Space heaters can create warmth and risk
Space heaters can be a life-saver for those areas in your home that just never seem to get warm enough during the cold winter months. Although space heaters are not intended to be a primary heat source, they can be a great way to supplement your home with some additional warmth. Along with the heat space heaters provide, come risks – so be prepared to take appropriate measures to keep your home safe while using a space heater.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, space heaters were responsible for approximately 60,000 house fires and accounted for $913 million in property damage in 2012, so it’s critical you choose and use your space heater properly.
Here are some tips to follow when using a space heater:
There are many styles at various price points for space heaters and you’ll want to choose one that meets your heating needs and your budget. Regardless what model or brand you choose, make sure you don’t compromise on the following safety features:
- The unit is safety tested and UL approved – this is your guarantee that the space heater has met industry safety standards.
- The unit has heating element guards – this will help keep children, pets and clothing from touching the heat source, which can be a burn or fire risk.
Bigger isn’t always better – if you choose a space heater that is too big for the area you are trying to heat, you may be producing more pollutants and it may not be an efficient use of energy.
Take the time to read your space heater’s instruction manual and follow the guidelines carefully. Make sure your family is familiar with how the unit should be used and keep the manual handy.
Place the space heater in a safe location
Space heaters are meant to be situated on level, hard, non-flammable surfaces – don’t ever place them on carpets, furniture or countertops. And make sure they are a safe distance from drapes, blankets and fabrics. Don’t ever use space heaters to dry clothes, towels or shoes.
Keep small children and pets away
Small children should never be allowed to adjust the controls and kids and pets should be kept at a safe distance from the space heater.
Always turn space heaters off when you leave a room or are retiring for the evening. They should never be left on unattended.
Other safety tips
Don’t use extension cords or overload the circuits in your room with your space heater. Take time to ensure your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are in good working order before using your space heater.
If you are unsure of the safety of your space heater or whether or not it is in good working condition, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Properly dispose of your existing unit and start over with a new and improved model. You will be at ease with your decision and enjoy some extra warmth in your home during the winter season.
For home maintenance and comfort tips, visit StayComfyMinnesota.com! Stay Comfy, Minnesota is your Minnesota resource for air conditioning repair, furnace repair and HVAC tips and advice.