Extreme snowstorms and dramatically cold weather can prevent your primary heating system from effectively warming up your house and can cause cold air to infiltrate your home.
If you are experiencing frigid drafts in your home, consider adding an auxiliary heater. Here are the pros, cons and costs of each type of auxiliary heater:
▪ Electric space heater: It usually contains a convection system in which a heat exchanger converts cold air to warm air, and then a fan distributes the warm air throughout the room. Space heaters are relatively affordable and can effectively warm up large enclosed areas, such as living rooms and bedrooms. On average they cost from $25 to $200. They can increase your electric bills between $20 to $100 per month.
▪ Baseboard heater: It typically uses the convection process to suck in the cold air near the floor, heat up the air and release warm air so it can rise and keep the room warm. They come in a variety of sizes and voltages, and you can use them for bathrooms, kitchens or living rooms. You can install them under windows to prevent drafts. The average cost ranges from $60 to $300.
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▪ Radiant heater: It generates powerful infrared rays and emits them into the room, warming the bodies and objects instead of the air. They are especially beneficial for small rooms, such as bedrooms, bathrooms, offices and kitchens. Their prices range from $50 to $250. Because they heat with a superior efficiency rate, radiant heaters increase your electric bills much less than other types of electric heaters.
▪ Gas heater: It uses an ignition flame system fueled by propane, kerosene or natural gas. They are very powerful, and can quickly warm up large areas. Their reliance on fuel makes them extremely flammable and highly prone to emitting harmful carbon dioxide. To prevent fires or health hazards, place them in open areas with sufficient ventilation, far from flammable materials such as towels, curtains and furniture. They are best used in garages, work sheds and areas of your home that are properly ventilated. Gas heaters typically range from $200 to $800. Although they are generally more expensive than other types of auxiliary heaters, they can save you money in the long run because they do not require electricity. Price various fuel types in your area to see which gas-powered option makes the most financial sense for you.