Furnace in Florida: Is it Really Necessary?

Most Floridians find they don’t need to heat their homes often. When they do, they usually turn to heat strips or even space heaters to keep them warm. However, there is some debate about the efficiency of these heating methods, so Floridians are asking more questions about traditional furnaces. Should you install a gas or electric furnace, or is space heating all you need?

The Trouble with Space Heating

Space heating is convenient and simple, and it doesn’t require a tremendous initial investment. You can go out to your local big box store and buy yourself a couple heaters for anywhere from $25 to $100 depending on the style and size. Once you bring them home, you simply plug them in, turn them on, and allow them to warm the space around them. Though it’s simple enough, space heating has some inherent dangers and a few inconveniences.

  • Space heaters have short cords and should not be used with power strips or extension cords. This means that you will need to designate an outlet just for your space heater, and you won’t have much room to move it around. Using these heaters with power strips and extension cords can cause fires, and fire departments across the country advise against the practice for this reason.
  • Space heating has its limits. Space heaters aren’t intended to be your only source of heating, and this is especially true when it gets really cold outside. These heaters might work well when the temperatures drop to the lower 50s and you just need to take the chill out of the air, but when it gets down into the lower 40s, it can be difficult to stay comfortable with space heating alone.
  • Fuel-fired space heaters need special accommodations. Though there are plenty of space heaters using kerosene or even LP gas that are rated for indoor use, you must accommodate for this by providing some sort of “flue”. Sometimes, you can get kits that allow you to ventilate your heater through a window, but this is not always the case. You should never use a fuel-fired space heater in an enclosed space without proper ventilation as the fumes can be poisonous.
  • Space heaters are not energy efficient. When compared to the efficiency of a whole-home electric or gas furnace, the amount of comfort you receive dollar-for-dollar is simply incomparable. Simply put, you’ll spend more to keep your home warm.

Reasons to Switch to a Furnace

A furnace is a larger initial investment than space heating. It costs anywhere from $3000 to $7000 to install a brand-new furnace, and because Floridians don’t heat their homes often, many avoid this investment altogether. However, it stands to reason that a furnace will keep you more comfortable when the temperatures drop, and over the course of the furnace’s lifetime, your energy costs will be substantially lessened, as well. Furnaces are also safer than space heaters, providing unsurpassed peace of mind.

If you’re considering a gas or electric furnace, but you aren’t quite sure whether it’s the right option for you, contact And Services today to learn more about your options. We can help you find the right heating method to suit your preferences and your budget.