Space Heating - smaller spaces means smaller heating bills
Many newer homes have space heating features that allow you to control the heat in a particular room so you can save money on your heating bill.
Such systems work well with electric heat and hydronic heating systems that have specific zones, but what about the rest of us that bought a house with a great big furnace?
Can we make use of heating just one space at a time? I think we can. Let's see how.
It costs less to heat a smaller area to stay warm when you have activities that will keep you in one place for a while. This approach provides a warm environment without the need to heat a larger part of your house that you aren't using.
There are two approaches to space heating when all you have is a large furnace. The first is to use a portable electric heater, and the second is to block off rooms in your house.
I use a small electric heater to create a warm environment in my office instead of warming up the entire house. That way, I'm comfortable during the times when I'm in the office and my activity levels are low.
When I use the rest of the house, I am generally more active and the lower temperatures aren't so much of a factor. This allows me to heat the house to a not-so-warm temperature, and keep my office very comfortable.
To increase the effectiveness of the arrangement, I close the door to my office. That keeps the warm air where I want it, and the cooler air is held at bay.
Block off Rooms
Another approach to space heating is to close heating registers in rooms that you aren't using, and then close the doors to those rooms as well.
This will help direct the furnace to heat other portions of the house that are being used. Just be certain that the cool air return isn't behind one of the closed doors. Generally it's in the main hallway, so this won't be a problem, but it pays to check.
In order for the furnace to be effective, you have to allow circulation, and that means allowing the cold air return to freely draw air from the main part of the house.
Done with Space Heating, back to Ways to Save Energy