A mini heater is a small, portable unit that distributes heat by circulating the air within a space. By contrast, a furnace is a complete heating system that converts cold air to warm air and spreads it throughout an entire building via a series of ducts. Picking one over the other depends on a variety of factors. Let’s take a look:
The Pros and Cons of a Mini Heater
Mini heaters are perfect accessories to have on hand in the event of an HVAC system failure or when you simply desire a little added warmth in a single room. If only used briefly, they can be more cost-effective than relying on a furnace (since furnaces are more expensive to install and are usually only used for half of the year in most areas). However, mini heaters do not have the capacity to warm multiple large spaces and, thus, are not equipped to handle the heating needs of an entire home. They are also potentially dangerous to operate, with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reporting that mini heaters were responsible for an estimated 1,700 residential fires and 70 deaths between 2017-2019 (via their most recent published data). The high wattage consumed by mini heaters mean they are susceptible to igniting nearby combustible materials, like curtains, upholstered furniture, paper, and linens. If left unattended, this type of combustion can quickly consume a room and, ultimately, a home.
The Pros and Cons of a Furnace
Furnaces are the most popular way for Americans to heat their homes. Using a system of coils and a fan, furnaces draw in cold air, warm it up and then push it out into specific areas of a building through a series of ducts. Indeed, every designated room of a home heated by a furnace can be set to a specific temperature, ensuring you are always at a constant and comfortable degree of warmth wherever you go. And even though furnaces are more expensive to install, operate and maintain, they add value to a home, making them a better long-term investment than mini heaters.
The Confident Comfort Advantage
Choosing the best type of heating for your home depends on your overall needs, as well as your budget. While mini heaters can be a valuable resource to have on hand in the case of an emergency or an especially cold winter’s day, they are not an efficient nor an effective way to heat an entire home. To learn more about the value of whole home heating solutions, including furnaces, heat pumps and mini splits, please contact our team of HVAC experts here at Confident Comfort. Furnaces, in particular, can be customized to accommodate a variety of conditions, guaranteeing homeowners are safe, comfortable and getting the most bang for their buck!