March 3, 2020

When the days get colder, it’s common for many homes and offices to bring out space heaters to provide more direct heat. These space heaters can use electric heating elements or fuel, along with fans, to provide an immediate flow of heat in a smaller area, and some can be surprisingly high-tech.

Space heaters aren’t especially efficient, but they are popular for their fast results and ease of use. However, if you’re going to be using a space heater, it’s important to know the right safety procedures. These heaters can be a common cause of fires and heat damage if they aren’t used correctly. Here’s what you need to know!

Check the Heater Label for Certifications and Standards

There should be a label or plate on the space heater that includes valuable information about using the heater, and what certifications the heater has. You should read through this entire label, but pay special attention to “NRTLs” or Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratories. The label will include certification from one of these NRTLs. Common labs are UL, CSA, and ETL.

If you don’t see any such certification, then don’t use the heater. There are a certain number of cheap knockoff heaters on the market that don’t have certifications, often from overseas. These heaters simply aren’t safe to use and could contain any number of problems that make them dangerous or defective.

Look for Physical Damage Before Using

If it’s been a while since you used the space heater, check it for physical damage of any kind. Cracks, in particular, are a warning sign the heater isn’t safe to use, but dents, bent components, and other problems can be dangerous too. Fully dust and clean your heater while looking for signs of damage.

Use The Heaters for Supplemental Heat

Don’t use the space heater as a sole source of heat in a room if possible. This may work temporarily (like if you have to be out in the garage for a couple of hours), but these heaters aren’t designed for the long-term heating that rooms in a house need. They will overheat and become fire hazards, or wear out and break quickly. Not to mention, this is a very, very expensive way to heat your home!

If it’s been a while since you used the space heater, check it for physical damage of any kind. Cracks, in particular, are a warning sign the heater isn’t safe to use, but dents, bent components, and other problems can be dangerous too.

Place Your Heater in a Safe Spot

Keep the space heater about three feet away from fabrics, including bedding, drapes, rugs, furniture, and clothing. Make sure nothing is touching the heater. Place the heater on a hard, level surface before use. Look for protections like automatic turn off if the heater is tipped over!

Take Care of Your Heater When It’s Not In Use

When finished with the heater, always unplug it afterward to make sure it’s safe. When it won’t be used for some time, store the heater in a safe, dry location.

Do you have more questions about heating your home safely, or how you should operate specific kinds of heaters? You’re welcome to ask us about it! Contact Buckeye Heating & Cooling today to talk about your heating needs, equipment service or replacement, and much more.

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