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(618) 345-7498 | Serving Metro East Illinois

5 Portable Space Heater Safety Tips

Winter is here – which means cold days, and even colder nights. Do you have a properly working heating system to efficiently keep your home warm? If not, you may consider space heaters to quickly warm up areas of your home. When choosing and using a space heater, be sure to keep these 5 safety tips in mind:

1) Pick the Right Place

Give your space heater at least three feet clearance away from furniture, bedding, toys, or other combustibles. Keep your heater on a hard, level surface and never place units on furniture which can overheat and catch fire. When deciding where to place the heater, be mindful of high traffic areas and doorways, which may pose a tripping hazard.

2) Personal Heater vs. Whole Room Heater

When purchasing a space heater, be mindful of size. If you buy a heater that is too large for your needs, it will consume mass amounts of energy and lead to a higher utility bill. On the other hand, using a small heater to warm up a large area will cause the system to work in overdrive.

3) Keep the Outlet in Mind

You should always plug portable space heaters directly into an outlet with a sufficient power capacity. Using extension cords in conjunction with space heaters increases the chance of fires, electrical shock, and overheating. When not in use, or if you leave the immediate area, turn off and unplug the heater.

4) Look for Tip-Over and Overheat Protection

Portable heaters are much safer now than they used to be. Be sure to buy a model with safety features such a tip-over switch, which will automatically shut off the system if it is tipped over for any reason. For families with children or pets, this function is particularly useful. Many portable heaters also have temperature sensors, which detect when internal components overheat. When it senses an unsafe temperature, the unit will automatically shut off to prevent overheating

5) Safety Certifications are a Must

Look for a portable space heater that has been listed by Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratories (NRTL). These units have been tested, proven, and certified to meet specific safety standards. Some common certifications to look for are Underwriters Laboratories (UL), Canadian Standards Association (CSA), and Intertek Group (ETL).

Electric space heaters are a quick fix for a chilly home, but they are not designed for extended use. A properly working furnace is much more cost effective and efficient in warming a home. Viviano Heating and Air Conditioning provides heating services for all types of systems throughout the Metro East. Our Comfort Consultants want to ensure your family stays warm and safe through the winter nights. Call us today at 618-345-7498, and let us help you find a reliable, cost-effective solution to your home heating needs.