Your furnace’s performance is sub-par at best, and the cost to heat your home is on the upward swing. Being a problem solver, you decide to buy a couple portable space heaters to make it through the winter. But is this really the solution to your problem? There are some dangers and precautions to consider.
Space heaters account for 1/3 of all of all home heating fires and more than 80 percent of home heating deaths. An estimated 6,000 people per year receive treatment for burn injuries from coming into contact with hot surfaces of portable heaters. Ouch.
Also, holding off on fixing your furnace problems could mean a costly repair or replacement bill. Double ouch. Have one of our HVAC technicians inspect your furnace to identify and fix any issues. It could save you major dollars.
Once you’ve established that your furnace is on its “A” game, a space heater can be looked at as a solution. They can increase the temperature of a room used by individuals who are sensitive to the cold, especially the elderly, without excessively heating your whole home. There are definite safety concerns with space heaters, but if you take the necessary precautions, you’ll be able to stay warm and have peace of mind.
Purchase only heaters that are UL listed and safety tested. UL (Underwriters Laboratories) is a world leader in product safety and certification.
Make sure unit has emergency tip-over shut-off feature and heating element guards.
Ensure smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are in good working order.
Do NOT place heater on carpets, furniture, or counter tops. DO place heater on a hard, level, nonflammable floor surface.
Never use a space heater to thaw pipes, dry clothing, or cook food. Shockingly, these are not their intended uses.
Keep heaters at least three feet away from drapes, blankets, and sofas. Also keep heaters away from combustibles such as spray cans, paint, and fuel.
Children and animals need to be kept away from space heaters. Accidental contact can result in burns.
Extension cords or multiple plugs cannot be used with a space heater. Don’t overload the circuits and don’t plug into the same circuit as other electrical appliances.
NEVER leave space heaters unattended. Turn off before going to bed or leaving the room.
Replace old space heaters. Look for newer, safer models.
Educating yourself about the dangers of space heaters will go a long way in ensuring the safety of your family and your home. Remember, if your furnace’s performance has you questioning whether or not to get a space heater, your best option is to get in touch with one of CW Suter’s qualified HVAC technicians to schedule a check up.