Space heaters usually cost more money in long run

Posted at: 10/23/2012 3:45 PM
Updated at: 10/23/2012 9:07 PM
By: Eddie Garcia, KOB Eyewitness News

With cold weather on its way, you might be thinking about breaking out that old, trusty space heater.

This time around, you might just want to turn on the main heat instead.

It turns out space heaters can sometimes cost you more than your big heater.

"People buy those with the assumption that they will save on electricity costs," said PNM Energy Specialist, Eric Seelinger.

Seelinger said some people make the mistake of using space heaters to replace their main heater.

PNM said they see this time and time again. People are switching off the main heater and then plugging in multiple space heaters thinking it's going to save them money. In the end, PNM said, you might get sticker shock when you see your bill at the end of the month.

"We've heard calls coming into our call center where somebody will have eight space heaters and then their monthly bill has been in the many hundreds of dollars," said Seelinger.

PNM said running just one space heater four hours a day can add up to $20 to your monthly bill.

If, for example, you're running three at one time - that equals an extra $60.

Seelinger said most home space heaters are designed to warm up people, not entire rooms.

He said if you must run a space heater, do it only for fewer than four hours, aim it directly toward yourself and turn down your main heater instead of shutting it off.

"Turn your thermostat down to 62, and that will make you comfortable with your space heater but then the rest of your house is going to be fairly cool," said Seelinger.

If you forgo using space heaters at all, Seelinger said you can still save money keeping your main heat low.

"Generally around 68 and wear a sweater and you should be ok," said Seelinger.

PNM also said it is imperative you use space heater safely. CLICK HERE for more information.