Whether you’ve put a new addition on your home or you find that one of your rooms isn’t getting as warm as you’d like it to be, you may want to supplement your heat with a space heater. These can be great to help target heating specific rooms of your home. However, space heaters are one of the biggest causes of house fires out there. If you’re planning on using a space heater to heat your home, there are some safety rules that you’ll want to follow.
Ensure the Heater Is Safety Certified
When you go out to purchase your space heater, one of the first things you’ll want to ensure is that it has a label from the Underwriters Laboratories. This is an organization that is dedicated to the safety of consumers. If your space heater has a silver UL label on it, it means that it’s been approved for safe operation by the Underwriters Laboratory.
Get the Right Size
In order to find the right space heater for the particular room in your home that you want it for, you need to know what the square footage of that room is. You’ll want to take the square footage of the room and multiply it by 10 to get the number of watts that the space heater should be able to produce.
For example, if you have a room that is 8 by 10 feet, you’ll want to select a space heater that has an 800-watt capacity. If you’re trying to heat a very large room, you may need to utilize more than one space heater to get the job done. Make sure that you select two to three space heaters that have wattages that add up to the total square footage of your room times 10.
Make Sure It Has Safety Features
Many newer space heaters come along with a lot of safety features to help prevent fires from breaking out in your home. It’s best to determine what safety features you want your space heater to have before going to the store to pick it out. Let’s take a look at some of the most common safety features that you may want to consider when purchasing your space heater.
A must-have safety feature for any space heater is the tip-over switch. This safety feature will shut the entire unit off if it senses that it’s not in an upright position. This helps to protect the unit from creating fire with flammable objects that it may fall into and also helps to prevent overheating.
Another awesome safety feature is the automatic shut-off. This can also be referred to as overheat protection. This is a feature that automatically shuts down the unit if it senses that it’s overheating.
Having a space heater that has a built-in thermostat can help to monitor the indoor temperature of your home. It will allow the unit to automatically turn on when it senses that the temperature is too cold. And, it will turn the unit off automatically whenever the ambient air temperature reaches what you have set on your thermostat.
You should avoid buying a space heater that has a metal face on the front of it as that metal can transfer heat. Instead, opt for a plastic face that protects against the burning of your skin on contact.
A fairly new safety feature that is a must-have for any family is the child/pet sense feature. When this feature is activated, it will automatically shut the space heater off if it senses that there is a child or pet within a certain distance from it. This not only helps to cool down the unit, but it also prevents the unit from overheating in the event that it gets pushed over by your pet or a child.
Read the Instructions
It should go without saying that whenever you purchase a new space heater, you’ll want to read the instructions. Each space heater will come with an owner’s manual that will tell you how it’s operated and provide you with necessary safety tips to ensure that the heater doesn’t start a fire in your home. Make sure that you put your owner’s manual in a safe place after reading it so that you can refer to it in the future if need be.
Be Careful When Placing It
Where you position your space heater is going to have a lot to do with how effective it is at heating your home. You should never put your space heater on any surface that is not capable of handling heat. Some of the surfaces that you should avoid include carpeting, cabinets, tables, and furniture. Make sure that wherever you place your heater, it is 3 feet away from flammable objects like curtains or books.
You want to place the unit down on a level surface that is close to or on the floor. You never want to put this unit higher up as heat rises and it will reduce the efficiency of the unit to heat the room. Also, be sure that you place the heater out of highly trafficked areas of your home, like doorways. This will reduce the risk of anyone knocking it over.
Only Plug It Into the Wall Outlet
One very crucial safety feature to remember is that you never want to plug your space heater in anything but a wall outlet. Avoid plugging it into a power strip or an extension cord, as the heater could actually overheat these electrical accessories and potentially cause a fire. You should also avoid using the wall outlet for anything but the space heater. This helps to ensure that you don’t overload the wall outlet, which could also lead to a fire.
Check Your Heater Before Turning It On
A good practice to follow with your space heater is to inspect it every time before you use it. You’ll want to check all the wiring that goes through it to make sure that none of it is frayed and that no bare wires are exposed. You also want to check to make sure that there’s no cracking in the actual unit. If you notice a problem with your space heater, it’s best to get it addressed before using it.
Remember That It’s Meant for Supplemental Heat
It’s important to remember that space heaters are specifically designed to provide supplemental heat for your home. You don’t want to rely solely on a space heater to keep your room warm. The space heater will likely overheat and be unable to keep up with your heating demands. Rather, it’s best to simply turn your home thermostat down to a manageable temperature and then turn the space heater on to help supplement additional heat for the desired room that you would like heated.
Excellent Heating Services
Buckeye Heating & Cooling provides excellent heating services for the entire Worthington, Ohio, region. We offer furnace and air conditioner repair, installation, and maintenance services, as well as indoor air quality and heat pump services. Call us today to get the help that you need!