Using small electric portable heaters in rooms at night and turning gas heat way down?

I live in a large 3000 sq ft home in a winter city. This past winter our natural gas bill ran 0-0 a month to heat the home from November through March. So, we divised a plan to cut costs down.

At night, I am turning down the main thermostat to 55 degree and we are closing our 3 bedroom doors and using smaller portable electric heaters. The smaller heaters will heat the rooms nice and warm easily and run off and on about 40% of the time during the night.

So, will this help cut costs down? I know even with gas prices more then tripple in the past few years, electric is probably more, but do you expect this stretegy will save some $? Thanks

15 Responses to “Using small electric portable heaters in rooms at night and turning gas heat way down?”

  1. donna_honeycutt47 Says:

    Electricity is Cheaper than Gas at this time. Just make sure those Electric Heaters do have Thermostats and tip over Safety devices on them. I have A Gas Log Fireplace, and the price of a gallon of Gas is outrageous now, so I rarely use it. You can also use Electric Blankets on the Bed at night to help stay warm. Personally I like it cooler when I am sleeping.

  2. david Says:

    forget about the cost , do usual way , just suggestion

  3. dvdacmn Says:

    sounds unsafe to me

  4. Rob K Says:

    I would suggest that you could save more money by either buying a thicker duvet (continental quilt) or extra blankets if you don’t mind the weight. Go for a duvet with a 15TOG or higher.

    Trapping extra layers of air between blankets will insulate you from the cold better and it’s a one-off cost.

    You may also consider buying thermal linings for your curtains. They will reduce the flow of heat through the windows by insulating the window area and trapping the heat inside. they are usually much cheaper than curtains and just get hung up like regular lining curtains.

    Electricity is not cheap. Can you get storage heaters installed? They usually store up energy using a cheaper tariff of electricity. Then the heat is released slowly.

    But the extra blankets or the duvet is probably the best bet…

  5. psychopiet Says:

    Why not measure. Do one week as you did last year and look what the use of gas and electricity was and do one week with your new method and see what the sue of gas and electrcity was. Provided both weeks had more or less the same wheather, this should give you a good indication.

    In general, there are two disadvantages with your method. Due to the low temperature at nite, your heating will have a hell of a job getting he house to temperatrure again in the morning. And second, electricity is more expensive per amount of energy than gas. But you have to measure to make sure which is the best.

    Other methods which you can thinks of : get a new heatinginstallation, modern ones are fare more efficient than old one, and make sure that heat stays in the living/dinig room by having a door, so that all the heat doesnt go the roof.

  6. thefinalresult Says:

    We started doing the same in an 1100 sq. feet apt last winter and it did help some.

    We shut both bedroom doors and both bathroom doors and used oil filled electric radiators. A very nice warmth from them.

    The thing is that when you put the thermostat back up the next AM the gas furnace has to run longer to bring it back up.

    But even with this we did have a savings on both our gas and electric bills it wasn’t a whole lot but every dollar counts.

    If you are using any space heater with an open element that turns orange or red they are not energy saving. Anything that heats up quick with an element like that such as an electric stove and oven, space heater, toaster uses more electric.

  7. RICH @www.hvac-for-beginners.com Says:

    You may save a little but there would be better ways. First, if you would replace your thermostat with a programmable unit you would probably save 10-15% if you used standard setback settings. Also, in a home that big, if you do not have a zoned system you are wasting a lot of money. Finally, there may be better things to do like add insulation, etc. For more info concerning these topics and more check out my source.

  8. Nightrider Says:

    No, it won’t. The items in your house would have cooled to a point when the furnace comes on again to 72 deg., it needs to work doubly hard to get everything back up to normal again. You burn more gas this way.

    Keeping heat registers closed in unused bedrooms help, but don’t forget – that heat is still generated at the furnace and it only does an inefficient job of heating those closed bedrooms.

    Setback thermastats work, but people tend to overdo it. 5 degree difference just before you hit the bed and before you get up is all that is necessary to see some savings.

    Your heating bill is quite high. 3000 sq.ft home should not burn that much gas. Get an energy audit done. It will reveal where your energy is really going.

    I personally feel you are going about this the wrong way by freezing yourself and your loved ones like this.

  9. william r Says:

    I’m not that good at math but try to understand this.
    1 Kw is 1000 watts, your heaters are rated in watts per hour used example(heater 1000w =1Kw per hour 40% guess =400 watts per hour) add wattage from each heater together using the formula above to find total Kw per hour x hours of use for billing period. Look at your electric bill to find how much 1Kw cost and x that with by estimated use and that should give u A close answer.
    Also try setting temp lower all day say 65 degrees and wear somthing like sweatpants amd sweatshirt around the house thats what I do.

  10. keni Says:

    how old is your gas boiler? Perhaps it is not the most efficient you could have. Is it a condensing type? Also, it may need to be serviced.

  11. henryswtzr Says:

    I think over time your method will save costs, but do you want to jeprodize your safety at night? It is not safe having electric heaters running all night, what happens if one fell over? I would look at other alternatives.

  12. answers for people! Says:

    In general, those small electric heaters are expensive to operate. To determine the cost, get one of those Kill-A-Watt electric meters and see how much running them is costing you (one model lets you input your cost per Kw).

    You didn’t say much about the age of your home and how well it is insulated. Some things that may help in the future are: making sure you have enough insulation in the attic, making sure your windows are energy efficient, and (as a previous suggestor said) having an energy audit done. Your natural gas bill is way too high.

    One thing I must emphasize that several contributors have got completely wrong: Lowering your thermostat so that it is set to 55 instead of 65 will save money EVEN IF your system has to work hard ("doubly hard") to get back to 65 in the morning. This is why programmable thermostats save so much much and why tankless water heaters do too.

  13. John himself Says:

    The electric heaters will cost more in electricity than the furnace will cost in gas. Figure about $50 per heater per month. Or more.

  14. Debra Says:

    Here is what I do, my thermostat is turned down to 55 at8pm and I turn on a twin sized electric blanket that is side ways on my queen sized bed sandwiched btwn two sherpa fleece blankets to trap the warmth.I sleep in a roasty warm bed sometime i put my fleecy throw to th top around my head to keep it warm.I live in Michigan where it gets to freezing temps.,when I wake up I turn the thermostat up to 65, it doesnt overwork my furnace at all.During the day I wear sortie Ugg booties and fleece sweaters and fleece pants around the house. They are super warm.When everybody around me has the flu, guess what ? I don’t!This is very healthy and comfortable,many people overheat the house in the winter.Try electric mattress pads or like me a simple twin size blanket sideways.it is December and last bill was 50.00 dollars in gas and my electric was 35.00 dollars.It isnt just about the money our health is impoetant too.My immunity is robust and strong because I am acclimated to the seasons.

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