Are Space Heaters Safe?
For many people, the answer to the question “how to keep your house warm” is a simple one – go down to your local hardware store, purchase a space heater, set it up and you’re effectively good to go all winter long. Many people don’t realize, however, that not all space heaters are created equally. There are many different types available for you to choose from and the key to remaining safe is to pick the one that fits in best with how you actually plan to use it. If you want to keep your home and your loved ones as toasty as possible during those warm winter months of the year, you’ll want to keep a few key things in mind.
How to Keep your House Warm: The Different Types of Space Heaters
One of the most common types of space heaters that you’ll find on the shelves at your local hardware or retail store is a combustion space heater. These use a few different types of fuel sources depending on exactly which variation you’re talking about. Some generate heat by burning gas or kerosene, while others even use wood.
Another incredibly common type of space heater is an electric space heater, which as its name suggests is one that you plug into a wall outlet or power strip the same way you would with just about any other type of electric appliance. These are great for heating small areas or for use in areas that aren’t properly ventilated where carbon monoxide may be a problem with combustion space heaters. These use electricity to heat up a series of coils on the inside of the unit, which in turn pushes warm air out into the surrounding room.
Safety Considerations for Space Heaters
If you’re planning on picking up a combustion space heater for your home or workspace, one of the most important things to remember is that you’ll be dealing with all of the byproducts that come with combustion. Burning kerosene or natural gas will result in carbon monoxide, which means that your space heater needs to either be placed in an incredibly well-ventilated area or hooked up to a system where that byproduct can be removed from your home. Failure to do so could potentially be deadly.
While you certainly don’t have to worry about carbon monoxide and other byproducts if you’re working with an electric space heater, one thing that you do have to worry about is a fire. The coils in an electric space heater get incredibly hot and can easily catch carpeting, a lampshade or even other nearby objects on fire in an instant if they get too close or if the space heater tips over. When purchasing an electric space heater, be sure to pick one that includes a tip-over sensor that will automatically shut off the device if it gets knocked over.
Another important safety consideration that will be true regardless of the type of space heater you choose is one of location. You should never tuck your space heater into the corner of a room or place it on an unleveled surface, for example – doing so is a very efficient recipe for disaster. Any space heater that you purchase should always be placed on a large, open and flat surface with absolutely no combustible material underneath – this means keep it away from carpeting above all else. You should also take care to not use your space heater in an area like a bathroom that gets particularly moist or wet, especially if you’re working with an electric space heater. Always remember that electricity and water are natural enemies of one another.
Read All the Safety Considerations Before Choosing Your Space Heater
These are just a few of the many things you need to know about space heaters before you pick one to use in the comfort of your own home. Are space heaters safe, you ask? Absolutely – provided that you’re using them in a safe way. While essentially any type of space heater will be able to provide you with the heat that you’re looking for, you will have to think carefully about how you plan on using the equipment before picking any particular variation to buy. You’ll also want to be aware of all safety considerations to help keep your family not only warm but safe at the same time.