Your Guide to Choosing and Using a Space Heater
There’s really nothing quite like switching on your space heater when you’re cold at work or need a bit of extra warmth in the evenings of late fall. Kosciusko REMC wants to ensure that you have the information and resources you need to make a smart purchase this year.
What to Look for in Your Future Space Heater
From the clanky old machines of the ‘80s and ‘90s to the fancy portable gadgets of 2022, space heaters come in all shapes and sizes. Whatever you decide to buy should fit your home or office’s needs. Here are a few features to consider looking for as you browse:
- Remote control: With a remote, you can control your space heater’s settings from your comfortable spot on the couch. This feature makes it convenient to turn your heater on and off.
- Timer: If you choose a space heater with a timer, you’ll be able to program it to turn on at a specific time and stay on for as long as you choose. There’s usually a time limit on space heater timers, to maintain your home’s safety. One benefit of a timer is that you can set it up to stay on for part of the night or turn off automatically when you leave the house.
- Adjustable thermostat: This feature makes space heaters customizable according to your preferred temperature. On some space heaters, you can set the exact temperature. Certain kinds of space heaters can also function as a fan when you want to cool a room instead.
- Oscillation: With an oscillation feature, you can adjust the direction of the heat so that it spreads evenly throughout the room.
- Overheat protection: This feature is a must-have on your space heater. It will ensure your home or office’s safety by turning off automatically when the internal components of the space heater get too hot.
One other feature to look for when you’re shopping for a space heater is its certification. Whatever you purchase should be a new unit that is independently certified for safe operation by a valid testing lab, such as Underwriters Laboratories or Intertek.
What to Know Before Turning Your Space Heater On
Before you start using your new space heater, know how to use it safely! Just like any device that is powered by electricity, space heaters can pose safety hazards if used improperly. With the right precautions and electrical safety knowledge, you’ll be able to keep your home or office warm without worrying about electrical sparks and fires.
How to use your space heater:
- If your space heater is made with metal grating, which is often the case for older models, make sure that everyone in your household or office knows to steer clear of it. The metal components of a heater can often become hot to the touch, so if there are children in proximity to your space heater, consider buying one that always stays cool when it’s running, or at least has guards over the metal coils as a safety precaution.
- Perhaps you’ve heard of the space heater three-foot rule: always keep your space heater at least three feet away from flammable materials. We would add that it should be three feet out of access from curious children and pets. Clothes and fur are easily flammable, and nothing is worth the risk of danger to your family members.
- Never place your space heater on a shelf or ledge, even if it seems like the most convenient location. Your heater should be on the floor so that there is minimized risk of it falling over and posing a fire hazard.
- Don’t put your space heater in your bathroom, unless it is meant specifically for that purpose, to avoid water damage. Wherever you decide to place your space heater, make sure that it won’t be in a path of moisture, whether that might be dripping condensation from a window or melted snow from a doorway.
- When you’re ready to switch on your space heater and get warm, there’s one more safety precaution to take. Don’t plug your heater’s cord into an extension cord, as it will be much more likely to overheat. Plug it directly into a wall outlet that doesn’t have any other plugs crowding around it. This will help your space heater function at its full capacity without risking your electrical safety.
- Remember to turn off your space heater whenever you leave a room. Your space heater should never be unattended while running, and we recommend unplugging it at the end of the day to ensure electrical safety.
When you make your space heater purchase and start dreaming of how warm and cozy you’ll be, don’t forget to read the manufacturer's instructions so that you can look forward to a safe and comfortable winter ahead.
At Kosciusko REMC, we want to provide you with the knowledge and resources you need to use energy efficiently in your home. Whether that means an educational event, answering questions on the phone, or writing a guide to space heaters, we are here to help! Electricity is a vital part of our day-to-day lives, and we value the safety and well-being of you and your family above all else. To learn more about safe and affordable energy use, check out our other blog posts: Blog Page.