Space Heater Tips You Need to Know
With winter moving in quickly, you may be thinking about how much it’s going to cost to heat your home this winter. Space heaters come to mind for many of us when we need a quick, cheap way to heat a room. However, important guidelines must be followed to maximize the potential of your space heater, while keeping it safe and cost effective. Here’s a list of the most important things to remember when using a space heater in your home.
The rule of thumb: never leave a space heater unattended.
Would you leave a candle burning in your home if you were leaving? How about a stovetop burner? Definitely not. Think of your space heater the same way. Heating elements should not be left unattended because they can easily cause fires due to a malfunction, or improper use. Additionally, don’t leave young children or pets alone in a room with a space heater – they do not understand the danger and run the risk of being badly burned.
Read manufacturer’s labels.
Before you get started, make sure you read all of the manufacturer’s labels and instructions. These will provide you with crucial information about operating your heater safely. Take note of any warranties provided incase your machine malfunctions.
Know the difference between personal vs. whole room heaters.
Space heaters are rated based upon room size, buying the biggest heater does not mean you’ll have the most efficient heating experience. A heater that’s too big for a room will only lead to higher bills, while a heater that’s too small for a room will force it to work harder without making the rom much warmer.
Placement is important.
Your heater should be given the space that it needs to do its job safely. Keep your heater far from furniture, windows, rugs, or other flammable items in the home. Make sure that nothing is ever laying on top of your heater and that the ground beneath it is hard and level. These important considerations will prevent the majority of fires.
Do a little maintenance after you bring your heater out from storage.
Remember to dust off your space heater and inspect all parts and cords for any damage. While the heater is unplugged, off, and cold, wipe down all surfaces of the heater. This will reduce the amount of dust and debris you bring into and circulate around your living space. If it’s an old space heater, take an even closer look and be sure to observe during the first use to avoid any fires.
Look for protective safety features.
Nowadays they offer space heaters with safety features like an overheat protection function. The overheat protection kicks in when the internal temperature sensor detects that the unit is reaching maximum heat levels. Overheating is a dangerous fire risk, and a burn risk especially when there are the elderly, children, or animals present. Some portable heaters also have sensors that detect when the machine has tipped over, and automatically shut the heat off to prevent fires or damage.
Decide whether you want to use a gas or an electric heater if you need to heat a porch area.
Gas heaters are cheaper to operate, can function during power outages, and heat up quickly. These burn a fuel like kerosene or propane and require lots of ventilation. Do not use gas heaters in enclosed areas. Electric heaters are energy efficient and require no venting. They are the safest option but will cost more to operate than a gas heater, and take longer to warm up.
Your house could use some safety maintenance, too.
Remember to check smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors routinely. Before you start using your portable heat source, test all detectors and replace old batteries. These are your first line of defense in a fire or gas leak.
Take care when plugging in your space heater.
Only use direct wall outlets when plugging in your electric space heater. Portable heaters require a decent amount of power and using an extension cord or power strip for that power can result in fires and electrical shock. If you absolutely need an extension cord, there are ones specifically made for higher power appliances so no adverse events occur.
Here at THA Heating, Air, & Plumbing, we know that it can be difficult to get ahead of the rising costs of home maintenance. We want to simplify your experience by giving you access to reliable, reasonable appliance work, as well as boost your personal knowledge. If you’re located in San Diego, call us at (858) 571-8865 to schedule your next repair, install, or anything else in between today!