Space Heaters Can Add to Energy Costs

Fresno, CA You may have seen an infomercial for the Heat Surge Fireplace, or a newspaper ad claiming it will "help home heat bills hit rock-bottom."

"Drastic reduction in my energy bills."

"Big savings."

"Dramatically reduced our heating bills."

Consumer reports' Jim Nanni checked out the Heat Surge, which costs $298 and up, if you order what the company calls a "hand-built amish fireplace mantle."

"The Heat Surge is essentially an electric space heater with faux fireplace that's made in China. The fireplace is illuminated by some lightbulbs," said Nanni.

So can the Heat Surge or any space heater save you money on your energy bills?

"You could potentially save some money using an electric space heater by heating just one room while lowering the heat in the rest of your home," said Nanni.

Otherwise space heaters just add to your energy costs. As for the heat surge, "you can find many less expensive heaters with high performance."

Consumer reports recommends this $80 Delonghi Space Heater, which can be mounted on a wall.

If you do use a space heater, never leave it unattended. Check the cord to make sure it's not frayed. And keep the heater away from furniture, bedding, and curtains.

"If you really want to save some money, reduce temperatures five to 10 degrees at night and when you're away. You can save up to 20% on your heating bill and you can remain comfortable, in every room in your home," said Nanni.

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