Q:

Do electric room heaters keep the cost of gas down or drive electric charges high?

A:

Quick Answer

Using electric room heaters keeps the cost of gas down, but they also increase the electricity bill. The average electric room heater produces less heat than an equal monetary amount of gas, but electric room heaters can save money if the user keeps the rest of the house colder.

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Full Answer

On average, people in the United States pay twice as much for heat produced by electricity than they do for gas, according to Consumer Reports. That means that if the homeowner is able to use less than half of the amount of heat produced by gas, she can save money by not using the gas heater. This means that the room with an electric room heater is going to be warmer than the rest of the home, or the entire home remains cooler than it would be with gas heat. For this reason, overall energy savings depend largely on the size of the home being heated, how much heat is required and where the heat is needed most.

Turning down the thermostat just 1 degree Fahrenheit can save the user approximately 3 percent in gas heating costs, notes Consumer Reports. Adjusting the heat distribution can make a gas heating system more efficient. When using an electric room heater, it is important to turn it off when it is not needed. To further reduce heating costs, a person can wear warm clothes indoors.

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