HVAC/R Specialists Serving Reading & Berks County

How to Safely Use a Space Heater

Space heaters are a great thing to have, but they can be just as dangerous as they are helpful if you’re not careful. Here is some advice on the proper care for your space heater from the HVAC experts.

We’re just a few short weeks away from the holiday season, which means heating systems will start to be serviced and repaired to combat the cold winter months. On some jobs, specialty parts may be required to finish the job and get the heat up and running in a house, but they can take some time to be ordered and shipped. In the meantime, you turn to space heaters to keep your home warm, but what risks should you look out for?

No blankets, pillows, or other flammable objects

It shouldn’t be surprising that most objects should be kept a decent distance from the heater to avoid catching fire. The rule of thumb is that anything within 3 feet of the heater needs to be moved. You should also move anything with even a fraction of a percentage point of falling on the heater if you are not going to keep a close eye on it.

Placing your space heater on a table, chair, rug, or carpet increases the chances that the small device could tip over or overheat, causing a fire. You should keep your space heater level and on or as close to the floor as possible.

Keep it away from water

Water and electricity can be hazardous when combined, so keep your space heater away from places where it can come in contact with water. Rooms of the home, like the kitchen and bathroom, are prime examples of where not to place a space heater.

Power strips

It might be hard to believe that power strips can increase the risks, but connecting the heater to anything other than a wall outlet can cause the circuits to overload and serious internal damage to the heater.

Pet hair

People might believe that their space heaters are resistant to pet hair, and they would be wrong. Pet hair can get sucked into the heater and become trapped, increase the internal temperature, and start a fire.

Leaving a space heater alone

Again, this shouldn’t be surprising that leaving your space heater on, plugged in, or within reach of kids or pets dramatically increases the risks. Leaving any device plugged in and on, especially one that’s purpose is to produce heat, is expecting it to overheat and catch on fire. Unplug and properly store your space heater when it is not in use.

Speaking with your preferred HVAC expert on the specifics of your space heater and the things to look out for will ensure that you choose the right space heater for your home. If you live in Berks, Lancaster, or Schuylkill counties call ACS to get your home to your perfect comfort level.