Space Heater Safety
With the cost and hassle of replacing central heat, a lot of people are using more space heaters. These heaters can lower your energy bills by adding direct warmth to the rooms you use more frequently. But while these portable heaters can be both efficient and economical, there are a few things you need to keep in mind when putting one in your home.
When shopping for a space heater make sure to buy one that fits your needs. Buying a larger heater for a smaller area can cause your utility bills to be higher. A small heater being used to cover a larger area will cause it to work harder. Make sure to buy a heater with overheat protection.
Room heaters with overheat protection switches function by using a temperature sensor to detect when internal components become too hot. When an unsafe temperature is detected, the switch automatically shuts off the unit to prevent overheating. Most new space heater also offer tip over protection. This feature shuts the space heater off if it accidentally tips over. Another great feature is the cool-touch feature where the exterior part of the heater is safe to touch for houses with children or pets.
One good rule is to always plug a space heater directly into an outlet. Plugging directly into an outlet helps prevent over heating. Plugging into an extension cord can cause fires, overheating, or a chance of electrical shock. Remember that if you do have to plug into an extension cord use one that is rated for the size of the space heater.
Stay away from using space heaters in humid areas and bathrooms. To avoid shock do not touch a space heater with wet hands or any type of water. Remember to always shut off your heater when leaving the area. Some heaters have automatic timers that shut off for you, but leaving a heater on and unsupervised can be very costly and dangerous.
Educating yourself about the safety hazards that come with the improper use of portable heaters will help you achieve better peace of mind as you keep your home warm, comfortable, and fire hazard-free this winter.