Since I live in the south, the severity of our winter seasons vary from each year to the next.
There are times where I can get by the entire year without needing any kind of indoor heat.
But then there are winters where temperatures get so low that I have no choice but to use my condo’s heating system. When the furnace quit working last year and my job was cut back on hours, I was really scared about how I would stay warm during the worst winter cold snaps. I managed to get through the first winter with no furnace without noticing it too much. But then the temperatures dipped the subsequent year. This left me in somewhat of a predicament. I could have spent the money to get a new central furnace, but for whatever reason I decided against it. Instead, I went to the hardware store and purchased a large space heater. I figured that I could easily heat portions of the house with the space heater without needing to spend thousands of dollars on a new furnace. With this decision, I had no clue that I would be faced with enormous energy bills. My first electricity bill following the purchase of the space heater saw a 20% increase from the prior month. This only worsened as the weather got colder and necessitated more use of the space heater. If I had purchased a new central furnace, I wouldn’t have had so much trouble retaining the heat in my house, and thus using a heat source less frequently. Zone controlled heating is tricky because your heat is always trying to disperse into the colder places in your home. As such, the machine will run a lot more than you think it will to achieve the same effects as a central furnace. And thus the cost in energy expenses is much higher in the long term.