Space heaters can be an effective way to warm specific rooms in your home without having to crank up the thermostat. However, there is risk involved, both to your safety and for increased power bills.
Space heaters only warm a small area. You may save some money if you:
- Turn down the thermostat;
- Put the space heater in a room with people in it;
- Then close off that room from the rest of the house.
But space heaters cannot come close to replacing energy-efficient central heating or weatherization improvements.
So while it’s technically possible to cut your heating bill by using space heaters, for most people, it can be impractical, especially if both a central heat source and a portable heater are running simultaneously.
There are two types of space heaters – direct radiant and convection. The right choice depends on the room and how you plan to use the heater.
Radiant heaters are quiet and ideal for heating a specific spot They primarily heat objects and people directly in front of them.
Convection space heaters are designed to heat the air in an entire room. This is often done using a built-in fan to circulate room air over the heating elements. Ceramic convection heaters are a safer choice around young children.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that more than 25,000 residential fires every year are associated with space heaters. Space heater hazards stem not just from fires caused by contact with or close proximity to heating elements. They also include fires started by flammable fuels used in the heaters, defective wiring in the appliance, and carbon monoxide poisoning caused by improper venting or an incomplete combustion of fuels.
Here are some tips for using your electric space heater safely:
Keep the heater at least three feet from flammable items such as curtains, furniture or bedspreads.
Select a space heater with a guard around the heating element.
When buying a heater, choose one that has been tested and certified by a nationally recognized testing institution, such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL).
Read and follow the manufacturer’s operating instructions.
Keep children and pets away from space heaters.
Never leave a space heater unattended.
Do not use a heater in a bathroom—it’s a high-moisture area that could cause damage.
Keep heaters away from water to prevent electrocution.
Do not use an extension cord with a space heater.
For more information, call our member care center at 866-687-2667 or visit broadriverelectric.com/smart.