Space heaters put to the test

January 15, 2008 10:11:26 AM PST
Space heaters can be a good way to save big bucks on your heating bill this winter. Michael Finney shows a few that tested well for safety and performance. One way to lower your energy bill is to place a space heater in the room you are in, and then lower your thermostat to 62 degrees. The Department of Energy estimates that can save you about $200 dollars this winter. "Heating and cooling can be very expensive for a home owner. The Department of Energy actually estimates that it's about 50 percent of your energy bill," said Todd Kent, Good Housekeeping Institute. The Good Housekeeping Institute tested 31 space heaters. It also did finger probe tests to make sure the small hands of children wouldn't be able to reach the heating elements. "A great model for the safety conscience is the Vornado heater. If it's tipped over in any direction, it will automatically shut off," said Todd Kent, Good Housekeeping Institute. The "Honeywell HZ-385 BP" received good marks for ease of use and features like an auto-off sensor that shuts off the heater when an object gets too close. "Some of the great safety features it had was a heat indicator, that turns red and lets you know when the surface gets hot," said Todd Kent, Good Housekeeping Institute The Soleus Air HGW-308 panel heater used the least amount of electricity in good housekeeping's test. It was also the quietest model tested. Here's another money saving tip for you. Good Housekeeping recommends you get a programmable thermostat with an Energy Star rating. That could save you as much as $150 dollars a year by keeping the temperature lower when no one is in the house.