Why Use A Space Heater?
Central heating in your home is one of the great luxuries of modern life. If installed and sized correctly, you should run into very few issues when trying to heat your home in winter, but not every situation is ideal. Many times a home’s central air cannot heat every area in the home. Places like basements and the rooms farthest away from the furnace may not quite heat up like the rest of your home. In cases like this many people turn to space heaters to keep themselves warm. A space heater can be effective in keeping your home warm, but they do have cons that should be considered before being heavily relied upon.
How To Stay Safe
The first thing many people find out about space heaters is their potential to be very dangerous, especially if they do not have an overheating/tip-over shut-off valve. When heating, it is imperative that your space heater is free of any potential blockages like curtains, clothing, mattresses, or bedding, which run the risk of overheating the space heater or catching fire.
The National Fire Protection Association reported in 2010 that space heaters were involved in 79% of fatal home heating fires. Because of this, we would highly recommend you check to ensure your smoke detectors are working before using a space heater. Space heaters use a lot of electricity to operate, so it is important they are never plugged into extension cords. It is always best for a space heater to be plugged into it’s own dedicated outlet.
This may seem like a no-brainer, but it is important to never stick anything into a space heater, especially something like paper which will catch fire very quickly. In homes with small children it is important to keep this in mind, because children are very inquisitive and don’t have the same critical thinking skills as an adult. The NFPA also recommends you have a three-foot “kid-free zone” around space heaters.
When a space heater is in operation an adult should always be present and awake. Sleeping with a space heater on may seem like a good idea, but if something were to go wrong it can leave you and your home very vulnerable. It is also a smart idea to unplug the heater completely when you are asleep. We recommend turning the heater on in the hours before you go to sleep and then using several covers for insulation during the night.
Call In A Pro
Overall, we would recommend not using space heaters in general. Using a space heater in a pinch is useful, but are by no means a long term solution. If your home isn’t heating evenly, it is always a good idea to reach out to a licensed professional to help solve your comfort needs.