Alternative Heating Methods for Your Home

Fireplace keeping the room warm.

If you’re like most homeowners, you dread seeing those utility bills arrive as outdoor temperatures drop. The following heating sources may help trim back costs if used to supplement your furnace.


Nobody can deny the cozy ambiance that a fireplace brings to a gathering of family and friends. The glow of the fire enhances its warmth on smiling faces. Here are some considerations when using a fireplace this winter.

Pros: Wood is relatively cheap and plentiful. You’ll also have heat if the power goes out for any reason.

Cons: A fireplace does not heat the entire home. Also, you’ll need to get your chimney and fireplace inspected and maintained for safe operation.

Wood-Burning Stove

Wood-burning stoves give off both heat and a rustic vibe that many people love.

Pros: Wood fuel is cheap compared to gas and electric power sources. If your wood-burning stove has a built-in fan, you can distribute the heat within a room.

Cons: Someone must be home to tend and feed the fire. If temperatures drop below freezing and the fire in your wood-burning stove goes out, your pipes could freeze. That’s why you should continue to run your furnace throughout the day.

Space Heater

This simple appliance provides targeted warmth, but it should be used with caution.

Pros: A space heater is very cheap to operate. When used in conjunction with your central heating system, you can bump the thermostat down several degrees and stay just as comfortable.

Cons: It’s dangerous if left unattended. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission advises against plugging a space heater into a power strip and recommends maintaining at least three feet of clearance around the appliance at all times.

Bottom line: Using additional heating sources can help take some of the load off of your HVAC system, saving you money while maintaining your desired comfort level. Routine maintenance of your furnace will also pay for itself in reduced operating costs. To schedule an appointment with A-Temp, call (503) 694-3396.

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