Space heaters are a great way to complement your main heating source. They can help your living room or bedroom feel toastier and more comfortable on those chilly winter nights. However, using a space heater comes with several risks. It’s essential to practice safe space heater habits to protect your home and household. Here are a few helpful tips to ensure you’re correctly using your space heater.
Don’t Use With Surge Protectors
It’s best to use portable surge protectors with smaller appliances like lamps, chargers, and fans. Space heaters often have a higher electricity requirement than your average electronic device. If your surge protector can’t handle the power load needed, it may become overwhelmed and start a fire.
To minimize your risk of fire, plug only one space heater into an outlet at a time. If your heater was recently in storage, make sure to thoroughly check the cord for any signs of external damage. Using an extension cord with one isn’t recommended either.
Keep Away From Flammables
Your space heater should be at least three feet away from the drapes of any piece of furniture. Most of the objects in your home from your curtains to your couches will catch on fire if exposed to enough heat. Avoid elevating the heater as this often makes it easier to knock over. Even a flat surface like a chair or table isn’t always reliable, and these can easily be jostled or moved.
Never Leave Unattended
Never leave your space heater unattended in your home. A heater accident can quickly lead to a fire emergency. Even if you’re out of the room for just a few minutes, a child could knock the heater over or be burned. Space heaters should never be left on when you’re away from the home or sleeping.
If you’re trying to stay as warm as possible, run your heater until you go to bed. After you turn it off, shut your door to preserve the heat and bundle up. Some space heaters come with smart capabilities, allowing you to turn them on without getting out of bed in the morning.
Invest in Safety Features
Older space heaters can’t compete with the safety features available on the market today. Protect your home with a heater that has an automatic shut-off. If the heater is accidentally knocked over, it will turn off to prevent a fire. Some models also come with timers and the ability to detect overheating.
Don’t settle for the first space heater you find. It’s better to spend a little more on a model with more advanced safety features. If your current heater is more than 10 years old, consider looking for a new and improved replacement this season.
Install Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Carbon monoxide detectors and smoke alarms are vital during the winter. Even if you’re not regularly using a space heater, you need these detectors in place to catch any carbon monoxide leaks from your furnace before they can impact your health. Carbon monoxide is odorless and tasteless, making it hard to detect until your safety is at risk.
Fire alarms and carbon monoxide detectors often last between five and 10 years. At least one of each device should be installed on every floor. You should also have another carbon monoxide detector near your furnace. Be sure to check these devices and replace the batteries every six months.
Utilize Your Home’s Furnace When Possible
Space heaters are great at providing a little more heating during the day. However, they should never be used in the place of a furnace. Space heaters can’t safely heat your entire home. Overusing them increases your risk of a fire or carbon monoxide leak.
Some families put off using central heating for as long as possible due to the higher utility bills. Schedule routine furnace maintenance to ensure your HVAC system is as cost-efficient as possible.
Local Family-Owned HVAC Company
Jco Heating A/C Electrical is a trusted provider of residential and commercial HVAC services in Springfield, OR. Since we were founded in 2002, we’ve maintained the highest levels of honesty and reliability with our customers. Our team knows how important it is to keep your family warm and comfortable during the winter. Trust us to maintain, repair, or replace your furnace, heat pump, or air conditioner. We’ll also boost your indoor air quality and help with common electrical needs like installing new appliances or repairing wiring. Contact Jco Heating A/C Electrical today for premier heating service in Springfield.