10 Things You Need to Know about Zone Heating
With energy costs rising, we're all looking for ways to save money on utility bills, and that's why zone heating makes so much sense.
Central heating for your home may sound cozy, but do you know you're actually wasting money every time the weather turns cold and you raise the thermostat? You might as well toss dollar bills in your furnace!
The principle of zone heating is simple: only heat the room or rooms you are actually using. You don't leave lights on in rooms you're not using, do you? So why spend mney heating them?
By not heating your whole house, you can reduce the amount you spend on fuel costs. How much?
Read on to find out, and learn about 10 other reasons that zone heating makes sense.
1. You can buy a whole-house zone heating systems, but they're costly and must be installed by HVAC professionals. But you can begin your own zone heating plan by using space heaters. Electric space heaters can be purchased very inexpensively, and you will quickly recoup the purchase price in savings on fuel costs.
2. Electric space heaters are high efficiency. Effectively 99% of the energy they use is transferred to your room as heat. In comparison, central heating systems are only 70% efficient, due to the heat lost as the air travels through the maze of ducts between the furnace and the vent. This means you can use less energy but get more heat for your dollar.
3. Save on central heating costs. The U.S. Department of Energy says that you can save 3% on your heating bills for each degree you reduce the thermostat. One family saved an average $3 a day by making the switch - that's $90 a month that stays in your pocket!
4. More accurate thermostat control. The only place a thermostat is correct is right at the thermostat. Since most homes have widely varying temperature ranges (depending on exposure, windows, upstairs rooms, and so forth), it's ridiculous to think that one thermostat can regulate a comfortable temperature throughout the building. Zone heating lets you monitor and control ideal temperatures on a room-by-room basis.
5. Warm up more quickly. Instead of having to wait while the whole house warms up, zone heating concentrates heat output so the room you're in warms up to a comfortable level faster.
6. Easily adjust the temperature to meet the comfort level based on room occupancy and activity. When there are a lot people up and moving around a room, you can lower the thermostat accordingly - without freezing out people in another part of the house.
7.Most space heaters don't require installation. Just plug them in and turn them on. (Some baseboard heaters and wall heaters need to be hard-wired to your household electric system.)
8. Take the heat with you. When it's time for bed, just carry your portable heater with you. No need to invest in multiple, pricey heating devices.
9. End the thermostat wars. He's too hot. She's too cold. Now everyone can be comfortable by controlling the thermostat in their own space.
10. Space heaters come in a wide variety of sizes and styles. You can choose one sized to match your heating needs precisely, whether it's a 700-watt oil-filled heater for your bedroom or a 1500-watt micathermic panel heater for your living room. An electric fireplace adds ambience not just warmth, while smaller, portable units won't intrude on your living space.
Bonus Fact: Zone heating only saves you money if you turn down the thermostat on your central heater. Depending on the outside temperature, you'll need to keep it set between 45 and 60 degrees in order to start feeling the financial benefits.
Keep this in mind, though, and you can start saving on your household heating bills today.
Want more home heating efficiency tips? Read about how to conduct your own home energy audit here.