will help prolong the life of your space heaters, too.
Start planning now
Don’t wait for winter to get your ideal heater setup. Plan now and get what you anticipate needing to make it through the winter comfortably.