What to Know Before Buying a Crawl Space Heater


Many homeowners view buying a crawlspace heater as a solution to reducing overall electricity bills. When the heat rises from the crawlspace, it warms the cold floors immediately above it, reducing the energy needed to warm the room; however, there remain a few things you need to know before buying a crawlspace heater.

It's Expensive

Buying a crawl space heater is expensive. Keeping it running during the winter is even more expensive. If you've ever operated an electric heater, you know that for every minute you have it running, you're running up your power bill. It's no different for a crawl space heater. You must determine whether the additional expense is worth it.

Fire Risks

You could buy a non-electric crawlspace heater (one that runs on natural gas), but then you'll have a higher risk of fire, which may not be worth it. Remember, the crawlspace isn't visible to you like the other rooms in your home, making it harder to detect and fight a fire. One way to handle this issue is to buy a remote thermometer to check the temperature near the heater from time to time. Find one that's wireless and you could put the thermometer indoors, while the probe stays somewhere in the crawlspace near the heater. If it gets too hot, you can shut it off.

Convection Electric Heaters

You can buy a convection electric heater that will run well in the crawlspace instead of a so-called crawlspace heater to save money. The circuit you run it on has to have enough amperage for it to run. If you insulate the crawl space prior to using a heater, then you won't need as much heat. Rather than buy a expensive crawl space heater, consider your options for a convection-based heater first.

Crawl Space Size Matters

Even if you bought a crawl space heater with all the bells and whistles available, it may not do the job you're expecting it to because of the size of the space. It needs to be big enough to operate in the space you have. Before you buy one, measure the volume of your crawl space in cubic feet to see whether the heater can work for that volume. Otherwise, your heater will run all the time and your floors won't get warm. You’ll just end up with a huge utility bill.

Staying warm in the winter is a priority for many homeowners, and a crawl space heater may be helpful. Weigh the fire risks involved with the system you choose, and consider less expensive options before purchasing a system specifically advertised as a crawlspace heater. You might decide in the long run to use proper insulation and other methods of keeping moisture and cold air out instead of installing a crawlspace heater.