Certain areas of your Whittier, North Carolina, home might be significantly colder than others. Using a space heater is one way to enjoy sufficient warmth in these spaces. However, before rolling a space heater out and plugging it in, it’s important to know how to do so safely. Space heaters that are old, left unattended, or poorly set up can easily lead to disaster. Following are a few fire prevention tips that every homeowner should know.
Space Heaters Should Never Be Left Unattended
Never leave your space heater running when leaving the room. Always turn this unit off before exiting. In fact, to be extra safe, you can unplug it as well. Whether you’re running to the kitchen for a glass of water or a sandwich, don’t skip this important safety measure. An unattended space heater can result in a fire within just a matter of minutes. This is especially true for units that don’t have automatic shut-off switches in the event of tip-overs. Unattended space heaters can also be touched or jostled by pets and children. Moreover, if an unattended unit tips or malfunctions while you’re gone, no one will be present to mitigate the resulting problems.
Don’t Use Space Heaters in High-Traffic Areas
Most modern space heaters can generate a fair amount of warmth without having their covers or other exterior components grow hot. If you’ll be using a space heater that becomes hot to the touch after just several minutes of use, you’ll want to keep all small children and pets out of the area. Setting these units up in high-traffic zones increases the risk of skin burns, and it also increases the likelihood of having them get tipped over.
Plug Your Space Heater in the Right Way
There’s a right way and a wrong way to plug a space heater in. To start, your space heater should always be plugged directly into an outlet. It’s never a good idea to use these units with extension cords. You should also make sure that your heater is the only appliance plugged into the outlet. If there are lamps, televisions, or other electronics or appliances that normally use this outlet, move them to another place.
Make Sure Your Space Heater Has Adequate Clearance
Never set your space heater up too close to any furnishings, drapery, stored clothing, bookshelves, or other items that might overheat or catch fire. In fact, your space heater should have a full three feet of clearance at all sides and at all times. Take the time to read through the set-up instructions for your space heater before using it. Make sure that the legs or base are on a stable surface. If you intend to use your space heater on a carpeted floor, find out whether or not the unit needs to be elevated.
Take Steps to Limit the Need for Space Heaters
Space heaters are certainly handy when you’ve got cold toes or when you need to spend time in an especially cold room that doesn’t have central air service. However, these aren’t solid long-term heating solutions. The risks of using these appliances are simply too high. Not only can space heaters be tipped over, but they can also have small-sized items fall onto them. Older units can malfunction, cause serious skin burns, and experience electrical issues.
Opt for a Newer Space Heater
If you absolutely need to use a space heater in your home, make sure that you’re using a newer one. New space heaters have emergency shut-off switches that prevent them from operating after they’ve been tipped over. They are also more efficient than older heaters, and less likely to grow hot at their exterior when used for extended periods of time.
If you occasionally use a space heater while working in the garage or in another remote area of them, consider whether adding a safer and more permanent heating solution is worthwhile. Multi-split ductless heat pumps can reliably deliver warm air to remote areas, without posing any fire risks. If you use a space heater in an area of the home that is already serviced by your central heating and cooling system, schedule an HVAC inspection to find out why cold spots exist. You might have leaky ductwork, cracks, gaps, or other sources of air loss in your home’s building materials or another fixable problem. It may simply be that your HVAC equipment requires more diligent maintenance.
Premier Indoor Comfort Systems has long been a trusted provider of home heating and cooling services throughout the greater Whittier, North Carolina, area. We also offer air purification and air scrubbing solutions, as well as HVAC zoning services and ductless mini-splits. If you’ve got remote or consistently cold areas throughout your living environment, we can offer safe, reliable, and long-lasting heating solutions. Call us today.