29 Aug. 21

Are Space Heaters A Safe Alternative Heat Source?

Many homeowners try to keep their home heating costs down by using a space heater to warm a small area of their house. And while these devices do deliver a lot of heat in a small space, they also represent some significant risks, including a house fire or injury to your loved ones. In addition, these heaters should not be viewed as a solution if your furnace is not working or you are trying to avoid replacing an old furnace that is not heating your home adequately. The list of potential dangers is very long and should be carefully considered.

They Ignite Almost Anything

A recent study found that space heaters are responsible for nearly half of all home fires each winter. Most fires started when the space heater was placed too close to a flammable material like a blanket, curtains, fabric furniture, or carpeting. If you decide to use a space heater, make sure that it is at least three feet away from any flammable surface. Also, ensure that the space heater is sitting on a stable flat surface.

Carbon Monoxide

If you are using an electric space heater, you do not need to worry about carbon monoxide poisoning. However, carbon monoxide is a risk in an enclosed space using a fuel-burning space heater. The gas builds up and displaces the air in your house. The result is carbon monoxide poisoning or asphyxiation. There is not enough oxygen in the room, and anyone in the room, including pets, can begin to suffer symptoms of oxygen deprivation. If anyone begins to feel lightheaded, has a headache, itchy red eyes, or feels nauseous, turn off the space heater and evacuate the space until it has been aired out. Seek medical attention for anyone suffering from breathing issues or other signs common to a lack of oxygen.

Circuit Overload

An electric space heater demands a great deal of electricity to create heat. And if you have the space heater plugged into an outlet on a circuit with other devices, it can create an overload. If the breaker trips when the space heater is running, be aware that you are likely overloading the circuit, and the result could be an electrical fire in the walls of your home. Also, if the outlet is emitting heat, the plug or electrical cord feels warm to the touch, or the outlet is smoking or making a crackling sound, turn off the space heater and unplug it immediately to avoid an electrical fire.

Children Are Curious

Never leave a child unattended when a space heater is in use. Kids want to touch and play with everything. Unfortunately, it only takes a second with your back turned for a child to be severely burned by a space heater or start a house fire. The best way to avoid a tragic accident is never to use a space heater when children are in your home.  

In reality, space heaters are one of the most dangerous items you can bring into your home. However, if you are only using it for a short time to keep warm while waiting on furnace repairs, it is an option. But be aware of all the potential hazards of these heating devices.

For fast and affordable service, any time your furnace is not heating your home correctly, call (806) 787-6501. The experts at Action Air & Plumbing are on call 24/7 to ensure that you are never forced to resort to a space heater to provide the heat you need in your home. In addition, we offer free price quotes for all repairs, and a complete warranty backs work.