Is it Dangerous to Use a Space Heater in Your Home?

Is it Dangerous to Use a Space Heater in Your Home?If utilized carefully, a space heater may fill small gaps in the comfort zone of your home. However, statistics show that household safety is often an issue when it comes to these small heaters. One study by a major university reveals that about 25,000 residential fires annually are attributed to space heaters. In addition, thousands yearly suffer burns from space heaters severe enough to seek medical attention.

Persistently chilly rooms in the house are often a sign that your existing HVAC system is not functioning at optimum performance level, or other issues are diminishing indoor comfort. Instead of opting for space heaters, a safer, more permanent solution is to consult a qualified HVAC contractor to evaluate potential problems such as:

  • Furnace output inadequate for the size of the home.
  • Insufficient insulation.
  • Excessive infiltration of cold air from the outdoors.
  • Ductwork leakage.

If space heaters are utilized in the house to augment the furnace, follow these safety guidelines.

  • Make sure they’re certified by a reputable consumer testing organization like UL.
  • Purchase heaters with safety functions like automatic tip-over shutoff, heating element guards to prevent burns and an overheating switch that turns of the unit if temperatures get too high.
  • Read the instructions and utilize the heater strictly according to manufacturer’s recommendations.
  • Don’t position heaters in areas where people normally walk and may stumble into them. Keep a clear space of at least three feet on all sides surrounding the heater.
  • Don’t use extension cords with space heaters. Plug directly into the wall outlet.
  • Space heaters should never be used for unapproved purposes like drying clothes or wet paint, or to thaw out frozen plumbing pipes.
  • Turn off all space heaters when you leave the house.

Thinking about purchasing a space heater for your home? The professionals at NisAir Air Conditioning and Heating have more advice about safe usage, as well as suggestions to resolve ongoing issues with your existing heating system.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Martin, Palm Beach, St. Lucie and Indian River Counties in Florida about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about space heaters and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 772-207-1658.

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “brian-a-jackson/Shutterstock”

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