Space heaters are essential additions to your home for the cold winter months, but there are certain precautions you must take to use them safely and effectively.
The devices consume less energy than turning on the entire heating system and can even work better for a single room, but they still do spend energy and can lead to serious fire hazards if badly placed.
Keep reading to learn more about space heater precautions and how to use them effectively!
“The secret of getting ahead is getting started. – Mark Twain
Keep them away from fabric
Just like you would keep candles away from curtains and carpets, you should do the same for these portable gadgets. Sure, it is unlikely it would set something on fire, but why risk it when it’s so easy to place elsewhere?
The thing is, it’s not the heat itself that can start a fire (although that is definitely possible), it’s more in case of a short circuit or malfunction that produces sparks – those can easily ignite fabric. But one left for too long pointed at fabric can also be dangerous, so it’s better to always be safe and keep them placed in a safe spot.
Always keep it at ground level
You might feel tempted to place yours on top of a small table or other furniture because of bad outlet placement or to keep it out of the way, but that’s not a good idea. Since they’re very light, they can easily fall and get damaged from a slight push.
Imagine if it falls on the carpet when you’re not in the room and stays there for a long time – you would only notice after smelling something burning. And while you could avoid a dramatic outcome like a fire, your rug or carpet would still be ruined.
So, remember: always place your heater on the ground!
However, don’t place it over a rug or carpet. For the same reason as described above, excessive heat creates a potential fire hazard, and when you combine that with the risk of short circuits… you don’t want any fabric or other flammable materials around.
Keep it at ground level, but also not on top of carpets or rugs.
Avoid extension cords or sharing outlets
Just because they’re more energy efficient when compared to a central heating system, it doesn’t mean they aren’t a big energy drain in the house. Heaters demand a high amount of power and using an extension cord may cause the wire to heat up and short circuit, which is dangerous to your family and your property
Same goes for sharing outlets with other devices – it might seem convenient, but it’s definitely not worth the risk. Too much current on one outlet can cause it to explode, potentially damaging it and all devices connected.
Always plug the it directly on the outlet.
Be careful when taking a shower
Some devices are made specifically for humid environments, but most electric space heaters you can purchase on the store are not. If you really want that extra heat in the bathroom when taking a shower during the winter, it’s better to use the gadget to heat up the bathroom before the shower. When the room is warm enough, remove it and start your shower.
Here are a few reasons why you should do this:
- Moist environments can damage it’s circuit board and other parts
- It’s dangerous to leave an electronic device this close to so much water
- The shower itself is already demanding a lot of energy, so combine that with your heater, and you could blow a fuse with the amount of power being used at once.
If you do encounter such an issue, refrain from dealing with electrical wiring yourself as it could be dangerous – call a local electrician instead!
Don’t leave it on for extended periods of time
For many of the same reasons we’ve been outlining so far, leaving it on for too long can lead to serious problems.
You might be tempted to leave it on overnight, but that’s not advised – the device can overheat or end up toppling over during the night, which you won’t be able to notice until it’s too late.
Just like when taking a shower, it’s way better to heat up your room in advance and turn the heater off once you’re under the covers.
Want to prepare your home for the winter? Call a local heating contractor from your area and get free quotes today!