Using a Space Heater? Consider the Pros and Cons

You’re probably familiar with space heaters, the small, portable electric heaters that can provide an extra source of heat in your home. These powerful little heaters can be extremely useful, but they come with a few drawbacks.

The Pros of Using a Space Heater

Space heaters offer an energy-efficient way to heat a small space and can do so rather quickly. If you’re trying to save money on your heating costs, you might be keeping the temperature in your home a little cooler. But if you know you’re going to be spending a long time in your living room, you can plug in your space heater and warm-up space without sending heat to every room of the house. Space heaters can be very convenient in this way. Just turn them on and off as you need them. There is some concern with over-using the space heater, but thankfully most newer models have built-in safety features, such as an automatic shut-off mechanism if the device should overheat or tip over.

The Cons of Using a Space Heater

While space heaters are a convenient, flexible heat source, they aren’t without their flaws. For starters, they’re only capable of heating small rooms, so they aren’t feasible as a main source of heat to your home. You also have to be wary of older models that can guzzle quite a bit of energy and actually increase your electric bill.

In some cases, space heaters have proven to be dangerous. From 2007 to 2011, space heaters accounted for 33% of home heating fires and 81% of home heating deaths. In many cases, this was a result of the space heater being placed too close to flammable objects in the house, such as bedding, curtains, or furniture. This is why space heaters should always be used under supervision and should not be left alone with children or pets.

If Used Improperly, Space Heaters Can Be Dangerous

Safety Tips

If you choose to use a space heater, keep these basic safety tips in mind to reduce the risk of fire:

  • Choose a model that has been certified by a nationally recognized laboratory to ensure that the unit meets current safety standards.
  • Use only a newer model heater with built-in safety features.
  • Place the heater at least three feet away from any object.
  • Never use an extension cord with the space heater or leave it unattended at any point.
  • Never use a space heater in a bathroom where it can become wet.
  • Never leave a space heater on while sleeping.
  • Make certain that your home’s smoke detectors are operational.

If your HVAC system heats your home unevenly or you are facing high home heating costs, a qualified HVAC contractor can assess your system to ensure it’s operating at peak efficiency. New technology, such as a programmable thermostat, may be a viable answer to improving efficiency and lowering energy costs. Buckeye Heating, Cooling & Plumbing provides free estimates on home heating and cooling services and systems as well as emergency service. Contact us at 614-647-5306 to schedule an appointment today.

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