When used safely and properly, portable space heaters provide a nice relief from the frigid chills of winter temperatures, which can often invade poorly insulated or ventilated rooms in older homes. Although space heaters are safe to use indoors because they don’t require combustion, they still pose burn and fire hazards and should be used with caution.
Before operating, review the manufacturer’s instructions, including warning labels. Space heaters may seem like simple, easy to use electronics, but each brand and version has its own unique quirks and features. It’s better to be safe than sorry. After reviewing the instructions, inspect the space heater for cracks or broken plugs.
Next, be sure to place the heater in a safe location. They should be located at least three feet away from anything that can burn, such as clothing and other fabrics, papers, rugs, etc. Do not place space heaters on furniture, such as chairs or tables. Place heaters on a firm, flat location on the ground away from heavily trafficked areas.
Space heaters place a heavy load on an outlet. For this reason, do not plug any other electrical devices into the same outlet. Extension cords or power strips could also overheat and result in a fire, so plug the heater directly into the wall outlet.
Most importantly, never leave space heaters unattended. Turn it off before you leave a room or go to sleep, and don’t let animals or children play too close to the heater. When you’re done using the space heater, always unplug it and store it safely.
Space Heater Sticker Shock
Winter weather has arrived just in time to greet us for the holidays, and that means the cold temperatures that accompany it have also arrived. Heating is our biggest energy consumer in the winter, and when you are able to do it efficiently, you’ll notice savings on your bill.
Unfortunately, try as we might, some rooms in our homes just don’t seem to stay as warm as others, whether that’s a room away from the furnace in an older home or a large open room that just needs a little extra warmth in the winter.
A nice, cozy solution for providing some additional warmth in these rooms can be to use a portable space heater. However, the cost of using one of these heaters can add up quickly over the course of a few days if you’re not careful.
Space heaters are big consumers of electricity, most commonly sold as either 750- or 1500-watt models at retailers like Home Depot or Lowe’s.
Using your space heater for as little as two hours per day over the course of a month can end up costing you nearly $10 extra on your monthly energy bill. The more hours your space heater is operating, the faster those extra charges add up.
Before you consider space heaters to solve your heating issues, try addressing some of these alternatives.
- Search and seal. Cool air can find small cracks to get through. Sealing and caulking windows, doors and floors helps keep rooms free of cold air.
- Insulate. Upgrade your insulation or add to your existing insulation to trap more warm air in your home.
- Install storm windows. These provide an added layer of insulation, which helps retain more heat.